---Vote For Your Predictions---
Can you forecast 2011’s Web changes? What could be expected from Google, Bing, and Facebook? To succeed online, you should have a fair idea of technologies, trends, and events that will alter how we do things.
Predictions are closely related to uncertainty, and should be taken with a big grain of salt. After coming across a few 2011 SEO prediction posts, I started to see some similarities. In hopes of collaborating with a mass of minds, I put together the most commonly discussed trends below.
To get a better idea of what 2011 holds, we’d like your opinion to count, too. So vote here ------------------->>>
11 Most Most Predicted Online Trends for 2011:
1. Social will become more integrated into search
As the Web is humming with Facebook and Twitter comments, what are people saying about your company and products? We've already seen social results show in the search engine results pages, but many predict larger algorithmic changes around social. Matt Lawson of SearchEngineLand said, "This new, more social search algorithm will allow users to rate search results or even websites, and have user 'likes' factored into ranking algorithms."
Google Trends indicates the growth of specific search queries online, including "what is social media," "what is SEO," "twitter management," "social media management." All four of these queries have seen a steady growth in the last couple of years.
Mobile usage has increased globally so quickly in the last few years that many marketers are still trying to catch up. Must SEO be customized for the 2x3-inch screen? At the rate mobile apps are growing, do mobile apps need their own form of optimization?
3. Search engines improve search results with a more sophisticated algorithm
Last year Google gave us Google Instant and Google Preview. The front end is nicer so what is to be expected with the back end? With the onslaught of spamming, black hat and nonsense article automation, the search engines must keep providing great results. Could the search engines have something new that will affect your rankings?
4. Better SEO tools, including rank monitoring
SEO used to be shoot from the hip, yet in recent years, to rank it takes a lot more. SEO requires a better analytics data analysis and a strategic plan. Rand Fishkin said, "In 2011, I see several SEO software companies growing to critical mass based on the market's demand." Will you need software to keep up?
5. HTML 5 makes viewing better over multiple platforms
Browser compatibility will continue to improve to allow more HTML5-driven websites. With the use of more specific tags HTML5 may improve relevancy and indexation.
6. Social media takes a new role
We have watched it grow and its going to continue. Social media is here to stay but will it's influence grow or plateau among marketers? "Since SEO is now being affected by Twitter and Facebook, data is going to have to include concise social media metrics. In addition, the applications that collect this data will need to evolve," said Dr. Host Joepen.
7. SEO will become more automated
Where there is a will there is a way, and often that way must cost less to meet the will. Matt Lawson said, "Only three things are certain in a search marketer’s life: death, taxes, and rising CPC's (cost-per-click). To combat this cost increase, marketers will have to double down on match type and negative keyword management, creative testing and campaign structure optimization to lower costs and increase conversion rates." Can, and will, SEO become a manufactured product?
Finding your barber, grocer, and contractor online will be just one query away. This trend is already growing with the business card of your company mapped to your location. Will this pick up for the masses? "This changes the rule so that now the site that has the most attractive/relevant preview will generate the higher number of clicks, so adding in location-based keyword analysis is going to become even more important," said Marina Greenwood of ActivaPR.
As social media has been growing, so has the term 'SMO' or social media optimization. Branding and marketing tactics will alter and become more focused on social marketing. Dr. Host Joepen says, "Companies and agencies that will come out ahead of the game are the ones that start leveraging social media for scalable link-building efforts." Google Trends shows 'Social Media Optimization' with small beginnings starting early 2010. Will SMO be to FaceBook as SEO is to Google?
10. Trust will become more important for users -- "Trustbait"
As SEO has become more sophisticated, "organizations will need to develop links from more ‘neutral’ sites such as news portals or by appearing in a search engine’s own news stream"(Marina Greenwood). As people have been looking to protect their online identities, they have also looked for the trusted news media sources. To get and keep search rankings, is it going to require even more quality 'Link bait' than previous years? Something PR firms have been doing for years.
11. Bing-Facebook partnership will change how we search
The annoyance of Facebook search was that when a company wasn't listed, you had to leave the site to find the company. Now that Bing's results are listed on Facebook, the social media and search integration begins. "This partnership has the potential of making Facebook an individual's (and a corporation's) go-to social network hub AND search engine," said Marina Greenwood. Andrew Redfern of Hitsearchlimited "Facebook listings will start to appear in more "interesting" places, while impressions and "like" data will be put to good use in its keyword ranking mechanism." Since the news came out, search for 'bing facebook' has been on a dramatic rise. Could this be the game changer for online search?