SEO-Chicks.com were running a contest that had SEO professionals with 2 years of experience or less imagine what the industry would be like 10 years from now. I thought the prompt was quite interesting and worth writing about since I have already noticed a lot of industry changes in my first 10 months.
In 2022 I imagine all of the basic SEO techniques still around but they have gone in the same direction as directory submissions, semi-irrelevant. With Google and Bing pushing for search to become a more social experience and monetizable, your rankings are really about how people are communicating about your business and how much money you’re willing to spend for advertising.
2012 was the beginning of Google’s push for a more social search and 10 years later it’s still Google’s focus but without Search+ or Google+. Both have been thrown in the trash because Search+ received too much negative publicity because users felt Google was favoring their personal content. Google users wanted their search to be social but with more than just Google+ in mind.
10 years after the Google+ launch, Google grudgingly decides to shut down their social network because their stats never reach the level of Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest. Most of the critics believe Google+ never took over the market because of bad timing. They launched at a time when users were happy with their current social networks and didn’t see a significant difference with Google+.
Since search engines are focusing heavily on social interaction in 2022, companies start paying for user reviews so they can achieve higher rankings. The review farms start growing quickly and company reviews start to pour in at an absurd rate which catches Google’s eye. This causes Google to tweak their algorithm and penalize companies connected to the review farms.
Due to reviews being abused Google decides to delete all user reviews from their systems. With the media’s eye focused on Google, information leaks about Google pushing PPC clients higher up in search rankings because they were paying for Google services. The public erupts against the once highly regarded search engine, the hacker group Anonymous takes down the search giant which causes people to immediately start switching to the easiest solution, Bing. Bing can’t be handle the new traffic over the next few months so people decide that the only reliable solution has been all of their social media channels.
A few college kids build off this concept and create the first successful social search engine and start the Web 3.0 revolution.
Obviously there is a little hyperbole in my prediction but some things I truly do believe could happen.
I can see Google+ and Search+ failing. I feel like my demographic (18-24) and even the 25-34 group still enjoy using Facebook and don’t see a need to switch over to Google+. The majority of people I know signed up for an account and checked out the service and then their interest immediately faded. If this is the case for a large portion of the Google+ users then I can’t see Search+ lasting very long because it relies so heavily on Google+ interaction.
If Google modifies their algorithm to start weighing reviews more I won’t be surprised if we start seeing people/companies creating fake reviews to move up on the SERP. Fake reviews are already happening so what would stop someone from creating a review farm. I can’t imagine what Google would do to alter the damage if that were to take place.
So, now that I gave my prediction what are some changes you think will happen with SEO in 2022?