Is the "SEO Specialist" about to go the way of Ol' Bessie?

52 replies
  • SEO
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I've been reading a lot of articles lately that make a lot of good points as to the state of new SEO.

Due to the massive importance being placed on SEO now by the search engines, the shift in focus/power to local search, and of course the Google Updates that ruined more men than Mary the One-eyed Whore, it seems like the old ways of SEO are dying out. Or at least they won't be nearly as important in the future as they were in the past.

I'm not looking to start a huge argument here, I'm looking to start a genuine conversation. What are your thoughts?

Best,
-Mike
#bessie #death of seo #is seo dead #seo specialist #web strategy
  • Profile picture of the author Mekanism
    As long as there are search engines, SEO will never die. However it is getting tougher, so only the strong will survive. As more and more people learn SEO (the numbers have grown dramatically) then Google will get better and more aggressive at taking them on since the idiots leave obvious footprints.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Warriors
      Originally Posted by Mekanism View Post

      As long as there are search engines, SEO will never die. However it is getting tougher, so only the strong will survive. As more and more people learn SEO (the numbers have grown dramatically) then Google will get better and more aggressive at taking them on since the idiots leave obvious footprints.
      Pretty much, yeah.

      It's impossible to create an "ungameable" search engine because as long as search engines rely on algorithms, then there will be ways to artificially make a page conform to the elements that the algorithms place positive weight on.

      But this will increasingly be very very difficult, as sophisticated search algorithms can reduce the effect of fake backlinks to just about zero.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwmann2
    The old ways need to die out. The algorithms are always changing. Change is the only way the legitimate webmasters can combat the spammers and those that litter the internet with useless crap. From what I've heard, these "SEO Experts" are never really experts and end up doing your company/website more harm than good. Build your brand slowly and your backlinks slowly, it looks more natural that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    This same conversation has been hitting some of the other forums too. I have recently done some product launches and I did very little to zero SEO. I just launched a WSO with traffic strategies that don't require SEO but support natural ranking of a site.

    Its do-able but the bottom line is you need to be in it for the long haul and not looking to get a massive jump in rankings over night. Google pays a lot of engineers a ton of money to prevent people from gaming the system. The good news is you don't have to game the system. Build your site & content the right way and you will rank better than you expected.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I don't understand all this talk about SEO being "hard" now that Google has recently made changes.

    They've always kept changing their algorithms - keeping your eye on what's required and with a sense of "where are they going" so that you don't sacrifice long term growth for short term gains is always what it's been about.

    NOTHING has really changed, except the short term focus and weighting of the various elements.

    New sources for links will always come along and new ways to tap into traffic sources will always come along.

    Change is the name of the game in SEO.

    The recent changes have definitely not made things harder - just harder to abuse.

    Many of the same thinking and methods that applied a decade ago are still the same today.

    Which part of this is confusing?:

    1 - Find your audience
    2 - Find what they're searching for
    3 - Create attractive content based on their searches
    4 - Spread the word by tapping in to where your target audience hang out and industry focal points

    10 years ago I would have told you to find websites that already have access to your audience and find creative ways to work with them or leverage their access.

    Look for high PR sites to get your relevant content published, etc...

    This is all still the same.

    The main people that are now struggling for results are the push-button SEO gang who just wanted to rely on mass link application of poor strategies.

    Anyone can still do videos, press releases, viral documents, audio, videos, etc. etc.

    Anyone who says SEO is now hard just doesn't "get it".
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
    I feel like my point may have been skewed throughout this conversation. What I was saying is that the SEO SPECIALIST is going away, because of the changes to the game.

    Of course SEO will always change and it will always be needed, but the outlets we use to accomplish that SEO are changing drastically, and it seems to me like a LOT of the old methods that are most reliable don't need a "specialist" but rather five minutes of your time.

    That was the point of the conversation.

    Not that SEO is dead, or that it has gotten harder, but that the game has changed, and the people that market themselves as traditional "SEO Specialists" are becoming a little less important day by day as the game switches to a new format.
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    • Profile picture of the author petemcal
      Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

      I feel like my point may have been skewed throughout this conversation. What I was saying is that the SEO SPECIALIST is going away, because of the changes to the game.

      Of course SEO will always change and it will always be needed, but the outlets we use to accomplish that SEO are changing drastically, and it seems to me like a LOT of the old methods that are most reliable don't need a "specialist" but rather five minutes of your time.

      That was the point of the conversation.

      Not that SEO is dead, or that it has gotten harder, but that the game has changed, and the people that market themselves as traditional "SEO Specialists" are becoming a little less important day by day as the game switches to a new format.
      I think that the definition of an "SEO specialist" will change. Rather than the title being a redundant relic of the past it will simply represent something different.

      The game is getting harder, things that were specialist in the past can now be automated that is true.

      I think what would have been known as an SEO expert or Guru will now drop down to the "SEO specialist" level.

      True search engine optimisation takes much more than just using a set of tools or even just building some links. It is an overall plan, a craft and a system of operating.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

      Of course SEO will always change and it will always be needed, but the outlets we use to accomplish that SEO are changing drastically, and it seems to me like a LOT of the old methods that are most reliable don't need a "specialist" but rather five minutes of your time.
      That's the case with many things - people don't pay you because what needs doing is complicated - they pay you because it's only easy when you know what you're doing and how to effectively do it.

      I've had many clients insist on paying me for things which I told them repeatedly they can do for themselves.

