Is the SEO industry over?

35 replies
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Paying a firm to carry out SEO is essentially paying for links they will build to your site (disregarding on site SEO here), but Google will get you for paid or exchanged links sooner or later, so I think anyone paying thousands of dollars to one of these firms to boost rankings is essentially paying them to hurt you.
#industry #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Zend
    Sometimes, I think building back link by making other people to do that is a black hat method. That is not a natural way to get links anyway. The only thing left to do is by creating a good content. Buying a content no matter the cost is, will definitely a safer method to achieve high page rank rather than paying people to build links. In the future, I hope people will invest on a good content that value added. It is hard to take the high road indeed, but we are forced to do that right now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      You seem to be equating "the SEO industry" with "buying backlinks". That isn't a characterization I really recognize, myself: "the SEO industry" isn't much related to people advertising things on Fiverr or in WF signature-files.
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      • Profile picture of the author angshuy2k
        I do agree to alexa's post and SEO industry and buying backlinks OMG they are two different things. and an SEO firm would take into consideration various factors to deal with your search engine visibility as well as marketing ( sometimes).

        Just a thought

        Kind regards,
        Swrajit

        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        You seem to be equating "the SEO industry" with "buying backlinks". That isn't a characterization I really recognize, myself: "the SEO industry" isn't much related to people advertising things on Fiverr or in WF signature-files.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexanderBeloev
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    Paying a firm to carry out SEO is essentially paying for links they will build to your site (disregarding on site SEO here), but Google will get you for paid or exchanged links sooner or later, so I think anyone paying thousands of dollars to one of these firms to boost rankings is essentially paying them to hurt you.
    Don't forget that there are people paying tens of thousands per month for SEO services, just to ensure that they will get position #1

    And Google love them!

    So it isn't over for sure! Every top 10 positions in the extremely competitive niches pay for their SEO and Google knows that, but they are still there! And will be there in the near future.

    Paying a lot for SEO means that you are serious about your business! Paying the wrong people to do your seo may heart your SEO!
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    • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
      Originally Posted by AlexanderBeloev View Post

      Don't forget that there are people paying tens of thousands per month for SEO services, just to ensure that they will get position #1

      And Google love them!

      So it isn't over for sure! Every top 10 positions in the extremely competitive niches pay for their SEO and Google knows that, but they are still there! And will be there in the near future.

      Paying a lot for SEO means that you are serious about your business! Paying the wrong people to do your seo may heart your SEO!
      This is very true. I've done some research and found some major players getting some premium link building done. I think what is over is link building in masses. No more forum profiles and low quality blog commenting.

      In fact, I believe Squidoo just went global nofollow, which is a shame.
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  • Profile picture of the author dkla27
    If you define off page SEO as bulk backlink building then yes, it is dead. The point is, though, that it is not just that. It may have come closer to marketing in the sense that enough exposure to your valuable-to-the-user content will eventually get you the backlink juice you need in a natural, Google friendly way.
    As an example sending out a press release will help your rankings by providing exposure to your website. If your content is useful, backlinks will follow. The same goes for a PPC campaign. You will get exposure and if your content is good backlinks will follow.
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  • Profile picture of the author george b
    With search engines still playing a massive part of the web, how the hell can SEO be over.
    As long as the search engine stick around so will SEO. The way people work it might change, but it will always be a viable option to gain interest in a site.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScottWatson
    But SEO is no more about backlinking than a list is about it's number of subscribers. Regardless of what changes come from the likes of Google business owners on mass are never likely to understand how to gain that prestigious top spot. In fact the more Google mess around and change things the more people are going to need the SEO industry IMO.

    The market and industry is simply evolving, some will keep up, others will be left behind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Do not use any SEO service that relies on any sort of link buying. Short term gain isn't worth the long term pain.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Some people who used 'reputable' SEO firms in the past are now having to send out tons of link removal requests, and in some cases abandoning sites altogether because the damage done, they deem ,to be irreparable.

    My feeling is that here is what Google wants you to do. Write great content (or get someone to do it) so that its good enough to generate links to it naturally when people find the content. And then let Google take care of the rest. Any sort of SEO optimization beyond good content, a few legal on site SEO techniques, is seen as ranking manipulation.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScottWatson
    You seem to think that all SEO firms are using underhand techniques, there are businesses out there that are reputable and completely legit in the service they offer.
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Hi
    There is a forum dedicated to SEO here: Adsense / PPC / SEO Discussion Forum
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  • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    Paying a firm to carry out SEO is essentially paying for links they will build to your site (disregarding on site SEO here), but Google will get you for paid or exchanged links sooner or later, so I think anyone paying thousands of dollars to one of these firms to boost rankings is essentially paying them to hurt you.
    You're 100% right.

