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The Future of SEO
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Manoj Jasra has a great post on his blog on the future of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In the post he describes factors that he feels will become less important (things such as page size and meta tags) and items that will become necessity (website messaging for personalization of search, knowing your competition and widgets just to name a few.)

Of the five items that Manoj says that will not matter, the only one that I would disagree with is meta tags. While they may not be as important as they were in the past, the search engines still need some idea of what a webpage is about. A well optimized and accurate title tag does just that. It makes it easy for the engines to determine the authoritativeness of that specific page. Sure rankings in the engines won't matter, but relevancy will always matter. To what degree and to whom that is another story. Which leads me to the ideas of personalized search.

Personalized search is huge! "Nuff said. As a user of search, the number one thing for me is relevancy. What's relevant to me may not be relevant to you and the same can be said about the reverse as well. That's why personalized search results based on factors (that include my past query history) will be so much better. Relevancy. Other items that Manoj mentioned will become more important include:
  • Competitive landscape
  • Rich Media
  • Usability
  • Widgets
One thing that I would like to add is the proper identification of KPIs as they relate to your online goals. Part of your SEM strategy should be identification and measurement of your key performance indicators. We are already seeing evidence of all of these items from the list above.

In the past, SEM was used to drive traffic through a set of universal search results to your site. So what happens when you remove one section of this equation? (ie. universal search results) Well you can still generate traffic to your site, but then what? Search engine marketing will not mean applying tactics to simply generate traffic, it will mean providing solutions for usability issues to help the visitor once they arrive on your site, SEM will mean understanding the competitive landscape and using widgets to provide the best user experience possible. After all the customer (B2C) and the consumer/partner (B2B) are in control. It is the consumer who decides the best option for their needs.

For Manoj's full post check out Web Analytics World.

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posted by Jody @ 12:55 PM  
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