I was visiting Small Business Ideas Forum today as part of my daily routine and came across the following article written by Stoney deGeyter – SEO is Dead. My first thought was, “Is he serious?” Now Stoney is an SEO himself and fellow moderator with me on this forum so I had to take a look at the article.
After reading I actually discovered that he is referring to SEOs that focus on rankings and rankings alone. They are a dying bread. That I totally agree with. In fact I have never thought that an SEO that only focused on rankings was that valid of a search engine marketer in the first place.
However I am coming across more and more articles that seem to push the idea that rankings are not important and that web site owners should focus more on usability and site conversions.
While I agree with the latter, I cannot disregard the first. Rankings are important because you could pass the web site usability test 100% and have conversions numbers that blow away the competition, but if people cannot find you via search engines, guess what – they are finding your competition instead. Add to that the increasing number of people that are using search engines and one can easily conclude that they need good visibility.
My suspicions that web site owners are still interested in rankings were reaffirmed this last December at the Search Engine Strategies Chicago conference where I sat on a site clinic along with Jennifer Laycock and Christine Churchill. We listened to many web site owners who are still concerned about rankings. Is this the only thing they should be concerned about? Absolutely not but it is still a valid concern and I think it always will be.
I do think getting ranked for competitive keywords will become more and more difficult. However, it is not impossible by any means. Someone has to be in those top ten spots. Why shouldn’t it be me or one of my clients? That may mean I have to build a better site than the competition but isn’t that what true SEO and search engine marketing should be about anyway?
No, SEO is not dead. Far from it. As long as companies are going to have web sites, they will need to put forth some effort to gain visibility in search engines. yes that is only part of the overall picture but it is still an important one that cannot be neglected.