Why SEO Needs to Die, Right Now


SEO needs to die. Like, now.

While at a party, I had three different people ask me about SEO. Not only did the questions kill my buzz, they made me angry.

This is what I endured while I watched the ice melt in my margarita:

  • “Can you help me be found on Google?”
  • “What do I do for Google to find my stuff?”
  • “How do I get ‘Googleized’?”

After hearing ‘Googleized,’ I lost it and screamed, “YOU’RE NOT WRITING FOR GOOGLE!”


Here’s what I mean:

The goal of SEO isn’t to be found. It’s to be consumed.

Here’s a news flash: search engines can’t buy from you. They can’t read, nor do they consume products (just your souls).

Remember, a search engine’s job is to provide links that answer a person’s question. Your job as a website owner is to provide content that answers these questions.

Even if ranked highly for a certain keyword, if people come to your page and bounce, you’ve accomplished nothing. Instead, you want readers to stay on your page and consume your information. If people consume your content, your pages will naturally become better ranked. Readers will then trust your brand, trust your product, and hopefully buy something from you.

Take that, SEO.


Algorithms change. People’s need for valuable information doesn’t.

Another reason SEO needs to die is because it intentionally ruins our lives.

Every time Google and other search engines change their algorithm, the marketing industry goes into a frenzy. And while we scramble to adjust, search engines laugh at us from their big offices.

In other words, we’ll never, ever know exactly how to get ‘Googleized.’

The good news is, regardless of algorithms, you’ll perform well in search engines by fulfilling customers’ need for helpful information. Start by asking what your readers want. You can also look at other popular blogs and forums to find common questions. Try various forms of content, like videos and webinars.

Whatever the case, stop fearing algorithms and start writing for your audience.


Good links are better than good keywords.

SEO also needs to die because it believes it has more power than the people.

While there are lots of things everyone should know about SEO (check out my introductory series on SEO), one important detail is that good links are more important than stuffing keywords in your content. Yes, keywords are helpful, but receiving links to your content is critical.

But guess what? Search engines don’t send links to your site – people do.

By creating good content, you’re going to get a lot more links than just placing a keyword in your title. Good content is inherently shared, whether it’s through social media or direct links. In other words, people have the power to make your pages rank better, not these dastardly search engines.

Final Thoughts

Do the basic tenets of healthy SEO need to die too? No – you’ll always need to know the fundamentals to succeed. What really needs to shift, however, is the obsession of  optimizing for search engines. Instead, let’s focus on optimizing for people.

Watch out, SEO. No one ruins a good margarita and gets away with it.


Happy selling!
-Matt Winn, Online Communications Specialist, Volusion

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

8 Responses to “Why SEO Needs to Die, Right Now”

  1. wendy

    Come by for a Margarita. Salt or no?

  2. Karen Salem

    Finally the truth is revealed. I admire your writing style. Sure wish I had a SEO guy like you working on my Volusion site team. Stop in my Austin furniture store and say hi next time you are near Anderson and Burnett. I would love to pick your brain.

  3. Infonote

    True that content is king. SEO can only be done if there is a good base.

    However, for people to give you links, you will first have to be found. The best sites in the world will struggle if they are not found.

    SEO will fail if the foundations are not good. But if there are 2 equal sites with good content or similar products, SEO will make the difference.

  4. Mark

    Cheers Matt, excellent insight into the basics of SEO.

  5. Cypher

    SEO is a requirement for any site. That is basic, however it is not the goal, and though Google does run one of the best indexes of web resources, at the very least the most popular, being “Googleized” shouldn’t be the goal of any one particular site. However, an individual running and maintaining more than one resource, such as several business channels would be wise to take a very good look at the google model for delivering content. It takes a while to get there, but the tech is worth the torture. And Google’s goal IS TO BE CONSUMED.

  6. Verlyn

    I agree the only reason a search engine is there is for people to look up info they are hunting for i myself dont like google i think its is a louse engine i use yahoo myself when i hunt one site i was looking for it was next to the top in google it was not even on the 1st page it had 10000 pages and 99% wasnt even what i was asking for .
    plus they would have to pay me to write for them lol.

  7. Dave Baldwin

    Agreed 100%. I’ve been trying to explain this to people for months. I feel your pain. SEO has nothing to do with Google. Search engines are built for PEOPLE.

    I hadn’t heard the term “Googleized” before – let’s hope that doesn’t become a trend!

  8. Shipwire Order Fulfillment

    Picked this up in my twitter feed. Great title and I was hooked in.

    Great content that you get some links from friendly websites will earn dividends. Not only do you get traffic; but, the links are like little partners out there in the Internet ether that keep on bringing in traffic…SO LONG AS THE CONTENT IS WORTHY. You won’t get the initial link without worth content. And you won’t get more traffic without good content.

    The other great think about well written content is you can keep on using it yourself. Look what Matt did with his Intro Series on SEO.

    Take a clue from Matt here, he wrote a GREAT title with solid content that explained something. Guess what, this will be relevant way past the news cycle.

    My believe is that SEO may not be dying; but, the value of that SEO traffic originated from GOOGLe may be getting less valueable. I wrote about it in our e-commerce predictions 2011, why I think Social may be better off for e-commerce companies.


    Great title Matt! You got me all the way here, and commenting.

    VP Marketing
    Shipwire Order Fulfillment


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