Big Debate: Does Search Engine Optimization Have Long Term Viability?

May 9, 2008 - 9:46 am 5 by

In the middle of the week, my good friend Jeremy Schoemaker, aka Shoemoney, blogged that SEO has no future. He believes that personalized data will be more important, especially from the toolbar, user history, and analytics data. Social voting is becoming more important, and he explains that his sitelinks are the most trafficked pages on his site.

Well, the SEO community did not really want to hear that, so there have been at least three individual posts on Sphinn about it.

Marketing Pilgrim writer Greg Howlett says that search engines are getting too smart and that search engines won't want to reward companies for playing SEO games.

In one rebuttal, Ian Lurie talks about how SEO really does have a future. Smart SEO makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site. It helps create a long term content strategy. It keeps good businesses out of trouble. It ensures the discoverability of content on your site. SEO isn't about looking for loopholes but for keeping search engines happy.

In another response, Michael Gray also says that SEO has a future. SEO will have to clean up the mess of visual elements, especially flash and other technologies that are not search-engine friendly. SEOs have to explain viral marketing, content creation, and more. SEO is here to stay, he says, and there's nothing that anyone can say to stop that.

In a third response, Taylor Pratt says that SEO will exist as long as search engines exist. He says that while search engines are smart, SEOs are smart too and can work alongside search engines.

On one hand, forum members think that this is a great thing to start saying because then there will be less competition as newbie SEOs don't actually participate in SEO. Others say that SEO is not going to die but become more important, especially as big companies start partnering up with SEO firms and consultants for work.

Forum discussion continues at Sphinn, Sphinn, Sphinn, and Sphinn. ;)


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