      Take Google business listings - they're free, quick and easy to set up and I've helped many small businesses make thousands of dollars in new business before their website was even finished just by creating a business listing for them.
      When I told them exactly how to do it they say "no, I don't have time to think about it - I'd rather just leave it to you so I can think about my business instead".

      SEO has never been difficult - Once you understand the subject it's just a case of building yourself a strategy of actions that you can take on a regular basis with some understanding of what to expect from doing them.

      Many "SEO experts" are just newbies who have a shallow understanding of the subject and leveraged mass action tools to use a shotgun where only a hammer should be needed.

      The real problem that's now occuring is that the people relying on spamming tools and automated SEO have got to the end of that road because even though they knew they were playing the system, they were hoping they'd never get caught. Now their lack of real understanding shines through and they can't get results.

      People who properly understand the business of seo are more in demand than ever now as thousands of businesses that got slapped by Googles changed are finding out that their "expert" really didn't know what they were doing, or was just lazy and using tools to do a less valuable job of something they were being paid to do properly.

      SEO experts are more valuable than ever now - there are just less of them because "I used to be able to get results" is not enough to make you an expert.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

      I feel like my point may have been skewed throughout this conversation. What I was saying is that the SEO SPECIALIST is going away, because of the changes to the game.
      Actually no matter how you put it you are hopelessly confusing SEO specialists with SEO service provider which can and has meant just about anyone that says they are an SEO.

      Lets face it - the reason that so many people on this board are jumping up and down claiming SEO is dead or SEO specialists are going away is because what THEY know of SEO got hit to siberia by Penguin , deindexing and unnatural link penalties.

      But lets call a spade a spade. What did most people on this board call SEO before these so called changes? Lets see - Blasting and spinning articles , buying links on link farms (otherwise known as rental blog networks) and either running software that churned out nonsense links and content or hiring someone from a WSO offering said service.

      Thats about it. Now if you claim the world is full of and only about chocolate and the last piece of chocolate is swallowed and concluded with a burp by a fat kid with freckles and chubby cheeks, of course its time to put on the black suits, follow the hearse, stand over the grave site looking down at a big empty bag of M&Ms and sing Amazing Grace but no sorry

      There are TON loads of SEOs that never relied on those techniques and that didn't have to change a thing over this year. So all this huge "changes" mantra was for those frankly who were doing things WE ALL knew Google was going after eventually. They told us that FOR YEARS.

      Of course SEO will always change and it will always be needed, but the outlets we use to accomplish that SEO are changing drastically, and it seems to me like a LOT of the old methods that are most reliable don't need a "specialist" but rather five minutes of your time.
      I'm quite surprised you have been allowed to get away with this statement without dissent. Where is this mysterious "five minutes of your time" traffic technique? Frankly you are making it up - Conjured it out of thin air and yet you claim that theres not only one but LOTs. There are in fact NONE unless you are counting WSOs Claims in which case infinite is a closer representation.

      Doing social right takes a lot of time. Getting organic links that people are willing to give you for great content is massively more time consuming. If you are talking syndication that too requires more than a five minute article if you want the right people to pick it up and run with it. Buying traffic still requires a "specialist" or two to operate. So what in the world you are talking about I have no idea whatsoever.

      "SEO Specialists" are becoming a little less important day by day as the game switches to a new format.
      I guess I missed the breaking news story where Google, Yahoo and Bing went out of business. Every last one of them ranks sites by an algorithm and as long as there is a sophisticated algo listing sites there will be specialists in abundance to attempt to decipher it. You are once again making things up out of thin air. There is no switching of formats. People are still using search engines by the billions and will for the foreseeable future. Google is not conceding its services as a waste of time. They are merely building new factors by which to rank sites in their index.

      Social is usually what people have in mind when they write such things but its too shallow and short sighted. Google will never rank sites ONLY on how many fans, likes or followers you have. They will always have layered approach with multiple signals. Again as long as there are different factors and layers specialists will thrive. If Search engine companies ever try to simplify it the days of automation software would be back in force creating those signals.

      Any which way you look at it what you are suggesting on the facts are kinda weak.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Lets face it - the reason that so many people on this board are jumping up and down claiming SEO is dead or SEO specialists are going away is because what THEY know of SEO got hit to siberia by Penguin , deindexing and unnatural link penalties.
        How about what THEY "think" is SEO If you notice, these same
        people keep looking under the same rocks.

        Let's see, if I lift the rock up a little to the left this time, and not
        to the right, maybe I'll find something different, and google won't
        notice the fact that I'm looking under the same rock that
        flattened me last time.

        This forum skews the view from reality. The vast majority seem to be
        still saying, forget hard work, patience....how can I shmooze
        google right this very second?

        Voodoo SEO is impossible to eradicate. Real SEO will never die.
        It will become an umbrella, covering many aspects.

        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        I don't see any purpose for FBs existence. FB has games, boring photos, & PPC Ads, I don't have a clue why that's so enticing to so many people. My best guess is people travel the net in herds, just like everyone had a MySpace account before FB arrived. The real question is how long can FB hold the smoke screen before new social competition plows them over, we all know it's possible (RIP MySpace).
        It's all related. People fall all over facebook, spamming, fake profiles, fake likes, etc.
        You never heard me once sing the praises of FB. I told people to do real stuff.
        FB is a prime example of what people think is "SEO." OOOOH! I can get
        10,000 FB likes on fiverr? Sign me up!

        Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author F1SEO
      Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

      I feel like my point may have been skewed throughout this conversation. What I was saying is that the SEO SPECIALIST is going away, because of the changes to the game.

