From the time of its inception, search engine optimization has faced criticism and pessimism. But lately, the voices implying that SEO is on its last legs, or that the trend is finally fizzling out, have gotten stronger. People both inside and outside of the SEO community are making bold predictions that inside of this decade, the entire industry could collapse.
Is there any truth to these speculations? Is SEO starting to weaken in terms of power or profitability, and if so, is there anything we, in the SEO industry can do about it?
There are some major threats to the SEO industry on the table. Already, SEO is not a perfect strategy. There’s no guarantee that it’s going to generate traffic for you or become profitable, it can be tricky to implement and even if you get everything right, it could still take months or even years before you start seeing the results you want.
Add to that the series of threats facing our industry:
If the SEO industry is dying, business owners haven’t yet gotten the news. SEO spending has historically increased, year after year, for as long as SEO has been around. The past few years have been no different, and surveys of business owners suggest that their optimism for SEO hasn’t faded. You could make the argument that it’s going to take a few years before public perception catches up to reality, but the markets currently indicate that the SEO phenomenon isn’t going away anytime soon.
There are additional reasons for optimism in the SEO industry.
One last important consideration here: industry transformations tend to be slow, even in the face of radical new technologies. If search engines and user behaviors are changing, search optimization experts have plenty of time to study those changes and adapt with them. Tomorrow’s SEO may not look like today’s, but search marketers will inevitably find a path forward to serve clients and turn a profit with similar tactics.