Does Traditional SEO Still Work?




I had the pleasure of dining with my good friend, Mike Grehan, just before Easter. We chatted about the topic of his upcoming article – Does Textbook SEO Really Work Anymore?

Mike’s article suggests that a lot of the old-school SEO tactics are no longer important.

As far as my own experience goes, links and end-user behavior are the important, upwardly mobile components for decent ranking. So that’s where I’d rather focus my own time and attention.

My thoughts? There’s enough evidence to support Mike’s theory – if you have a great site with quality inbound links, you can be #1 on Google without changing any “content” (as proved by “miserable failure“). I’ve also seen enough evidence that proves a site can languish outside of the Top 50 then rocket to #1 with some changes to on-page content and no changes to links (although, changing a keyword in the meta-tag is not going to be enough).

I think many sites still need a balanced approach to SEO, but there are a whole host of tactics that are no longer worth the effort.

What are your thoughts? Mike wants to hear from you.

UPDATE: Over at Bruce Clay’s blog, Susan Esparza makes the case for paying attention to all SEO components.

“…the danger with skipping elements because they’re not worth as much as others is the same as paying for everything with cash and throwing away the change. Sure, it’s just a nickel and dime, but over time it adds up.”

UPDATE 2: Over at SEOmoz, Rand points to Loren, who’s pointing to me, pointing to Mike. Anyone want to make the loop a little longer? ;-)