NB: This is an article by Benjamin Spiegel, CEO of MMI Agency.
In the world of SEO, 2015 was relatively quiet. Sure, search marketers had a plethora of algorithm updates, constantly evolving snippets, instant answers and ever-changing metrics to contend with, but SEO practitioners are used to that pace of change.
However, with conversations in the first quarter of this year still swirling around ad blocking and earned versus owned media, I believe that going forward, 2016 will be a very exciting year for SEOs.
Based on my own experience and client comments and feedback, I foresee a couple of major shifts occurring.
1. Diversification Of Search Boxes
Search will go far beyond Google as brands start to focus on their visibility (rankings) inside other search boxes. More and more brands are already asking questions like “Why am I not ranking #1 in Amazon?,” “Why is my business not on Google Maps?” or “Why can’t anybody find our videos on YouTube?”
Others are starting to focus more on the discoverability of their content on portals like WebMD, entertainment channels like Netflix and shopping sites like Walmart and NewEgg.
2. The Rise Of Social Search
This is closely linked to the changes in search behavior as we see more social networks extend their search functionality. Unlike traditional question-based search that leads to external content, sites like Facebook are investing heavily in their internal search.
This will become a crucial part of most SEO engagements, as brands use search to regain the organic reach they lost due to Facebook (and other social network) algorithm updates.
3. Reduction Of Technical SEO Engagements
When I think back five or six years, a lot of SEO revenue came from the technical side. Technical SEO is basically fixing issues after the fact to a) prevent negative SEO impacts; and b) optimize the sites for discovery and indexation by bots.