SEO is dead as we know it. The old math of increased backlinks and stuffing keywords is now a target for Google to identify your site and bury it in the search results. SEO is no longer a math problem, it’s a human one. Social indicators are becoming key to ranking and link algorithms are being retired. It’s time for you to see the truth about SEO… and adjust accordingly.
Of course we utilized a nice baity title to attract some attention, but it's time that someone stood up and said it. Traditional SEO is no longer a viable solution for businesses to invest in. Sure – people still utilize search engines… and we still ensure our customers are on solid, fast platforms that presents their content properly for indexing. But we're no longer using the old methodologies of trying to figure out how to squeeze in keywords or to get backlinks by any means necessary.
A true, new SEO package goes way beyond site optimization and link building and incorporates conversion analysis to determine keywords, writing compelling content, making it easy for readers to share that content, employing public relations connections to find opportunities to share that content, and promoting the heck out of that content.
UPDATE 10/4/2012: Google has updated its Webmasters guidelines and specifically targeting link schemes and recommending nofollow for all links that have been paid for.