We’re all hearing that SEO, or search engine optimization is dead. The reality is that it isn’t dead, but much like any other job, task, or component of technology, has undergone a real metamorphosis. There is nothing that has remained the same in the technology field over the course of the last few years. For some reason, people expect that Google and other search engines need not update, need not change their methodology or their algorithms.
Consider your own computer. Are you using the same technology, the same amount of ram that you were using even two years ago? How much more vital is it that companies such as Google or Bing address the changing technology, the changes in the computing field? They are as reliant upon the current online climate as you are. Changing their methods to address those technological changes is common sense. What is not common sense is that we’re crying the blues and casting blame over every small change all the while making our own changes to address new methods and new computing methods.
SEO is not dead. It’s undergone changes that you must address in order to have a site which is worth spidering and ranking. We’ve all at some point been lured into creating links that were not necessarily of the highest quality. Many site owners, in an attempt to game the system, have done things that we knew were not totally above board. Those things need to be addressed and corrected. Creating high quality content rather than spending a dollar to buy the lowest quality and the lowest amount of research is no longer going to benefit your site. This is not to say that every site which was hit deserved to be hit–in my experience and from my research, they did not. Some were quite valuable and they lost out too, but many of those who had wonderful quality content also had tried on some level, by buying links or creating spam links, had gamed the system and the truth is that they shot themselves in the foot.
Many site owners were making a vast amount of money on websites that were of little to no benefit to anyone who read them. Those days are absolutely over. Spending time, offering quality, creating a site that benefits you, the person reading it, and reflects well on Google or Bing by being listed there is the future of SEO. Quality sites, solid metas, good quality content and real links which are derived by people who find your site worth linking to, as well as social media exposure is the future of SEO and your future.
The choices we are facing are very simple– continue to whine about what was, about losing money and losing ranking when the reality is that for about 75% of us, the fault for that was our own, or addressing our shortcomings and building a site that is worth seeing. Is SEO dead? Definitely not. Is gray hat SEO dead? If not, it’s definitely suffering some pangs and quite frankly, maybe it’s time that it did.