Recently, I read an article written by Forbes contributor Ken Krogue: The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, And Real Content. As I’m sure Ken intended, that title really caught my eye, especially because PR is so heavily integrated with SEO. We are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve SEO, by implementing keywords and link backs wherever possible, among a variety of other strategies. However, as my colleague Joanna wrote after a presentation from SEO expert Hans Riemer, SEO is complicated and ever-changing; there is no formula. And because of that fact, SEO has attracted a lot of skeptics!
In his article, Ken defines himself as a skeptic. He summarizes a conversation he had earlier this year with one of the top SEO consultants in Utah, Adam Torkildson, who predicted the decline of his industry within the next two years. All of this, he says, will come at the hand of Google.
He was proved right in some ways, as Google recently updated their search algorithm with Penguin to eliminate “black hat,” or unethical, SEO efforts. Basically, you can no longer cheat the system by posting pages of random text to boost your SEO rating. Which is good.
Ken was not the only journalist saying the sky is falling after the Penguin update. In fact, many claimed that this was Google’s attempt to further reduce the impact of SEO. Yet, isn’t Google helping to define and control the parameters of SEO so that it can deliver the best content to users? I am quite annoyed when my search results are irrelevant or filled with spam and, at the same time, so is Google because that means the search engine is not doing it’s job. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that this new algorithm is in fact helping deliver more relevant results – the companies, service providers, storefronts or simple information that I am in fact looking for. That also means those companies, service providers, storefronts and information providers are getting the customers that they were looking for. Which is good!
It also means that companies implementing SEO practices must be more strategic. A backend page of “Boston PR Boston PR Boston PR” is no longer going to put March at the top of “Boston PR” searches (which, of course, we don’t have. Just an example). Rather, March will have to put out valuable content, get other companies to link back to our content and continue posting more and more content to attract the attention of Google’s SEO magic. Good thing we do all those things already
SEO will likely remain complicated simply because we are all still figuring it out – Google, the SEO pros and their PR counterparts, among many others. But I do not foresee the death of SEO as long as there are still search engines to be optimized. Rather, we must all become more clever and creative, creating worthwhile content for searchers to find!