A customary way to review the past year is to summarize its highlights and milestones. To enter the new one is to anticipate things to happen and lay out predictions. This one’s no different. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has always been an ever evolving industry whose methodologies are moving targets. Needless to say it is very important to be updated with what’s new and discard what’s old and irrelevant.
SEO trends we expect for the year are previously termed as “immature” or “promising”. The future is now, hence these SEO trends and predictions for the year.
Real-time Search Results Will Disappear
Owing to the enormous popularity of social media, everyone seems to be joining the bandwagon and nobody wants to be left behind. Even search engines. Right after Microsoft beat Google on the race on whose going to feature real-time Twitter feeds on search results, the search engine market leader was quick to integrate more prominent feed results. How I felt? I think it’s going to do more harm than good as I wrote in my BeansBox blog. The end result? Search engines will be prompted to rethink and the experiment will be back within the drawing boards.
The Importance of Ranking on Top
The integration of Google Universal Search elements (images, maps, videos, blog posts, news, etc) within top search result pages continues to eat valuable search page real-estate and visitor’s attention towards lower ranked results within the first page. Even in the past the share of attention for bottom ranked first page results is almost negligible.
More Career Opportunities for Aspiring Search Marketers
I am stating a possible outcome if a forecast made by Forrester Research that the spending for SEO and search marketing in general will grow dramatically.
Keyword Ranking will be Pushed Towards Further Obscurity
Local search, universal search, search history and other factors render measurement of SEO by keyword rankings even more irrelevant. You can rank for one keyword one one location but lose it on another. Factor in real-time search, newsworthiness of query and overall trends to contribute even more difficulty in obtaining consistency. But the biggest story will be the bottom-line: did our SEO campaign deliver desired results? If so, can we show how it was achieved? Did we achieve better conversion rates? Did we achieve or exceed sales expectations? Unfortunately, search engine ranking doesn’t answer that question.
5. Mobile Search Will be Big
If Google’s Nexus One launch isn’t enough as an evidence, then nothing will. Google’s formal foray into the smartphone market is an indicator it has high regard on mobile search as a realization of a future prediction. Search by voice, location and sight was not within our wildest imagination but they are now within Google’s scope of functionality. Its Near Me Now capability allows users to find nearby restaurants and ATMs.
See you at the end of the year as we look back at these predictions and on whether they materialized at all or become candidates for SEO Trends and Predictions for 2011.