Google Insider Hints That SEO is Dead
The latest news that is rocking the Internet marketing world goes something like this:
“Try to work on your website as if SEO was not part of your plan.”
“…what I tend to tell people is the following; if you want to please Google with your SEO, then forget about SEO.”
Those words are from the mouth of Andre Weyher. It's rare that you get to read anything about spam and quality control from anyone but Matt Cutts, but Weyher worked for Google's search quality team for two years and recently spoke with James Norquay, a search/digital marketer in Australia about the future of SEO.
Of course, the statement comes from the mouth of just one ex-Google employee. Whether this is just his opinion or whether this is something that Google really wants webmasters to follow is up for debate.
Search Engine Land's Matt McGee reported that Google had no official comment (they never got back to him), so it's hard to say what the search giant's view is on this one. What webmasters are seeing, however, is a decrease in the effectiveness of old-school SEO. You can't join a link-wheel, buy a bunch of links from high PR pages, and pay for backlinks in directories, .edu sites, and wikis and expect to get the #1 spot for your keyword anymore.
In a way, this is a good thing. Legitimate businesses usually aren't savvy enough to reverse engineer Google's algorithm, and often pay for sketchy services that are (usually) against Google's Webmaster Guidelines. For example, how many times have you been approached by an SEO company promising you better rankings in the search engine? How many times have you discovered the "secret weapon" behind such firms to be nothing more than buying a link on a low-quality website?
These kinds of tactics used to work well. They don't anymore. Even so-called "white hat" companies like iAcquire learned this lesson the hard way.
What Are You Going To Do Now?
Sadly, a lot of Internet marketers are going to be out of business. Some of them will shift tactics yet again, trying to find another loophole in the system. Maybe they'll find it. Maybe they won't. The stakes are getting higher, and the loopholes are harder to find. Now's your chance to get off the Internet marketing hamster wheel.
The solution is so simple: get real links. Get links from sharing real content that you've created. If you can't write, hire someone (and pay them a lot of money) to write for you. Approach high profile websites and blogs in your industry that have tens of thousands of subscribers and ask about submitting a guest blog post.
Send out real press releases for awesome products and services that you create. Forget about the backlink potential. Pretend Google doesn't exist. Get back to basic PR strategies. It seems as though the web of tomorrow will be built through deep and meaningful relationships. Think social media (that's actually social and not a thinly veiled sales pitch). Think niche blogs with fiercely loyal communities. If Google really wants you to stop doing SEO, then you're really left with only two options: direct response (PPC)/direct (e)mail and word of mouth advertising (aka "social networking").