Does SEO still exist? Or is content more important?

I found this on the web. The guy seems to claim that because his website is on page 1 of Google search and that he claims to do no SEO and that this somehow proves SEO no longer exists.

He claims its all down to content writing.

Is this guy a crank? Your thoughts?

I agree that the guy is a crank, but I also think he’s mostly right, it’s just a shame that he spoils good ideas with such a bad attitude. If he had written the same thing but in a less strident and opinionated way, it would be a lot more convincing.

I have been saying for years that the key to a good ranking in search engines is good content. I don’t agree with him that the code is not important, although Google is pretty good at working out what’s important even if you code it like a chimp. But all the other stuff about link building and directory submission has little value, because Google is very good at figuring out which links you have planted to your own website and ignoring them.

I’m not saying it doesn’t have any impact, and if you’re in a very competitive niche then you may need to do more, but for a lot of websites any time, money or effort spent on SEO is wasted and could have been used more effectively on improving the quality, content or user experience of the website.

The guy has some good points, although I think he’s taking them to extremes. I certainly agree with him that off-page SEO is unnecessary. We have a couple of recent threads here discussing similar ideas:

As far as on-page SEO and page structure goes, I would have to disagree. It might well be possible to rank well for a poorly-structured site where the competition is fairly low, but in more highly competitive areas, I think poor page structure will lead to a lower ranking - all other things being equal.

This is the message I received when I tried: “

[TABLE=“class: tablebg, width: 100%”]
[TH=“bgcolor: #415059”]Information[/TH]
[TD=“class: row1, bgcolor: #FFFFFF, align: center”]
You have been permanently banned from this board.

Please contact the Board Administrator for more information.

A ban has been issued on your IP address.

The joys of living in The Land of Smiles :slight_smile:

I think the guy (“Dr Pepper”) is basically correct. But he’s presenting it as if this is some new and sensational discovery on his part. In fact, he’s doing little more than stating what many of us have always known.


Yes, I think I see what you are saying.

I get that off-page SEO is almost irrelevant now and, if I understand you correctly, than on-page SEO is dropping in relative importance against good content writing.

Also, since more and more links are becoming nofollow I am really wondering how much Google pays to linking now anyway.

It was just interesting to see how, er,… blatantly, Dr Pepper put it. Not sure how scientific his methods were though. He seemed to claim that his non updating of his websites, and their increased popularity in Google ranking, was proof that meta tagging doesn’t work.

Maybe we will see a decline in SEO meta taggers but a increase in copy writing services in years to come.

if I understand you correctly, than on-page SEO is dropping in relative importance against good content writing.

Well, you could argue that good content writing is on-page SEO (and always has been).

Not sure how scientific his methods were though. He seemed to claim that his non updating of his websites, and their increased popularity in Google ranking, was proof that meta tagging doesn’t work.

Yes, I was puzzled by that as well. There’s clearly not much logic in his argument.


Both go hand in hand. For a good SEO, it is important to have a quality content

Writing good, quality content, is part of SEO, as now google is more intelligent, almost human like, optimizing the site for target audience, meaning quality content is, in fact optimizing it for search engines (Google).

I agree. And not only that, content is what everything else is (or should be) built around. Including all aspects Design.

IMHO it is folly to take any other approach.

Either people like your site or they don’t. You might fool search engines for a little while, but eventually if you fail at quality, your site will fizzle. It’s really pretty simple.

Do search engines take into account your design quality or are they completely blind to aesthetics?

If you own a butchers in Wigan then providing your content is all about your shop, Wigan and butchery then you will rank well without any additional “seo”.

How much competition is there for those search terms? None. I can make up words and rank for it. That holds for any search engine.

Google is not as smart as you Google lovers seem to think. I just can’t understand that line of thinking given my experience of ranking well then getting buried in the results for no reason at all for every site I have created, which has been shared by thousands of other webmasters. If Google was that smart, websites wouldn’t rank high then tank in the results within hours. The crappiest website I have (that has not been updated since 2007 other than to change ads) gets more traffic from Google than any site I ever put any effort into.

