As 2008 is fast drawing to an end I find myself wondering what the new year holds for all of us involved in search engine optimisation. With Google now providing individualised search results via Searchwiki what will it mean for the search industry as a whole.
Firstly I don’t think Searchwiki will effect the general rankings to much unless Google uses the data gathered as a straw pole on how popular a particular website is, adjusting its ranking accordingly in the main index (I believe this would be a dangerous road as it could be open to heavy manipulation by the black hats among us)
Advanced SEO Segmentation
As Google analytics has started allowing advanced market segmentation in the analytical data I believe that we may, in the future have the information available to micro target our SEO efforts by age sex and even by race. It stands to reason that the language we use at different stages of our life changes at age 18 we would organise a query differently to how we would structure that same query later in life. With masses of analytical data available we would be able to pick out patterns in the language construction to micro target particular demographics, this could be very exiting imagine being able to target your perfect customer.
Moving away from PPC
In this time of economic downturn, If we check the trends data for the English speaking world we are seeing a move away from PPC advertising and seeing a rise in people searching for SEO traditionally pay per click was the more popular quick fix but now we see that SEO is on the rise and PPC is on the decline. With click-through rates for organic search results much hire then for PPC, businesses are realising that SEO is the best cost effective long term investment they can make.
World wide trends for SEO and PPC Searches
UK trends for SEO and PPC Searches
A change in SEO skill sets
Traditional SEO was to find a phrase people were searching for and get a page ranked on the first page for that phrase. I believe those days will soon be behind us with Web 2.0 we are seeing a shift to relationship building with customers rather then the quick sale to use an analogy we are changing from hunters to farmers.
There will be a lot more social networking to be done with customers via channels like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace (Myspace may be a bit juvenile heavy at the moment for it to be useful ) the only concern I have is that we are seeing a devaluation in Web 2.0 property’s with some running at a loss so we may see them monetising there offerings to stay alive or going to the wall.
All in all I see a few changes happening but not to many to be worried about. For the organic SEO this could be a good time to be in the business with the demand for these skills on the rise.
What’s your prediction for the future of SEO