SEO is Dead – PIG is the New SEO
With a new wave of “SEO is Dead” posts appearing I thought it’s about time I added something to the debate again.
Nowadays Google forces us to grant them access to private files like CSS stylesheets or JS scripts.
Google’s excuse to view internal files is that they need them to display sites on mobile
but in reality they want to find out whether you hide your content. For example when you only show it on click.
With access to CSS/JS Google can demote not immediately visible content in search results.
Thus Pleasing Intrusive Google (PIG) is the new SEO. You have to let the Google overlords inside your drawers. They want to strip search your site.
The Google Tyranny
Have you noticed how in recent years Google has grown so powerful that they can dictate how people have to build their sites? They get more intrusive every day it seems. Your website has probably been compromised by many Google trackers.
Google is not only intruding into our daily lives by tracking us online to serve us creepy ads that follow as around the Web:
Google is also increasingly telling us how we need to behave to stay in business. Google’s policy is mostly about “play by our rules or leave the game”.
- You trust your advertisers? Google will penalize you (for “paid links”).
- You get a link from the wrong site? Google will penalize you (for “negative SEO”).
- You don’t let Google grab your images? Google will penalize you (for “image mismatch”).
- You hide your internal files? Will Google penalize you again (for “blocking CSS/JS”)?
Does this sound like a tyranny? To me it does. I’ve lived in a dictatorship once. In case you’re still a fan compare Google to a democratic government then.
Do You Obey the Google Government?
Google is probably the only company out there that has created an unlawful penal system for business owners.
It is governed by top-down regulations with a fake self-proclaimed “transparency” disclosing that you get penalized but in many cases not even why.
You don’t know who your judge is and you can’t appeal the decision unless you fulfill Google’s demands. It’s of course “guilty until proven innocent” like in the Middle Ages.
With Google acting as the de-facto Internet government we increasingly are forced to act against our own interests.
Giving away images for Google to steal is just one obvious example. It’s time to push back. Yet webmasters literally await the next penalty and only ask how soon it will come.
This kind of obedience or should I say masochism is unprecedented in the current era of free enterprise. It’s only reminiscent of the dark past of slave ownership.
Not all slaves were seeking freedom. Many slaves were so dependent on their masters that they welcomed penalties as long as they would be able to stay with their master and be provided for.
Becoming the Notorious P.I.G
Reading prominent search industry publications lets me question my sanity these days. They ask us to please Google and to disclose our formerly guarded information.
Google does not need to know how you display your content or how you animate it. This is just an excuse to spy on you.
Google only needs to know that the content is there. Yet prominent bloggers literally beg us to show everything to Google because otherwise you risk “Mobilegeddon“.
Am I the only person scratching my head? Why do I need to hurt my site on Google in order not to get penalized by Google? Are you becoming the Notorious P.I.G?
The scaremongering is going on for ages now. You have to make your site mobile friendly, but you don’t have to please Google.
Optimize your site for people and make sure that the optimization efforts also benefit you and your business.
When Google demands contradict your interests refuse to obey. Do not act out of fear induced by Google and main stream search industry publications.
Otherwise you don’t do search engine optimization anymore, you practice PIG, as in Pleasing Intrusive Google.
The most obvious sign you practice PIG is trying to provide so called “rich answers” and other onpage features on Google that display third part content right there in search results.
Google is increasingly turning into an answering machine and abandoning their former task of acting as a search engine.
They provide answers onsite they take from third party sites. Most Google users do not even need to click through to your site anymore because your content gets displayed right on Google.
That’s also why they are called “rich answers”. They make Google rich by stealing your content.
How Dead is SEO?
With the Google answering machine taking over and ads only “search results” above the fold for many if not most lucrative queries does SEO even still exist?
Isn’t Google optimization all about giving away free content to the Internet giant and buying ads from them now? What’s left of the SEO we have practiced 5, 10 or 15 years ago?
It’s clear that you have to decide now whether you will just give up or take a leap of faith.
- You can let Google dictate how your site is going to look and let you pay ransom to show up in “search”.
- You can also drop the one-sided exploitative relationship where Google is your pimp and you whore around for them.
- You can spread the word about yourself organically using Google-independent, even real life channels like word of mouth to embrace holistic popularization.
Then Google will have to react to the reality of your growing popularity and reflect it back online in remaining search results and Google answering machine responses.
Optimizing for Popular Demand
Google has to bow down to popular demand despite its almost omnipotent global search monopoly.
It can throttle traffic to sites as the universal gatekeeper who is taking and monetizing the world’s information but it can’t ignore the actual tangible market forces completely.
Google has to offer what people ask it for. Make the people ask Google for you, your business and products or services.
Is PIG then the next SEO or is popularization the true SEO as it always should have been?
Google the middleman and gatekeeper is not our elected government to tell us how we should act online and
- build our sites
- connect with others
- create our content.
Emancipate yourself from Google’s rule and become independent again. Don’t rely on Google!
Google can only shatter your business when you let them by becoming an opportunist.
Optimize and popularize your business instead of letting Google monetize your work for free. Ideally let them pay for access to your content like Twitter does.
* (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons image by Diego J. Ramirez
“…disclosing that you get penalized but in many cases not even why.”
This has to be the most frustrating thing, when a white hat site gets an algorithmic penalty and the owner has to beat his brains out chasing down an answer.
I experienced that pain myself. Even as an SEO spcialist you are stumbling around in the dark. It’s atrocious.
SEO will die one day after Google death ;-)
Interesting piece of information here, I believe the term PIG should be used more often hahah. I think Google is fair with most of their rules. Unfortunately, unless some company tackles on a giant like Google, we can play by the rules they have set. It sucks, but there is a certain level of rules we should follow.
Silvestre: Do I understand you right, you suggest we should follow Google’s rules and build proprietary websites for them using Schema and AMP so that they can steal our content? I call that giving up.
Why would you want to give your content to Google for free so that they can monetize it on their site? You can build your own audience instead.
Dariusz Jurek – don’t forget Bing, Duckduckgo and other ones :)
I often feel powerless when trying to peel back the curtain Google has draped in front us.
I tend to agree that this is the most viable option nowadays:
“You can spread the word about yourself organically using Google-independent, even real life channels like word of mouth to embrace holistic popularization.”
matthieu: yeah, true. The Google empire makes you want to give up but you need to remember that empires crumble and that we are many and we can act together.
Many people underestimate the power of Google. It would of course be desirable for companies to become more independent and to be able to represent their personal interests again. Thank you for this interesting and controversial article.
This article was published in 2015, and yet every year we get “”is SEO dead”” posts/videos…
YouTube is full of those videos but I beliveve that people mostly make them to attact views and additional subscribers. But you will rarely see a serious SEO expert like Brian Dean or Matthew Woodward post that type of content.
But still, thanks for the article!
Greetings from Munich.