Every time Google comes out with the slightest change, a bunch of “Chicken Littles” invade the web, all squawking that SEO is dead. But if there’s anything we can learn from history, it’s that SEO has this amazing way of missing the bullet that everyone insists it’s about to bite!
Photo credit: Portent
Don’t believe me?
Just check out these 4 supposed nails in SEO’s coffin. It’s easy to see that SEO’s got more lives than that stray cat howling outside your window!
1. Link popularity schemes
Back when everyone was worried about what was going to happen when Y2K hit, link popularity schemes were all the SEO rage. All you had to do to be “optimized” was to swap as many links as you could with websites called “farms”. As long as you worked with enough farms, you could trick the search engines into thinking that your site was magical and powerful (after all, why else would all of these websites link to it?!). As a result, you got to sit atop the rankings.
However, a fresh-faced new search engine called Google threw a wrench into that plan. They started learning how to track those link schemes. As a result, people started screaming that SEO was dead — but as you well know, it wasn’t!
2. Keyword stuffing
Years ago, some of the top sites in the search engine results were like a plate of BBQ brisket with too much sauce on it — only the “sauce” was keywords! When you arrived at one of these sites, you knew there was nice tender “meat” somewhere, but all you could see, smell, and taste were the keywords that were shoved unnaturally into every nook and cranny of the page.
As search engine spiders got more and more advanced, they were able to pick up on all of this keyword stuffing — and gone were the days of ranking well just because you could use a keyword 200 times on one page!
3. Social media
Unlike the other two SEO “killers”, this one isn’t a trick that’s been gobbled up by the search engines. However, lots of people claim that social media is the “real” death of SEO!
It all started back in 2002 when a site called Friendster fetched three million users in as many months. In 2003, a competitor called MySpace hit the web, and a year after that, another competitor called Facebook was launched.
By the time 2006 rolled around, MySpace was one of the most popular websites in the world, Facebook was growing, and a little site called Twitter hit the social media scene. A few years later — when social media users reached into the hundreds of millions — the “Chicken Littles” were back. This time, they said SEO was dead, and the “real’ way to succeed online was to gain exposure through social media.
Don’t get me wrong — social media is a great tool. However, it hasn’t killed SEO. In the time it takes you to read this article, there will be millions of Google searches done. Considering that SOMEONE has to come up at the top of all those results, it’s clear that SEO isn’t dead — not by a long shot!
4. Google’s growth
Speaking of Google, as it gets bigger and bigger, the “Chicken Littles” say that the world’s largest search engine is out to kill SEO. As we speak, they claim SEO is hooked up to a ton of machines on life support.
The reasoning behind this latest panic?
All they’ve proven, however, is that the way you achieve SEO success nowadays is totally different. Instead of manipulating your anchor text or stocking up on low-quality links, you’ve got to go out and get links from sites that are relevant to yours and focus on building a quality site of your own.
Bottom line — as long as you’re one of the “good guys”, you stand a much higher chance of sitting atop the search engine results!