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The Death of SEO Redux [Inbound Marketing Inquirer]

SEOThe Tip Jar is a weekly inbound marketing tip that is only available to subscribers. This week’s takes a look at the repeated predictions of the death of search engine optimization, this time at the hands of Facebook’s Graph Search.

Tip Jar: The Death of SEO Redux

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Many of you have probably heard about Facebook’s big announcement last week; Graph Search. In case you haven’t, it’s a new feature they’re launching that will allow us to search the social graph for people, photos, places and events using very specific criteria. For example, you can search for “Coffee shops in Manchester” or “Friends who like Domesticating IT.”

This has raised serious privacy concerns, not surprisingly. A Tumblr blog called Actual Facebook Graph Searches has already appeared that reveals some amusing and some worrisome searches. The amusing ones include “Rangers fans who are family members of Celtic fans” and “Mothers of Jews who like bacon.” Worrisome searches include “Current employees of people who like Racism” and “Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran.”

But this isn’t about Graph Search so much as it is about our marketing reaction to it.

I’ve already started seeing posts about how Graph Search will “replace SEO.” As I commented on one of those posts yesterday, “I’ve seen this movie several times before and it always ends the same way in the same place.” Their thesis was that SEO for Facebook Pages won’t matter once Graph Search takes hold. That’s just plain silly.

First of all, there’s no guarantee that Graph Search will take firm hold. Privacy concerns could submarine the entire endeavor. And then there’s the question of whether it will even work. Many of the preliminary hands-on articles have revealed some rather significant shortcomings and lots of work left to be done.

Second, it’s highly unlikely that Google search will disappear anytime soon. So if your focus changes from SEO to Graph Search, you’ll be missing out on that traffic.

And so, just like Twitter was supposed to mark the death of blogging (as was Google+ and Tumblr), we hear people suggesting that it’s not important anymore. Hogwash. It may change the way it works but that only means that it calls for an adjustment, not abandonment. [/ismember]

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