Could Google effectively kill SEO?

40 replies
  • SEO
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It's starting to look like Google really is making it hard, if not impossible, to do effective SEO.

They are hiding more and more information from SEO, marketers, and webmasters.

According to Rand Fishkin, this is the direction of things.
See --> hxxp://moz.com/blog/100-percent-keyword-not-provided-whiteboard-tuesday
#effectively #google #kill #seo
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Why anyone would concentrate on selling (or using) 'SEO' as a standalone practice is beyond me...

    It's one small subset of marketing, and not a very reliable one at that. There's a lot more money to be made selling integrated marketing services like PPC management, social media management and the like.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Why anyone would concentrate on selling (or using) 'SEO' as a standalone practice is beyond me...
      No one does. You are the the only person that pushes an either or narrative.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Actually I think Rand is being over dramatic in his example. A company with internal business data is going to be able to sync their metrics and determine that traffic and sales increased in lock step with rankings for certain keywords. I can't see any intelligent CEO/manager/owner claiming that increased traffic was a result of other keywords or branded queries when that increase just magically matches with the timing of a ranked keyword. SEOs like I said in another thread will have to track more keywords.

        When you sync that with data from Bing and other search engines and adjust for their market share although it won't be exact you'll be getting a VERY good idea of whats bringing in traffic. As Rand implied alot of SEO metric companies will no doubt step to the plate and give tools that work around Google and give fairly accurate data from those other search engines.

        At the end of the day its always been about knowing what PEOPLE search for. As long as there are search engines that get enough queries from humans (like Bing) enough data will be there to estimate about Google

        My bet is that 18 months from now this issue will be just short of a big yawn. Yeah we lose some ability to micro analyze traffic but nowhere near to the death of SEO. Meanwhile it confirms to me that Google is no more noble than Microsoft haters think MS is. They have the same money grubbing mentality. From forcing people to use the keyword planner ( no big whoop to me) to now cutting off data to the webmasters whose info they scrape to make their search engine -they do it all to force people into their adwords program where they sell out the top three listings not for the purity of the user's experience but for stone cold cash.

        The most impressive thing about Google is their public relations machine. Its amazing how many people advocate for them being pure as the driven snow when every day on every query in the same column as organic search they manipulate the average users experience on the basis of the highest bidder not the best quality of content and they do so while telling webmasters that they should do nothing besides buying their ads or be considered "black" hat.

        Its quite the con.
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    • Profile picture of the author Slate Marketing
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Why anyone would concentrate on selling (or using) 'SEO' as a standalone practice is beyond me...

      It's one small subset of marketing, and not a very reliable one at that. There's a lot more money to be made selling integrated marketing services like PPC management, social media management and the like.
      I completely agree. Many years ago, we used to only sell "SEO" services but were really doing our clients a dis-service by only focusing on that.

      SEO is important and will never die, but it's one piece of the puzzle. Smart entrepreneurs will focus on SEO, social media, PPC/Paid ads, content marketing, marketing funnels, and much more.
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      • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
        Originally Posted by Slate Marketing View Post

        I completely agree. Many years ago, we used to only sell "SEO" services but were really doing our clients a dis-service by only focusing on that.

        SEO is important and will never die, but it's one piece of the puzzle. Smart entrepreneurs will focus on SEO, social media, PPC/Paid ads, content marketing, marketing funnels, and much more.
        Absolutely. More money for you - better coverage for them. All that without Google's stormy ups and downs
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  • Profile picture of the author syncon
    If they get big enough and go the way of paid search results only, they could for awhile. But then yahoo or bing or someone else will actually show organic results better than G, and people will catch on imo. When every search on G points you to Amazon and Youtube, you stop searching on G.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by syncon View Post

      If they get big enough and go the way of paid search results only, they could for awhile. But then yahoo or bing or someone else will actually show organic results better than G, and people will catch on imo. When every search on G points you to Amazon and Youtube, you stop searching on G.
      They are not going to strictly paid search results, and this change has nothing to do with any such thing.
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      • Profile picture of the author syncon
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        They are not going to strictly paid search results, and this change has nothing to do with any such thing.
        I'm not saying now. If they push too hard in paid results / big biz "organic" results, they will start to slowly lose credibility, imo. I know, I know, "but it's Google...they are too big!" So was Yahoo and Rome.
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by syncon View Post

          I'm not saying now. If they push too hard in paid results / big biz "organic" results, they will start to slowly lose credibility, imo. I know, I know, "but it's Google...they are too big!" So was Yahoo and Rome.
          You are thinking about it all wrong. Step out of the IM'er world for a minute. To their users, showing more of the big biz organic results is an improvement, not a bad thing.

