Is the SEO industry becoming more competitive?

Like any market, there comes a point where saturation is reached, this is the peak of the product life cycle:

Product Life Cycle

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Now we can compare this to a graph of people looking for SEO services in the UK, and it would seem to me that we are most likely in the maturity area.

I’ve also noticed things get more and more competitive in the SERPS recently, with local search being increasingly targeted by SEO’s. For instance I’ve seen 3 new domains this year that have been created purely to target local SEO search volumes: (damn him he knocked me down to #5 for SEO specialist, fair play though), (which I believe was started earlier this year and knocked Dave Naylor down to #2 for “SEO Yorkshire”) and finally the new kid on the block, (which was created by Branded3 and appears to have been registered in the past week and is obviously targeting SEO Leeds).

So things are really hotting up! Everything is becoming much more competitive, and it’s going to become increasingly time consuming and expensive to rank for SEO terms whilst also trying to work on current clients.

Combine this with the fact that doing freelance SEO (i.e. not for an agency) is becoming increasingly time consuming and competitive, (Patrick Altoft has recently commented on this also with his post on SEO Freelancers) and I think we are going to see a lot of freelancers die off. Instead the SEO agencies that perform are going to grow and as a result the reputation of the industry will improve, a lot – which is certainly what we need right now!


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  • Matt Inertia

    “I think we are going to see a lot of freelancers die off.”

    Well I hope I’m not in that group! :-p

    I’m not sure if that graph can be applied to the SEO industry due to the exponential nature of the internet. To say that SEO is going to see a decline is to say that Google and the internet in general is also going to experience a decline. Which it isn’t, not for many years anyway, well at least until someone invents a new media channel.

    From my experience the freelancers are doing very well of late, partly due to the ineptitude of many SEO agencies, who charge the earth but accomplish very little (or charge very little and do very little).

    I think there will always be a place in the market for good freelancers or self employed SEOs.

  • Diane

    I think there’s a lot more people looking for an income online at the moment. As much as people believe the market can expand further I don’t think it’s got the capacity, for everyone who wants to, to earn a decent crust from it.
    Life’s getting tougher – and Gordon wants to have a million more digital workers. I don’t get how we can do it – we need to have real jobs making things – otherwise all the money is just swirling about being taxed more each turn of the merry-go-round.