Is SEO table stakes? (Hint: No!)

Back in late 2006, the topic of the day was “Is SEO rocket science?” It wasn’t of course, unless you were referring to boosting your organic traffic to a rocket-like trajectory or trying to impress someone by spouting off the mathematical equation for PageRank.

As a nascent industry, it did seem to some at the time that search engine optimization (SEO) was a dark art, or at the very least, something the layperson could not easily comprehend.

Flash forward 12 years, and the prevailing feeling among many SEO’s has changed radically. Now, I’m hearing not only do they feel SEO is not rocket science, but it’s gone to the other extreme and has become table stakes, a basic practice everyone connected to digital marketing should know.

In some companies, SEO has become so generalized, top management feel there’s no longer any need for special expertise and are eliminating dedicated SEO teams as they cut editorial and content staff.

I have seen some of this dismissive attitude first hand.  In 2015  a previous employer eliminated the SEO team and traffic dropped close to 30 percent soon after.  The reason given for the elimination? SEO is table stakes.

Why has the idea that SEO is no longer a specialized practice and has turned into table stakes taken hold?

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Simon Heseltine is the Vice President of Audience Growth at Trader Interactive, a leading provider of digital offerings to include CycleTrader, RVTrader, RV Web Services, Commercial Web Services, CommercialTruckTrader and He was one of the first columnists on Search Engine Land in 2007 to write about in-house teams and has won numerous industry awards for his expertise in managing them.

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