2015! What an awesome year for online marketing with Google making massive strides towards machine learning and understanding overall usability.
Is SEO dead? Hell no, migrations keep getting messed up, untried technologies keep getting used and overall technical SEO is more important than ever!
While I don’t want this post to be another generic predictions for the coming year kind of post (year of the mobile woop woop!) I do want to take a moment to document where I think things are going. I may be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time especially if you ask my wife) but hopefully it gets you thinking.
- Less reliance on Google
Google is here to stay but there is no getting away from the fact that we are constantly being pressured in to investing more and more effort in to PPC, display and shopping. Combine this with recent strides into Google owned content appearing prominently within key SERPs and you can see that we are getting to a stage where it is wise to start looking at the wider opportunities for business.
I expect that 2016 will be the year that brands start to look at other channels more seriously and begin to invest in their own channels rather than relying on the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter for all of their audience recruitment.
In an extension from my first point, I expect Apps to play a bigger part in marketing strategies moving forwards. Big brands will hopefully release well thought-out apps that have a purpose beyond simply providing the functionality already available on their websites.
- SEO stops being SEO as we know it
I don’t mean SEO goes away. I mean SEO evolves in to a more distributed thing focused on a broader range of channels and user experience as a whole. Hopefully we will see SEO being fully integrated in to all marketing functions and everybody pulling together towards a common goal with TV, above the line, PPC, social and content all working to produce overarching campaigns.
- Awesomeness as a ranking factor
Ranking factors will become a thing of the past. SEO will be all about doing the right thing for your users and being the best you can be. Artificial intelligence will evolve the algorithm to a point where it can easily negate manipulative efforts and reward genuinely good websites.
Here's to 2016!