Is SEO still viable for startups? Not anymore, according to a recent post by Chris Dixon. While interviewing startups, the author found that very few, if any, companies formed after 2008 have generated traction through search engine optimization, considered one of the driving forces behind the success of companies like Yelp. 

The idea of building quality content that leads people to your site, linking with other sites to generate higher search engine rankings, then building off the traffic to gain an even higher rating, seemed to drive plenty of value in companies from 2001-2008. 

In recent years, however, the initial phase of building quality content seems to have become secondary to achieving higher rankings in order to drive more traffic to serve more advertising. This quest for search engine superiority has led to devolution in the value proposition of SEO for young companies looking to make their way. 

There is still little doubt that a higher search engine ranking is needed to propel companies into the public spotlight, but it is increasingly obvious that tried and true public relations is as important (or more important) than ever in helping both new and established companies receive needed exposure. 

Chris suggests that companies get back to the concept that icreated SEO in the first place: delivering viable and useful content. We suggest that they then use a combination of SEO and PR to drive people to that content.