      Of course SEO will always change and it will always be needed, but the outlets we use to accomplish that SEO are changing drastically, and it seems to me like a LOT of the old methods that are most reliable don't need a "specialist" but rather five minutes of your time.

      That was the point of the conversation.

      Not that SEO is dead, or that it has gotten harder, but that the game has changed, and the people that market themselves as traditional "SEO Specialists" are becoming a little less important day by day as the game switches to a new format.
      Quite a few SEO companies around my neighbourhood, and also prominent link networks got hit hard .. and many went down the pan, closed their doors as customers fled. Those putting all their services into one basket and couldn't adapt packed in. So I agree with you that SEO is switching to a more holistic approach.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
        Quite a few of you have still mixed up my point, while yet others of you are now trying to slander me in the process. This wasn't some half-assed attempt at drawing traffic.

        I'm genuinely sparking a conversation, and there have been quite a few good responses.

        All of you who say you are genuine SEOs and have been getting more clients, would you chop your definition of what you do to be "simply" SEO? Or do you believe that all the things you do, all contribute to SEO, but are part of a larger picture?

        MY POINT was that the people that called themselves "SEO Specialists" that threw up shoddy backlinks, bought crappy traffic, and added in a few meta tags are falling out of business because frankly, their methods don't quite work anymore.

        However, as the "multiple layers" of the search engine algorithm's change, as directories, social media, and the way people interact with them changes, SEO's actually take the time to figure out this change. Not everything that an "SEO" does ONLY helps for getting higher search engine rankings, correct me if I'm wrong.

        But YES, in my opinion, a good SEO contributes more to a "Web Strategy" as the things they do to raise a website's ranking in the search engine also helps to BUILD that website's overall presence.

        MY POINT, is that simply saying "I do SEO" is a complete understatement, and I think that all you who refer to yourself as an SEO-er will soon turn the tides to realize that you are doing more than just helping a website/business/individual rank higher in the SERPs, but are also helping them build ALL areas of their strategy.

        So thanks for the slander, y'all. Point well taken. I never said SEO was dead, I never actually meant SEO took five minutes (big surprise I was taken literally there, what with the internet being for serious at all times). In response to you, I'm building my SEO five minutes at a time and it's working out swimmingly. As for all the reasons you mentioned about why SEO isn't just a "five minute thing"; Gee, those reasons sound A LOT like you are doing WAY MORE than "just SEO"

        In short, you are NOT just an SEO. You do SO MUCH MORE than everybody's third cousin the "SEO specialist extraordinaire".

        Once again, I NEVER said SEO was dead. Not once, not ever, nor will I. Learn to read and listen to individuals instead of throwing them to the wolves with every other jackass.

        To those of you who have actually contributed and given good points, thanks.
        To those of you who try to turn a conversation into a bashing thread, I'll see you in hell bright and early.

        To further prove my point that I don't give a rats ass about whether or not you go to my website, since most on the WF AREN'T my target market, the link has been removed.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

          Quite a few of you have still mixed up my point, while yet others of you are now trying to slander me in the process. This wasn't some half-assed attempt at drawing traffic.
          Well in their defense adding the link to your site afterwards (anchor text "here") didn't help.

          So thanks for the slander, y'all. Point well taken. I never said SEO was dead, I never actually meant SEO took five minutes (big surprise I was taken literally there, what with the internet being for serious at all times)......To those of you who try to turn a conversation into a bashing thread, I'll see you in hell bright and early.
          Mike very poor form. The failure to communicate was all on you and theres no sense trying to blame everyone else for it. there is a ton load difference between saying that SEO specialists are going away and people who claim to be SEO specialists will dry up and be blown away. In fact they are polar opposites. The second implies that REAL SEO specialists will be fine.

          The reality is you don't seem to even know your own point and have yet to explain why or what works that takes only five minutes which allegedly makes SEO specialists unnecessary. Why wouldn't people conclude you were talking about real SEO specialist when you just said all thats left for them to do is five minutes of easy work?

          Frankly I think your point was not missed but that upon reflection of the points raised against it you are back peddling. Still no reason to get all in a lather because people take exception to your ideas that suddenly SEO Specialists have nothing but five minutes of works to do and will fade away while obviously not thinking the same of web strategists which is nothing but another phrase greatly over lapping the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I think what you mean to say is the Shitty Backlinkers are going out of style.

    As an SEO, I have brought on more new clients in the past 4 months than I did in the previous 12 combined, and I wasn't hurting before. I've talked to many other SEO's who are seeing similar trends.

    Because of all the Google updates, people are flocking to those who actually know what they are doing versus those that throw some spun articles into SEnuke and press 'go'.

    Too many people call themselves an SEO that do nothing more than build backlinks. They couldn't diagnose ranking problems with a website if it smacked them in the face.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      Too many people call themselves an SEO that do nothing more than build backlinks. They couldn't diagnose ranking problems with a website if it smacked them in the face.
      Exactly. I've been saying this for a while now - (most) link builders are not SEOs.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      Because of all the Google updates, people are flocking to those who actually know what they are doing versus those that throw some spun articles into SEnuke and press 'go'.
      Or they are just giving up instead choosing to chase some new rainbow until they find that doesn't have a pot of gold waiting for them there either . Warm up the WSOs.

