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SEO Is About To Change

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Highly regarded SEO expert and Enquiro head, Gord Hotchkiss, while chiming in on SEO mythbusters, came to a harrowing conclusion: SEO as we know it is about to change drastically. Change is inevitable, but SEOers are soon to be in a sink or swim situation.

Hotchkiss begins with reaffirming that natural search engine optimization is not dead, as the doomsday mythspreaders are saying. SEO is not just alive, but is becoming more crucial as universal search results go by the wayside.

…the current paradigm of one query, one page of 10 organic results holds. In fact, the entire SEO industry is hanging on this paradigm. Right now, link baiting/building, optimization, competitive intelligence and all the rest are aimed at securing a top spot in the organic results.

But what happens when there no longer is a “top spot” because every result is personalized, based on your geographic origin, your past search history, your behavior or preferences you’ve shared with the engines[?] That’s where search is going. . .


Geotargeting, personalized results are a “King Kong sized monkey wrench in the SEO works,” says Hotchkiss, which, to mix a fantasy metaphor, means the SEO “quest stands on the edge of a knife.”

To summarize, traditional SEO, which follows a set of principles to push a website to the top spots of natural search results, is nearly an Internet relic. Search engines, diligently tweaking their results for the end-user based on location, search history, and personal preferences, will create an entirely new, largely unpredictable search environment.

That means new tools, new research, new insights in how to maximize exposure, all to achieve presence in various personal search results. In the interim, if the goal of omnipresence (which is the present goal) is not achievable through current standards and practices, then organic search results will become more important than ever.

A prediction here, then, is appropriate. While focus on keywords has been the law of the searchland, SEO professionals will have to more diligently and acutely focus on the end user – every unique end user – mulling scenarios, personalities, and motivations, which makes SEO more akin to traditional marketing, where a firm grasp of psychological concepts is as necessary as the technical acuity of keyword targeting.

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