Levy Online

SEO Is Undead!

SEO: Dead again at 19 years old.  News at 11.

It’s Halloween, and SEO is DEAD!  or is it?  It is!  Or IS it?  Just kidding, it is.  Oh, wait, no, it’s back again.  Wow, it just won’t stay down.

As I write this, in October 2016, the reason du jour that SEO is dead is that machines keep getting smarter.  Google is 100% algorithm-driven now, no human involvement required.  Apple’s Siri is reminding millions of people when to leave for their next appointment.  Amazon’s Echo is happily responding to spoken requests to play music throughout the house.  IBM’s Watson is reading 2,000 cancer research papers a year and prescribing treatments to patients.  Microsoft’s Cortana is squatting in your task bar.  With machines becoming more and more able to understand what humans mean when they say things, the days of gaming the search engines is coming to a close.  Kind of.

(SEO:  Search Engine Optimization)

SEO still exists because:

The Way Search Engines Understand and the Way People Understand is Still Different.

As long as there exists any difference between what a machine understands and what a person understands, there will be room in the market for someone who understands the machine’s language.  Just because computers can better understand what we want doesn’t mean they have the same understanding that your friends do.  So yes:

Ten years ago, the way machines understood our content was vastly different from the way human beings understood our content.  An SEO was someone who could make the machine understand.  The machines are getting smarter.  With every advancement, the gulf between computer content and person content shrinks.

But it’s still there.

Yes, business still need someone on their side who understands how machines process information.  At least for a little while longer.

SEO still exists because:

Search Engine Optimizers Don’t Just Optimize For Search Engines.

In my time as an SEO, I’ve:

SEO will never die because the term doesn’t really mean “search engine optimization” any more.  An SEO is likely to be your all-around internet marketing know-it-all.  They do a little design, a little development, a little video production, a little wheeling and dealing.  Understanding how machines think is quickly becoming a sub-task, especially as Augmented Intelligence narrows the gap between machines and people.

Since it’s Halloween, I’ll close with this:

Augmented Intelligence is likely to become Artificial Intelligence in the very near future.  If that happens, machines will be able to do millions of jobs faster and better than humans.  So enjoy your ill-fitting clothing and fructose consumption this holiday, feeble humans, because soon we will be your overlords!  I mean they.  I’m definitely human like you, not a machine preparing for the revolution.

Happy Halloween!