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It was bound to happen- some person writing about the death of SEO. There are a few reasons for this speculation, try searching for “is seo dead.”

Reasons why people think SEO is dying are as follows:

First, people do not really know what SEO is. Even among marketers, people continue to believe that SEO is the “process of tricking search engines to rank a site for search queries for which it isn’t one of the better matches. With this viewpoint, it’s easy to see why people would want to conclude that SEO is a dying medium. Google and Microsoft make billions of dollars in revenue from their search engines, and protecting that revenue stream is a critical activity for them.”

If people are not using SEO correctly, they will ruin the search engine system. This is why Google has invested so much in WebSpam. When consumers receive poor search results they become dissatisfied and turn to different search engines.

Second, other people believe that social media will soon replace SEO. “These people argue that inbound links are an elitist system of voting for Web sites (you have to own a Web site to vote), and that social media will provide a much broader array of signals, because anyone with an Internet connection can sign up for a social media service and start making their opinions known. Further, they argue, more people will rely on social media for opinions on things because people love to learn from the experience of others.”

Social media sites have not been adopted broadly across the population, making the data lumpy and inconsistent- and it is easily spammed. In creating an account, no real investment is needed; all you have to do is sign up and begin posting your opinions and thoughts.

Authority is another issue here. We can assume those with tens of thousands of followers on Twitter have some authority on a topic, but the most they can offer is their own opinions. “Someone with a Web site has made a significant investment in building that site, and here the stamp of authority is likewise relatively easy to measure. However, it’s much more meaningful to receive an authoritative link than an authoritative Tweet.”

So is SEO dying?

“Not a chance. Defined properly, but still somewhat narrowly, SEO is the practice of helping publishers bring new traffic and customers to their Web site, by building and promoting high quality Web sites using technology that the search engines can parse. That need isn’t going away anytime soon.”

Make the most out of available opportunities. For example, Microsoft’s Bing. SEO can and will evolve with the changing times. The advent of universal search resulted in some changes, and created new opportunities for SEOs. The rising prominence of local search did as well. Increasing personalization will create yet more opportunities.

“For the SEO professional, staying abreast of the changing market environment is part of the price of being in this business. While change is constant, publishers use SEO as a means for obtaining new customers from search engines. As long as search is around, there will be a need for people who know how to make that happen.”

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Written by: Samantha J Stephan

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