      Lets face it - people are proclaiming SEO is dead merely on the basis that what is alive and kicking takes hard work or cash and they don't want to spend either. It s like a man telling his wife he can't cut the lawn anymore because the riding lawn mower keeps breaking down. Well um go buy a new one that doesn't or pull out the one you push. Cutting lawns isn't dead because you can't turn a key and ride your old and familiar riding lawn mower anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Clearly the point here is to draw traffic to the OP link (email optin page).

    Fear is one of the oldest sales tactics that exist, both online & offline, "Act now or the world will end as you know it!".
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Clearly the point here is to draw traffic to the OP link (email optin page).

      Fear is one of the oldest sales tactics that exist, both online & offline, "Act now or the world will end as you know it!".
      Great point Yukon. I had missed the sig. So apparently people won't need SEO specialists but they will need "Web strategists" for the thing that takes 5 minutes to do :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Great point Yukon. I had missed the sig.
        Me too.

        Funny how when people start threads to get the sig looked at - I never do notice their sig. Some people must or surely they wouldn't bother?
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  • Profile picture of the author DarrenHaynes
    Well um go buy a new one that doesn't or pull out the one you push. Cutting lawns isn't dead because you can't turn a key and ride your old and familiar riding lawn mower anymore.
    No way, that is too much work. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Mike in response to your edit of your last post you continue to define SEO in an extremely limiting way that is not reflected in the greater SEO world. SEOs have been involved in content creation and positioning for years ( particularly as regards link bait) , many have been involved in Social ever since it was reported that Search engine used it at all in their algos and since navigation and user interface have SEO implications have been involved with that as well. Many have been involved in general media promotion like press releases, ad campaign tie ins and ( to Google's horror) buying ads.

    In short we are not doing "more than SEO". All of that has been PART of SEO for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
    I'll be the first to concede when I didn't make my point clear, I will not however concede to being in the wrong when someone starts trying to call me out on being a spammer for having a link in a post. It didn't say "GO HERE OR ELSE" I merely said I had written some things there, where I was compiling the information that I found.

    My original intent in making this thread wasn't to prove a point. In fact, if you read the OP you will find that I clearly stated that I was looking for a conversation, and even the thread title is a question instead of a statement.

    So tell me, why am I suddenly a shoddy trickster trying to build quick traffic for posting up a question? Tell me, why can't there be a genuine conversation without attacking me for some of the points that I've been reading about?

    Poor form on your behalf as well, Mr. Anthony. As all of your posts have been nothing but a direct attack at myself, both in the construction of your responses and the tone of your word choice.

    So don't knock me, when your whole mission here has been a direct attack on me, for trying to start a conversation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
    Regardless, it's obvious to me that we aren't going to come to a head here, I view SEO as contributing to every aspect of online marketing, and you view every other aspect of online marketing as being a part of SEO.

    Let me just say, that if search engines were to completely fail and never return tomorrow, the internet wouldn't suddenly stop. Social would still be social, directories would still be directories. It's just that doing so wouldn't be contributing to SEO, because there wouldn't be any SEO. But there WOULD still be online marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    The "SEO specialist" is in a deep state of denial, judged by the comments in this thread. It's almost as if people who are 'really into SEO' haven't noticed the quantum leap people have made into social networks, video channels and the like. SEO is no longer the home-run ball it used to be. With personalized search, SEO should not be anyone's primary strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Mike less heat more light. Its obvious why people called you out on promoting your own site and it was not me who initiated that. It was far from personal. I don't know about the rest of the board but for most of us who frequent this section linking back to your own site in the body of a post has always been a big no no. So anyone doing it stands that risk.

    So don't knock me, when your whole mission here has been a direct attack on me, for trying to start a conversation.
    Mike straight out - you are clearly and I mean CLEARLY trying to position a web strategists which you characterize yourself as over a SEO. The title of this thread was always going to have it moved to the SEO section. IF you have problems with SEOs pointedly disagreeing with you or thought that that was going to go over with no criticism then you are being delusional.

    The idea that all of my posts had no substance besides a mission to attack you is equally off. Many were quite long and filled with my points against your position and thats what really has you upset. however you can take some mirth that you are not alone in not understanding the total scope of SEO -

    Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

    The "SEO specialist" is in a deep state of denial, judged by the comments in this thread. It's almost as if people who are 'really into SEO' haven't noticed the quantum leap people have made into social networks, video channels and the like.
    SEOs have been working social networks for years. Before it ever was a factor in the algo they used it to get the word out to attract links. Since its now in the algo they have been deep into it. People claiming that social now replaces SEO don;t have a clue what they are talking about because they define SEO entirely as self backlinking like they have never heard the term "Organic Link building" in their lives. In fact Only people with a very limited experience with SEO think it does not involve all the things you just mentioned

    But hey ignorance is bliss. reading this thread made me realize what a deep state of denial Imers are in in regard to their limited experiences in IM being what holds for the entire online world. You both have an extremely limited and small idea of what SEO is thats why you are making such huge errors.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      Mike less heat more light. Its obvious why people called you out on promoting your own site and it was not me who initiated that. It was far from personal. I don't know about the rest of the board but for most of us who frequent this section linking back to your own site in the body of a post has always been a big no no. So anyone doing it stands that risk.
      Forgive me by posting late and on a short schedule, the link was merely so I didn't have to re-type all of the stuff I had JUST written.


      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      Mike straight out - you are clearly and I mean CLEARLY trying to position a web strategists which you characterize yourself as over a SEO. The title of this thread was always going to have it moved to the SEO section. IF you have problems with SEOs pointedly disagreeing with you or thought that that was going to go over with no criticism then you are being delusional.
      I should have put this thread in the SEO section from the beginning, and that's my fault. I can admit that. It was late, I was tired, I had work in the morning, things happen.

