Guest post by John Gower.
The importance of ranking continues to be a primary marketing drive for many companies. But what is the future of SEO? Certainly everyone is talking about it. Here are several factors that will influence how SEO will evolve over the next decade.
Authentic and unique content is key to the future of SEO and Internet marketing. Content will be the driving force, as businesses compete on higher levels of quality –visual and written. With more refined content, the hope is that overall functionality and relevancy will improve the online experience for users. Social media buttons (likes, shares, etc.) are making it near impossible to fake substance.
In July of 2012, Adam Torkildson, a leading SEO consultant at the time made the following statement in Forbes Magazine:
“We hardly do any of the old SEO stuff. It still brings results, but not like it used to. Google is pulling the rug out to provide better search for their audience. They are routing out the counterfeiters. Now it must be real, valuable, content, and lots of community value and interaction.”
Clearly, the impact of this statement is relevant today and is proving itself statistically across the Internet. For example, in 2012, 80% of social network folks prefer to use Facebook to connect with their brands. This is where the future lies and should be the focus of online Internet marketers. Here are more specific ways these developments are most likely going to change:
- Ranking based on less traditional SEO and with a growing emphasis on social media standing and personal influence.
- Customization and localization will become more relevant and mature.
- Authority will emerge in importance as dictated by social networking.
- User recommendations will continue to increase as well as innovations in how to use the new data.
Certainly, technology will continue to change the way SEO is integrated. The very definition of SEO itself is changing. No one can accurately predict how this will have an impact, but emerging technologies will influence the user experience in the near future.
Some experts have suggested that SEO will be less relevant due to expanding algorithms such as Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. These updates have placed the importance on quality and uniqueness of content, social ranking, freshness of material, and error-free pages above previous SEO practices. The future of SEO seems to boil down to the changing rules of search engines and how those rules affect the game.
Panda and Penguin have eliminated some of the underhanded “black hat” SEO tactics that manipulate back links and keywords to the front of the line. By focusing strongly on likes, comments and follows, the online experience has become more democratic and less fraudulent. Google is continually working to increase the quality of search results, eliminate spam and inferior content.
Additionally, technology platforms, hardware and search tools will influence shifts in terminology and user-defined activities. There is no doubt, there will be more competition as the number of users expands in third-world countries and new generations stake their claims online.
10 SEO Industry Trends
Google Webwaster Guidelines
- Social media buttons – http://www.google.com/analytics/features/social.html
- Forbes Magazine – http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2012/07/20/the-death-of-seo-the-rise-of-social-pr-and-real-content/
- 80% of social network folks prefer to use Facebook to connect with their brands – http://www.business2community.com/facebook/facebook-marketing-statistics-you-need-to-know-0289953
- Specific ways – http://searchengineland.com/the-future-of-seo-157803
- Panda and penguin updates – http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2013/05/seo-sanity-check-part-1-googles-penguin-and-panda-updates/
- 10 SEO Industry Trends – http://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-seo-industry-trends-a-look-at-whats-ahead-for-seo-in-2013-2014/65157/
- Google Analytics – http://www.google.com/analytics/
- Google Webmaster Guidelines – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en&ref_topic=2370419