SEO in 2022: What have TV and Films Taught Us?
Writing about what SEO will look like in 10 years is a difficult proposition. Had I been in this situation 10 years previously I’m not sure I would’ve predicted the search world being influenced by my Dad sharing photos of the dog he looks after, or me being at the mercy of someone who spends their spare time writing about the ridiculously confusing world of facial products just because I need a link. As difficult as it would have been to predict then, I think it is possibly even more difficult now unless you have some Q like powers (Star Trek reference no.1). Not one to be discouraged though, I will endeavor to give a well informed, logical, and structured view on what the world will look like.
To get an insight into how Google has developed, and it’s future plans I first thought about looking through their company history, reading articles predicting technological trends, and gaining expert opinions etc. Before I could actually do this though I started thinking about sci-fi tv/films and decided that was far more interesting.
I first thought about Star Trek. Now the wonderful inhabitants of the Utopian universe use a style of computers that are already in society, just they don’t actually work (Siri). Could a decade more development time allow this voice technology to develop to the point, where, like the Star Trek computer we can ask our handy friend a question and immediately get the answer no matter where on our ships (or homes) we are? Probably yes, but then this would only be good for those informational searches, and hearing a voice is never as enthralling as a visual feast, which leads onto the main Star Trek recreational entertainment source the fabulous holo-deck. As much as I would love to get a date with Sienna Miller (even if she is a hologram), and to see how those people in black hats would spam some kind of holographic, virtual, internet world just for the pure hilarity I think this technology could be beyond the reach of even the mighty Google.
The Spam Report
Head of Google: There hasn’t been a murder in 6 years. There’s nothing wrong with the algo, it is perfect.
Black Hat Wearing Individual: [simultaneously] – perfect. I agree. But if there’s a flaw, it’s .edu comment spam. It always is
So what then? How about a minority report style retina scanning system that reads our eyes, recognizes us and what we want, and then displays some results which appear before us fulfilling all our needs. With search plus your world Google are already making inroads into knowing everything about us. Even if at the moment, they would think I have 8 friends who are all SEO’s (I actually have 9 and one of them works in PR), It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that social will be able to provide so many signals that Google won’t really need to rely on too much else, and will in effect “read our minds”. This poses some worrying problems though; I don’t want to have an eye transplant when I want non personalised search results, I don’t think I really want my friends influencing my search results too much, and with all this data Google with become incredibly powerful. This leads me onto my next scenario….
I was having another think about Google’s power and sci-fi films, and discovered something pretty alarming. Ponder this, If you change the o’s in Google to read ky, swap the e with l, change the l to a t, then make the g’s; s and n, it reads SKYNET. Pretty compelling evidence that Matt Cutts is in fact a machine, and soon enough Google (or as we now know Skynet) will be plunging the world into a nuclear apocalypse. We just have to hope that politics hasn’t taken too much out of Arnie, and he’s still able to help the future of humanity.
I’ll stop making shit jokes now
In all seriousness, and sci-fi joking aside I don’t really know what the SEO world will look like in 2022. The developments that Google have made are changing the way we think about search all the time, and I can only see this speeding up. The end goal for Google is to provide the user with the best content available; eventually they will figure this out without having to rely on factors we can easily influence. In the same way that we can’t cloak, buy mass links that actually do a lot or any other manner of old school manipulation has fallen by the wayside, eventually keyword optimization, URL matching, guest posting etc will go the way of the dodo too.
Don’t despair though!
The tools, data, and willingness to share knowledge at the moment have meant great people are at the top of the SEO world. There aren’t many excuses for rubbish strategies now, and in the same way people who work in the industry, in whatever guise it may be, and create exciting, well thought out strategies using the tools available (one can only imagine how complex they will be) to analyse data, and provide a richer overall experience for the end user will ultimately be successful. If your content is relevant and full of awesome why wouldn’t Google, or other people want to send traffic your way?
What medium this will take, I don’t know, but in the same way the last ten years has meant people have to do less manipulating and more great work, the next ten will amplify this infinitely more. One thing I can say with confidence is that even if search was completely impenetrable and SEO made completely redundant, the intelligent people we share our industry with wont be out of work. They will be at the forefront of whatever combines the technological, social, and psychological elements of business, still creating, debating and innovating, just in a whole new way. Hopefully with a bit more hard work, and by using the force (shit, wrong theme) I will be at the forefront with them.