Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Don't Need SEO (Or Do You?)

Last week we confronted the frankly laughable idea put forth in an article by "Internet psychologist," Graham Jones, that "SEO is a myth." The effectiveness of SEO, we argued, is clear and demonstrable. In fact, we were quite surprised that Jones' article was even written. It lacked a clear purpose--and it certainly lacked any evidence whatsoever to back its claims.

In light of Graham's article, however, we wondered if other writers had perhaps offered more articulate arguments against the effectiveness of SEO--against organic SEO, specifically,  practiced with talent and integrity.

We qualify "organic" and "talent and integrity" here simply to set the ground rules for a reasonable search. Plenty of articulate articles have been written against SEO--what might be called "bad" SEO, to be precise, negative, Black Hat, or otherwise.

For instance, a Google search for "Is SEO bad?" will yield plenty of results--yet all of the top results are condemnations of bad SEO practices and endorsements of good SEO practices.

A more nuanced search might be "Is SEO necessary?" Here, the first result, from Entrepreneur, asks, "Is SEO a Necessary and Measurable Investment?" The answer is unequivocal:
"SEO is, in fact, necessary in today’s marketplace."

How about "Why You Don't Need SEO?" Now here we have something! The first result, for example, is an article from a content marketing company, SPRK, which argues "You Don't Need SEO. You Need Inbound Marketing!"

Wait, isn't "inbound marketing" a part of SEO? Maybe we don't have something. SPRK writes, "The SEO tricks of yesterday no longer work and finally consistent, quality content most often wins out."

Nonsense. As any person even slightly familiar with SEO knows: consistent, quality content is the cornerstone of all good SEO campaigns. For more on the relationship between organic SEO and content, read any number of our many, many articles on content.

This article is typical of most articles that argue against SEO: like Graham's article, it does not even understand the very practice it attempts to undermine.

What else? The second result under our Google search for "Why you don't need SEO?" is the bluntly-titled, "You Don't Need SEO," from the web marketing company, FINE (formerly known as BIG DAYLIGHT). It's actually an argument for SEO. Here's two reasons why they wrote the article:

"1. One of the top referring keywords for Big Daylight is, hilariously, “You Don’t Need SEO”. This is because a previous post I wrote talked about how You Don’t Need SEO Domain Names, but it ended up also positioning for “You Don’t Need SEO”.

2. A lot of people are searching on this, so obviously there is a burning need out there for people to either prove or be reassured that They Don’t Need SEO."

Frankly, a Google search does not yield too many articles against organic SEO. This reason is simple: there is no solid argument against the practice. It's usefulness is self-evident.

That said, if you do come across arguments against SEO, you should take them seriously--serious enough to answer the following questions:

1. Does the article understand SEO? For example, SPRK (which may or may not be defunct; the site is very glitchy) misunderstands the most basic component of any good SEO campaign: content.

2. Is the article actually against organic SEO? As we noted above, most anti-SEO article are actually against bad SEO--and for organic SEO.

3. What is the article's intention? Is it fair? Nuanced? Does the article's author have a vested interest in denying the effectiveness of SEO?

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Have you found any articulate articles against organic SEO? If so, we'd love to read them. Please let us know in the comments.

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