Yes, SEO is Changing – But It Has a Bright Future
May 9, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park
What’s the beef with SEO? The industry is constantly attacked with negative criticism and SEO’s have unrightfully been compared to used car salesmen. Sure there are people out there who take advantage of ignorance and scam others with shady SEO, but I don’t think this is what the industry really represents. True SEO has benefited the lives of millions and has:
- enabled companies to take their businesses online and reach a wider audience of targeted potential customers without cost.
- helped writers and publishers to reach out to people who are interested in a specific subject matter.
- increased the bottom line for countless companies.
Whether you like it or not, SEO works. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the black hat tactics and the spam, but a profitable marketing method will always be exploited by the bad apples.
Shoemoney recently published an article stating that there is no future in SEO. Here’s a quote:
“My honest answer is there is no future in SEO. From my experiences I am seeing Google SERPS results strongly influenced by Google Toolbar data, Google User history, and Google Analytics data. Google’s combination of SEO and social voting via toolbar/history/analytics will continue to sway more in the realm of social voting. I feel this technology will only get better. I don’t think anyone can argue that core SEO has gotten less valuable over the years and I see that trend continuing.”
Usually I just roll my eyes when I see baseless arguments against SEO, but this one is actually pretty interesting and I would have to agree with many of the points. It’s true that search engines (especially Google) are preparing for the future. They are buying up relevant tools and sites to get a better picture of the online landscape and thus offer higher quality and more relevant search results. It’s my firm belief that analytics, social media votes, and user behavior will all be incorporated into search engine algorithms in the near future. What works most effectively now probably will be obsolete in the next 3 or 4 years. To read more on the subject, Chris Copeland describes the last days of SEO.
However, none of this means that SEO as an industry is dying. Certain tactics may be dying but the industry itself is growing and booming. The Internet has always been about change and adaptation and shifts in search engine algorithms are no different. Systems can always be hacked no matter how secure and people will always be able to think up new ways to gain an advantage.
Seriously, if prisoners can escape Alcatraz and the Titanic can sink, I’m pretty sure an SEO can manipulate Google’s “perfect” search algorithm. The fact is that we’re all human and nothing in this world is perfect. Search engines will get more advanced but if anything I think that will legitimize the field of SEO (or whatever it’s called in the future) and cut off all the newbies who don’t know what they’re doing. Real professional experts with real world experience will rise to the top and create a better name for the field.
You can see the shifts already. Many of the top SEO’s now are getting heavily involved with social media, reputation management, and digital asset optimization. On-page factors and link building may become less important in the future, but that doesn’t mean the SEO industry is dying.
Search engines may have matured, but so have SEO’s!If you like this post, subscribe to the RSS feed. Get the latest updates delivered straight to your email or news reader.