Will SEO still exist in five years?

By | August 20, 2019

Kevin from Marseille in France asks: will SEO still exist in 5 years? Four people liked that question. 45 didn’t like that question – I’m still gonna answer it! Yes, I think, SEO will still exist in 5 years. Google tries to make it so that you don’t need to be an SEO expert, but SEO in some sense is almost like a resume, right? In the same way that you polish your resume, you figure out how to put your best foot forward, SEO tries to figure out how to put the foot forward for your website. So, SEO is not spam, there are many, many white hat ways to do SEO. Canonicalization – something that we’ve been talking about a lot recently – can help make sure that all of your URLs get the backlinks they deserve, that you don’t have a lot of duplicate content. And so, there’s plenty of great things you can do as a developer or as an SEO to make sure your site is well represented and makes the right impression, it’s really useful for visitors. Those are all the great things that you can do. So, I think that as a practise will definitely still exist in 5 years. The hope is that the black hat or sometimes the illegal stuff, crap hat, whatever you want to call it, the stuff that’s really kind of annoying if you’re a site owner, the stuff that pollutes or cloggs up the web, that will not be as productive. And so my hope is, more and more people keep switching to white hat, more and more people learn about SEO but don’t necessarily have to become an expert. And they can use self service tools like the webmaster console or other search engine’s consoles to, you know, help them out on SEO. But we provide a free SEO starter guide, it’s a 20page PDF, and we wouldn’t do that if we didn’t think there was some value to that, if we didn’t think there was some value to SEO. So, SEO doesn’t have to mean spam, SEO doesn’t have to mean black hat – SEO can help you to put your best face on your website just like you polish your resume. So, I think, it will be around in 5 years, and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing.

56 thoughts on “Will SEO still exist in five years?

  1. iamOlly Post author


    Seo will still live on im sure, but things like searchwiki will make the users searching experience so "customised" SEO could suffer from this, surely?

    Anyone else agree?

    Thanks though, Matt! 🙂

  2. David Whitehouse Post author

    why has he got such an old looking laptop? LOL

  3. Alpesh Patel Post author

    Thanks Matt for all the knowledge you provide.

    Your last red-shirt video is definitely a great booster.

    Am not and seo, but your videos and blog does provide much insight in making a good blog which has rich original content + friendly with search engine.

  4. Descartes Rene Post author

    Good ideas. But be careful with spammers with links in blogs. In Spain, they are destroying all organic beauty. Cheers.

  5. Ricard Menor Post author

    I was making myself this question last year, my self answer was "leave it and run 100% into your IT career" and in the middle of quitting, instinctly boosted it up after a nice Sunday walk… Happy I did so, market is tending to value SEO professionals as a helping hand in this nowadays crisis times.
    Nice to hear Matt commenting on this 🙂

  6. pwollerman Post author

    Since no-one has answered you prolly need help. A .swf suffux on a file means "Shock Wave Flash". It's a Flash file, Google it!

  7. pwollerman Post author

    But maybe you meant SEO? UM, it's Search Engine Optimisation.

  8. Flyborg Post author

    @goata007 Search google for "google seo starter guide pdf" – it's the first result.

  9. SeiNj Post author

    sorry matt, but with no backlinks you don't get rankings.

    Thus, Google is still doing a bad job at defining who has the most quality content.

    And we still need to be building backlinks the boring, long hard way.

    Hope you will start picking up on User Behavior analytics where people behavior on a website and how long they stay on it will be a major factor of search engine rankings.

  10. Jean Michel Post author

    I think you should link the SEO starter guide in your description 🙂

  11. Johnny Hile Post author

    lol how is black hat illegal? LMAO Google just made up laws for the internet.

  12. Johnny Hile Post author

    @GodWeaponKaillera OR OR OR OR OR maybe you need a sense of humor OR OR OR OR an OREO OR a life

  13. Вася Post author

    After I learnt some SEO, I really don't understand who needs people who specialize only in SEO, that's just nonsense. Every professional web developer knows SEO and additionally know how to implement it properly. My point is: I don't think what after five years there will be SEO experts.

