Will Search Engines Optimization continue to exist?
According to a recent study, 1800 blog posts are released, and 571 websites are created every 60 seconds! With information growing at that level, you will need Search Engines to index these pages to make new information readily available. And this is growing at an exponential level.
If it is not going to be Google, it will be Alphabet in the future (pun intended).
Thus we can safely assume that Search Engines will exist.
Will Search Engines move towards more paid content and redundant the organic content?
Well the only other way SEO can become redundant is that we lose organic content from the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page) completely and Google and other search engines only focus on showing ads on the SERPs.
Taken the fact that the ad placements on the SERP have only increased over time and but they will NEVER replace the organic results.
Reason you ask? Imagine watching television with only ads, imagine listening to the radio with only ads, and imagine opening up YouTube and seeing only ads instead of videos. Cannot possibly happen right?
Similarly with the SERP, the only reason ads are because of users like you and me. We are still looking for content that will best serve the query we put in.
Yes, Google is much more that the Search Engine itself, see the rise of Alphabet, unless there is a desperation to increase revenue overnight, Google will never ERASE organic content from the SERP.
Safe conclusion now is, Search Engines will not cease to exist and organic content will be available on them.
Will SEO die?
First let us get the definition of SEO right, it is not about building links, it is not about stuffing keywords in your content, it is not about getting high CTRs to your title tags etc.
I mean, that is all a consequence of what will happen if you direct your content towards a potential user of your website. SEO is merely making your website rank higher on the SERPs for queries your potential user will use.
It is about understanding searcher intent, it is about giving your users fresh and unique content to read on.
If you see, SEO has only evolved, the Google Algorithm has only evolved, and it will keep evolving as smart SEOs will have tricks up their sleeves. Remember, link farming? Or at a more amateur level, remember hidden text on your webpages?
Interestingly enough, the algorithm has reached a stage where, the webmasters just have to focus on content, viral content, shareable content, unique content, content that people talk about. And the algorithm reached this stage because of us, because we kept trying to “crack” the algorithm, sure if you do find a way around to rank high and quickly (I am talking about a hack), it will only be temporary.
So as long as Search Engines are there, as long as Organic Content is available on the SERPs, SEO will exist and will NOT die.