We caught up with Dan to get his thoughts on some of the major changes SEOs will be presented with in the coming year.
Dan, what do you think the biggest change was to SEO in 2012 and what can we expect 2013 to hold?
“The biggest change to SEO this year was the 1-2 punch Google delivered with Panda and Penguin. What wasn’t as noticeable were some the pretty substantial developments Google and Bing did in the background.
First, Google rolled out the Knowledge Graph, which is going to be the algorithm of the future. Any wearable computer, such as Google Glass, that does a search will use the Knowledge Graph as its primary ranking algorithm.
The second major development Google delivered is Google+. Don’t think of it as a social network but rather a global id system. Any of Google’s products that use search (all of them) will rely on Google+ to deliver social signals to the search results. This is a 10 year project for Google, and we’re entering year #3. We can expect to hear a lot about Google+ in 2013.
The third subtle change this year that we will be experiencing next year is Bing’s inclusion of Klout in their ranking algorithm. I doubt Klout will be a major algorithm signal, but if Bing does rely on it for social metrics, like Google uses G+, we will start to see an even greater difference in the SERPs between both engines.”
What other major trends can we expect to impact SEO in the future?
“Everyone knows the PC age is done, and mobile is where we’re headed. What most don’t know is how that’s going to impact SEO.
My opinion is that native mobile apps are the future, much more so than responsive design or HTML 5. This is a problem for search engines because you can’t link from one app to another app like you do from one web page to another . That means searching and ranking content within apps is a difficult challenge for Google and Bing, especially if you don’t have an Android or Windows device.
But even if you use Android, no linking between apps makes it harder for apps to communicate with each other. Right now in Twitter’s mobile app you can link to a web page, but that’s because the content is out on the web. What happens when the content is walled off in an app, like Facebook? Now the link graph that Google rules the web with becomes useless. It needs to be replaced with a new graph, and I believe it will be the social graph.
It’s hard to link to something within an app, but it’s easy to like, comment and share a piece of content. That is the new quality signal, and AgentRank place a crucial part in converting those signals into a useable algorithm.
Expect Google and Bing to continue their focus on social signals, not for the desktop, but for mobile.”
Come see Dan speak in Chicago for SES 2012. November 12-16th.
The key themes covered in the session will be:
- How Big Data Analytics and Automation could help rather than hinder your performance on search engines.
- Will winning the second click on your site be more important than winning the first click on Google?
- How can marketers make use of Google’s concept of the Zero Moment of Truth?
- Will Google’s Knowledge base eat all our facts?
- How successful is search really anyway?
- Is there SEO without links?
Where do you think search is going? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.