    GM, Microsoft and Amazon are SO STUPID for hiring Neil Patel for their SEO: Digital Marketing Consultant - Neil Patel.

    What are they thinking? They must be run by idiots.

    And TurboTax and Sony must be out of their minds to work with SingleGrain: Digital Marketing Agency | SEO, PPC, Social Media | Single Grain.

    I hope for their sake they see your post and change their ways...
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    • Profile picture of the author Anton543
      Originally Posted by Backlinko View Post

      You're 100% right.

      GM, Microsoft and Amazon are SO STUPID for hiring Neil Patel for their SEO: Digital Marketing Consultant - Neil Patel.

      What are they thinking? They must be run by idiots.

      And TurboTax and Sony must be out of their minds to work with SingleGrain: Digital Marketing Agency | SEO, PPC, Social Media | Single Grain.

      I hope for their sake they see your post and change their ways...
      Couldn't some of the traffic increase be coincidental? An SEO firms starts work for you in 2011 and in the meantime you write a lot of good contnet over the next year and in 2012 your traffic is up 400%. Is this increase attributable to the SEO firm or yourself? It could well be a natural increase due to more content being indexed.

      Remember, buying or asking someone to link to you is not allowed anymore. With that in mind, what can the SEO firm do that you can't yourself? If someone can make that clear, then I can perhaps understand the the value an SEO firm could provide. To use Amazon, Techcrunch and other big names as examples doesn't really say much. These sites have so many links and them being such big names, will continue to get to be linked from here, there and everywhere.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
        Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

        Couldn't some of the traffic increase be coincidental? An SEO firms starts work for you in 2011 and in the meantime you write a lot of good contnet over the next year and in 2012 your traffic is up 400%. Is this increase attributable to the SEO firm or yourself? It could well be a natural increase due to more content being indexed.

        Remember, buying or asking someone to link to you is not allowed anymore. With that in mind, what can the SEO firm do that you can't yourself? If someone can make that clear, then I can perhaps understand the the value an SEO firm could provide. To use Amazon, Techcrunch and other big names as examples doesn't really say much. These sites have so many links and them being such big names, will continue to get to be linked from here, there and everywhere.
        An SEO firm can own intellectual property and give you access to that i.e. a genuine, viable private blog network (see above post) - they can also work to scale i.e. they have access to content writers and economies of scale.

        In the above example, yes I would attribute that to the SEO Agency - but again, it's up to the client to work out their own attribution model. What is the client looking for? What KPIs do they want to focus on? etc. Even if it were a natural increase, that's still attributable to the SEO Agency - writing good content is STILL a skill in itself, one which many SEO Agencies don't have in their arsenal.

        Buying or asking someone to link to you is not strictly allowed in the Google Webmaster Guidelines sense, but there are also a million and one websites which don't fall in line with Google's 'police the web' guidelines. As above, type any generic search term into Google, and you will find manipulation - ANY.

        The sky isn't falling, link building is still the most weighted mechanism there is and it still works, providing you understand the parameters you operate within. << which many don't.
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      • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
        Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

        Couldn't some of the traffic increase be coincidental? An SEO firms starts work for you in 2011 and in the meantime you write a lot of good contnet over the next year and in 2012 your traffic is up 400%. Is this increase attributable to the SEO firm or yourself? It could well be a natural increase due to more content being indexed.

        Remember, buying or asking someone to link to you is not allowed anymore. With that in mind, what can the SEO firm do that you can't yourself? If someone can make that clear, then I can perhaps understand the the value an SEO firm could provide. To use Amazon, Techcrunch and other big names as examples doesn't really say much. These sites have so many links and them being such big names, will continue to get to be linked from here, there and everywhere.
        It could be a coincidence...

        But that suggests that these multi-billion dollar publicly traded companies don't measure ROI. Again, they're so stupid they're paying $25,000/month for "coincidence traffic" that would come anyway.

        ...oooor it could be that the SEO firm created and marketed the content that brought them the links.

        There's a big difference between writing good content and writing content that generates links ("linkable assets"). It's one of the things that a white hat firm can help with.

        If you're not going to even ASK for a link then I'd say SEO in general isn't for you.