          If I am searching for information on a new Samsung LED television, I do not want to get results from some crappy affiliate site. I want to get results from places like CNet, Best Buy, Samsung itself, etc.

          If anything, they are increasing their credibility by providing real businesses in the results instead of affiliates and crappy IM'er sites. And let's be honest about affiliate sites, 99% of them you cannot trust. They are not providing honest reviews. They are just trying to get you to buy something through their link.
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          • Profile picture of the author syncon
            Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

            You are thinking about it all wrong. Step out of the IM'er world for a minute. To their users, showing more of the big biz organic results is an improvement, not a bad thing.

            If I am searching for information on a new Samsung LED television, I do not want to get results from some crappy affiliate site. I want to get results from places like CNet, Best Buy, Samsung itself, etc.

            If anything, they are increasing their credibility by providing real businesses in the results instead of affiliates and crappy IM'er sites. And let's be honest about affiliate sites, 99% of them you cannot trust. They are not providing honest reviews. They are just trying to get you to buy something through their link.
            I disagree...if I search for Samsung LED TV and I get Amazon, and I search for HTC One, and I get Amazon and HTC, and if I search for blue tennis shoes and I get Amazon, I stop using Google.
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          • Profile picture of the author nik0
            Banned
            Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

            And let's be honest about affiliate sites, 99% of them you cannot trust. They are not providing honest reviews. They are just trying to get you to buy something through their link.
            The typical IM'er product review site is not about trust or honesty at all.

            It's just a summary of facts that you can find else where on the net (on Amazon itself for example).

            Can't even call it review sites as it are just product descriptions with some fluff around it. I can also blame myself for that but so what, as long as it brings in money and survives in Google's landscape.

            The only thing that you can accuse people of is abusing the word "reviews" on their sites and that the info that they provide is kind of redundant as I don't expect $5/500 word writers to perform deep research lol.

            Most sites even use star ratings that they pull directly from Amazon or reviews from Amazon that they pull through their API, it can't get more reliable/trustworthy then that.
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            • Profile picture of the author paulgl
              I can't believe these keeps coming and coming and coming.....

              You people contradict yourselves. First, you talk about the
              new google algorithms. Then say SEO is dead. Those two
              things cannot, repeat, CANNOT happen simultaneously.

              In order for SEO to be dead, search engines would have
              to be nonexistent or completely irrelevant.

              Now if and when that happens, come back and tell us SEO
              is dead.

              Just because idiotic SEO gurus who can't figure anything out
              from google complain, does not mean SEO is dead. In fact,
              quite the contrary. Each new tweak just adds more flavor
              to a real SEO person.

              Anyone claiming SEO is dead, is admitting that they cannot keep
              up with the changing algos because they keep trying to fool them.

              SEO is not about fooling google. It's about working with google.
              Can you work and fool at the same time? Of course. But those who
              concentrate on just "fooling," of course will pronounce SEO dead
              after each algo they can't fool.

              Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author seoace
                Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

                I can't believe these keeps coming and coming and coming.....

                You people contradict yourselves. First, you talk about the
                new google algorithms. Then say SEO is dead. Those two
                things cannot, repeat, CANNOT happen simultaneously.

                In order for SEO to be dead, search engines would have
                to be nonexistent or completely irrelevant.

                Now if and when that happens, come back and tell us SEO
                is dead.

                Just because idiotic SEO gurus who can't figure anything out
                from google complain, does not mean SEO is dead. In fact,
                quite the contrary. Each new tweak just adds more flavor
                to a real SEO person.

                Anyone claiming SEO is dead, is admitting that they cannot keep
                up with the changing algos because they keep trying to fool them.

                SEO is not about fooling google. It's about working with google.
                Can you work and fool at the same time? Of course. But those who
                concentrate on just "fooling," of course will pronounce SEO dead
                after each algo they can't fool.