      I'm trying to position that SEO isn't just for the sake of SERPs like so many people believe, and I don't know why you're trying to disagree with that. My position, which wasn't part of the OP is that true SEOs do more in terms of Web Strategy then limiting themselves to the layman's definition of "SEO".

      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      The idea that all of my posts had no substance besides a mission to attack you is equally off. Many were quite long and filled with my points against your position and thats what really has you upset.
      No, in fact you'll find that I am very much so open to debate and opposition when given the chance. Thus the creation of this thread. What I am not open to is being criticized repeatedly by person(s) who don't understand the point of view that I'm looking from, and make no effort to see the other side.

      That, is clearly what has me upset.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

        No, in fact you'll find that I am very much so open to debate and opposition when given the chance. .
        In this thread I didn't find that. Proof is in the pudding. Anyway you have rewritten the OP so I think you get that it wasn't people not understanding your point of view it was you not communicating it (or perhaps your point of view changed when you read dissenting points which is a good thing)

        I think we both know that if you came into this thread saying that SEOs have to learn and do more than they did in the past not a single SEO type here would have disagreed.

        Forgive me by posting late and on a short schedule, the link was merely so I didn't have to re-type all of the stuff I had JUST written.
        Copy and Paste??? There hasn't been a need to retype content since typewriters went out of wide use. I am just pointing that out to you as why people thought what they did without them trying to deliberately slander you. I do take you at your word that you were not spamming. Its just that trust me we get all kinds in this forum and for some that would just be an excuse to link back to their site.

        Despite our disagreement best wishes to you and belated welcome to WF
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    I'm the one that pointed out the link, the link I was referring to was the in content link in OP, which OP removed. Going to the site I don't even see the blog post the OP link was pointing at.

    I wasn't trying to upset anyone, just pointing out what I was seeing. Also, OP keep in mind all the regular forum members in the SEO sub-forum keep seeing the "SEO is dead" type forum threads pop up.

    That's like telling Warren Buffet the stock market will make you go broke, sure most will go broke but I doubt old Warren Buffet will & chances are he'll laugh in someones face If they suggest the stock market is dead as he knows it.

    My point here is, people tend to read things on blogs, news sites, forums, etc... & assume it's real, for instance "SEO is dead". Telling people that make a living from practicing/testing SEO most days of their life that SEO as we know it is dead, well, you had to realize we would call BS. After all this is an SEO sub-forum.

    After all the Panda, Penguin, Porpoise, whatever... Google updates, SEO hasn't really changed that much, it's still all about links & text, what's changed over the years is how you optimize the links & text. There's always going to be 101 ways to optimize the links & text for SEO.

    Based on my own experience I'm ranking plenty of pages without social (FB, Twitter, whatever...). I doubt that's going to change anytime soon (years) considering Google can't survive without links or text.

    Here's the problem with social & SEO:
    • Social can easily be gamed (fiverr)
    • Google needs a HUGE pool of resources for the SERPs, otherwise it's not a web search, it's a social search. If I can go to G+ & do a search, why would I need Google organic search (I wouldn't If SEO was based on social signals, which it isn't)?
    • The majority of social sites are temporary, even Google has a track record of social failures. Google has to have sources that are very long term, which eliminates 99% of social sites.

    What do you think would have happened to Google Search If Google would have based it's algo. on MySpace (the king of social in it's day)? The SERPs would have been a money pit for Google overnight as Facebook emerged. Google isn't naive enough to base their core algo. on social signals. Not going to happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      After all the Panda, Penguin, Porpoise, whatever... Google updates, SEO hasn't really changed that much, it's still all about links & text, what's changed over the years is how you optimize the links & text. There's always going to be 101 ways to optimize the links & text for SEO.
      This is actually a REALLY good, succinct way of explaining SEO, and I never thought of it that simplistically before. I like it.

      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Here's the problem with social & SEO:
      • Social can easily be gamed (fiverr)
      • Google needs a HUGE pool of resources for the SERPs, otherwise it's not a web search, it's a social search. If I can go to G+ & do a search, why would I need Google organic search (I wouldn't If SEO was based on social signals, which it isn't)?
      • The majority of social sites are temporary, even Google has a track record of social failures. Google has to have sources that are very long term, which eliminates 99% of social sites.

      What do you think would have happened to Google Search If Google would have based it's algo. on MySpace (the king of social in it's day)? The SERPs would have been a money pit for Google overnight as Facebook emerged. Google isn't naive enough to base their core algo. on social signals. Not going to happen.
      Again, very good example. What do you think of Google saying that they have to factor in social more though? I don't have a link to an exact article, but I remember reading that they said something along the lines of "Google cannot ignore the social phenomenon and is looking for more ways to implement that in it's search capabilities"

      You're very right, if Google had based their algorithm heavily on MySpace there would have been a pretty gigantic hole in the ground. But do you think there are some social sites that will be around long enough for Google to trust more effectively?

      It makes sense, that you say Google factors in something much more permanent and will always do so. But do you see a possibility that the web as a whole becomes even more social and the power of individual (nonsocial) websites loses the battle?
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

        Again, very good example. What do you think of Google saying that they have to factor in social more though? I don't have a link to an exact article, but I remember reading that they said something along the lines of "Google cannot ignore the social phenomenon and is looking for more ways to implement that in it's search capabilities"
        They've obviously added social signals to the SERPs (G+ counters) but I haven't seen anything I've searched for that showed signs of Google showing favorites just because of social. Usually when I search I'm not logged into Google so personalized SERPs don't skew results.





        Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

        But do you think there are some social sites that will be around long enough for Google to trust more effectively?
        I think Twitter will be around for a very long time, it serves a purpose (short convenient conversations).

        Facebook is probably the strangest site online, not just social, but as a site. FB has huge traffic, but it's an extremely sketchy business IMO, it reminds me of the dot com bubble in 2000, just waiting to fail as investors keep pumping money into it.

        I don't see any purpose for FBs existence. FB has games, boring photos, & PPC Ads, I don't have a clue why that's so enticing to so many people. My best guess is people travel the net in herds, just like everyone had a MySpace account before FB arrived. The real question is how long can FB hold the smoke screen before new social competition plows them over, we all know it's possible (RIP MySpace).






        Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

        It makes sense, that you say Google factors in something much more permanent and will always do so. But do you see a possibility that the web as a whole becomes even more social and the power of individual (nonsocial) websites loses the battle?
        No, because a lot of people like their privacy (including me), I have no urge to tell the world my cat just had kittens (lol). There will always be a place for static content, just because content doesn't change doesn't mean it's not useful, even Google has pointed that out in the past.

        The downside for social is, it's short, random, & temporary content. IMO, social content is useless to the average searcher, just like nobody cares about my cat, I don't care about their cat & don't want to see it in the SERPs.

        The only way I see social overtaking static content/sites is If the search is for a persons name, which would be expected (latest info. on a person).
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        • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          No, because a lot of people like their privacy (including me), I have no urge to tell the world my cat just had kittens (lol).
          But you are gonna put up the pictures aren't you?
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          I don't see any purpose for FBs existence. FB has games, boring photos, & PPC Ads, I don't have a clue why that's so enticing to so many people. My best guess is people travel the net in herds, just like everyone had a MySpace account before FB arrived. The real question is how long can FB hold the smoke screen before new social competition plows them over, we all know it's possible (RIP MySpace).
          Pretty much my sentiment. Facebook to me is a good place to go when you want to find out what people in high school now look like or reconnecting with a friend you lost touch with. Once thats done why bother? My bet is they will slowly die once things like Xbox lives idea of socializing becomes common place. If you can watch movies together with friends hundreds of miles away , play real games , video conferencing with all kinds of interactivity why bother leaving that to read inane stuff and type in some boxes?

          The other part of this SEO is going all social people ignore is that there is no way Google will totally hand off their search results to another companies data. They might rely on G+ but that hasn't taken off yet the way they hoped.
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          • Profile picture of the author mosthost
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            Pretty much my sentiment. Facebook to me is a good place to go when you want to find out what people in high school now look like or reconnecting with a friend you lost touch with. Once thats done why bother? My bet is they will slowly die once things like Xbox lives idea of socializing becomes common place. If you can watch movies together with friends hundreds of miles away , play real games , video conferencing with all kinds of interactivity why bother leaving that to read inane stuff and type in some boxes?

            The other part of this SEO is going all social people ignore is that there is no way Google will totally hand off their search results to another companies data. They might rely on G+ but that hasn't taken off yet the way they hoped.
            Facebook is in no danger of dying anytime soon. Millions of people use it every day and have an emotional attachment to it.
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
              Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

              Facebook is in no danger of dying anytime soon. Millions of people use it every day and have an emotional attachment to it.
              I remember hearing the same thing about MySpace 5 years ago.

              When people make this argument about Facebook impacting search results, one thing they fail to look at is the business side of things.

              Google is in a heated war with Apple in the smartphone market. Apple has now started making strides into search with Siri and some local search things they are now doing. Facebook has recently aligned itself with Apple. So it is not just the threat of Facebook dying out someday, but it is also a potentially significant rival. It would not be far off from Google basing its search results off of data from Bing.

              If anything, someday Google+ might have a significant impact on SEO, but for the time being nobody outside of the tech or IM industry are using it. It's not a flop on the scale of Orkut or Google Wave, but it's not doing well at all. They are not bringing in the female demographic, and until they find a way to do that, it won't take off. If you don't believe me, look at Pinterest.

              Even if social plays a bigger impact in rankings down the road, there are still plenty of niches it won't significantly impact. People are not Tweeting about how great their accountant is. Nobody is going to Facebook to tell their friends about their awesome dentist.
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                Google is in a heated war with Apple in the smartphone market. Apple has now started making strides into search with Siri and some local search things they are now doing. Facebook has recently aligned itself with Apple. So it is not just the threat of Facebook dying out someday, but it is also a potentially significant rival. It would not be far off from Google basing its search results off of data from Bing.
                On the money Mike. It doesn't even take a rival. In order for Google to base its rankings on social signals they have to have access to twitter and facebook to pull the data they need. Changes to those platforms would have Google scrambling to update their crawler and/or algo. Its jut not practical to have the very core part of your business totally dependent on another completely different company you don't control. Even with API access it doesn't work because those agreements are short term and expire.

                Google Realtime goes dark after Twitter agreement expires | VentureBeat
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
                Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                When people make this argument about Facebook impacting search results, one thing they fail to look at is the business side of things.
                As we often do, until someone brings it up. I totally didn't even think of the fact that Facebook has been lining up with Apple, and Google would be damned to feed off of one of their main tech. competitors.

                Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                If anything, someday Google+ might have a significant impact on SEO, but for the time being nobody outside of the tech or IM industry are using it. It's not a flop on the scale of Orkut or Google Wave, but it's not doing well at all. They are not bringing in the female demographic, and until they find a way to do that, it won't take off. If you don't believe me, look at Pinterest.
                Besides the whole lack of a female demographic, this is something I had noticed too. This is the reason why I didn't personally give Google+ much effort until just recently. The female demographic is HUGE, and now that you mention it I definitely see a correlation.

                I would be curious to hear some of Google's proposals on how to address this issue.

                Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                Even if social plays a bigger impact in rankings down the road, there are still plenty of niches it won't significantly impact. People are not Tweeting about how great their accountant is. Nobody is going to Facebook to tell their friends about their awesome dentist.
                Also a valid point, but not necessarily right. Social isn't necessarily about talking about how cool or awesome something is. That's a huge part of it, but it's also used for getting recommendations. Getting a client to "like" your accounting business' facebook page, and that being seen by one of their friends who needs an accountant is a HUGE boost.

                Refer to Dunbar's Number for a something that I think really effects this. People trust those they know, and if you can any portion of the 150 people that someone REALLY knows, then marketing to them is so, so much more efficient.

                Just my thoughts on that subject.
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                • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                  Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

                  Besides the whole lack of a female demographic, this is something I had noticed too. This is the reason why I didn't personally give Google+ much effort until just recently. The female demographic is HUGE, and now that you mention it I definitely see a correlation.
                  Social media is very similar to bars and restaurants. Men go where the women are.

                  Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

                  Also a valid point, but not necessarily right. Social isn't necessarily about talking about how cool or awesome something is. That's a huge part of it, but it's also used for getting recommendations. Getting a client to "like" your accounting business' facebook page, and that being seen by one of their friends who needs an accountant is a HUGE boost.

                  Refer to Dunbar's Number for a something that I think really effects this. People trust those they know, and if you can any portion of the 150 people that someone REALLY knows, then marketing to them is so, so much more efficient.
                  I agree about the social trust factor, but that doesn't necessarily mean it impacts rankings, nor should it. It is great for traffic though.

                  People complain about how easy it can be to manipulate backlinks, but it is even easier to create a bunch of fake social accounts and like whatever business you want.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
                    Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                    Social media is very similar to bars and restaurants. Men go where the women are.
                    Yes. and at the same time.. lol.


                    Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                    I agree about the social trust factor, but that doesn't necessarily mean it impacts rankings, nor should it. It is great for traffic though.
                    But do you think it may in the future? Or rather, what do you think Google thinks? I agree, the manipulation potential is a joke.

                    But, going off of the social trust factor. If Google's experiments show (and I'm sure you know as well as I do that they are running experiments on this) that people are more content with search results based off of their social profiles/friends than with other less-socially factored algorithms, don't you think that they will suck it up and implement stronger social results and work on immunizing themselves afterwards?

                    After all, Google's main mission is to make people content with their search results. If they were to implement social into the algo, I don't think they can ignore the other social media sites and only use G+ unless a MAJOR trend shift occurs.
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                    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                      Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

                      But, going off of the social trust factor. If Google's experiments show (and I'm sure you know as well as I do that they are running experiments on this) that people are more content with search results based off of their social profiles/friends than with other less-socially factored algorithms, don't you think that they will suck it up and implement stronger social results and work on immunizing themselves afterwards?

                      After all, Google's main mission is to make people content with their search results. If they were to implement social into the algo, I don't think they can ignore the other social media sites and only use G+ unless a MAJOR trend shift occurs.
                      Here's the problem... Take a look at the link Mike Anthony provided.

                      Google Realtime goes dark after Twitter agreement expires | VentureBeat

                      They just cannot rely on another service too heavily because agreements can end or be terminated at any moment. If they put too much stock into any such arrangement, and that arrangement unexpectedly comes to an end, they could actually be left with worse search results instead of better ones.

                      The other problem you have is that many keywords, maybe even most keywords, just do not attract social attention. People do not link to or rarely even discuss their family doctor on Facebook. People are not Tweeting about how much money their accountant saved them this year. It just doesn't happen.

                      Social media, in my opinion, plays a role in social businesses. Bars, restaurants, clubs, coffee shops, bands, movies, tv, entertainment, etc. That is where it makes sense to incorporate social into SERPs somewhat, but even then it has to be kept limited unless Google is using their own platforms.
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    I bet the last buggy salesman argued vehemently that the 'horseless carriage' would never take off.

    There's no logical reason to downplay social in favor or 'pure SEO.' People don't link to resources the way they used to and Google knows this. It's only a matter of time until they adjust their algo to be mainly social.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      I bet the last buggy salesman argued vehemently that the 'horseless carriage' would never take off.

      There's no logical reason to downplay social in favor or 'pure SEO.' People don't link to resources the way they used to and Google knows this. It's only a matter of time until they adjust their algo to be mainly social.

      I completely disagree. In some niches, sure. People socially link to and talk about products and services.

      However, I've never seen someone provide a link on Facebook to their favorite laptop, the used car dealership they just got their car from, their orthodontist, or the notary down the street.

