My 10 SEO Predictions for 2011

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It’s that time of year where everyone speculates and lays down their predictions and I thought what better way to start the New Year than adding my views into the mix.

1. Google Local/Places will be massive this year with many SEO’s offering ‘optimisation’ for this niche field. This is due to the full integration of Google Local/Places (I still don’t know what the true name for this is) into the organic listings for almost any search that includes a place name.

2. The next thing I think will happen… and I’d hazard a guess at this becoming a reality around the end of April 2011, is the integration of Google Local style- non linking citations into the organic rankings algorithm. This will see sites like Yelp becoming more prevalent as emphasis is taken off links and anchor text and reputation taking a stand and being counted. After all Google is interested in showing high quality results, and what better ‘quality’ than sites that have independent citations.

3. In a similar vein to the above, Google will begin to use online review indicators as part of the algorithm.

4. … this will lead to a rise in spam across all of the citation networks which will see some major players disappear and become a non-citation source.

5. Google will implement Google Local/Places listings irrespective of whether you search for a location or not. This is a continued trend from Google who firstly sought to de-globalise search with country specific searches being forced to view only national results and now down to town specific results. As an example if you searched for ‘shoes’ Google will show you local show retailers and resources.

6. Businesses will still struggle to grasp social media. Time after time I see businesses opening Twitter and Facebook pages and simply littering them with product info and sales messages… this will never work!

7. Sadly I think there will be a movement away from Organic SEO as the recession, VAT increase and Government job losses bite into the economy. I fear that businesses will look towards quick-wins in Google Adwords. This in turn will raise the CPC across all keywords making Google very happy indeed.

8. I think that spam will become unbearable around August as the existing Google algorithm gets ever more manipulated by automated and semi-automated Black and Grey Hat SEO techniques. 2010 was bad enough but there seems to be a growing trend and a plethora of new spam tools reaching the SEO community on a daily basis.

9. Metrics will be big in 2011 as SEO’s seek to squeeze every last drop of ranking our medium and long tail keyword traffic. There is some nice enterprise metric and analysis software out now, which client budgets permitting, can provide unprecedented insight into a campaign.

10. Blueclaw will win best Organic SEO Campaign at the 2011 DADI awards and will be showing their faces a lot more this year, appearing and speaking at many high-end conferences, expos and online communities.

Care to comment on what you think will be big in 2011?

about the author: "Constantly looking at how we can deliver more for our clients - as well as leading Blueclaw's strategic direction. Head honcho with a passion for SEO and online marketing."