                Paul
                I know, Paul. People just don't understand how SEO works. If Google were to "kill SEO" then they would have to fill all their search results with Paid Ads ONLY. So for those who still believe Google is going to "kill SEO" then let's just wait for the time Google switches all its organic search results to paid ads then I will believe SEO is finally dead.

                Until then if there are still organic search results on Google then SEO =/= Dead.
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                • Profile picture of the author nik0
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by seoace View Post

                  I know, Paul. People just don't understand how SEO works. If Google were to "kill SEO" then they would have to fill all their search results with Paid Ads ONLY. So for those who still believe Google is going to "kill SEO" then let's just wait for the time Google switches all its organic search results to paid ads then I will believe SEO is finally dead.

                  Until then if there are still organic search results on Google then SEO =/= Dead.
                  Not just paid ads as they are becoming their own information portal, and with more people using mobile the screen space is very limited.

                  I don't think it will matter much for real companies that have their own products to offer but it will become a lot tougher for IM'ers that depend on others for their income.
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            • Profile picture of the author yukon
              Banned
              Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

              The typical IM'er product review site is not about trust or honesty at all.

              It's just a summary of facts...
              Seriously, it's about facts?

              Remember the forum threads where you claim your sites are crap articles with Amazon affiliate links?
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          • Profile picture of the author olicelea
            Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

            You are thinking about it all wrong. Step out of the IM'er world for a minute. To their users, showing more of the big biz organic results is an improvement, not a bad thing.

            If I am searching for information on a new Samsung LED television, I do not want to get results from some crappy affiliate site. I want to get results from places like CNet, Best Buy, Samsung itself, etc.

            If anything, they are increasing their credibility by providing real businesses in the results instead of affiliates and crappy IM'er sites. And let's be honest about affiliate sites, 99% of them you cannot trust. They are not providing honest reviews. They are just trying to get you to buy something through their link.
            and - IMO - you are so wrong. G is listing lots of crappy results before even consider to rank an affiliate site, now more than ever before. All G wants is money, the user experience and relevancy are BS. I can provide a bunch of examples of wrong choices G does on its SERPs.

            Pandas and Penguin are a sort of suicide for G from SE business perspective, I would like to see what G does after is going to be ditched by Apple as the default SE.

            I really started to use Yahoo and Bing since G became a sort of irrelevant, not that much for the moment, but during last years it turned to worse.

            G has become too greedy, pandas and penguins were directed specifically against seo; their thinking was pretty straight but rudimentary: why let seo companies get money instead for that money being taken by us.

            Keep in mind that G is hitting the webmasters, but the webmasters themselves gave a strong push to G's growth and the answer was exactly as it has been since last couple of years.

            SEO is not going to die in the way G thinks; there will be always a breach or exploit in whatever the humans will create. Taking down medium and small players has dramatically diminished G incomes from adwords, for instance. The big companies are paying something in return for being listed on top, but not enough and they cannot compensate the loss.

            Where is G diversity? where is relevancy? Amazon? Same BS companies that are willing to bribe them? When G wil fall, its crash will be bigger than that of MS.
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            • Profile picture of the author paulgl
              If google uses all paid results, then it ceases to be a search engine.

              Their business model is not in any way, shap, or form, even hinting
              at that. Never will.

              The whole idea is ludicrous. It would make google a paid directory.
              Now who uses the yahoo directory?

              So, if one is to think google is going to go all paid, then why isn't
              yahoo just using a paid directory? Because it's does not work into
              what the internet makes money on: Ads.

              Google needs free search to sell ads.

              Google gives virtually everything away free, so they can sell ad space.

              Google makes light years more money selling ad space in their
              search than yahoo ever will on their paid directory.

              You people have a skewed view of google search results. Because
              you are always searching for idiotic stuff like your IM crap is about,
              like wii games for dummies, or best review by guys in their
              mother's basements, you think all searches are crammed with
              ads. They're not.

              Google is very selective as to what searches get ads, and who gets
              that right to actually put an ad on them.

              The real searches I do, I see very few ads. But then, I do real searches
              for real things that I actually am interested in.

              Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author olicelea
                Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

                You people have a skewed view of google search results. Because
                you are always searching for idiotic stuff like your IM crap is about,
                like wii games for dummies, or best review by guys in their
                mother's basements, you think all searches are crammed with
                ads. They're not.
                you make me laugh DD look pal, I might search for "idiotic" stuff once in a while, but generally speaking I know very well how a SE is organized (by case I own a data center and it happens that I am a programmer with a lot of expertise on Linux and SQL).

                It's obvious, people like you don't understand what's the issue with G policy, and I mean G as a SE, because since they have bought Motorola and own a powerful OS like Android their area of coverage goes far beyond the SEO topic. However, the advertising incomes has been and will be a main part of G business, once this will be gone, the rest will go down by default.

                Sure G will display free results LOL in order to sell ads. Yahoo it used to be a directory listing since has merged with Bing.

                No, I am not even by far hostile to G, I just like speaking up the truth, and this is that G has become TOO GREEDY, and I know what I am talking about...
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                • Profile picture of the author paulgl
                  ROTFLMAO! Yahoo still has a paid directory. They did not morph
                  into bing

                  ....the most searched for term today?

                  miss world 2013

                  I dare you to find one ad on that...

                  steam controller

                  is pretty hot too. Count the ads and come back and report!

                  jimmy kimmel so, how many ads does that have?!?!?!?

                  Come on people, the entire world could give a rip about your
                  best wii games for blue shirted alien review site

                  Real people are searching for real things. Might be a BIG surprise
                  as to what real people are actually searching for!

                  Now of coourse, since google is all about personal, I'll bet someone
                  somewhere may get an ad or two on those above searches. Don't
                  you think google would be selling ads like hotcakes on those top
                  topics? Um, no. That's not the way they work.

                  Case closed.

                  Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by syncon View Post

      If they get big enough
      "If they get big enough"

      lol
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  • Profile picture of the author GyuMan82
    Even if it went to 100% blocked, you would still have the Adwords Keyword Planner to get an idea of what keywords bring in traffic.

    I don't see Google getting rid of that any time soon, as advertisers will always need this information for Adwords.
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  • Profile picture of the author A S M
    I got this in my email just now hxxp://moz.com/rand/first-existential-threat-seo

    I understand his point in the example given when he's referring to "estimated data" and not actual solid data. But then again ... I totally agree that smart SEO's will find a way to work around this.

    There's always going to be a way to manipulate search engines. Whether it gets harder or easier, there will still be a way. That's just how SEO rolls
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  • Profile picture of the author CageyVet
    Google is currently the largest Search Engine on the Internet but it is not the only one. So Google killing SEO is still just a silly statement.

    There are many things that happen when Google changes something with in their business but the only constant is that it weeds out people/businesses that do not know what they are doing and/or actually put effort into the business of SEO.

    If anyone is solely selling SEO services and they are only concentrating on Google Organic and lastly they are only determining success by only how well specific keywords are doing in Google.....then that person is one of my favorite people ever....since their business will be mine some time down the road.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    I'm not saying now. If they push too hard in paid results / big biz "organic" results, they will start to slowly lose credibility, imo. I know, I know, "but it's Google...they are too big!" So was Yahoo and Rome.
    I agree syncon, and yahoo has been the top opponent for google, and if google keep repeating mistakes then yahoo is going to win the hearts again.
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    • Profile picture of the author Deepak09
      Originally Posted by Moneymaker2012 View Post

      I agree syncon, and yahoo has been the top opponent for google, and if google keep repeating mistakes then yahoo is going to win the hearts again.
      Agree with Moneymaker, And if google don't want to disappear their user then Google will not take this step....
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    I don't need keyword data to succeed.

    For local contractors you just put the city in front of the profession or behind it and you put a word in the middle and you have 6 high converting keywords that drive the most traffic in that niche.

    For product review sites you just take the type of product, put the brand in front of it and product type at it and add prefixes and suffixes like: best, top, top 10, top rated, review, reviews, buy, cheap etc.

    For nation wide companies it might be a little tougher but as Mike said, there is plenty of historical data that they can make use of or they should just setup a paid campaign with Yahoo or whoever to get the numbers.

    Google will never be able to kill SEO as long as we're dealing with some lame algorithm.

