Where is the future of search engine optimization heading in the year 2017 and beyond?
SEO has a rough history of white hat tactics and black hat tactics that have given it a bad name. As technology changes and the driving factor behind SEO (Google) changes, so does search engine optimization.
I’ve even contemplated whether SEO was necessary or not.
The black hat tactics of SEO still exist and there are of course companies who will gladly take your money, do nothing, and disappear. Fly by night SEO companies are plentiful. Luckily, SEO is changing for the better and Google has driven that change.
Search engine optimization has moved towards white hat tactics the past few years. Search engines are getting more intelligent at seeing through the shady workings of black hat SEO companies. Oh, and it punishes them severely and without remorse.
So, what will the biggest changes in search engine optimization be?
The Biggest Change
The acronym SEO has already morphed in meaning a lot in the past few years. The future of search engine optimization will continue to bring changes to the meaning of the acronym.
This will be the biggest change in SEO. It may perhaps even lose the acronym because consumers of SEO will realize it’s not about optimization for search engines.
SEO for the past few years isn’t about search engines, it’s about people. That will be the biggest change.Search engines are about people, not tech. SEO should match the search engine's goal; people. Click To Tweet
The technical back-end part of SEO will still matter but it won’t change much. The biggest change in search engine optimization will be in having a website with content that’s helpful to people.
SEO will continue its shift towards being more about the people, less about the technical.
The big change to SEO will come only with shifting expectations.
The future of search engine optimization will bring rapidly shifting expectations on what SEO is. As companies realize there is no silver bullet for SEO, demands will change and companies who provide the services will also change.
SEO isn’t a service, it’s a solution in the great scheme of your brand online. Expectations will shift from people wanting someone to “SEO” a website to helping them get qualified and valuable leads.
Search engine optimization without a further goal beyond ranking high on search engines is a waste of time and money. Ranking high in search engines isn’t an end goal. It doesn’t help a company get customers, and it will cost a lot more than it will bring in.
Quality content is the only way to successfully use SEO. That makes quality content a priority in the future of search engine optimization.
This is the year SEO becomes about the people and not the algorithms and rankings. Without great content, people won’t care how high you are ranked. They’re going to pass over your website or click back in a hurry which ultimately harms your rank in search engines.
Relevant content that matches what people are looking for, that’s where expectations will shift.
For The People
Search engine optimization has previously been about optimizing a website for search engines. There was a lot of technical aspects to it and some black hat techniques. The black hat techniques have been minimized, though.
Now it’s all about the people. Google has led the way in optimizing their search engine to help people find the information they need. Search engine optimization is no longer about trying to rank higher. SEO is now about providing people with what they’re looking for when they’re looking for it.Ranking #1 on Google isn't a good goal for anybody. It's a dead-end. Click To Tweet
Ranking #1 doesn’t do that. If you’re trying to rank higher you only have your interest in mind. The future of search engine optimization is all about matching your interest with the searchers interest.
If there’s a match then you have a good chance of gaining a lead if you’ve put the right content and offer in front of visitors.
The future of search engine optimization has higher expectations than a few technical tweaks to a website and some black hat techniques. It’s time to shift your expectations from a service to a comprehensive brand solution.
If you’ve ever looked into search engine optimization services, you may have some expectations. Depending on your expectations, it may be time to change them. If you think you’re going to buy the service, have a company “SEO” your website, and rank #1 in your preferred term within a month, your expectations need to change.
Search engine optimization was previously about black hat tactics that can now get you punished from search engines. It was also about the technical aspect of your website which will have minimal affect.
You might expect to increase your ranking significantly with a technical SEO update to your website. That won’t happen, though. Companies who charge you to update the code on your website are going to leave you disappointed.
The real change and the future of search engine optimization comes with good content, helpful content, content that meets searchers needs. Search engine optimization is a more comprehensive solution that has to be tied to your overall brand.
Whatever your goal is today or in the future, a good web design agency is the best way to effectively meet your business goals online and add purpose back into your website.