        It's OK, SEO isn't for everyone. There are plenty of people that drive traffic from other sources.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
    It's a pointless question. What's you definition of 'SEO'?

    In the sense of SEO as a mechanism to accrue lots of spam links into your website through article spinning, regurgitating content, and seemingly pointless web directories then yes, of course it's over - it was always going to have its day.

    However, the important thing you need to remember is that a search engine is, at the heart of it, a computer program, with lots of frailties and inaccuracies. There are trillions of pages on the internet and no single 'computer program' i.e. algorithm is EVER going to be competent enough to determine all the thousands of interlinking components which go into determining the relative "manipulativeness" of links.

    SEO isn't dead, not at all - the scaremongering around sites like Interflora, BMW, or even the Google Chrome example is just that: scaremongering. It serves in Google's best interest. It's also important to note the difference between algorithmic penalties and manual reviews. The vast majority of headline penalties which have been applied (it's also worth noting all have been reviewed and revoked, at least in the case of the aforementioned examples) come from manual reviews - do you really believe that Google has the resources or manpower to police trillions of pages of content, never mind the processing power or even a modicum of an idea about how to determine the true value of each and every link on the web? OF COURSE NOT.

    Google is not all-seeing, despite what they may claim to be - for me, it's even more of a wild west opportunity now than it ever has been. The people who really don't know what to do are all clinging trying to find the best possible options to maintain scalable link building tactics.

    It's also important to note that no one single link building mechanism will ever be 'dead' - look at directory submissions, I could name off the top of my head at least 15 web directories which 'still work' very well for injecting authority into a site i.e. business.com, botw.org.uk, JoeAnt.com, GoGuides.org and so on. They are authoritative links.

    There's also a MASSIVE difference between competing for generic search terms and working to increase overall visibility across thousands of keywords i.e. long-tail optimisation. Competing for generic terms demands that you increase the level of risk - you have to start pushing into the realms of exact match anchor text and paid links, SIMPLY to compete. Search for any top 10 generic search term which drives over 1,000 searches per month and you will see the same thing - the vast majority of the websites have manipulative link profiles. Why have they not been detected? Well, in most instances I would put it down to link absorption: their links profiles are so extensive that any manipulative activity which takes place will simply be absorbed by the more natural links pointing into their website.

    That there is the difference - SEO should be taken on a case by case basis. If you were starting afresh with a new domain today, I would say first of all disregard PageRank and any other mechanism you've been educated to believe works, and rather focus on building tons of content (all unique, all keyword targeted) and equally importantly, AUTHORITATIVE links into your website (from lots of unique domains).

    Last point, blog networks etc do still work - I own one, it's very private; due to my reputation in certain parts of the UK, large agencies outsource some of their link building to use through the network. Why does it work? Because it's private and more importantly because, mechanically, there's absolutely nothing in there which would appear manipulative i.e. no interlinking between domains, all domains are not only on unique class C IPs but also on individual shared hosting accounts across multiple hosts, no print i.e. analytics/adsense and so on. Some of the domains haven't even retained PageRank but again, who cares? What's more important is that the sites have links from from Guardian.co.uk, Nasa.gov etc, and that the network isn't publicly accessible.

    SEO is far from dead - the difference is now, you just need to know what you're doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author danielph
    I have really bad experience with other that are saying are professional seo experts. On of them hurt my websites with comment blogs in India, and i was in 6 position with very strong keywords, and after this i can't get the keyword back with over 3 month of hard work. I don't know how to call this kind of guys. Just be careaful, and if you want to do good things, you need to do it yourself remember
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    • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
      Originally Posted by danielph View Post

      I have really bad experience with other that are saying are professional seo experts. On of them hurt my websites with comment blogs in India, and i was in 6 position with very strong keywords, and after this i can't get the keyword back with over 3 month of hard work. I don't know how to call this kind of guys. Just be careaful, and if you want to do good things, you need to do it yourself remember
      Due diligence - ALWAYS check out what you're buying into. The first place is rankings, the second place is testimonials, the third and most importantly place is sales generated.
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  • Profile picture of the author elperuanito
    It's completely over. Might as well jump off a bridge?
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    This is not the stupidest thread I have ever seen.

    But it is pretty close.

    So my last site that I outsourced SEO to, which all the content was done PRIOR to ordering the SEO, and is still ranking today after SEO was shut off... I guess that was just an accident? lol.

