Every year, on Halloween, the day when our most ghoulish fears come alive, the question that has disturbed us for years comes forward to haunt us once again. This unrelenting question that has echoed for more than a decade in our psyches returns to taunt us with these three chilling words: Is SEO dead?

Is SEO One of the Undead?

It’s one of the most asked questions in our industry. If you do a Google search for “is SEO dead” you’ll get an idea of just how many articles have been written in response to the question. We usually don’t get too worked up with these headlines though, we’ve been hearing the “SEO is dead!” cry countless times since the late 90’s and as you can see we still have our jobs.

But since it’s Halloween and we thought we could have some fun with it, we figured we’d throw our 2 cents onto the heap.

So, here it is: SEO is not dead…

Or as Kristine Schachinger, an SEO expert and consultant, wrote in Search Engine Watch this past August,

“SEO isn’t dead, on life support, or even suffering from a really bad case of the sniffles. SEO is alive and well in all its forms, and has become more complex.”

So, Why Are People Always Saying SEO is Dead?

Here are a few reasons why people like to say SEO is dead.

1. It’s good click bait.
It’s a heated topic and people know that if they slap that “Is SEO Dead?” title on their article it’s likely to attract a lot of people and get a bunch of comments. We may or may not be doing it right now. 😉

2. They don’t have a good understanding of what SEO really is or how it has changed in recent years.

Those who say SEO is dead often have an outdated idea of what SEO actually is. They think SEO is chicanery or some kind of intense brand of keyword stuffing. Or perhaps they believe we’re all black hat SEOs gaming the system to get poorly designed, spammy websites higher rankings in Google. And though these kinds of “black hat” SEOs do still exist, they are very uncommon.

In fact, it’s getting harder and harder to make it in the SEO world using black and gray hat techniques. Thanks to Google’s many algorithm updates over the last few years (Penguins, Pandas and Hummingbirds! Oh my!), SEOs have had to work harder than ever before to produce content and websites that are in line with Google’s guidelines. The old SEO tricks of yesteryear just aren’t going to cut it anymore against sophisticated search engine algorithms.

3. They don’t understand all that SEO entails.
Whether you want to call us online marketers, inbound marketers, digital strategists or SEOs, our business is the same. We are the people who concern themselves with:

  • Your website’s usability and adherence to Google’s guidelines,
  • Creating good quality content and promoting that content through email, blogging and social media,
  • Staying on top of algorithm changes and other technical details.

To ensure your website delivers a positive search experience, for search engines and people alike.

4. They’ve hired an SEO in the past that just wasn’t that good.
Sometimes you hire an SEO who isn’t necessarily doing black hat SEO, but just isn’t that good at SEO. You always expect that when you hire someone who calls himself or herself an expert, they are an expert, but that isn’t always the case unfortunately. But just because you had a negative experience with an individual SEO, does not mean SEO itself does not work.

5. They think algorithm updates spell the end of SEO.
When the Google Penguin algorithm update was put in place, link building became more difficult to perform. When Google removed the majority of keyword data from Google Analytics it became even more difficult to analyze keyword data, and so on, but these algorithm updates don’t spell the end of SEO, they are simply Google’s way to create better user experiences and weed out black hat (and sometimes gray hat) SEOs.

Will SEO Ever Die?

As Kristine Schachinger put it:

“(If) there (is) still a search engine that seeks out and returns content to a user based on words they enter through text or voice input, (and) these results (are still) based on programming, algorithms, and math,” then no, SEO will never die.
In other words, as long as people keep “Googling” things and search engines continue to deliver content based on a number of objective, mathematical factors, SEO will continue to live on.

In other words, as long as people keep “Googling” things and search engines continue to deliver content based on a number of objective, mathematical factors, SEO will continue to live on.

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