Should We Still Call this SEO?

Posted - February 17, 2012

“We’re called Dallas SEO Dogs.”

 “Do you guys
just do SEO?”
Well, no… but we like
to call it SEO
for the purpose of
There’s an increasing discussion among leaders in our field as to where SEO is headed.  Over the years, we’ve had to consider the direction and focus of SEO from both a services and a terminology perspective.
I’ve talked to many people online about this and the opinions vary, even with the so-called “experts.”  People have been tolling the death bell of SEO for 4-5 years now, noting the expanding tasks and set of expertise & knowledge that search engine marketing” requires.
10 years ago, all any business needed to do to drive traffic to its site would be to either succeed in search engines or use paid ads.  SEO tasks were basically limited to completely un-policed on-page optimization (including much of which is today considered “spamming”) and creation of a ton of backlinks.  Today, the are many ways to improve your rankings, and your social media presence is a factor, but search engines are only one source of traffic among many.
SEO Companies are scrambling to achieve the proper identity in this changing climate.  Some guarantee high rankings (my site explains this fraudulent practice in detail), others pitch various content writing services from social media to press releases to blogging, others focus on creating inboud links en masse.  Do we still refer to all of this by the limiting term “SEO?”  After all, much of it is not really “optimization.”  We do need some term for the conglomeration of services, don’t we?
We’re Dallas SEO Dogs, so I’d like to submit my vote to retain the term!  Seriously, though…
SEO is a wide-ranging service.  Google has 100+ factors in its algorithm, so there are a lot of potential SEO tasks.  Many of them aren’t “optimization” literally.  Content, backlinks, lead generation, research and analysis, social media, search marketing… these are tasks done outside the scope of optimization.  But for the ease of reference, most people continue to refer to providers of this group of associated services as “SEOs” (Search Engine Optimizers?).
Psssst… while I have the chance, let me add our company name one more time: Dallas SEO Dogs.  It never hurts.
So does DALLAS SEO DOGS think that SEO is dying as a service?  I don’t.  As long as people continue to use search engines to find relevant content, search engine optimization companies will have a place in this world to help those who aren’t easily found “get found”.  As long as people don’t know what they’re doing in web design and content to get found, we’ll be there to help them… and as search engine algorithms become more and more complex, our SEO services become more critical.
Yes, the algorithms will continue to change.  Google continuously toys with its algorithm in an attempt to (among other things) provide search results that have maximum relevance to the searcher.  With each change, search results dramatically change. Especially for hotly-contested terms where losing a rankings place or two can mean disaster, the service will not only be necessary but invaluable.
Even as social media takes a more prominent role in moving traffic, there will always be tools for improving access from social media search tools similar to what we do with search engines.  The page owner will always need to provide relevant content to the searcher… it’s just a matter of figuring out the best way to get that content to them.
Basically, SEO = marketing.  Bringing products, services and information to the end user.  SEO has become a ubiquitous term that’s engrained in our daily lexicon, regardless of how accruately the term reflects is intended meaning (the process of moving a page upward in organic search results).
Regardless of the title, what’s important is that “internet marketing” is larger in scope than just search optimization and more about the broad task of increasing online visibility.  “SEO companies” with multitalented teams that can provide a comprehensive range of services to satisfy the growing needs of internet marketing will be the ones that will succeed as the industry evolves.