Is SEO Dead? 3 Kinds of SEO That Are Dead.

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The AutoBot SEO Entrepreneur is Dead!

This individual likely started out actually learning real SEO and upon discovering that he/she could influence rankings through spamming blog posts, systematic directory submissions and other “easy-to-outsource” SEO tactics, decided to create a huge scalable business using those very limited SEO tactics. If Google was a static entity this might work, but the reality is that right about the time this company is making money and “blowing-up”, it’s client’s sites are tanking and the business model is obsolete. YOU CAN’T AUTOMATE GOOD SEO, STOP TRYING!

This business creates cookie-cutter SEO “programs” scaled to hundreds of small businesses with a 6-month to 1-year contract. They usually have plenty of sales people and have fairly low client retention. What they do have is a corner on the “I only have $400 to spend” market, and will continue to burn through these unsuspecting customers until something changes. I won’t name names, but I’m not happy to see this trend. These companies are ruining clients’ link-profiles with loads of low-quality exact match anchor-text links, ones that aren’t effective for any sustained period of time and make the link profile easily detected by Google as “over-optimized” (penguin 2.0). SYSTEMATIC SEO CREATES DISTINCT LINKING PATTERNS, guess who’s good at recognizing patterns? G.

The Do-It-Yourself SEO Guru is Dead!

Let me be clear here, I’m not talking about people trying to learn SEO and improve their websites on their own, I think that DIY SEO can be effective if guided by a trusted professional or authoritative sources like; MOZ, SEL, SEJ, SEOBook, and SEW. I’m talking about people who learn SEO on their own from spamming experimentation and illegitimate SEO forums… and then go and sell that to other people as professional SEO. YOU’RE HURTING THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WHEN YOU DO THIS, STOP! There are plenty of legitimate places to learn SEO online, if you want to do it professionally you need to connect with the industry and follow what’s happening. If you’ve been doing SEO in a silo for a while using old tactics you may be homeless and reading this from your car or an Internet café right now, welcome back, there is a better way.

Real Anecdote: I was speaking with a prospective client who was hiring us to build a small website, create a general content strategy, and perform an SEO campaign, for under $1,000/month. This is not very much for what I’m describing but I felt like the customer had a strong business and real potential for success. They called me the day the signed contract and check arrived to say that the guy who installed windows on their computer offered to come to their house and perform SEO for $35 an hour, and he’s “one of the top SEO men in the state of Utah”…who also does house calls and works on computers installing software.

Yes, these people exist and they’re selling their own homegrown version of “SEO” to small business owners everywhere. We can thank our Google friends panda and penguin for filtering out many of these individuals, but many still trick the unknowing and go from one mom & pop shop to the next like a traveling gypsy computer thief. The do-it-yourself SEO guru is dead!

The Web Designer/ SEO Provider is Dead!

The time when web designers were truly effective SEO’s is when keyword count and link count were the main factors affecting Google’s algorithm. Now simply pointing thousands of irrelevant low-quality links just turns up as spam and is not effective. Today many web professionals can implement content changes, update meta data, and perform some SEO tactics.  Many could certainly be SEO’s if they chose to dedicate the time, but few can be masters of both SEO and web development. SEO today involves creating a specific marketing plan of sorts, it just can’t all be performed by a technician anymore. Many web development agencies have in-house SEO teams, but the most critical SEO work would not be performed by a web designer/developer. The web designer SEO provider is dead!

So Who’s Still Alive?

Anyone who has cared enough to update their understanding of SEO should still be breathing, if you haven’t made any changes over the past couple years you have a lot of catching up to do. Is SEO dead? Well not exactly. What many have known and misunderstood about SEO is in fact dead. Google has made some advances and we can no longer trick the algorithm with simple tactics, I honestly can’t believe it was ever that easy now. SEO got harder, and if your looking for an easy way to make a buck SEO isn’t it…. unless you’re an unscrupulous jerk that rips of small business owners and ruins the name of the legitimate SEO’s, in which case were all coming for ya! I’m kidding but seriously, stop being shady.

Our company is alive, but we have had to make big changes and get really creative about how we do SEO, specifically how we create content that will generate visits, engagements, shares, and links! SEO is alive, but it’s really more about inbound marketing now even if we call it “SEO”.