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We’ve been saying for over a year now that SEO has changed dramatically for the long term. In fact, it has changed so drastically from what it used to be that it is hardly recognizable any more. Much of the advice we’ve given over the years no longer is valid. And it’s Google’s fault.

Now I’m no doomsdayer, and I’m not one who typically jumps on the SEO-is-dead bandwagon. We go through this about once a year, at least. And now there is someone else asking the same old question: Is SEO dead?

Nell Terry makes some good points, and I agree for the most part. Google isn’t changing things around just to target the SEO industry, however, they aren’t trying to make it easy for us either. They want us to get discouraged, maybe even give up. But that’s only because so much of SEO has become nothing more than spam, and Google has a valid economic interest in getting rid of the spam.

I particularly like this paragraph:

I think many techniques are outdated – think keyword placement, strict numbers games, community optimization. It’s about creating a presence in your industry and making a name for yourself in order to climb the SERPs.

What this says, and I agree, is that SEO tactics you were using two years ago probably aren’t going to work today, but that’s not a bad thing. SEOs will just have to learn to adjust. But here are three things that I think are still important, and probably always will be:

  1. Great content that doesn’t stray off topic – it must be focused
  2. Social signals are a big driving force today
  3. Your reputation as a content producer is paramount

In light of these three hard truths, if you are an online content producer, it’s time to start thinking about author reputation. Start today.

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