Just yesterday, Yahoo announced their decision to end Yahoo Answers.
In The Millionaire Fastlane, entrepreneur MJ DeMarco uses the acronym CENTS to evaluate businesses. These commandments are Control, Entry, Need, Time, and Scale. Though meant for startups, this framework can be used to examine any company.
Can a single entity destroy your business? In a fell swoop, some content producers lost their sole platform. This risk violates the Commandment of Control, in that you should own what you build or at least diversify.
SEO improves the ultimate controllable asset: your website. You still need to be pragmatic since, for example, many local prospects use sites like Yelp to start a buying cycle. But your own website must be the hub, with external pages as spokes, to limit harm.
Know that SEO means better existing assets, not new ones. This makes it a poor fit for most SMBs and products or services lacking keyword demand. It’s a knowledge base and a perspective, not something in and of itself.