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SEO has been called many things over the years. There is black hat SEO, white hat SEO, but are we now looking at old hat SEO – does it have a “use by” date? It’s not an unreasonable question given all the hype surrounding social media marketing.

I think when it comes to SEO you can relax. The work you do to optimize your site will lose its effect whilst search engines exist. However, there is one proviso, your SEO activities have to be working with the here and now whilst watching and planning for the future. If you optimize your site today then walk away thinking job done – it will be out of date by morning.

SEO is not perfect – in fact, it will never be perfect. I would challenge anyone to develop a perfect SEO program – why? It’s a continually changing environment. Google is continually changing its algorithms. What ranks well today may not tomorrow.

A good example of this is Google’s use of human editors. They have thousands of people who spend their days simply reviewing search results. They check for relevance and report back on a daily basis. Based on their assessments, algorithms are tweaked with the aim of providing searchers with the best possible range of options. To this end, if you were able to get your hands on Google’s formula, it would be out of date within the hour.

SEO has to deal with this ever changing environment. In fact, if all the search engines go together and totally changed the way they ranked websites, within hours the optimization industry would have pages ranking – it’s the nature of the business.

Does SEO have a use by date – yes – about ten seconds before all search engines reach their use by date.

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