I did a interview last night and was asked some really really good questions. One of which was what is the future of SEO?
My honest answer is there is no future in SEO. From my experiences I am seeing Google SERPS results strongly influenced by Google Toolbar data, Google User history, and Google Analytics data. Googles combination of SEO and social voting via toolbar/history/analytics will continue to sway more in the realm of social voting. I feel this technology will only get better. I don’t think anyone can argue that core SEO has gotten less valuable over the years and I see that trend continuing. After all if you read the spam as defined by Matt Cutts (Google Lead Spam Engineer) he says:
“Web spam is when somebody tries to cheat or take shortcuts so that their Web site shows up higher [in search results rankings] than it deserves to show up,” – Matt Cutts
That is most SEO at its core. Sure you add title tags and meta descriptions but then you have to incentivize people to link to it. You are now seeing lots sites rank for stuff that have the goofiest URL structure, unoptimized title tags, and bad description tags.
Some of the best examples of how the Google algorithm is more favoring social voting (via above methods) are seen with the Google Sitelinks. I have had things show up on sitelinks that were completely noindex/nofollow and had no meta description or even on page content yet were the first item listed in my sitelinks… coincidently they were also the most trafficked item on my site.
Google will heavily rely on social voting to influence its results in the future.
Algorithms are going to be heavily influenced bu users actions take. Its not going to happen overnight but it will happen.
Please keep in mind I am not a professional SEO and have never claimed to be. My opinions above are purely based on my experiences.