      I have seen them link to their local bar, a beer they really like, a dog park in their neighborhood, and their favorite place to get sushi from. Those kind of niches I can see social playing a role in, but even then, social media is better at attracting direct traffic than anything to do with SEO.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      There's no logical reason to downplay social in favor or 'pure SEO.'
      Of course not, but there's also no reason to act like search is going to completely evolve into something based on social factors either and ignore 'pure SEO'.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      I bet the last buggy salesman argued vehemently that the 'horseless carriage' would never take off.
      You are always on some anti SEO or alleged SEO guru "salesman" rant. Whose selling anything in this thread? Comparing search engines to a buggy is silly . The whole argument is silly. One hundred years from now will people want to be social? Of course. One hundred years from now will people want to search and find information of interest to them? Well of course. One will never replace the other

      There's no logical reason to downplay social in favor or 'pure SEO.' People don't link to resources the way they used to and Google knows this. It's only a matter of time until they adjust their algo to be mainly social.
      If you ammend that to say people don't link to garbage like they used to then fine but people link plenty enough to run a search engine. If they didn't then how is Google still working to day?

      This whole "social is taking over all of the interne" is like a product launch. some of you get so caught up in the hype you can't see the obvious. Lets test this out

      Need to find information about Shakespeare's early life to write a paper. going to turn to social signals on Facebook? I mean seriously the guy that is the top specialist in early life of shakespeare gets how many likes for that knowledge? lol. If Ladyy Gaga writes a song about being in love with a young handsome shakespeare she will blow him out of the water.

      Want to make sure you have the right licenses and meet legal requirements starting a new business in your city. going to turn to Twitter signals?

      Want to consult with your friends about what cancer treatments would be safe for you?

      the reality is that there are a pile of things maybe even most things where the masses just get it wrong or don't know what in the world they are talking about

      The day that Google switches to mainly social signals like you claim is the day Bing celebrates.

      Its actually funny though to see people who argue that thanks and post counts don't mean that the person who has them knows what they are talking about turn right around and figure that those same kinds of signals would be a better way to search and find accurate information.

      Just saying. Oh the irony. LOL.

      P.S. If social signals are so great for ranking content why doesn't every body turn to Digg's most popular content every morning to get the world's best written articles. Or does anyone believe this was the best article of August 8th on the internet ?

      http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/8/317...s-body-hackers


      Really? Number one?
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        This whole "social is taking over all of the interne" is like a product launch. some of you get so caught up in the hype you can't see the obvious. Lets test this out

        Need to find information about Shakespeare's early life to write a paper. going to turn to social signals on Facebook? I mean seriously the guy that is the top specialist in early life of shakespeare gets how many likes for that knowledge? lol.

        Want to make sure you have the right licenses and meet legal requirements starting a new business in your city. going to turn to Twitter signals?

        Want to consult with your friends about what cancer treatments would be safe for you?

        the reality is that there are a pile of things maybe even most things where the masses just get it wrong or don't know what in the world they are talking about

        The day that Google switches to mainly social signals like you claim is the day Bing celebrates.
        Really well said, actually. Funny to look back, none of the articles I was reading mentioned anything about topic like these.

        But if social is like a product launch, then it's the most ridiculous product launch of all time I was thinking a while back how interesting it would be if the whole social craze came crashing down faster than the housing market in '08 at some point. I don't think that will happen, per se. But I WILL acknowledge the fact that I don't see exactly what makes social so prominent.

        The majority of it is built on nothingness, if you ask me. I've just been following the shepherd and trying to take advantage of it while it lasts.

        On the other hand, I could also see it continuing its course and completely changing everything we do online. However, with a lot of the information we've been discussing here that seems more and more unlikely by the minute.
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    Maybe you didn't know it yet but SEO is dead
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    "Our whole economy is based on planned obsolescence, and anyone who can read without moving his lips should know it by now."

    --Brooks Stevens
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      "Our whole economy is based on planned obsolescence, and anyone who can read without moving his lips should know it by now."

      --Brooks Stevens

      So tell me how Google has built planned obsolescence into their business plan.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Roncone
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      "Our whole economy is based on planned obsolescence, and anyone who can read without moving his lips should know it by now."

      --Brooks Stevens
      No offense, but I think you're trying to apply that quote to a scenario that doesn't exactly satisfy the conditions. Economics and search engines don't really coincide. That's like saying "Oh, the dictionary is going to become obsolete eventually" the dictionary will pretty much always be the same basic format. Word: Definition.

      Apples to Oranges.
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      • Profile picture of the author mosthost
        Originally Posted by Mike Roncone View Post

        No offence, but I think you're trying to apply that quote to a scenario that doesn't exactly satisfy the conditions. Economics and search engines don't really coincide. That's like saying "Oh, the dictionary is going to become obsolete eventually" the dictionary will pretty much always be the same basic format. Word: Definition.

        Apples to Oranges.
        No offense taken. Define what you think "SEO" is, if you'd be so kind.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    The truth is, especially on this forum, 90% of the people pushing social media as anything more than a sliver of what may go into a site's ranking, are usually selling social media services. They have their own agenda. About 9% are just following what those other 90% are saying, and the other 1% actually believe it, but I'm not really sure why.

    Like I said, there are certain niches where it is important. In my opinion, a bar doesn't even really need SEO that much. They will get more bang for their buck by being active on Facebook. That is going to bring them far more business than SEO will in most towns. But that has nothing to do with social media impacting search results. That is just smart marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blaine Smitley
    Planned or "engineered" obsolescence is a manufacturing term. Most modern products have a death date built into them, so that the manufacturers of the products can make and sell them again.
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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    SEO Will never "die" - but the days of throwing up a page and faking some backlinks are soon coming to a close I think - meaning it's just going to get tougher and only the strong will survive.

    That being said - the traditional methods still work just fine as long as you take your time and don't make it completely obvious that you're just building backlinks to game the engines (which isn't really SEO anyways).
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