Regarding the current state...
When reading the vast amount of articles on SEO I often see many of those articles talking about the future of SEO or the SEO techniques you need to know about for [insert year here]. Don’t get me wrong, staying on top of the latest trends in denver SEO or [insert city] SEO is very important. In fact, it is the life-blood of this industry to be in the know of what’s going on. SEO literally operates on trends and Google updates. The problem is that there is always the question on the horizon of “what’s next”? To say the least, staying ahead in SEO can be a very challenging task. More or less, you can call it a guessing game since Google prefers to keep people in the dark. You could say, it’s not entirely without reason though being that this industry started with tactics meant to manipulate the search algorithm rather than provide the best content someone was searching for. After all, the whole idea behind the creation of Google was to utilize the vast power of the internet for the good of seeking the correct information (even if it doesn’t always seem like it). This created the basis of SEO; to optimize content so that the massive search engine could identify the point of your content and if it met the needs of a searcher, then have it presented at the top of the list or near the top.
As someone that may work in the digital marketing industry then you are well aware of how it works. The next step is to figure out how all the things we know are culminating into what we don’t know; to get enough ahead to the point that we can prepare ourselves before the next real thing hits. We see currently that people are starting to prepare more for secured sites and voice search. There are many articles that talk about this on the internet so I won’t dive too deep into that but give you an idea of where all this could be going next based on the Internet of Things.
For those that aren’t too familiar with the technology sector, we’ll start with the basics. The Internet of Things (IoT) simply refers to devices that connect to the internet and incorporate features that require internet. Think of your phone. Now think of all the devices that have come out since smartphones came about. It’s starting to come to a point where you cannot even have a device that doesn’t connect to the internet for some sort of feature. Sure there’s a lot of examples otherwise but what I’m saying here is that with the prevalence of the Internet of Things, we’re moving towards a time which will see that just about all devices will require the internet. This may seem far fetched but along with this will eventually bring the integration of everyday our environments with the internet. That statement might seem a bit confusing but think of it like this. You happen to be walking around town one day, just there to blow some time and maybe do a little shopping. While you’re there you want to know what the best deals around you might be. Classically, you would look at what stores are around you and try to pull up their various websites or do a Google search with [name of store] discounts.
Although we have the speed of the internet in our hands, this process still proves to be arduous and time-consuming being that you have to crawl on each individual website. Now imagine you have on integrated glasses that are connected to the internet and when you look at stores you are presented with digital storefronts that show the best deals the store has to offer presented to you directly without having to look through any websites or search for specific deals. The stores themselves would work to maintain that storefront so that it shows the best deals to all the foot traffic that happens to come by there on a daily basis. Imagine the possibilities there for a moment and what could be done with something like that all thanks to the Internet of Things.
Don’t go making the same mistake people always make when it comes to thinking of technology that doesn’t exist yet and assume that this will never be a possibility. If you do a little research then you will find that this technology, while not being perfected yet, has already been around and is still being developed. What I speak of may be a ways away at this point and without sleek designs that would seamlessly integrate into an everyday look, we’ll probably still be waiting for a some time but nonetheless you know this will eventually happen when one of the biggest tech giants on the planet has set its eyes upon, lending creed to the exponential growth in technology. Knowing this, it doesn’t seem too absurd that we will eventually be to the point in environment interaction that it will seem like something out of a sci-fi movie. Think of how big virtual reality has become for a minute. Imagine what’s going to happen when that technology becomes better and by that I mean smaller and more precise (think of computers 30 years ago). Soon this will be a reality that we will have to embrace.
Albeit, this may be where the future of technology is heading in one aspect but what does this actually mean for the future of SEO? In what ways will SEO professionals be apart of an interactive environment? This is an interesting questions indeed but the real answer is that no one really knows because it hasn’t happened yet and with the way Google goes about keeping information secure we don’t really know how it’s going to present itself. What we can do is speculate by the way SEO is driven today and how people would interact with this technology to form an opinion as to where this might end up.
Let’s start off with what we know about the basics of how SEO operates today.
