Dear SEO, I’m breaking up with you and here’s why.

After a ten year love-hate relationship with Google AdWords and SEO, I’m done. It’s been a roller-coaster of highs and lows and it will always have a special place in my heart but the time has come for me to move on.

I’m decisively changing the course of our business and its services by going all-in on social media marketing and focus our efforts on branding with the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

We are no longer taking on small businesses that just want to get found on Google or have a pretty Wordpress website. These businesses are ultimately going to fall behind and will always have to play catch-up with these “short-term and outdated” marketing models.

Personal and business websites are dead except for e-commerce, membership and educational websites. If you’re a Wordpress developer — I suggest you start brushing up on other skills such as development on Facebook to stay relevant.

Do you really think you need a website and a blog anymore to attract visitors? Platforms such as Medium attract a lot of attention and I’d rather publish my thoughts here than on a personal blog which gets a fraction of the traffic.

Sure, people will always say you need to have full ownership of your own website because social media platforms can remove your content at any time. But so can your web-hosting company. Or your CMS provider. Or your ISP. Do you truly ever own anything that you put online in the hands of a service provider at all?

We are going to help small and medium businesses become loved and sought-after brands by amplifying their vision, mission and values on the web to their ideal customers. The Internet is just the technology layer which enables people to connect with each other on social media platforms.

I want to build brands and that’s not something you do on Google. People search for brands on Google but those brands are born, grown and developed on social media platforms. Google is all about providing relevant results which is why brands often float to the top of the search results anyway.

I want to help brands to become search-worthy and not game the search engines to try and get non-relevant results on the first page hoping for conversions as that’s a never ending battle full of frustration and disappointment.

I’m not saying SEO is dead. I’m saying I want to get closer to creating value where there is none yet and that means playing the long game and not the immediate transaction model where a click hopefully means a sale.

Gary Vaynerchuk sums it up really well when he takes off one of his Nike shoes on stage and tells people he didn’t buy the sneaker because Nike cookied the crap out of him with remarketing and such. He has no idea why he bought them because that what Nike’s brand has accomplished over the years.

Build a brand by establishing an authentic connection with your audience, earn their trust by working hard to create the best possible product or service for them and follow through by delivering amazing customer service.

This might sound fluffy for a lot of people but you’d be surprised how much can be measured and attributed with today’s technology and common sense.

*This post was sitting in draft for nearly a year, no idea why I didn’t hit publish.