What is in store for the future of SEO and SEO professionals? This has always been a provocative question that many could not possibly answer straightaway. But many of those who have been using the functions and benefits of SEO say that it will certainly have a future. But they say the future of SEO is changing dramatically. Now, there are a lot of interesting discussions and conversations online about what the future of SEO will be like and what it has in store for us in the coming years. In 2010 and 2011, Google’s Panda Update brought about significant difficulties among website administrators, online entrepreneurs, and SEO professionals. Although many of them have survived, they will certainly not have an easy time this year. SEO will prove to be a tougher business in 2012.
Since Google has been a dominating search engine and trendsetter affecting SEO activities, an SEO professional will definitely face a great challenge as there will be old and out-dated SEO techniques that will become obsolete going forward. You need to remember there is always that chance even the best websites will easily be knocked-out no matter how good they were performing in the past years.
Since SEO will rapidly and completely change in the coming years, you have to stay on top of these changes if you expect to gain positive SEO impact to both you and your business. Now more than ever, you need to treat SEO like a process. Your target is always moving and your success in SEO is a gauge on your ongoing efforts. You cannot simply just write a plan and implement it the next day. Reaching your target market and closing sales with the help of SEO and internet marketing tools are harder now. Yet, it is highly important that your business get found no matter what it takes online.
Many SEO experts see SEO’s future focused on change, convergence and collaboration. The many future changes in Google will be the primary catalyst to convergence and collaboration in the SEO world. Whether you like it or not, SEO has changed and its future will rely upon a complicated relationship between content marketing, social media, and collaborative technology. The outcome will be newer roles in the SEO landscape, new ways of thinking about SEO utilization, and newer SEO strategies.
SEO Future: Changes to the idea of Rankings
One of the changes you can expect in SEO’s future has something to do with rankings. Traditionally, search engine ranking has been considered as one of the core components when people do SEO. Rankings are what SEO professionals actually report to their clients. However, the significance of rankings today is not the same as it was a few years ago.
Many SEO experts believe that the rank checking world will become unpredictable. Ranking results are already different from location to location, so while reports may show that a company is ranking well on some location search results while other locations will not report the same results. The forecast of SEO experts with rankings is it will going to become less predictable. Unlike before, ranking will become (or has already become) less significant of a metric. Now, instead of just focusing too much on rankings, you have to shift your attention to users who commit desired activity on your website. SEO experts may soon be required to deliver not only rankings, but actual results for clients.
Increasing your targeted organic traffic instead of focusing too much on your rank will ultimately result in the best results for delivering a return on your SEO investment. This has been one of the newest and biggest changes in the world of SEO today. Yet, although it is evident, there are still a lot of resistance mainly because many don’t want it to be considered true. Rank checking will become less of a health indicator for clients that want to know how well their SEO is working. It is no longer an effort of an SEO just to gain the highest amount of visitors, but to rather drive the highest amount of quality visitors. So even though you website may be receiving less hits and traffic, you could still see increase in sales or revenue based on the ability to target the right audience.
SEO Future: Link Building and Social Media Necessities
The evolution of link building from its basics can also be expected in the future of SEO. With all of what Google has been doing especially with their changes, link building also evolved. Gone were the early days of link building where you can just build a link anywhere you can get it. Search engines have evolved to intelligently determine the connection between linked sites and whether or not they are relevant links. Maybe, you believed that you have succeeded to gain high rankings regardless of a link profile that’s stuffed with profile links and paid links from spam sites. Yet, this is just temporary and will definitely be a short-lived success. It is better to concentrate on attaining the good quality, relevant links that will stand the test of time.
Social media links are beginning to play a more significant role in determining which websites offer the most value to the visitors. As Google sees a site getting more and more attention over social media, the authority of the website will continue to grow with the context of the social media messages. Likewise, as Google notices negative user responses on social media, it will trigger a negative reaction to google’s rank listings. Getting users to like your website and share that message with others via social media has become a sure fire way to keep your site’s rankings growing.
SEO Future: Speed and User Experience
Gone are the days when you can simply host your website on any old webserver and expect to compete with high quality and cross-distributed websites. Google has already put forth efforts to incorporate the page speed of a website into search rankings. As getting higher results becomes more and more important for your company, be prepared to up your hosting plans and optimize your page speed so that your website speed is as quick as it can possibly be.
If users are experiencing slow page loads on your website, be prepared for negative hits from social media. If a user has clicked on a page link from Google that is heading to your website, but the page takes too long to load, the user may ultimately turn back to Google to find the next page result and may even tell Google not to display results from your website again. Those types of actions will trigger Google to make your less important in their eyes.
SEO Future: Convergence & Collaboration
SEO professionals and companies, alike, should learn how to adapt and benefit from the several different types of up and coming technology that can advance the world of SEO.
Since the later part for 2012 when Google announced that social signals were being used as a ranking factor, convergence between technical SEO and social media (not to mention, content marketing as well) has been established. It is likely that social signals will have an importance in the future activities in the world of SEO as there are no signs that shows slowing down in terms of activity on popular social networking sites. As the role of SEO develops and converges with social media, there will also be changes in the SEO’s technology landscape.
Because we have already established the changes that will take place in the future of the SEO environment, the focus on convergence with content marketing and social signals will somehow lead to foster the need to collaboration.
In the future, an SEO professional will welcome reinvention of SEO (not resist the opportunity to reinvent) by closely collaborating with industry peers across content, social, PR, and digital media channels.
SEO will become more technical. Search engines (Google) will push sites with the most relevant content and will get fooled less and less by keyword stuffing, doorway pages, and handful of backlinks. Now is the good time to talk about how to better your SEO activities to keep up with the changes that has happened and is currently happening, as well as to the ones yet to come.
As always, there are a number of steps to be taken in order to get your site ranking properly. Keeping up with the latest trends in SEO is becoming more and more difficult for the small businesses trying to compete with the larger more established companies. Do not loose hope, and and make sure to continue to make quality content!