There's a lot for search engine optimization (SEO) professionals to be concerned with and aware of if their aim (as it should be) is to achieve higher rankings, generate more traffic and obtain a general level of marketing/business success with the practice.
The abundance of demand, coupled with the long list list of responsibilities, often creates fear, and fear (as any good Star Wars fan can attest) is the path to the dark side (fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering). The "dark side" of course is either black hat SEO, social media or advertising, but by every measure those approaches/channels tend to be more ephemeral in nature.
Google makes hundreds of changes every year to its assessment and ranking algorithms, consumer behavior is driving the shift toward mobile at breakneck speed, and there are now greater and more complex security requirements than ever before.
The "SEO is dead" crowd latches on to this constant development and digital evolution and regularly claim that the practice is no longer viable. They, however, miss the point and continue to be wrong - just as they've been wrong about its demise since the first day the practice emerged.