Is your SEO firm using outdated SEO tactics? Are you? When sifting through my virtual pile of search marketing newsletters via RSS, I noticed Mike Grehan has posted a follow up article over at ClickZ on “textbook SEO” and whether it’s an outdated way to go after better rankings. First Article – Follow Up.
The funny thing about what Mike describes as “textbook SEO” is that if I checked, I bet 95% of all SEO firms and consultants rely on it as the sole form of organic site optmization.
If title and meta description tags, font enhancements, keyword placement on the page, keyword density, PageRank and the like are on the way out, then what’s on the way in? Of course no clear and simple answer is given, but Mike did chat with Google’s Matt Cutts and includes a link to an interview:
I talked to Cutts about on-page paraphernalia and whether we get our optimization tactics in the right order. It’s a top-down approach, says Cutts. There’s no point in doing textbook stuff unless you have enough great content and the reputation within your community to be a challenger. Listen to my interview with Cutts for more on this.
Many SEOs and especially company webmasters and in-house search marketers are reliant on “on-page” optimization and tag tweaking and don’t factor in the unqique value of links and traffic. Even if Google is not using toolbar data (jury’s out on that one) at this time, there’s more to ranking web pages than modifying HTML and submitting to directories.
The problem is, as pointed out in the article, that the kind of creative link building and content generation that is on the way up requires substantially more billable hours and can get expensive. Regardless, the trends pointing to the future of search marketing are in the creative, not the technical, side of SEO. Think viral marketing, offline/online integration, keyword messaging across corporate communications, social search, online pr, tagging and blog marketing.
“Textbook SEO” will go the way of “search engine submissions” soon enough.