What do you do when search revolution happens?

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?



6 Comments on “What do you do when search revolution happens?

  1. The sheer diversity and evolution of search is taking place on a daily basis. The developments outlined here show that not everyone is just focused on Google. Google currently have such a wide user base, but for how long we ask ourselves?

    Time will tell, i’m in agreement, the changes are set to turn heads not just for online users but in the way we as SEO’s work.

    dan horton seo

  2. Probably become a window cleaner. Or a plumber. Never ever a management consultant. Just did my time with big corporations, and the whole “nothing gets done” attitude drives me nuts.

    A motor bike despatch rider.

    Or I might organise people to do services. No Richard, Gardening, cleaning car valeting. Those sorts of services.

    What are you planning?

  3. I agree with you 100% re the speed of change.

    I would do exactly what I am doing now, only faster.

    ie, focus on conversion improvement through taguchi type stuff, do more usability testing, surveys etc

    SEO has been a ‘commodity’ for us for the last year at least.

  4. I don’t really see any difference to be honest, the game to a large extent has always been how well you can fake natural. I think the bigger challenge is that like gravity, traffic will be attracted to the large bodies. Thats a challenge to smaller site owners and the one where conversion improvement will come to the fore.