SEO catIs SEO dead?

There has been talk about the death of SEO for years. People have been announcing its demise for a long time and barely a day goes by without a new declaration (e.g. The Guardian published a surprisingly short sited (IMHO) article on Monday stating that social media has killed off SEO).

It is a debate that interests me hugely and I presented my thoughts on ‘Has the SEO cat finally run out of lives?’ at the Figaro Digital Marketing Conference last week.

I don’t know if it was food coma (I was on after lunch!) or an amazingly pro-SEO crowd, but there was surprisingly little support for the notion that SEO is indeed dead. A very unscientific show of hands suggested that SEO is alive and kicking.

We moved away from being just an SEO agency last year and have embraced the concept of inbound marketing, but this is largely a semantic change. We have always preached / practiced a PR-led approach to SEO and what we do hasn’t changed over the past five years. It may have a different label, but it is fundamentally the same.

SEO won’t be dead until search engines vanish, which I don’t see happening very soon. The demand for SEO services will exist whilst the rewards are so huge. As I show in slides 13 and 14, search still accounts for the vast majority of traffic across the web and it typically delivers very targeted traffic, so conversion rates are high (slide 14 is a particular fingers up to the Guardian article…).

So, without further ado, here is the presentation in all its glory. It is a hideous format to have to do – 21 slides and all at exactly 21 seconds per slide. Torture :-)

>>View presentation video / slides (launches in new window)

Video courtesy of Figaro Digital.

What do you think? Is SEO dead or is it indeed just a semantic issue? I would love to hear you views so please feel free to leave a comment below.