Believe SEO Is Dead At Your Own Peril

Contrary to reports, the death of SEO has been slightly exaggerated.

In 2012 great SEO is not about “tricking” Google or tweaking a title tag 12 times or any other lazy tactic that might have worked in years past.

SEO will die when Google completely removes it’s organic results and just serves us ads for every search query. Which, well, that’s actually a bit of a concern. But until then, SEO is alive and well and if you’re not investing in SEO you are missing out on a marketing channel with a great ROI.

What great SEOs are doing today:

  • Crafting incredible content that attracts tweets, likes, +1’s and links
  • Reaching out via email, phone, twitter, your mom to promote said incredible content
  • Spending 40+ hours researching data to build a useful infographic
  • Running pay per click ads to determine actual keyword traffic volume
  • Networking offline to build links online
  • Diagnosing and fixing on-page issues and then moving on to challenging SEO work
  • Measuring non-vanity SEO metrics to prove their ROI on SEO

Not what you thought SEO was? Yeah, things have changed a bit from years past.

SEO is still a grind. Great SEO takes a creative mind to craft strategies and content and a analytical brain to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Great SEOs use social media as a tool, not a cure-all marketing pill.

Organic Traffic Is Gold

Mike Ferry, SEO consultant at SocialMetrica, said he’d pick organic traffic over social traffic “because of the intent of the visitor”.

Daniel Barrera, President at Creative Marketing Consulting & IT Analyst at FoxNews, said he would take facebook traffic for promotions, but Google for “targeted searches” and “overall I would take organic traffic”.

I’d take almost any visit from Google organic search over 10 visits from Facebook any day. The same goes for twitter and stumbleupon traffic.

Links Still Matter

Anyone who thinks Google and Bing’s algorithms are just “all about social media signals now” is probably super proud of their #1 ranking for “hand painted garden gnomes with birds in Portland” too. Yeah, that’s a competitive one.

Links matter. And they don’t always build themselves. Sure, twitter and facebook can spread great content quickly, but what about a new business you launched? No one really cares about you yet…so building authoritative links to your business can be challenging.

Here’s a rankings graph for my startup SERPs.com. SERPs is an acronym for “Search Engine Results Pages” and it’s been around for 10+ years so we didn’t rank high for it right away. As you can see, we were at #5 in Google right before a batch of links we acquired after graduating from the Portland Seed Fund.

press links work for SEO

As you can see, we jumped up to #2 within 10 days of those links. Correlation? Yes. Causation? I’d bet on it.

Please someone tell me links are dead again. They matter, and sometimes you have to work for them. That means building press relationships, sucking up to the over-inflated egos of most bloggers, and even picking up the phone from time to time.

Do SEO Right and Crush Your Competition

Organic search is a zero-sum game. If you don’t occupy the real estate in Google and Bing for what your customers are searching for, your competitors will.

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