  14. Munaz Anjum Post author

    Contrary to his optimistic reply, I would say many companies, in future, would not hire SEO professional due to growing awareness and DIY approach. As I said previously, the career of SEO poses a great risk and you need to explore in-depth of online marketing. Today, SEO and SEM are considered as the mainstream channels in online marketing but down the years, it will not.

  15. Cristian Herrera Vasquez Post author

    SInce most small companies doesn't have the time to make all research necesarry to do a well made SEO, whte hat SEOs will still be arround as a service.

    Even if your employees knows how to clean the office you hire a cleaning company, right?

  16. EasyCookVideos Post author

    The SEO report mentioned was written in November 2008. Is the information still relevant and up-to-date?

  17. tayyab siddique Post author

    @goata007 bro have you got this book if you got then told me kindly way how i can get this thanks

  18. paadt Post author

    @goata007 Just click on the popup in the video when he talks about the pdf.

  19. Trian3 Post author

    @BeeRich33 That's a highly unlikely scenario. There is such a huge pool of ever changing content on the internet that grows by the minute that there's no way for all of it to at once find a point of perfect optimization.

  20. Trian3 Post author

    @BeeRich33 SERP1 is not the end-game; #1 slot on SERP1 is. Which is entirely possible for even a relatively competitive search term, but only with the proper SEO skills. To say that SEO is a waste of time is only so if you're going about it all wrong (ie spinning your wheels, getting nowhere) or if you're trying to rank for the wrong keyword terms (non-buying KWs). And what exactly do you mean by the statement, "you only need a small fraction of a search term to be optimized"?

  21. Web Marketing Adelaide Post author

    @niverjeff10 Don't let keyword competition put you off SEO. One tip is to take one of those "good keywords" that have a lot of competition and look for long tail key-phrases that contain that keyword. Long tail phrases typically have much less competition and optimising for that phrase will also help optimise for the "good keywords" contained within it. But I agree that email marketing can be very effective for making money online.

  22. Web Marketing Adelaide Post author

    @goata007 I believe its called 'Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide' – search for it on Google 😉

  23. an8er Post author

    As long as it's about managing a website's content SEO is a good thing.
    But in reality SEO is dirty. Doing a great job managing my website through a clean, fair SEO won't ever compete to other website owners that spend time and money to spam. Their websites will always get better results than mine… Better yet, their sites will get some results, mine not. As someone said in another GoogleWebmasterHelp video, great content + no traffic = dead website. Spammers always get the big traffic.

  24. Pak Hou Cheung Post author

    The people in the background distracted me…… Hahahhaaa

  25. Giovanni Lopez Post author

    @parfumeria33ro great content+no traffic=dead website? first off all you have to consider does your content match with the theme of your site? If you have a great content about 'how to catch a big fish' but you placed it on a site about 'how to train your dog', then Google will see your content and site as irrelevant. If you want to compete with the big dogs, you got to build your site first, make it big in its own world, build your brand, promote your brand. Thats how great SEOs do their job.

  26. an8er Post author


    Whether it's blogging, eCommerce (perfumes, clothing etc.), social networks etc. there are tens, hundreds of such websites in any country. Most do a similar great SEO, have good content matching the domain's profile, but Google can't display all first page. Not even 2nd, or 3rd.
    But I wasn't talking about that.
    First page is for spammers. Those that pay for backlinks, or belong to big packs of websites managed by the same SEO company, or register on thousands of backlinks websites.

  27. Ata Post author

    If Google Search will still exist, then obviously 'seo' will aswell. Marketers will be competing for top ranking for their sites.

  28. fthis1234567 Post author

    how the fuck can we locate resources(more importantly accurate resources) based on the search…w/o SEO? any idiot, even novice web guys can answer that…

  29. fthis1234567 Post author

    AND SEO will always be around, forever, because there will always be a need for search engines to locate resources(websites,blogs,applications, etc)…stupidest question ever.

  30. Jaed Marauder Post author

    @fthis1234567there are no stupid questions, is better to learn than to have a doubt.

