The recent Forbes article entitled “Is SEO Dead?” is the latest article to address the ever-present question that I’ve been hearing ever since I got into SEO 7 years ago. The Forbes article, as well as nearly every other article ever written on the topic, concludes that SEO is not dead, just changing. The term itself, however, still remains relevant, as the below data show:
Because search engine optimization is an exceedingly vague phrase, it can change and still remain within the bounds of its name. It is simply optimizing websites for best performance on search engines, which can encompass a wide range of activities. Although strategies have adapted to Google’s increased focus on quality content on social media activity, the focus of SEO remains the same: to increase quality traffic to websites. It should be noted that the United States and the United Kingdom are demonstrating an increased trend towards “social media marketing” and “digital marketing” , while terms such as “seo” and “search engine optimization” have their greatest preponderance in countries such as India and Vietnam, and are decreasing in prevalence in the US and UK; however, even with these decreases “seo” and “search engine optimization” still receive significantly more searches in the US than other phrases, as seen below:
Note that both “search engine optimization” and “seo” are on a downward trend, while “digital marketing” and “social media marketing” are on the rise.
It’s true that pure SEO companies are dead in the water, as the data show that failure to expand into social media marketing and digital marketing strategies would signify an inability to change with the times. That being said, the phrases “seo” and “search engine optimization” are still relevant, at least for the time being.