Is SEO Dead?
Last month, there was an article on Forbes.com, in which the author, Ken Krogue, made the ridiculous assertion that SEO is dead. Of course, anytime that anyone writes anything about SEO, they will open themselves to attack by every SEO expert on the web (not to mention every not-so-expert SEO.)
Top SEO experts understand that SEO is a science. To declare a science dead, simply because you don’t understand the science, is very silly and somewhat irresponsible, especially coming from a journalist. A politician, yes. But not a journalist.
The author received a lot of comments from irritated scientists, which I understand. One person wrote: “While some of this is true, most of this is another non-SEO who does not understand SEO who did not talk to SEOs about how SEO really works declaring all SEO is evil and SEO is dead… *yawn* and *sigh*”
And from the people who just don’t understand the science, Ken received accolades: “Great peice Ken!” and “Finally these SEO hucksters will get their due…”
Yes, some people even attacked professional SEO! ::gasp!::
As someone who actually understands SEO, I know that Ken was dead wrong. But, maybe being right or wrong wasn’t Ken’s concern. I wonder if Ken was acting as a true journalist, or simply stirring the pot, to cause sensation. Causing a sensation is probably the best SEO you can have. After all, if Brittany Spears climbs, naked to the top of a water tower and flings feces at the people below her- I can promise you, if you search for “Brittany Spears” that afternoon, that story will be the first result in Google. Causing a sensation is good SEO.
Proving my point- while working on another project today, I searched for the phrase “SEO Guru” using Google. You know who is number 7, in the world, if you search for SEO guru? Ken Krogue of course. The guy who says SEO is dead.
Makes perfect sense!
But I digress. More on that later.
Is SEO Dead? (So Sick Of This Question)
No. Absolutely not.
Well, sort of.
I guess it’s dead for most of the so-called SEO professionals that litter the internet with their presence. If you are the kind of SEO that uses a lot of fake back-linking (“fake” meaning any linking that doesn’t occur naturally), then you are probably dead-in-the-water as an SEO.
If you are an SEO that relies solely on a heavy keyword density– another tired old concept– then yes, SEO is probably dead for you too.
But let’s take a look at Mr. Krogue’s article from my white-hat point-of-view:
The question- “Is SEO Dead?”- is a common one and there are boatloads of articles on that topic, many of which don’t make sense. Mr. Krogue’s article doesn’t make sense. Yet, that same article stays at the top of the Google SERPs every time I search for that particular question. I find that very ironic. He writes that SEO is dead, but yet he has a page that is perfectly optimized for Google.
In fact, even more ironically, if you perform a Google search for “SEO Guru”– guess who is on page one?
Mr. Krogue himself. And rightfully so.
I don’t know if Mr. Krogue was playing a joke on the whole world, and he is a brilliant, genius of a guy; or if the crazy irony of his article just escapes him.
Ken Krogue is a Brilliant SEO
1. Using the tool at: https://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp – I found that his post has a readability score of 60. That means it is written on an eighth to ninth grade reading level. That’s great SEO. If you want to do well in Google, write on an eighth grade level. If you want everyone to read your content (and most Americans read at an eighth grade level), then you need to bring it down a notch and serve it up for the masses. Here are the results for Ken’s article:
If you write articles, and you want to optimize them for Google, shoot for a score of 55 – 75 on the Flesch Reading Ease test.
(For this article, my Flesch score is a seventy-five. Perfect.)
2. Over a hundred comments and the author actually responds!
This is huge. Comments add content. As long as you filter out the spam crap, they add very meaningful content. Thousands of people will read this post, but only a handful will comment. If I even get thirty comments over the course of the next six months, I’ll be thrilled.
Ken received a ton of comments and he responded to practically every single one of them. Ken is a brilliant SEO, and he does nice work. Ken must know that one way to get in good with Google is to have lots of interaction on your blog. Comments are extremely important because they “drip feed” content on your page. Each time the Googlebot visits, it finds the page is getting longer, and longer, and longer… People are engaging the author.
But even better: This author actually engages his readers, whether they are incredibly annoyed with him or sing his praises. He doesn’t care. He responds to everyone. And why? Because Ken knows his SEO, that’s why.
3. But here is what really nails Ken’s incorrect assesment: his social media presence.
- Ken’s article, at the time I write this, has been shared 3979 times on Facebook.
- 6243 people have Tweeted it.
- About a thousand people have given it a Google+.
- 2200 people shared on LinkedIn
- And about 1000 people shared through Reddit.
When 6243 Tweet your article and 4000 people share it on Facebook- you’ve just reached the big leagues in the SEO world.
While Ken opines about whether or not SEO is dead, his own page is optimized exactly as I would recommend anyone optimize a website:
1. Write titles that will provoke clicks. Article titles like “Do Cats Suck The Breath Out of Newborn Babies?” get lots of clicks. In fact, if you haven’t done it already, I bet you come back and click that link once you finish reading this terrific post.
2. Once you get the clicks, make sure your article is useful, funny, horrifying or just engaging. And if you are lucky enough to have people leave comments, be sure to try and reply to as many as you can. Google wants authors who engage with their readers. It builds trust. It proves you’re human in an inhuman, online world.
3. Soon, people will start linking to you. Either they will link to you in an article or blog post like this one– or they will link to you in an alternative way: By sharing across their social networks.
In summary, Ken’s article had a couple of decent points, with one terrific and perhaps unintended conclusion: His article is a great example of rock-solid search engine optimization technique, while the article itself discusses the death of the very thing he is so damn good at- SEO.
The irony is killing me.
No pun intended.