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  32. Dendi Darmanto Post author

    Hello! Thank you for this helpful video. By the way, I notice lots of people keep on talking about quality backlink services known as MoboRank (just google it), but I'm not sure if it is really good. Have you thought about MoboRank? I have heard several incredible things about it and my buddy rank on page 1 for his term by using it, but he refuses to tell me: (

  33. ConteudoAnimal com br Post author

    Seo still exists in 4 years in future of video k k k

  34. Spook SEO Post author

    This question was made on 2009 which is four years ago (or so), it's 2013 right now and if anything, SEO's getting more well defined compared to how it was on its hay days!

  35. EverSpark Interactive Post author

    SEO continues to exist four years after this video was produced, and it is even more important now than it was at that time. There is every indication that SEO will continue to be a vital part of websites for sometime to come.

  36. Amod Inamdar Post author

    The big picture question for Matt would be how would Google be like in the next 5 years? Where will their focus be in the next 5 years? and where do they intend to take search in next5 years? That will define how SEOs and online businesses align themselves.

  37. Gos2 Post author

    BACK TO THE FUTURE – google style… hahaha

  38. Kristin Hodgkinson Post author

    Yup, it's definitely still here! SEO does exist after 5 years, and will continue to be here for another 5 years…

  39. nmr20067 Post author

    Matt Cutts you suck!!! 
     You guys have hit many…..MANY good, white hat sites, too. 

  40. Iroquois Pliskin Post author

    Quiet Matt, SEO is "dead", Google today is like an old school hard-cover encyclopedia, and you can bet it, people are happy for it being like that. I myself did whitehat SEO for the hell of 5 years since 2009 – 2010, back there in 2010 it was all about creating original, quality content and getting high pr backlinks, everything worked so cool, then an algorithm changed and we had to start over, when you were about to say "Finally I made it", there came another Google Update. and on, and on, and onn…… Panda update, Penguin update, what's next? Dolphin, Elephant, Dog, Whale, Parakeet update? I found it hard enough to rank when 2014 came, if it was hard after 2012, imagine in 2014. Learning new methods, reading articles, trying the "nice guy" method, waiting days, weeks and months for results, until the last update when Google opened it's big mouth saying every single fucking site should use nofollow backlinks.

    It was enough of this tyranny, people just couldn't take it anymore. We're not in the 2005's anymore, we're in a new era where things works naturally, where business actually happens with satisfatory results from night to day, and not like about 6 to 10 months, as it is in SEO. Facebook is fucking Google from behind, like Germandy did to Brazil in the world cup, yet Matt still insists on talking about WHiTE HAT while there are many doing blackhat in a way it becomes white. My life was like a hell when I depended exclusively on Google's traffic, in the end, me and many other web entrepreneurs realized why it was so hard to rank, so hard to get a decent traffic, it wasn't because there were tons of millions of people using black, grey, green hat techniques, it was because Google wanted to indirectly force us to waste money on their "miraculous" Google Adwords program.

    The day I realized I could live without Google, my eyes bright, for me it was like "Finally I can treat my online business as if it was a physical store, I won't depend on Google anymore, I'll just leave Google act as a background service, and I was right. Social Media traffic, Social Presence, Social Proof, Email Marketing, even making Videos for Youtube, everything changed like magic, it seemed like finally the web was starting to work, to the hell with rankings, now we can do real business. I wouldn't work like a zombie for getting organic traffic anymore, I worked on what really matters that is delivering quality stuff, then search engine traffic started coming after me like Women when they see a guy with high social status. It was incredible, interacting to leads directly by email, twitter, linkedin, facebook, instagram, seeing the real thing happening. People are smarter, and google search engine is worse than ever on bringing quality results, people are using social media now, last week Facebook just had a pitch on accesses that entered to history somehow, then why should I, my friends, my colleagues, my employees keep blind depending on Google? It's better to trust what your facebook friend says about a restaurant he's been at, than asking Google why that restaurant has an ad in the top of search results. Google has gone too far, it's time to make things the natural way again, or die with your ego.


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