It seems like there’s always someone on the Internet who’s ready to throw the towel in on seo and pronounce its day is over as a useful way to get the ranking and traffic that you need to be successful on the web. If that was the case Google wouldn’t be spending the time they are on hunting down the content farms and changing the way their algorithms dictate success or failure as far as that search engine goes.
Sure there’s the argument out there that places like Wikipedia used organic search engine optimization to get to where they are today, but the argument put forward by people like Chris Dixon in a post that smaller startups stopped having good results with seo and therefore the technique doesn’t pay off anymore for these smaller ma and pa type web businesses doesn’t hold water.
It’s just not true. As much as some people want to radicalize the internet and shake the institutions there, it’s just a fact of life that getting high quality content on your website that’s optimized as part of your internet adverting campaign is just good practice—working within the massive Google system as opposed to outside if it. There have been many different attempts at knocking seo off its throne as the preeminent source for any advertising campaign on the Internet, and while social media and video have their rightful place, it’s hard to imagine seo being replaced anytime soon when Google invests the time and effort it does in the technique.
What’s more important in relation to everything that’s going on globally as far as the Internet is concerned is the ability (and willingness) that some countries have to shut the web down in what they call emergencies which are usually no more than self serving attempts at hanging onto control. Cases in point recently were Libya and Egypt and now there’s even a debate raging about America having an Internet kill switch.
Last June Joseph Lieberman, Susan Collins and Thomas Carper introduced the controversial “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010″. It was about, as you’ll have already guessed, shutting down the web in times of emergency. The wording is more than likely steeped in enough Orwellian double talk to make your head spin but it gave this kind of power to the president. The people who were trying to get the bill passed rebranded it recently so that the Department of Homeland Security has the power to call on private companies to shut the web down when needed for security reasons.
I guess there will be people who think this is a good idea in the event of cyber attack from some foreign county, and maybe it even is, but what will make those of us who are old enough to remember cringe is the thought of people like Richard Nixon or Alexander Haig and what they would have done with this kind of power. Those kinds of people are still lurking around and where we held our peace signs high up back in the day, we need to protect all the modern day equivalents as they record injustice with hand held devices the same way.