Google has release yet another update – Caffeine, and with it comes the next wave of people claiming that SEO is dead. This happens almost once a year, it seems. Not Google’s updates, but the clamoring for the death of SEO. Let’s examine some reasons why people think it this time around, and whether or not SEO is really dead.

For one thing, Google has changed the look of their home page for the first time in a while. People feel that their ranking in Google matters less now, because of the squeeze caused by the new left-hand column that they’ve added. This may sound ridiculous but it’s true. Between this, and the fact that Google was already displaying products, images, and videos in the top area of the search results, people feel their sites are getting squeezed right out of the fold sometimes even when they’re number 1.

There has also been quite a shuffle this time around, with many sites losing pagerank, backlinks (as spam sites get deindexed) and in turn, rankings. Some people have even owned perfectly legit sites that have been marked for deindexing. What this means is that Google is really trying to clean up it’s search results, but does it really mean SEO is dead?

The reality is, that this was a long time coming, but the fundamentals of SEO still hold true. You can still manipulate your rankings in Google by employing advanced SEO tactics, but even basic SEO efforts will yield positive results, same as they always have. This includes all the cliche tactics like making sure your all of your title, H1, and alt tags are in line with the keywords you’re trying to rank for, and campaigning for properly anchored back links.