I was speaking with DaveN earlier about his trip to Live.com and the way things seem to be moving. Moving away from a link based algo and into something all the more personalised.
Link based algo’s have been with us for some time and I even remember the days before them (they were cool btw – read easy- if you are not old enough) but what happens when that does not cut it any more?
Make no bones about it one day the SEO business as it is now will be no more, of course there will be angles, but there will be less opportunity and things will be much harder. Harder in the sense that it will probably take large budgets or a killer idea and the luck/skill of the tipping point. There will be many casualties and many non starters!
Don’t get me wrong things always change but what I can smell in the future is an all together different way of life. I have been seeing a shift to things like Taguchi testing and usability/user retention for a long time, which was why I was keen to get involved over 5 years ago with things like focus groups, and quantitative research. I also worked on a portal project which had great potential and had things like user profiling driven searches built into it etc etc, but the tech was not available, or the resource to get it running to a mass audience. Google and Microsoft have that resource and that tech, so I for one am looking forward to seeing what they develop.
There are still many options open to the SEM specialist, a couple that spring to mind that I am happy to write down include:
- Revert to another industry – don’t knock it, you may need a fall back, this life is about safeguarding and looking for how you can protect yourself, if that’s not how you think, I worry for your existing clients!
- Adapt, look for the new niche.
- Build the “on the side project” that is search engine independent?
- Something else?
So if things changed tomorrow, ie SEO as we know it today would no longer work, what would you do?