Marketing Pilgrim recently published a prophecy that onsite SEO is going to die. The writer says that "[a]s the search engines acquire more revenue, their pool of professionals is also drained with best brains" and that new technologies like OCR will eliminate the need to optimize for search engines.
Search Engine Journal posted its own rebuttal that onsite SEO is not going to die. In particular, the respondent says that even if there is OCR technology that can discern text within images and the like, "there’s still got to be content, regardless of development language, for the engines to read, thus, optimizing it in some way will always, always, always be needed."
The Sphinn discussion is in agreement with Search Engine Journal: on-site SEO is here to stay. Small basic changes, for example, can make or break your website in the rankings. Others say that the best SEO happens on the page, not off the page.
And others, like Jill Whalen, think that this is an issue that is beating at a dead horse. The "SEO is dead" argument is not going away.
Forum discussion continues at Sphinn.