SEO is dead. Again.

 by Martin Belam, 11 January 2012

Google’s “Search, plus Your World” launch has started a round of people exclaiming that SEO is dead.


I’m trying to find out exactly when the fatality took place.

Jeremy Schoemaker posted on 10 December 2005 with the title “SEO is dead”, but if you look in the text he says it was actually Jason Calcanis who told him, during a panel session at SES in San Jose in August 2005.

Seo Is Dead Dec 2005

Jeremy Schoemaker said SEO was dead in December 2005

SES 2005

The Search Engine Strategies 2005 conference homepage

I’ve tracked down an earlier reference to it. This post by Seth Godin has a trackback to a blog with the title “SEO is dead - It's about creating compelling content constantly on a Web 2.0 site” from Bryght, at 5:32 PM on 9 March, 2005. Sadly the destination page doesn’t exist anymore.

Godin Trackback

A trackback on Seth Godin’s blog declared SEO dead in March 2005

Anybody got any earlier reports of the death of SEO demise they can point to?

Update: On Twitter John Stirzaker has pointed out to me this blog post from August 1999 declaring that “In-Site SEO is dead” is one of seven SEO myths - but Ben Griffiths spotted that it references AdWords, which wasn’t launched until October 2000, so it can’t really date from then.

Whilst you are pondering that, you might be interested in reading how Chris Moran and Mary Hamilton do SEO at the Guardian, and how I used to do SEO at the BBC.


Reference to it in Feb. 2004. href="//">Is Organic SEO Dead?! Can't find original post.
I see even keyword optimization is dead. Cool. I guess we can just copy and paste recipes from food network and rank for "make money online"?

How about Sept 1998?

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