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Experts Talk About The Future of Search

While we know that SES NYC just happened last week we have taken some time (well actually Gareth Davies has) to sift through some of the knowledge that was given during SES London oh so many days ago (February to be exact). At this rate we’ll bring you updates for SES NYC in July but we’ll get better :-). Thankfully, great information is still great information so enjoy!

Before this year’s Search Engine Strategies in London a question many business owners wanted an answer to was ‘Where are things headed in the next few years?’ Fortunately I had the pleasure of interviewing a number of the guest speakers, and so I asked them to gaze into an imaginary crystal ball.

Content

catherine-toole‘Content is exploding. In nearly 20 years I have never seem so much interest in content. People are finally putting budgets into it and you’ll see jobs like ‘content strategist’ being advertised. It shows no sign of abating and I think it will proliferate. I believe that people who come up with good content ideas that can run and run, are useable, search friendly, cross platform and can be maintained over time, will really have the power.’

Catherine Toole – stickycontent.com


 

lee-odden‘More and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon of the need to create more content and there are a variety
of forces causing that to happen. In the search community algorithm changes have caused SEOs to be more thoughtful about creating useful content not just for search engines, but for people. Content marketing going forward is going to be more prevalent. More companies are going to evolve in their sophistication, because the competition is going to drive them to do that.’

Lee Odden – toprankblog.com

Web video

phil-nottingham‘I think YouTube is going to become more and more of a social platform integrated with Google plus. It’s going to be much harder to do direct marketing there, and the ad space is getting more and a lot more competitive. If you are not doing video now, you are a bit behind the curve. Companies who do not pick up and invest in this in the next few years are going to be really behind, when it becomes a medium as common as text.’

Phil Nottingham – Distilled.net

 

greg-jarboe‘We’re already seeing brand new forms of video content emerging. One of the most recent acquisitions is Twitter acquiring Vine. What Vine enables you to do, is to create a 6 second long video that you can then Tweet. At the other end of the spectrum is more long form video. Instead of 2-3 minute videos, we are seeing a growth in 15 min and half hour videos. So video is getting shorter and its getting longer, it is getting more diverse. In that kind of world hold onto your hat…things are happening!’

Greg Jarboe – seo-pr.com

SEO

eric-enge‘2013 will be the year rel=author becomes a ranking signal. In Eric Schmidt’s new book ‘The New Digital Age’ he states that authorship will be a ranking factor and people writing stuff without authorship could well become irrelevant. That gives you an idea of how big that potentially could be!

I’d also predict another very significant algorithm update of Panda and Penguin scale will happen sometime this year. The third thing I’ll tell you is that SEO is already in the process of segmenting into two different kinds of disciplines. One is the technical side of getting the crawling, the title tags and schema.org type mark up on your site right. Then the promotional side. Which is link building supported by social media. Those two things are becoming pretty separate.’

Eric Enge – stonetemple.com

kristjan-mar-hauksson

‘One of my favourite answers to this is an answer that a Shari Thurow gave in 2004. She said ‘it’s not about SEO per se, it’s about the content, it’s about the stuff we are putting out there’. As soon as we learn that the content we write impacts search and we’re not reusing it, being lazy creating it, but create the right site architecture so we have the basics in place, then we’re fine. That answer still applies today nearly 10 years later and I cannot see that changing in the near future.’

Kristjan Mar Hauksson – nordicemarketing.com

Link building

kevin-gibbons‘It’s even more a focus on quality and not about creating a 100 blog posts and trying to optimize the hell out of everything. Old school link development tactics are a thing of the past! The way it is going is based around engagement factors, so when you have content make sure it is promoted to a wide, relevant and topical audience. I think ‘topical’ is very key. You need to have that relevancy in order for the natural outreach to succeed.’

Kevin Gibbons – uk.blueglass.com

 

PPC

arianne-donoghue‘New conversion types are going to come out enabling us to see conversions across devices. So if someone uses their tablet and then their mobile phone or their desktop – you’ll be able to see that as one journey, as one conversion, rather than different interactions. I think that is going to be key over the next 12 months. So marketers can target users, rather than just clicks.’

Arianne Donohue – mamasandpapas.com

Analytics

will-critchlow‘The one thing that I am speculating…its pure speculation, is Chrome sync. So if you sign into Chrome on your various different devices, you can then open tabs that you have on your other devices. So on my phone I can open a tab that I have open on my desktop computer, because Chrome is syncing in the background. I think we’re going to see a trend towards tracking people rather than cookies and having a concept of it’s the same person on your website that it was when they were on this other device.’

Will Critchlow – distilled.net

 

About The Author

Gareth Davies has worked in SEO since 2002 and is director of the SEO agency GSINC Ltd. As well as client work he also consults for the web retailer group SafeBuy and is editor of Ecommerce Monthly newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @GarethGSINC

  • Yeye Yates

    Interesting. As a new player in the industry (have recently launched a small online collectible store), it is always nice to know the insights of the experts in the industry. Will surely keep this information in mind and find a way to implement it with ColibriTool (http://colibritool.com). Thanks again for sharing

  • Jonny Greenwood

    Hi, thanks so much for compiling this review. I run a SEO blog in China, may I have your authorization to translate this post to chinese and publish on my blog?

  • Gemma Antoniou

    Totally agree Cynthia, all about quality now.