The concept of SEO as you’ve probably seen by now has been constantly been dubbed as “dead” the art of SEO was even predicted to have an early death back in the 90’s. A recent article from Search Engine Journal showed that the search industry was labelled “dead” in 1997 (before Google was formed).
As mentioned in the recent Search Engine Journal article on the countless “SEO Deaths“, early internet marketeer Richard Hoy stated that he thought SEO was a complete waste of time and should be forgotten about. One of his concerns was that we needed a doctorate in Boolean logic to even use tools that were relevant to search.
In 2015 we still have some issues with search (even if we don’t have a doctorate in Boolean logic!), mainly linked to constant algorithm updates/changes that many have complained about with the likes of various penalties and downgrades that have come into play.
Going back to these dubbed SEO deaths, one of the most notable was when web entrepreneur Jeremy “ShoeMoney” Schoemaker mentioned that the world of the search was growing at a such a rapid pace that one day if you rank “X or Y” #1 tomorrow it could be called out by the likes of Google or Yahoo. (Search Engine Journal)
His viewpoint lead the media and many others that SEO was dead and buried, however, as we know Jeremy “ShoeMoney” Schoemaker ‘s theory was wrong. So the question is how does SEO die on so many occasions? In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimization is the concept of understanding how search engines retrieve information, that sounds simple enough, however, there was a time when many would try and manipulate the system with meta keywords being literally stuffed and keywords hidden all over their page(s).
Google smelt a rat with this style of “black hat SEO” and ever since have had algorithms in place to try and combat SEO spam. For example, Penguin was specifically launched as an anti-spam algorithm that penalizes artificial links. These loopholes of black hat SEO began to slowly close.
This theory of SEO dying can also be linked to when big companies were hit, which confused many on how SEO should put practised. Little did they actually know that these companies were adopting black hat SEO methods and had been caught out by Google.
Moreover, the way keywords are used these days have changed due to the Hummingbird Update which breaks down old search habits. The Hummingbird algorithm focuses on search related questions than keywords, instead it primarily looks at long tailed search queries.
Google also targeted guest blogging which had also been abused by spammers. The search engine giant as a result devalued links that were delivering poor content on their sites. The company are known for downgrading thin content to be search spam, so it is really important to follow their Webmaster Content guidelines.
So is SEO dead as the dodo? Although it has had many so called “deaths” SEO is here to stay, the art of SEO has just evolved. Many SEO specialists recommend that you need quality content and backlinks. Most importantly it is vital to understand how these algorithms work and what you can be penalized for. At the end of the day, SEO can very challenging, however, play by the rules and you won’t be hit by the likes of Penguin and Panda.
I’m going to leave you with some SEO myths that are commonly asked, Google’s Matt Cutts answers viewers questions everything from ranking higher from buying ads to automated SEO software.