Paid Advertising (Cost Per Click)
As you might or might not know, paid advertising is one of the biggest money makers for Google. With their platform being the number one search engine in the world (by a vastly commanding margin) it’s easy to see why they would charge businesses to get to the top of the list. Either way, the idea behind this is that, as a business, you set a budget based on keywords (or phrases) that are specific to your industry and Google will show said keyword in a certain amount of searches that pertain to that word until your budget is met (each keyword has its own price so the amount of times it is shown varies).
This pertains to the practice of making sure the content on website is optimized with great information to make sure that when someone lands there, it is actually what they were looking for and it adds to their search experience. This is done via keywords being placed within the content so that Google knows exactly what they content is for (in conjunction with other words placed on there to create the total of picture of why someone would be there).
This is the active process of SEO (on the part of the business). Paid ads only require you to setup the ad campaign once and then just keep paying, whereas, off-site SEO requires a business to actively build links, create relationships, create blog posts, and so much more. If anything you can think of this is a business making its best effort to go out there and show people that it exists by presenting their information to as many people as possible (which will bring their rank or popularity up).
So what does this mean for the future of SEO exactly? Well given the nature of what SEO professionals do then it comes down to elevating the presence of a business through partnership and paid advertisements. Really what we’re trying to do is draw parallels between what kind of building practices exist and how they might change within an interactive environment.
The first thing that comes to mind is what the state of paid advertisements would be in such an environment and what they might look like. This might be the easiest to determine out of all being that advertisements bring in a lot of money and seem to be fitted in no matter their space. For this we could imagine a certain amount of space might be sold or “reserved” for adverts on storefront “shelves” or display walls or whatever you might picture them as. Clicks would be tracked the same way, possibly just displaying the adverts as little calls to action. When clicked it would launch into a fully interactive environment all around you that you could perceive through the use of your speciality glasses or goggles. This would bring a whole new level to client engagement, allowing for these paid advertisements to deploy into interactive stores even from thousands of miles away from the brick and mortar establishments. Much like paid ads on Google right now they could either be changed out depending on budget or possibly exclusive deals could be setup with the individual store especially with some of the bigger brands that tend to get a lot of foot traffic. Who knows what it will be like exactly but I’m sure some sort of variation will be how it’s laid out, with a bit of prominence placed on these ads that businesses continually pay for. The tricky part is trying to figure out how this applies to the non-paid ads (i.e. the equivalent of off-site SEO).
What will come of off-site, organic SEO? My belief is that this is going to look pretty much the same with an emphasis being put on locality, especially when it comes to products. This will still happen in the same old fashion of link building, networking, and working to bring up your site authority but an emphasis will be placed on the lowest priced products (much like they are now). The difference would be that comparisons to the current item you are looking at would be one on one to see how they stacked up against each other, giving much more exposure to a single item at a time. This would perfectly support Google’s initiative to bring the best options available to searchers being that stores would have to focus on quality of the item especially now that everything could be presented in real-time, right to someone’s face. This would also place a dependency on fostering relationships with other businesses being that most businesses would control the majority of what is on display for their store. It would be up to the SEO professionals to start creating relationships between various clients to be able to offer other options that would not infringe upon the sales of the display store. Through this many partnerships would be formed and smaller ecosystems of stores within certain localities would be born, placing an incredible emphasis on networking for denver SEO professionals.
The one facet of all this and Google’s mission to keep in mind is that there will always be an emphasis on bringing the best deals possible to a searcher. With this in mind it would seem that organic SEO is going to see the biggest change out of anything being that the way information will have to be presented organically will have an emphasis on comparison of deals in real-time. This means even with paid advertisements there is going to be comparisons showing up unless you’ve decided to go to a specific store to look at all the merchandise of a retailer. It’s hard to say what it’s going to look like and what the specifics are of how this is all going to be put together and presented but one thing we know is that with the way trends move our world is going to become far more interactive especially with 3D capabilities eventually being readily available. All we can do from here is wait to see how it will all be constructed and do our best to keep our clients ahead of it all.