    People think SEO is hard while it's still dead easy:

    - Penguin in April 2012, whoops stop spamming and over optimizing anchor texts
    - Penguin the year after, stop spamming, duh we already did that (right?)
    - Panda, 2011-2012, stop kw stuffing, bolding, underlining you name it
    - Panda 2013, stop over monetizing and provide value (comparison charts, some more video's/images).

    So how hard is it really?

    For each thing they came up with a tiny adjustment was enough to get Google's love again.

    But well, people like to do it the cheap way and as soon as that doesn't work anymore they give up or start yelling that it's all so complicated these days.

    Sure sometimes there are exceptions where I'm also like why the **** isn't this ranking like it should be but those are countable on 1 hand.
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  • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
    I don't understand how SEO would be dead because it doesn't give you the data you want. If your keywords are ranked on the first page and you do a MANUAL check for yourself then you're going to get traffic. People use search engines every day, so how the hell is SEO dead.
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  • Profile picture of the author cloudbacklinks
    Yes it'll be dead don't do it!
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  • Profile picture of the author GyuMan82
    On a side note, this is a refreshing twist to the standard WF "SEO is Dead" thread.

    Kudos to you sir.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexGeorge
    I'm no SEO expert by any means and usually outsource all SEO work for my site, but it does seem to be getting increasingly difficult to rank sites now with Google changing their algorithms all the time. I try to get most of my traffic from social media and solo ads anyway now.
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  • Profile picture of the author DPM70
    Am I still the only one making decent enough coin from SEO without using keyword tools or analytics, LOL? I fear for the future of humanity.
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  • Profile picture of the author OutSourCed
    Originally Posted by tommykent View Post

    I think google kills bad Seoers, who are spammer
    google, they dont kill true seoer
    ...and there you have it. No more tricks, no more spam, Google is after the real deal, content, relevant back links, proper citations. 'Nuff said.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    I don't think it's a move against SEO companies, this is Google trying to get more people to use AdWords. And it will work.

    I think this change is actually going to make it easier to rank pages organically - it will eliminate a lot of the clutter/junk products who don't have the budget for AdWords because they won't know what keywords to optimize for or what's working to bring them traffic. Less clutter = less competition on a keyword. For those of us who already have AdWords as part of our marketing strategy (even if it's just for keyword testing), nothing really changes. You'll get enough useful data out of your paid clicks to gauge the effectiveness and conversion rates of the same landing pages visitors are going to organically.

    If you don't know how to use AdWords, now's a good time to start learning.
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  • Profile picture of the author OutSourCed
    Interesting tidbit. One of my customers site had disappeared from organic search after years in the top tier. It took me 2-3 weeks to fix this but in the meantime, he told me his business did not suffer in any way.

    His Adwords campaign continued to show in the #1 position and we believe, that is where his constant flow of inquires and customers are emanating.

    The top tier of 3 paid positions are undeniably more powerful than organic search.
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  • Profile picture of the author tech84
    lol, when the average user search for a term and sites like amazon cnet and other big sites keep popping up they wont give a damn about it and just go on thinking that those sites were the best place to look for their query

    an average user wont go and think:
    "why is all these big sites keep popping up and what about the small independent sites owned by frank and larry?"
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewWoodward
    As long as search engines exist we will be able to optimise for them!

    Now we just have to use different metrics and measuresments to gauge the performance of what we are doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author ExSmoker
    The Panda and Penguin updates for the ranking algorithms are enough to kill any SEO method. Do you want any other proof that Google wants to destroy any existing SEO process?
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    • Profile picture of the author IMdeaming
      Originally Posted by ExSmoker View Post

      The Panda and Penguin updates for the ranking algorithms are enough to kill any SEO method. Do you want any other proof that Google wants to destroy any existing SEO process?
      What else do you expect when you negative SEO your own sites. Muahahahahahahhahahahah......
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      Something stinks...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricardo Furtado
    Seems like they have already started doing it.
    Search for something and something else comes up of late.
    All the best. Regards
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    Ricardo Furtado

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  • Profile picture of the author IMdeaming
    SEO is dead, but I can rank ANYTHING! Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Google loves me, I got de juice.
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    Something stinks...
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