As for the forum linked to by the original poster, it looks like it was launched around mid 2013, which makes it about 7 - 8 months old. If the Google Sandbox is still in effect (and I don’t know that it is as I haven’t followed Google for a while), it would be kicking in pretty soon. So unless the guy has tons of incoming links, I would expect his site to tank in Google soon. We shall see. :slight_smile:

And if he has an email associated with that website at Google, such as signing up for Webmaster Tools or Analytics, he will get an email from Google within 2 weeks of his site being buried in the results soliciting him to pay Google for advertising so he can get traffic. That’s how Google drives ad revenue. You want traffic from Google, well you better pay for it.

I will refer you back to a thread I posted in from 2007 - 2008 here at Sitepoint. In the thread linked below, the webmaster was bragging about ranking high in Google, about how he was making $1,500 a month from his website that ranked #4 for a competitive search term. I checked out the site. It did rank #4 for the search term. I reviewed the website. It was relevant to the search terms and I thought the site was decent. It contained funny pictures, as the search term was for. There was nothing bad about the site. It was worth looking at. I told the webmaster that his site would not remain highly ranked. And I was right. How did I know? My own personal experience and the experiences of thousands of other webmasters.

I checked back 10 months later. The site went from #4 to about #685 in the Google search results–buried under irrelevant crap. I don’t think it ever recovered. The website owner must have let the domain expire due to lack of traffic and it was picked up by somebody else. He wouldn’t be the first webmaster to give up because Google buries his site beneath irrelevant results for no reason, and he will not be the last.

Give it a read. :slight_smile:

Looks like he

I’m hoping my PR goes up the next update and then I could sell some text links to related content sites, but PR4 doesn’t get enough monthly income for me to deal with it.

Not to forget, I’ll also soon add a “Add this picture to myspace, website, etc” link to help build one-way back links with out generated html with my main anchor text “Funny pictures”.

Other than having semantic mark-up that Google can easily parse, no, it doesn’t see Design.
People see Design, and Google sees what people do.

Yes, that’s interesting. I guess if you have a domain in PR1 then you should sell it quick :slight_smile: It sounds like you can’t predict when it will plummet.

Do you know if that Google “surge effect” still happens on new sites or is that a last decade thing?

That’s a pretty damning statement. If you have some evidence to support it, I’ll take your word for it. But, frankly, I find it very hard to believe.


As Mittineague has already pointed out, his problem may well have been indicated in this post:

As Google makes clear (my bold):

I’m not a Google lover, but I do feel if you want to use any service, then you need to abide by the T&C. If you don’t, you have no cause for complaint when that service is withdrawn.

Also, you need to bear in mind that that thread is over six years old, and much has changed in SEO in that time.

Same thing happened to me. :smiley:

Hello pal, it is good with doing any Specific SEO, the web page shows on Page 1. But what is SEO? it is not limited with the activities that an SEO professional do to rank your web page or to increase your traffic. Every activity that makes your website more optimized to show on Google is directly or indirectly part of an SEO. And till the Search Engine are alive, SEO is also going to live, ya there life-style are going to change as they depend on “Google and Google’s Algorithm”.

Hi Kiwiheretic!

Of course SEO is important because it provides the backbone of the website…but at the rate of Google changing its algorithm almost every year: Hummingbird, Penguin, Panda, Lion, Tigers, Bears, Sloth, T-Rex….etc., you are pretty much going to keep having to adjust your SEO methods accordingly. So it isn’t something stable that you can always rely on. One day it will rank on the first page, and two weeks later, it might sink to page 5.

On other hand, quality content, when you are giving valuable information, and a unique voice and vocab in your writing, will certainly stand and give fresh content for Google to read, and for even other bloggers want to link to. And the more high quality links you have, the higher Google will determine your page’s ranking in its search engine.

However, you have to be proactive in sharing your content. It will take forever to get results if you just write a superb blog but then just leave it there. You should considering social media and email marketing to gain followers, share links to your content, and thus increasing your web presence.


For your content, you can produce one blog post for a certain segment group, and then a different content for another group, and because each campaign is relevant to their interest, there will be more clicks. That is the magic of target marketing.

So basically, have SEO has a technical foundation for your site, but produce good content and utilize good marketing, to achieve more traffic to your site.

-Dorothy Le