We take a look at the potential future of search engine optimisation, how it will change and what gaming affiliates and webmasters need to do to adapt to the search environment of the future

At this point I sound like a broken record, but the future of search will largely be based on the past; content and content marketing will reign supreme in strategic process and thought. The more I extol on this fact the more changes Google makes to prove my theories.

Recently, Google announced about 40+ updates to the algorithm, with one being a tweak to a historically used link metric. Links to your site aren’t becoming less valuable; their value is simply shifting.

Following this announcement, Google began an assault on artificial blog networks. Again, the concept seems to be that Google is beefing up its arsenal against link gaming, which also means it is likely making prohibitive changes in its algorithm. If we look at what Caffeine and Panda have allowed for Google to do, we see that it can much more accurately understand the information on a page of text. This makes anchor text almost useless. If I can understand what a page is about and, furthermore, how high or low quality the content is on that page, then why do I need signals like anchor text to help me classify or value web documents?

And so, while technical SEO remains a huge piece of the pie, SEOs must start thinking more like classic marketers, even in the gaming space, where excuses concern why content marketing ‘can’t’ work. Bodog and others have disproved this for years, and have reaped the results. Strong technical SEO understanding, content, and content marketing is the past, present, and future of SEO.

SEO will move to be more of a total online marketing job (as the better ones know and are acting on already). We will need to know how to optimise for the search engines inside Facebook and other social networking sites, video search and all the new technology that is just starting to emerge now. Obviously, the percentages of searchers coming in through mobile devices will be a major factor in the near future and location-based optimisation will become an important way to gain traffic. Add to that the use of behavioural targeting and SEOs will need to build true persona types on which to concentrate their ‘spend’ for the best conversion numbers.

Meanwhile, as Yandex and Baidu grow their percentage of global traffic, the ability to market to Asian, Russian and other non-English speaking customers will become an integral part of any successful marketer’s skill set.

We are moving away from simple html and basic search results. Look beyond the crowded SERPs where Google now offers movies for sale at the top of some results or maps and/or news; you will need to learn how HTML5 can be optimised, how to work keyword and object density in videos in order to rank well. We could drop the engine part of it completely and be just search optimisers, even to the point of finding the right potential client from their previous behaviour and current GPS location.
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