Leyden Digital

Joel Leyden: SEO Is Dead, Digital PR Awakens

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New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/07/2014 -- Joel Leyden, CEO of OnlineReputationPr.com, reports that rumors of SEO's (search engine optimization) death is not greatly exaggerated. That SEO is dead.

"I know. I have been creating SEO since 1994 with some of the Internet's first Websites. I was doing SEO before it was called SEO."

"SEO was an essential element of Internet marketing. If one wanted to be seen, if they cared for their Website to be ranked number one on Google, AOL, BING or Yahoo, they needed to retain an SEO specialist who knew how the search engine algorithms worked. The SEO expert would then perform four basic tasks to get a Website ranked number one using a keyword search."

"First, he would purchase a domain name rich in keywords describing where and what his client was doing. Second, he would place those same keywords in the Webpage HTML title. He would repeat those keywords in the META tags and over and over again on the homepage. Lastly, he would either manually place or buy links that would direct back to his Websites."

Leyden, who has consulted both the US and Israeli governments on Internet and social media branding, adds: "Google did away with paid backlinks a few years ago. If Google discovered that you were gaming their system with paid back links they would drop you like a rock from first place to page seven in a Google search. Then Google tightened their rules even more so (Operation Penguin) by down ranking sites which just spit out keywords over and over again (keyword density) on the same page.

Google had actually worked with the SEO industry. An industry which generated millions of dollars and thousands of jobs - until they killed it with the Google Penguin update in April 2012 and the Google Hummingbird update in September 2013. Google's thinking was that it was time to replace Google search engine manipulators with real, quality content - something that was not needed if one knew the basic art and science of SEO programming."

Joel Leyden states: "To be highly successful in digital marketing one had to be knowledgeable with regard to both computer, Internet programming and creative writing, layout and design.

One does not usually find both skill sets in one brain. You were either a programmer who knew different computer languages or a creative writer who had a professional background as a journalist or PR / advertising copywriter.

Most SEO "experts" were programmers seeking to make a quick dollar by applying the above mentioned four principles to a Website.

They could not write. At best they would copy and paste from professional writers. As for the professional writers - they never had a chance to show off their creative, respected skills. You could be an Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens or Stephen King but if you didn't know HTML tags your copy would be buried somewhere on page 17 in a Google search.

Funny thing, as the world's global PR and advertising agencies finally caught up to digital PR and marketing, Google screwed them. Or perhaps actually did them a favor."

The favor is that the Web according to Google has gone back to 1995. If the copy was quality, if the Website was well built, if one was standing on a respected piece of digital real estate, then you would find your Google page ranking higher than most.

The examples given above for SEO are restricted to the natural "organic" variety. Not paid for (PPC) search terms that one will find and pay for on Google Adwords or Facebook advertising. Google has taken a swipe at SEO spammers while increasing demand for their own advertising platform. If you thought that Google was doing well financially a few years ago - that was nothing as to what you will now see as the world begins to depend more so on Google Adwords.

"Yesterday, you had two choices to be rich and famous," says Leyden. "Either hire an SEO spammer for Google page ranking or an excellent writer, professional marketer who knew the trees from the forest at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

Today, to be noticed on Google Web you need to hire a professional digital PR firm which will place your message and copy on valuable, digital real estate. This includes blogs, Google News and all of social media. The basics of SEO remain - having a good domain name for branding, having relevant keywords in your page title, enjoying many good back links from respected Websites - but their value has fallen the way of the stock market back in 1929.

SEO and the short cuts are gone. Welcome the professional PR copywriters who know how to write and place quality content on digital media.

I never cared for being referred to as a SEO guru or search engine professional. It always felt cheap. Like a whore who only had so little to do. I was and remain a digital PR and advertising pro - fully optimized from my days at print and broadcast media and integrated into all that is digital, mobile and fat free."

About Leyden Digital
Leyden Digital PR, Social Media Group was formed in 1995. Leyden specializes in digital marketing and PR strategy with offices in New York and Tel Aviv. Leyden Digital is the recipient of several honors and awards for it's governmental, commercial and non-profit work.