Mar 22

Has SEO Peaked?

Richard J. Tofel at Nieman Lab posted an interesting article, saying that, “someday, the sun will set on SEO,” and that “the business of news will be better for it.”

Will the sun set on SEO? 

To sum up a lengthy post (at least my interpretation of it), the point Tofel makes is that publishers are abusing search to get views (nothing new there), and the news industry is suffering for it, but with Google taking stronger action, SEO tactics might fall by the wayside.

He does make some interesting points. For example, “The Huffington Post/AOL deal may mark something of a watershed in this progression,” he writes. “Much of the $300-million-plus in value HuffPo has built has been in playing very smartly by the SEO rules of the first decade of this century. But if it is true that most entrepreneurs sell out near the top, and it is, then perhaps we have just been sent a signal by one of its masters that the dark arts of SEO have peaked and that the century’s second decade will see them fade, perhaps into near nothingness by the third decade. In other words, it seems increasingly likely that, when the history of this era is written, SEO will turn out to have been a transitional phenomenon.”

He also refers to Google’s recent crackdown (Panda update) on low quality content as a “small step in an inevitable direction, with the direction being the sunset of SEO.” Continue reading