Let’s look at it in another light for a moment. This will be my final response in this conversation, we are starting to talk in circles, and that is always a point of diminishing returns.
(I also thought it would be fun to illustrate the discussion we are having with some real screen shots of the very topics we are addressing in action, the power of publicity, social, and real content.)
By the way, thanks to you, Chris, Danny and many others for assuming that all you need to do is provide remedial education for those of us who run businesses for a living, but that misses the point.
It seems the solid arguments by SEO experts in this conversation show that internal, online, or technical SEO is where the value is trending upwards. I’ll give you that. Real, great content better be formatted according to rules learned and perfected in the SEO community. But that becomes elements of the content already onsite.
And the argument is strong that real content providers better learn the craft of SEO to get their content noted. Granted.
But please, note that I use the phrase “real content”, not just great content. People are tired of the fake and counterfeit, even if it is a great counterfeit. The common SEO tactic of spreading mediocre content all over the web just to drive backlinks is what I am calling counterfeit. Buying, trading, or manipulating backlinks is what I call fake.
Strong research, great copy writing, compelling video, interested social communities, publicity, intriguing design, journalism, etc., is content that originated from other disciplines, yet the SEO industry is adopting them all for their own and then saying they are “SEO”. And that good “SEO” covers everything.
I had my furnace replaced several years ago. The heating and AC guy who came to my house was amazing. In addition to learning HVAC, he mentioned he had also learned to be an electrician, a carpenter, and a plumber. They used to bring in electricians, carpenters, and plumbers also, but nowadays he can do it all to service the customer most effectively. Those are four separate disciplines now converging to one, but don’t mistake the disciplines.
SEO needs to own its original methods, for bad and for good (or for black and for white). Sad to say, the bad parts in the SEO world were so bad (and still are, notwithstanding professionals who seem to focus on the good), that no self-respecting social media or PR practitioner would claim to be an SEO. Yet SEOs in this very conversation claim ownership of social media, PR, and much more and say it is all “SEO”.
Sometimes companies burn a brand so badly that they tank it and start over with a new name. If you read the comments in this thread, that recommendation has come up many times (and not by me). Perhaps we should drop the SEO moniker and start over. SEO as an industry name or brand carries a lot of baggage.
It also really worries me that you say the industry dismisses the philosophical or ethical questions of black hat as merely a method that even professionals might use as long as it is with permission from the customer. And I am saddened as I realize the potential impact of negative SEO. These are a slippery slope. That is just another version of the excuse, “sorry, it’s not personal, it’s just business.”
What are we without ethics?
And do you remember the title that sparked all this?
“The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content.”
Translated it might say, “The death of traditional SEO methods: the rise of social, PR, and real content.”
All of your arguments seem to be pointed to exactly what the title says now that we seem to agree more on definitions.
I think it was Socrates who said, “the beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.”
It has been a pleasure interacting with you. You brought a certain level of class to the discussion that lifted you above the crowd of even the professionals, though it took a little nudge to get beyond your first comment. I needed a few nudges as well, thank you.
But I’m afraid, though more educated, I’m still of the original opinion.
As for me and mine…
And when the end of summer of 2014 comes around, I will eagerly look to see that SEO as we knew it is dead, and something new and better has taken it’s place. I’m hopeful that you and your colleagues will lead the way.
Respectfully – Ken
PS: Maybe between now and then Matt Cutts will help us add to this conversation. Matt?
Top 30 Articles on www.KenKrogue.com (with total views) and a Summary of Ken’s Forbes Articles
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A Complete Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes Articles, Including his newly updated “Definition of Inside Sales” and his #1 on all of Forbes (and his most controversial) article “The Death of SEO”
A Complete Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes Articles, Including his newly updated “Definition of Inside Sales” and his #1 on all of Forbes (and most controversial) article “The Death of SEO”