The SEO professional, it seems, is always living in the present: modifying sites to coincide with new algorithms, researching what’s working on the web now, and generally keeping up on trends in order to stay on top of the search results. This is not a bad thing; it’s how you stay in the loop, maintain your professional expertise, and ultimately how you deliver better results for your clients.
That said, it doesn’t hurt to take an occasional glimpse into the future; even if the future can’t be accurately predicted, you can serve yourself well by developing a general idea of what kind of changes are in the works. Here are four ideas we think may be valuable for you to look into as you expand your knowledge of search engine optimization.
Idea #1: Social input.
We’ve already seen the seeds of social input with Google Plus – a search in 2012 could potentially show you which friends are enjoying the sites you’re browsing through. But if you think this trend is ending there, you’re being short-sighted; the trend is going to go even further into the realm of social media. In fact, in the long-term future we may even anticipate that social traffic will be measured in different ways such as who’s visiting which sites. It might present some privacy issues down the road, but either way, who is visiting which site is going to matter much more.
Idea #2: Social media search.
In addition to social media having a greater impact on the search engine rankings themselves, here’s another thing to ponder: social media search itself is going to become more effective. These days, the limitations of searching through a social media outlet are obvious: just try it yourself. But as the engines behind these search queries get more sophisticated, it will only make social media an even bigger part of the overall SEO scheme. In essence, the links you get from social media will become more important for non-Google traffic, as well.
Idea #3: No tricks will work.
The most sophisticated search engines get, the less you will be able to “trick” your way to the top. Essentially, this will force websites to focus on providing content and earning social points through their offerings rather than equalizing any playing field with their knowledge of SEO. Sure, a few tricks will remain, but essentially search engine queries will be about what you can offer readers, not what you can offer search engines.
Idea #4: Money will talk.
Essentially, it takes money to be able to offer exciting and innovative content online. This means that you’ll have to do a better job of investing in your own site and giving readers something that is both unique and valuable. This might mean limited returns for smaller businesses and more returns for big businesses who can hire people to take care of this stuff, sure, but it’s certainly something to think about.
This was a guest post by Chris Turberville-Tully, a marketing strategist for Inspiration Inc, an internet marketing agency in Newbury, England. Inspiration Inc provides services including web design, SEO, copywriting, PPC, social media, email marketing and more: http://www.inspirationinc.co.uk/