Having been in the SEO industry for going on four years I’ve seen countless algorithm updates followed by doomsday-esque “SEO is Dead” articles. These pieces are for nothing but shock purposes. The strict definition of “SEO” may be changing, but to marginalize the entire industry by constantly proclaiming that it’s “dead” only stunts the growth and enterprise level acceptance of search engine optimization. I’m always taken back when I read an article written by an SEO professional condemning their own industry. Imagine a radiologist coming out in the New England Journal of Medicine and saying, “radiology is dead” because of recent changes in the way x-rays are implemented. Sure, buying mass-text links, comment spam, and exact match domains are losing their effectiveness as SEO strategies. But last time I checked Google still exists. We still flock to its search engine to answer our questions and its market share continues to grow daily.
Welcome Change, but Don’t Obsess Over It
There should be a threshold to how much time you spend learning “new” SEO tactics though. You can scour the blogs and forums for advice on how to get your content ranked but there are several tactics that will never be penalized, good content being chief amongst those. I try to limit the time I spend on learning “new” techniques and tactics, mainly because I know at this point what works and what will continue to work in ten years. There has to be a fundamental shift among SEO professionals, a move from link building (in its traditional sense) to creating content that is link-worthy.
Sharpen The Creative Saw
As an SEO, maybe it’s time to learn some creative skills. I’ve been hot on Adobe After Effects, motion graphic and movie editing software that enables you to create custom marketing videos. I still think video is the wild west on the internet and is underused by many companies, especially those in the ecommerce field. Programs like After Effects make it easy to get your message across. Although the learning curve is steep I would highly recommend getting started by heading over to TutsPlus.com and checking out some of their tutorials.
Don’t Change if You’re Already Doing it Right
Adaptation occurs most frequently with those who are doing something wrong in the first place. You have a major problem if you’re freaking out every time there’s an algorithm change. To quote Spike Lee, “do the right thing”. Watch your Google problems go away when you focus on creating a great website, a product people want to use, or do a good job of sharing your knowledge.