    You have to be kidding me.

    SEO is not dead. Its the furthest thing from dead. In fact, it will only start working better the harder that google makes it. Because it will weed out all the people who either -

    1) Have no idea how to do SEO.
    2) Have no idea how to research a provider who is great at SEO.

    So I prefer that people think its dead. Go blow your money on adwords instead.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      1) Have no idea how to do SEO.
      2) Have no idea how to research a provider who is great at SEO.

      So I prefer that people think its dead. Go blow your money on adwords instead.
      Summed it up. No need for me to add much more except I am tired of people who know nothing about SEO making threads about it. IF all you can say about SEO is that Google says this or Google says that then you have no clue. Reading Google's webmaster blog makes you as knowledgeable on SEO as reading an edition of Vogue makes you knowledgeable on the fashion industry.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Summed it up. No need for me to add much more except I am tired of people who know nothing about SEO making threads about it. IF all you can say about SEO is that Google says this or Google says that then you have no clue. Reading Google's webmaster blog makes you as knowledgeable on SEO as reading an edition of Vogue makes you knowledgeable on the fashion industry.
        Precisely, Google engages in misinformation like it's going out of fashion.

        (see what I did there?) :p

        It's in Google's interest to engage in misinformation - as far as they're concerned, links are barely even a ranking mechanism but rather little pretty flowers which magically emanate from nowhere, and within the perfect environment and under the perfect conditions.

        Is everything that Google says untrue? Of course not - most of it is stellar advice. However, don't take it as gospel/a way to actually generate extensive visibility for your site in search in a realistic timeframe.

        As in my post above, the whole thing with regards to Interflora, BMW, Google Chrome etc, all instances are nothing more than publicity stunts to try and give the impression that Google is somehow an all-seeing entity, which can analyse every single bit of data and interpret the relationship between that data in a flawless manner.

        Anyone who implements SEO campaigns in a practical context knows this simply isn't the case - in fact, if you take five minutes to do a search for any generic query, fire the sites in the top 10 into a backlinks tool i.e. Majestic, you will be able to draw the same conclusion yourself. Everything is manipulated - the only reason it works so well i.e. delivers strong results is simply because the people at the top can rely on natural link acquisition through generating offline brand awareness to compensate for any direct activity they do i.e. link absorption.
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    • Profile picture of the author GodMode52
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      This is not the stupidest thread I have ever seen.

      But it is pretty close.
      I'd say top 5 !
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  • Profile picture of the author linkbuildr
    Definitely not dead, just always changing like life around you. Our firm completely focuses on doing things that earn natural links...it does work folks Real companies have plenty of legit ways of earning links these days.
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  • I'm actually never surprised to see these threads anymore. If you have been fairly active from 2012-2013 you would have noticed about "SEO is DEAD" threads posted about everyday and about 4-7 of them at that. All saying the EXACT same thing as the last one. It does get very very old to read. But now a days i just sip my coffee and chuckle abit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cash37
    Fact of the matter is most SEO firms will use less than stellar techniques to rank you fast as possible. Either train your own people or take your SEO in your own hands.
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  • Profile picture of the author kaytav
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    Paying a firm to carry out SEO is essentially paying for links they will build to your site (disregarding on site SEO here), but Google will get you for paid or exchanged links sooner or later, so I think anyone paying thousands of dollars to one of these firms to boost rankings is essentially paying them to hurt you.
    If SEO industry would have been over... You wouldn't be able to post here:rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
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    Lot of words for something so simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author kpmedia
    Real SEO is not. It will be here for 10+ years easily. Maybe beyond that.

    Only the myths and shenanigans are, which is why some people think it's "dead".
    - Google is lying to you, conspiracies, etc -- all myth.
    - "SEO" hosting (IP based) is myth
    - Spamming with "blog networks" leads nowhere

    If people would focus on things others want and need, and SEO that, we'd have none of these silly discussions.

    As it stands, some still believe in the malarkey. For some, it's a religion.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    SEO is dead, no pages rank #1 in organic SERPs.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Even if SEO was completely dead - people in this forum would be the last too recognize it
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    • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Even if SEO was completely dead - people in this forum would be the last too recognize it
      You're probably right. I think most people don't recognize the importance of brand building. That to me is one of the most important factors in the "Nu:SEO", next to quality and originality.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoace
    It's nowhere near dead. Buying 1000 backlinks from Fiverr & hoping to get to Page 1 =/= Blind SEO
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