A couple of weeks ago, over lunch in York, I was asked by the micro-business advocate and popular speaker Tony Robinson whether I think that SEO (search engine optimisation) is dead.
Caught off guard, I fear my answer was a little unclear so I have been considering the issue in order to clarify why SEO is still a very important consideration for website owners, particularly those of us who have micro-business enterprises.
Over the past decade and more, Search Engine Optimisers have earned a bad name as the trade has attracted a large number of cowboys. For years we found the front pages of our search results full of rubbish and nonsense as these tricksters and cheaters plied their trade.
Lately though, the major providers of search have considerably improved their techniques of interpreting web content and ranking it appropriately for its usefulness to readers. One might think that a website that is full of relevant and valuable information will naturally rise to the top of the list.
Sadly, this is still not entirely the way things work. The answer to the question “Is SEO dead?” is "No", but SEO alchemy is definitely losing the battle with the search engines.