The future of SEO

During a global conference of Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Benj Arriola, Internet Marketing Inc.’s Vice President for SEO was once asked what SEO will look like in the future. Mr. Arriola then asked the audience member if he could be more specific about what he meant by “the future.” The gentleman clarifies by explaining that he didn’t want to know about next year, but rather 10 or 20 years from now. The best indication of the future is often the patterns we see from the past.

We believe these 7 themes will define SEO ten years from now:

  1. Users will rely on specific niche search engines for certain topics. More specialized search engines for different types of information will emerge and be preferred over search engines like Google. For example consumers are going straight to Amazon for online purchases instead of googling them.
  2. Embedded online search in apps will be on almost any desktop and mobile application. SEO will extend beyond the search engines into everyday applications. We can also optimize for results in apps that look for supplemental information online.
  3. SEO & social media will further merge with traditional PR & marketing practices. Old SEO tricks at the code level and spam link building will continue to decrease. SEO will focus on the production of great content that can come in a number of mediums: textual, images, videos, interactive apps, and more. SEOs that do not evolve and understand the fundamentals of traditional marketing and storytelling will become obsolete.
  4. Social media sites that have everyday user functions will outlive others.
    Social media sites will continue to rise and fall over the coming decade. Sites like Facebook however that continue to improve technology for common usage will thrive. For example, people now prefer using Facebook’s messenger phone app more than traditional SMS messaging. Many online applications also use Facebook as a centralized holder of login information. The more time users spend on these sites and apps the more likely they will see promoted content.
  5. Technical SEO professionals will find better opportunities with software companies, as opposed to marketing agencies. Software companies that create content management systems are getting better at being search engine friendly, have many features built in, and have advanced plugins many of which are for SEO purposes. This will make things faster for and more cost effective for businesses. They will still need agencies and consultants for audits, content strategy and promotion but most of the technical SEO work will already be done.
  6. Users will be increasingly more savvy making older online marketing tactics obsolete.
    Users no longer respond in the same way to online display ads therefore tactics will have to evolve. Useful and compelling content will still be most effective. Savvy younger generations will be the online population majority soon, and targeting specific demographics with valuable content will be critical.
  7. SEO will never be a popular professional degree in college. SEO as a career is already merging with other talents needed in marketing such as journalism, writing, creative and web development. Sure, there will always be certification courses available but it will never bloom into a bachelor’s level degree.

Certain things will never change in SEO and that’s the intent of users, search engines and SEOs. Industry professionals sometimes refer to these changes as the “death of SEO.” That’s not the case at all. Like all things, it’s simply evolving.

Learn new strategies and tactics from some of the savviest brands and digital marketing agencies managing earned at DigiBuzz 2015.


Mustafizur Rahman Khan