There has been much discussion about the future of SEO lately. A-list bloggers galore are writing SEO's obituary, much to the dismay of site owners and search engine marketers. Earlier this week, Mike Grehan delivered his thoughts on the matter over at ClickZ. He also started a thread in the Search Engine Watch forums to discuss his post.
Here are some main takeaway points from Mike's post:
- SEO will give way to a new form of digital asset management and optimization. This new SEO will place a much larger emphasis on optimizing a range of file types, from PDFs to images to audio/visual.
- More effort will be placed on feeds to search engines. Not just XML feeds into paid inclusion and shopping comparison, but also feeds with other types of information, such as local, financial, news, and other verticals.
- Mobile will become much more popular, search will gradually become more of a personalized experience.
- Personalization and digital asset optimization will end 1999-style ranking reports, as search engine results will be based on blended results from end-user specifics, such as geographic location, time of day, previous searching history, and peer group preference.
- Online, monitoring the customer voice will become more important than pushing a brand message. Reputation management will become more important as marketing continues its reversal from a broadcast medium to a listening medium.
- Marketing into networks will see huge growth, and social search will grow with it.
Over at the forums, Grehan is looking for feedback on the following:
- Should search engine ranking algorithms continue to be based only on the data they have about people who happen to have web sites and therefore have text pages and can link to others. Or is the voice and opinion of the end user now being heard much more clearly?
- Do I really think that a number one result at Google for the term – blue widgets – is a fair result if only people who have web sites can vote for its top ranking position? Or should the millions of people who use blue widgets and don't have a web site also be able to have some influence on that ranking?
Get in on the conversation about the future of SEO. Head over to the forums and share your thoughts.