Every year, I hear the same thing: SEO is dead.
At first, being new to the practice, I was a bit concerned but then realized that SEO is not dead nor will it die quickly or by the hands of a Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, or any other animal.
The phrase mostly comes from digital marketing professionals, webmasters, programmers, and other people that don't really understand SEO. It is also popular around SEOs that jumped ship once it got more complicated.
The only way SEO will ever die is if we no longer use Google or other search engines to search the Internet.
The Death of Poor SEO Tactics
The root of all the "SEO Is Dead" articles I have read really focuses on tactics that are dead.
Tactics such as including submitting sites to directories and using exact match domain names are dead. Outsourcing to India to get hundreds or thousands of exact match anchor text links, excessive blog commenting, article submissions, and press releases that really weren't news—those were all parts of SEO that are now dead.
One of the more popular articles, "The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content," published on Forbes in July 2012 predicted the end of SEO by the summer of 2014. That date has passed... and SEO is still alive and well.