SEO Has A Future: Rebutting ShoeMoney and Marketing Pilgrim
Ian Lurie May 8 2008
Today, ShoeMoney and Marketing Pilgrim provided great insights into why they think search engine optimization has no future.
I don’t agree. Times infinity. Nyah nyah phbltbltbltblt. So there.
Marketing Pilgrim says:
“Take my industry of health supplements. Do you think Google wants to reward the SEO contortions of unknown companies and affiliates with lots of free business? Of course not–they want to send their visitors to the top supplement sites in the industry.”
Very true, but only where it applies to affiliate sites offering no additional value. Why should an affiliate site rank higher than the manufacturers it represents? It shouldn’t.
But you can succeed as an affiliate. If you write a blog that’s a leading authority on supplements, you still have a legitimate shot at a top ranking for relevant phrases. If you then review products and include affiliate links, you’ll earn money.
So SEO isn’t dying. Twisting search rankings to favor affiliate marketers is dying. I love affiliate selling and seeing it get harder makes me cry. But it doesn’t signal the death of SEO.
ShoeMoney says that Matt Cutt’s definition of search engine spam is “SEO at its core”, and that, as search engines make spam harder, SEO will die as a practice.
I don’t buy that at all. There’s more to SEO than buying links and gray- or black-hat techniques.
- Gets rid of stuff that makes search engines say “augh!” when they crawl your site.
- Ensures the discoverability of all content on your site.
- Creates a site structure that’s easily categorized.
- Forms a long-term content strategy.
- Brings in social media and other online channels to make sure the search engines know you exist.
- Generally keeps good businesses out of trouble.
Developers will keep screwing up SEO for sites. Designers will keep doing the same. Agencies and clients will still insist on stuff that builds a brick wall between their brands and the search engines. SEOs will correct those problems. That kind of work will always offer value.
I think that both bloggers provide a 100% accurate picture of search engine advancements. But they assume that we’re all out there looking for loopholes. Then they assume that search for loopholes is all of SEO. I can’t agree with that.
SEO is a legitimate part of a smart marketing program. It’s about successfully navigating a very com
Let the flame war commence…
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More