On Christmas Eve, SEOMoz posted the Top 10 Things We Learned About SEO In 2010. While I wouldn’t necessarily have spent a paragraph on all 10 of these, there are some very important lessons here. I’ll list the top 3.
- Search and social are fully integrated. For SEOs who do well at social media, this is good news. For social citizens who bump into SEOs trying to push their agenda, this is bad news. It means more spam – both on social media sites and in the search engines. But it also means that really good social content gets pushed up in the search engine rankings where it belongs. And, by the way, social is not replacing search so stop saying it.
- Local search still has room to grow and it will be a major area of growth going forward. Google clearly intends to focus on local. And whatever Google decides to focus on will be important. That means we can expect local search to be important in 2011 and 2012. That doesn’t mean Google will dominate local search, but it does mean it will be an important factor for most of us trying to market our businesses online.
- Paid search is still big. When you consider that only 15% of the clicks go to paid search listings while experts predict that $20 billion will be spent on it versus only $2 billion for SEO, well, that means there is still a big incongruency there. But it’s an important one. It means that business marketers have a lot more trust in paid search than organic search. There are certainly reasons for that. Paid search is more immediate and easier to understand.
These three lessons show that the future is not all that different from the past. Maybe local search will be more prominent than it has been and social will be more integrated, but all in all, SEO hasn’t changed much. That’s good news.