Qamar Zaman a Dallas SEO provides his opinion on SEO forecast by leading experts like Bruce Clay, Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel & Danny Sullivan
Dallas, TX — The internet is littered with gazillions of predictions on what will happen to the SEO industry in the coming months to come. If you don’t know how to filter the good from the mediocre ones, then you would surely find yourself getting plastered and even confused on what to take seriously and what are the ones to ignore. Thus, the need to get your information from trusted authorities and sources is a must.
In this post, I went through the hassle of filtering serious predictions from the ones which are not likely to happen and add up my opinion, discussing a bit if the prediction is more likely to happen or not.
To make sense of it all, I compiled them according to the SEO authority who predicted it.
9 SEO Predictions in 2015 that You Should Not Ignore
Ready your seatbelt and prepare yourself for this year’s top predictions that would surely shake or even change the way you see and think of search engine optimization.
Bruce Clay – Google Meets Its Match with Amazon and Bing
When I read Bruce’s 2015 predictions (http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/2015-seo-industry-predictions), I can’t stand still without further analyzing them and then share them with my peers. It is important to note that Bruce has almost 2 decades of experience in the industry and his speculations are not just based from pure opinions.
The following are his top 4 predictions about what lies ahead in our industry.
- “As Google’s paying PPC clients complain of an inability to compete with Amazon, Google will be forced to launch a program to support ecommerce and compete with Amazon result listings.”
My Opinion: I think Google knows well how a big threat Amazon is. They’ve already released Google Express (or Google Shopping Express) to openly compete with Amazon, but the idea that they will release another kind of ecommerce listing platform to outplay the former is always a possibility.
- “Bing will lead the search engines in market share expansion as the search engine’s marketing skills overtake Google’s programming skills. Google will maintain dominance of market share, but Bing will expand.”
Opinion: This is a very interesting speculation and the type that would surely garner mixed reactions. In my case, Google has still the edge and will continue to be a step ahead of the rest of the search engine players in the industry. Despite being a tech company, Google spent hundreds of millions of dollars both in advertising which include traditional media coverage via TV Ads. This shows that they are always ready to spend a lot of money for the sake of their advertising and marketing goals.
- “The first page Google results will be entirely made up of pages that are mobile friendly, fast, and contain mission specific content (answers questions).”
My Opinion: This looks like what is actually been happening now. Google ranks more those pages that load faster which content directly answer specific search queries. Upgrading your website to adapt to all types of mobile platforms can help a lot in boosting your rankings. Choosing simple designs over graphic-laden templates is a smarter move as well.
- “SEO will become more technical, but those doing SEO will become more than programmers. Marketing skills re-emerge as vital to doing the job. Technically minded SEOs will have a harder time incorporating marketing strategy into their methodology than marketing professionals will who integrate technical SEO requirements into their discipline. So, I expect marketing to absorb SEO.”
My Opinion: I actually have mixed feelings on this. As someone with a technical background, absorbing marketing was just like a natural transition for me. Being in the industry for over a decade now, I’ve known a lot of technically savvy experts who have adeptly incorporated proper marketing approaches in their SEO strategies. I guess let’s just have to wait for the stats and figures to validate this prediction.
Rand Fishkin – More Difficulty in Tracking Data and Non-for-Profit US University Will Offer SEO Course
Rand is the king of Content Marketing and one of the top SEO authorities in the industry. He traditionally shares SEO predictions every start of the year and then evaluate at the end how many of them got right.
- “Mobile search, mobile devices, SSL/HTTPS referrals, and apps will combine to make traffic source data increasingly hard to come by.”
My Opinion: This is highly probable. Given the fact that most search data in Google Analytics are lumped in the not provided and not set categories, the future of tracking data, more especially when it comes to mobile and more secure platforms, would surely get harder and harder. Getting the right tracking software should be on top priority when it comes to evaluating traffic from both web and mobile platforms.
- “We’ll see the first major not-for-profit University in the US offer a degree in Internet Marketing, including classes on SEO.”
My Opinion: As demand for more SEO practitioners’ increases, the rise of institutions who would offer competent courses on such field also increases. Universities will be catching up with online-based academies who have been dominating the market ever since the beginning of SEO. They surely see now a promising market their online counterparts has already been dominating since the inception of digital marketing.
Neil Patel – The Decline of the Relevance of Guest Posting and SEO Becoming Harder
Neil is known for his online web tracking company, KISSmetrics. He’s the go-to-guy in everything digital marketing related and is a very prominent blogger in the online marketing industry.
- “Guest post links won’t be as effective.”
My Opinion: Of course. You don’t need to be an expert to predict or to speculate about this. The game behind guest blogging has changed but this is mainly brought by the overall changes in Google’s algorithm called the Hummingbird. Traditional link building tactics are not that effective anymore compared to before.
- “SEO will become harder.”
My Opinion: Year after year, SEO actually transforms into a puzzle that is difficult to crack and solve. There’s no absolute solution and in most cases, a lot of factors hugely depend on how savvy you are when it comes to understanding search algorithms and how search engines work.
Danny Sullivan – Giving More Attention to Mobile
His almost 2 decades of experience in the online marketing industry makes him one of the most reliable authorities when it comes to search engines and search marketing topics.
- “Pay even more attention to mobile, not just in terms of ranking but more about the landing page experience, ensuring that your arriving search visitors from mobile are getting a great experience. I think we’ll also see continued growth of structured data opportunities. We’ll also likely see Google to continue to grow direct answers, which will probably make SEOs nervous about whether they’re going to lose traffic. I think even despite this, however, SEO traffic will remain strong.”
My Opinion: The influx and continuous increase of mobile usage all over the world is a phenomenon that has already been happening. More and more people are accessing the internet via mobile devices. The need to give more efforts in optimizing your content and website for mobile platforms is something you should do now, or else you’ll risk losing targeted prospects. I discussed this in detail in my recent post regarding the SEO changes and challenges in 2015 (/2015/02/09/5-seo-best-practices-for-2015-by-seo-expert-qamar-zaman-from-dallas_201502091118.html).
In the coming months, we can expect a more heated competition between Google and Amazon, and Bing putting more efforts to close the gap between the search giant.
As everyone already know, Guest blogging isn’t that safe anymore, and everyone is wary on how hard SEO had become year after year. I will and see what Eric Ward will say on this subject. See his 2013 post here. If I had to follow someone, I will do what Eric will suggest.
On the other hand, huge emphasis on mobile optimization will affect SEO plans and goals for this year. The need to create more mobile-friendly websites is not an option anymore but a must if you are aiming to boost your rankings in the SERPs.
A few academic institutions might start offering online marketing courses, more specifically focusing on SEO.
May happen or not, these predictions are good guides to help you in laying out your online marketing strategies for this year and even the next. Always keep your mind open and always be ready to adapt to all sorts of changes.
About Me: Qamar Zaman
I am a Dallas based SEO who is a student of Eric Ward and have achieved my success by following my mentors like Bruce Clay and Eric Ward so I will continue to see what they are doing. Follow many of my recent posts on news.oneseocompany.com and watch my Google hangout on SEO Forecast 2015. http://youtu.be/QAgISDaNdsU