2012 the year of ‘Rise of the planet of SOCIAL SEO’
The past 12 months have been a steep learning curve for the SEO industry. Thanks to the multiple iterations of the Google Panda update, the introduction of +1, Google+ and the “freshness” algorithm, the SEO industry has been forced (in the case of Panda penalties) to rejig the norm.
SEO is not just about H1’s, H2’s, Meta Data or links anymore; it has evolved into being far more multi-dimensional. 2011 has laid the perfect foundation to achieve seamless harmony between mathematical precision of an algorithm/machine/bot and the nuances of human behaviour – through the rising influence of Social in Search. In the future it might become increasingly difficult to define SEO in isolation and it will most likely be replaced with a new terminology called ‘Social SEO’.
It seems Google is borrowing the catchphrase from the famous HP campaign and renaming it something like ‘search is personal again’. In 2011, Google laid the foundation by introducing the big analytics SSL change, on the back of ‘we care for your privacy’.
However, I feel the real agenda here is a) get more people to sign up for google accounts, which automatically signs up users to Google+ and b) Google+ further advancing into personalized search. So, if you are logged in, you are more and more likely to see links and comments from your network contacts. This explains the point I raised in the introduction about harmony between bots and humans and how search is being reinvented.
One of the other ways to exemplify the significance of Social SEO would be the introduction of Business Pages on Google+ which are seemingly continuing to add SEO value. Google+ is already one of the fastest growing social platforms and the fact that Google+ business pages will have SERP significance is key; it only influences and incentivise brands to get more people on board to Google+. Perhaps this is Google’s grand plan to shoot two birds with 1 stone and conquer the world of Search and Social together – and compete with the rising might of the Facebook and Bing alliance.
As an SEO I believe Google has given me yet another playground in the form of Google+. These are exciting times to be an SEO and learn as we all go along with Google while it reinvents search once more.