I Hate To Say, “I Told You So,” But…
Way back in Oct, 2005, I shared The Tao of CTPM with the LED Digest mailing list, a list that I subscribe to and still enjoy. I elaborated in that post about why I thought Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was doomed.
Sure enough, as I predicted in that post, it set off some wailing as it spread to the SEO community. Some of the more strident members of the community jumped all over that post. Naturally, since they were too invested in their “position” to think logically, the level of discussion was disappointing…
No discussion on the merits. No debate about the underlying logic. And why not?
Because it was really not debatable. Read the book for yourself… Download it by right-clicking here and saving to your desktop. See if you find fault with the logic.
So what’s happened since then?
Sure enough, Google has become a whole lot smarter, which means much less manipulatable. All the predictions are happening and will continue to intensify.
A trickle of support has grown into a torrent of consensus that SEO is indeed on its last legs. The term “SEO” is being redefined away from “the almighty algorithm” and SEOers are either…
- understanding the sea change that is indeed happening
- sticking to their SEO guns (their days are numbered)
- pretending that they always knew “content was king” all along
- redefining themselves as “SEM” (“Search Engine Marketing”).
The term “Search Engine Optimization” is self-defining. It means doing something on-or-off your Web page/site to actively cause higher rankings for certain keywords. The C T P M/”SEO is dead” approach is visitor-focused, not engine-focused. In other words…
“Keep it real, create good content, and good rankings happen — you don’t actively try to make them happen.” The smarter Google gets, the more accurate that statement becomes.
And results happen from the bottom up… first the long-tail of keywords generates traffic, then progressively more competitive terms passively start ranking well. Finally, the most competitive keywords rank well… naturally. It’s almost mystical (which is why I called the book “The Tao”). But the logic, and the repeated success of thousands and thousands of SBIers, is simply irrefutable.
The bottom line is that between Google constantly getting smarter, the increasing complexity of off-page criteria, personalization, Google Universal and upcoming true semantic search and Artificial Intelligence, SEO is quite simply doomed. Unless…. unless?
Unless you redefine “SEO” as meaning, “Keep it real and write to please humans.”
SEO is simply… moribund.
All the best,