At this point it is fair to purport that the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services have become widely understood by businesses and individuals alike. And this week, Blekko SEO  is reinforcing that point as they just announced that they will be charging for their SEO services for the first time since the company’s inception in 2010. The change to a paid service comes as a surprise to Blekko customers, as there was no formal announcement, but Blekko ’s business decision is perfectly in line with the industry’s current state.
While some might argue that SEO is a dying practice, the demand for SEO data and tools tell us otherwise. Businesses find great value in the information companies like Blekko provide, including inbound link count, domains with duplicate content, and when the site was last crawled, in addition to more traditional SEO information or metrics, such as keyword research, site architecture and social mentions or backlinks gained through other platforms. Now, SEO is developing and converging with other areas of online marketing and businesses are realizing the ways SEO data and tools positively influence their online marketing presence.
As the industry continues to grow, SEO continues to evolve into a powerful online-marketing strategy—one that businesses have started to rely on heavily. The convergence of varying online platforms and the evolving power of SEO have produced shiny, new SEO tools and platforms that have revolutionized the way businesses use SEO data.
The Search Agency’s SEO director, David Waterman , commented: “The importance of having access to SEO data has not changed. Rather, how people use this data has. It’s still important to know how people search for relevant industry terms (keyword research), if search engines can crawl all of your pages (SEO architecture) and who is vouching for your site online (social mentions and backlinks). Most webmasters would agree that if they didn’t have access to this data, plus the tons of other data points specific to a website and SEO best practices, they’d be lacking vital information that informs them whether their website is at least up to Google’s best practices for SEO.”
Recently, we have witnessed the ways SEO has converged with new search elements, such as social influence and content marketing. For instance, the overlap of social elements and search gives SEO even more influence on marketing, as social channels generally provide demographic and behavioral information about a company’s audience. These bits of information have empowered SEO tactics and helped marketing professionals better optimize search engine results.
Quite simply, businesses are finally realizing the value of SEO services and the relative success they can achieve by using those services in new and innovative ways. And that makes Blekko’s decision to implement a monthly fee on their services quite reasonable.