The Hype and Hullabaloo of SEO
To say that search engine optimizers work in a turbulent industry is a
bit of an understatement. Regarded as thieves and scammers by some, a
necessary evil by others, SEO is seen as a serious discipline by few
outside of the industry.
Part of this negative image may be due to the way many SEO's get caught
up in hypes that may not necessarily prove to be so big as initially
I too have been guilty of this, for example on the topic of PageRank sculpting, which has since proven to be a bit of a non-issue.
The SEO business has often been at the whim of hype. When Universal Search was first announced, it was said to be 'the end of SEO'. Regular search results mixed with video, images and news sources would make old-school SEO useless.
Then came the full-blown integration of Local Search on the SERPs. Once again SEO was proclaimed deceased, with local being the new global.
The rise of Social Media initially also seemed to precipitate the demise of the search engine optimization industry, but instead has actually expanded SEO's mandate and helped give the industry added credibility.
And not too long ago Google's global roll-out of Personalized Search again spelled the 'death of SEO' with many believing that personalised search rankings would make search engine optimization meaningless, or at the very least less of a priority.
Recent 'revelations' that search engines such as Google continuously update their algorithms - not a particularly ground breaking bit of news for seasoned SEO's, but apparently quite a surprise for many - made some proclaim that 'SEO as we know it really could one day be extinct'.
And yet, throughout all of this, SEO is still going strong. More than that, it's an industry that's increasingly being taken seriously. The solid foundation of search engine optimisation - links, content, and code - has withstood the test of time fairly unscathed. Hypes come and go, big announcements dominate the blogs nearly every day, but at the heart of SEO lies a diamond core that no sensible website owner ignores.
I for one have decided not to let hypes take over any more. One of my New Year's resolutions is not to get carried away by the latest piece of search engine buzz, but to acknowledge it and then wait and see what actually happens.
I expect that more often than not, nothing will change.