Critics say that traditional search engine optimization’s days are numbered, especially considering the development of Google’s +1 button. But SEO expert Ali Husayni considers the industry safe, citing the more than 200 criteria Google’s algorithm takes into account.
In an article featured on SitePoint—an online media outlet for Web professionals—Miles Burke said that “there’s a clock ticking” on SEO. Contrary to the title, “SEO is Dead,” Burke said that there is still some time for SEO, but not much.
Husayni said that this is simply not true, as “+1’s and ‘shares’ are going to be added to over 200 criteria that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration.”
“Links from sites that have a vast link popularity are still going to be the dominant factor in the algorithm,” Husayni added.
Links will remain as the most important factor, Husayni said, because of the +1 button’s narrow margin of influence and its loopholes for corruption. “It seems that +1’s are easy to purchase, for those conducting black-hat SEO,” he said. “And the button only makes a difference in search results if you’re logged into your Gmail account and someone in your network has +1’ed something relevant to your search query.”
Despite its limitations, Husayni said that the power of Google+ and its new impact on search is still significant.
“Nevertheless, the importance of Google+, +1’s and ‘shares’ should not be underestimated,” he admitted. “So, in any SEO work, social media and Google+ should be important factors to consider.”
Right now, the degree of its ability to effect search results remains to be seen, but Google is “certainly testing this feature,” according to Husayni.
“I’ve seen more search results popping up with sites myself, or someone in my circles has +1’ed,” he explained. “So, if I can get Matt Cutts to +1 our site, then we’re set, right?”
In the article, Burke argues that he cares more about what his friends think than about “business propaganda,” referring to SEO. Husayni thinks that searchers trust lies somewhere in between.
“If you’re going to watch a movie or buy Nike shoes, you might want your networks’ feedback,” Husayni said. “But if you’re going to study heart disease, I’m not so sure. If you combine your friends’ recommendations and Google’s traditional algorithm, then we’re certainly looking at more accurate and trustworthy results.”
In the end, Husayni said that SEO works and will continue to work in the foreseeable future, even with the added features introduced by Google+.
“SEO, and Google SEO in particular, are still very solid marketing tools for any small-, medium- and large-sized business,” he said. “I consider Google+ features an added element to SEO. We do realize that, since Google+ has been born, SEO has become even more complicated, but at Millionairium we’re staying at the top of the game.”