Posted May 14, 2008 8:57 pm by with 19 comments

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Within the mass confusion that can erupt when there is a blog controversy, occasionally a thoughtful post will emerge. Last week ShoeMoney wrote about the Death of SEO and here on this blog Greg Howlett supported that theory, while I spoke up to disagree with those opinions. Others have also been discussing the topic and Joost de Valk, has chimed in as well, after reading a blog post from one of his colleagues entitled Reactionary vs. Visionary SEO.

Joost has taken a step back and looked critically at the situation and determined that decision making is what really is separating the internet marketers from one another. No one disagrees that SEO is evolving, whether what we see as today’s SEO will be around in the same format two years from now is still open for debate, but Joost makes the case that internet marketers who are following the wave of change are really pressed to decide when is it appropriate to adopt change?

Many marketers looking to the future, jump on the next bandwagon long before the old reliable one has started to show any real signs of failing. Joost uses the timing of when internet marketers stopped advocating the use of paid links as an excellent example in his post.

It seems like a disservice to yourself and or the clients you work with if you give up on a technique that still works to adopt a new one that hasn’t yet matured as an effective marketing tool, yet many internet marketers and SEO’s more specifically are jumping off of the bandwagon when they see future, but long before it has arrived. I am all for planning for the future, but giving up on the moment while doing so is a major mistake and a key point that Joost and I both agree on.

  • Great point. Link exchanges are another one of those things that can still be debated. People claim they hurt websites, others swear by them and then you’ll still see websites ranking well built off excessive exchanges.

    Deciding what works and what doesn’t is a huge task in itself. I’d imagine everything is okay as long as it’s done in moderation. I know of a huge national site with a PR 7 that hides links (in a tricky way) and they’re doing fine in the SERPs.

  • Link exchange is such a hassle. I bet the new algorithm includes website reputation and maybe even rss numbers?

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  • I agree with your opinion and I think it is not a good thing to abandon old SEO techniques that are proved to work well and go for some new ones.

  • I agree 100% with the follow up post. It is very tough to leave any SEO technique behind…

    Search Engine Optimization Journal’s last blog post..Search Engine Optimization For Your Whole Site

  • Roderick-
    Makes perfect sense to me… Stick with what works until a time that it doesnt. Where I think many fail is to stay tuned to the changing environment and keep up to date. (Un)fortunately, Google has no problem telling us how and when.

    Market timing is a failure to plan in any industry.

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  • The problem is a lot of SEO people don’t test on their own. The read what has supposedly worked for someone else and then take that as gospel. A good example of this was the recent internal PR Sculpting madness where lots of SEO’s proclaimed it as hugely successful technique without testing or showing results in which it worked.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Can You Manage Your Email and RSS Reader?

  • Jaan,

    I think you have identified a larger issue in our industry. The reason the reputation of SEO practitioners suffers is that so many people make false claims, whether it is because they haven’t had time to try something new, or genuenly just don’t know how to do something. Yet they still remain willing to extoll the virtues of whatever technique maybe the flavor of the week.

  • PS3

    It’s a tough on to call but is there not a half way house that combines traditional methods with the new and upcoming? Does it have to be one and all with either?

  • SEO makes the best if you use “Title and alt tag” and build some quality relevant links…

    Linkbuilding’s last blog post..BASIC CONCEPTS OF SEO

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  • SEO will evolve without people even knowing it. It will be subtle changes that will soon become popular knowledge. I do agree that you never know what Google will do though. It seems to have different standards for everything.

  • There will be no transition period, just a constant evolution. I’m not sure what this post is trying to say.

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  • @Web 2.0 Blog

    The point Joost was trying to make and that I wanted to reinforce and expand upon is that many internet marketers, SEOs especially are giving up on solid internet marketing techniques before they lose their efficiency just to lash on to whatever the newest fad or latest predictions believe the next big thing will be.

    Many of these marketers espouse the power of this new marketing technique, sometimes without ever using it or mastering even the fundamentals just because others are saying such positive things. This type of behaviour is a diservice not only to them but especially to their clients who rely on them to be their go between for happenings in the internet marketing world.

  • Most of the guys confused about the post..

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  • As long as there is some algorithm behind search engine positioning there will be people who try to build their sites and networks to get the optimum out of this algorithm. SEO will never be dead. The more complicated it becomes the more important it is.

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  • The algorithm is made to be used, so lets stop chatting about it and talk how to use it.

  • Joining this conversation late but hoping what someone might think of ads and ad placement. As with “…advocating the use of paid links” that has stopped, what about the end of ads, as on this page, in the middle of the page and on the sides. That has got to be on it’s way out, don’t you think? Being on the web since its inception I’ve learned to completely ignore them – especially the flashing ones – and make a point not to click or go near them in fear they’d expand into my reading area. A quality “ad” for me is within a well written review, an article, or through word-of-mouth.