For the past few years the world of SEO has been changing dramatically. However, most of this change has focussed on SEO techniques.
It is no secret that Google doesn’t like SEO. SEO detracts from Google Adwords and Google can not make money out of SEO. However, if you want to be on the first page of Google then you have to engage in SEO in order for a targeted stream of consumers to visit your website.
It is also no secret that Google collects a lot of data. Most of Google’s success is down to harvesting immense amounts of data about internet users and working out how to put it to good use. It would seem that this data will now be used to further complicate search engine rankings.
Google has been using personalised search results for a while and giving people the results that they think they want to see. Tied in with this is local search, so Google will adapt the search results depending on your location.
However, it now seems that Google may be evolving to use its data to provide results depending on the click behaviour of users. For example, people searching for holidays regularly go to Trip Advisor, so Google could rank Trip Advisor pages highly for holiday queries, even if they do not have the best keyword match. By analysing the path users take after a search query Google wants to further improve the user experience.
At first glance this seems as if it is bad news for SEOs, but this is not necessarily the case. White hat SEO practices involve building brand reputation online and if Google goes down the route of automatically associating brands with keywords, then white hat SEO should not suffer or change very much.
For businesses wanting to get to the top of chosen keywords they should work hard to ensure that their website answers searchers queries and that their brand is the leader in their niche.
This will involve a full integration of best marketing practices with SEO being taken into consideration with all other activities.