It’s that time of year again friends. Without further ado witnesseth these prophecies that I have set forth hence: (If you want to see how I did with last year’s version I have updated the Local SEO Predictions 2008 post: – sorry for the extra ado).
- Google, Google & More Google. Did I Mention Google?
It’s Google’s world and we all just search in it. Yahoo & MSN will still be generating traffic but Google’s share will continue to grow and if you’re not showing up in the GSERPs you better rethink your marketing strategy.
- The Number of Small Business Websites Trying SEO Will Increase By 10x
The economy sucks. Small business websites suck at Internet marketing in general. SMB’s will realize that one of the best ways to fight the economy is to not suck quite so bad at Internet marketing.
- A Thousand Local SEOs Will Bloom
Probably a lot more than that. Per my post I’m a Mortgage Broker, I Mean SEO, unemployed people with basic SEO knowledge will hang up their SEO consultant shingles in record numbers causing a large increase in the number of SMBs trying SEO (see prediction #2), and consequently causing a large increase in future clients for SEOs who actually know what they are doing.
- SEO Will Become A New Line of Business For Many Companies
In a market where cash is king, everyone will be reviewing their assets to see where the cash generators are. If you have any kind of brand, be it local, national, whatever, chances are you are sitting on top of a valuable SEO asset and don’t even know it. Smart businesses who understand the power of search will start to use SEO to reinvent what their brand means in search (a fancy way of saying besides trying to rank for the money terms for their core business, they will now start to focus on money terms that may have nothing to do with their core biz, but that they have the ability to rank well for). Aaron Wall calls it “brand spamming“. I call it destiny.
- SEO Referral Services Will Be All The Rage
No one has really claimed the mantel of “the place to go to find a good SEO consultant”. Maybe SEOMoz has kind of, but I think they focus more on the community/education thing and not as much on get me five bids from five great SEO firms and get them to me now. They’re coming baby so get ready.
- SEO Communities Will Continue to Flourish
With services link Ning and KickApps, the cost of community creation has dramatically decreased. Any SEO blogger with a semi-decent brand or a lot of marketing chutzpah is going to be tempted to create their own version of SEOMoz or SEOBook’s premium service. Why should the big guys get to have all of the fun?
- Google Maps Will Continue to Endure Massive Map Spamming
It seems like the only way around this is to create some kind of a Wikipedia-type thing where there is a core of crazy maniacal community editors who are watching over everything like hawks. But it could be a lot easier to prove that someone is spamming the Britney Spears page v. the local tattoo parlor profile.
- Video SEO Will Continue to Be An Amazing Area of Opportunity
More and more marketers will figure out that the easiest way to exploit Google Universal Search is via local video seo.
- A Big Local Search Site Will Fix The SEO Loophole That Only A Few Of Us Know About
I sure ain’t telling… ;P
- Two Words: Stimulus SEO
I don’t know how it’s going to go down but when Obama injects a few trillion into the economy you know patriotic search marketers everywhere are going to be figuring out how to get a piece of it. For example – you could set up a site that tracks the how the pork is spent city by city (www.pork-in-city.com) and then when it hits big you redirect each city page to a local butcher profile page. Just reread that. It must be getting late.
Oblique Strategy for 2009: Trust in the you of now
15 Response Comments
Fabulously insightful as always.
I want to actually call you out on one of your corrections to last year’s stuff:
It’s happening. We do it. Call me for examples. So there!
As to this year’s predictions, we’re seeing the tidal wave of 1/2 ass local SEO already. Mike B and I are looking at one right now who at least has the sense to position their fictitious locations in buildings with executive suites.
And they’re selling their spam as local SEO!
And yes, Virginia, the bulk upload is alive and well.
Finally, if you decide to start that Local SEO referral service I’ll be first in line to write you a nice little check (should cover about a week of your kung pao chicken habit)
With regards to #1. We are seeing it already. Yipit ranks much better on Yahoo than we do on Google but a much bigger chunk of our traffic comes from Google (more than the market share would even imply).
I think any business with a social atmosphere will be tempted to get on social media, for better customer retention. For example a coffee shop has a Facebook Group. A Curves Workout group has a private social network.
This is great insight Andrew. As pros, it’s incumbent on us to empower our clients as much as we can. There’s SO much work out there, there’s no harm done.
I think SEO will definitely become a new line of business in 2009. The problem is convincing businesses of the benefits of organic marketing, here’s my views on it: http://www.zeta.net/blog/2009/01/sprinkle-some-commercial-gold-dust-in-2009/
A few more predictions you might enjoy (yes, they’re a little more sarcastic, but still):
I just heard Google has shut down some of its services and is cutting down on staff too this could mean google becoming less important special when yahoo is experimenting its new CEO.
2009 looks like is going to be a year of surprises.
Interesting perspective Jamal. We’ll see how it plays out but I am thinking Google is still going to be king by the end of the year.
Do multiple links to YouTube videos result in a greater ranking strength? Also, if multiple companies link to the same YouTube video, does that dilute the “bump”? Right now, I think Google is the only local listing that allows multiple video links, is that right?
Great Article! I have a real estate company in Laguna Beach. I started my website way back in 1996 and have been doing SEO for years. Now that the real estate market isn’t doing so well I have been seeing many other websites trying to compete with mine.
One thing is damn sure. In future there will be many competitions with new comers and also with the existing ones. There will more no SEO’s and this will make the major aspect for the internet businesses .
Just to add to #7, OpenStreetMap already does this, and Google should just give up trying to use their own systems and just give people the option to use OSM for search or use it where its better.
Very good post .Complete list of local seo tools http://www.redagni.com/local-seo-tools/list
I love looking at these predictions two years later and see how true a lot of things have come to pass. So much has happened in the last two years and seo has really become a dominant thing in my line of work. It seems like 90% of people are now looking for homes online and the need to at the top engines for city name + real estate, etc is really important between getting the business and being left on the side line.
I love this article. Back in 2008 our team knew SEO would become larger as a space where businesses can find clients. Working mainly in Laguna Beach Real Estate.. We see it everyday where 70% of our leads are coming through this way. Thank you!