OK, maybe not now, but there’s a clock ticking on traditional search engine optimization.

Let me explain.

Years ago, before search engine giant Google entered the scene, all you needed to do was get all the keywords you were targeting as often as possible in your content.

Then, Google came along and changed that. They made the huge call that inbound links could be considered ‘votes’ for your website. Over the last decade, they have tweaked and tested their algorithm to the point that off site optimization is as important, if not more-so, than on page improvements. It’s been a long time since you just had to repeat ‘web development’ in every sentence of your website.

Now, with the advent of their social media focus, they are changing the game again. In a recent blog post Matt Cutts, Engineer at Google, posted about their focus on ‘fresher, more recent results’. This, coupled with the rise of the Google +1 button and gradual increase of its relevance in their algorithm, points to where they are heading.

Their thoughts are that your social circle’s recommendations mean more to you than which business has better SEO. When you break it down, it’s true: I’ll believe my friends’ suggestions over strangers on the web or businesses’ own propaganda.

So what can you be doing? Don’t give up on SEO just yet, however start putting more focus on including sharing options, getting social widgets for your website, and above all, keeping the content relevant and fresh – updating more often than ever before.

Let’s see where the traditional SEO we know today is still as relevant in another year. I’ll be surprised if social isn’t even more prominent in the algorithms of Google and their competitors.

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