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Search Engine Optimisation in 2012

Author's avatar By Chris Soames 06 Jan, 2012
Essential Essential topic

A roundup of what the experts say

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It's the end of the first week January and most of the influential bloggers / "experts" have published their predictions for what will change in the world of SEO in 2012. Rather than add to the noise and because most of the authors are far more knowledgable than I am I have decided to filter the predictions and give you the 3 most likely predictions of 2012 (in my opinion)

These are four best SEO 2012 roundups if you missed them:

1. Social Media Influence Will Impact Search Results

It will come as no surprise to most, indeed looking back, it's over a year since I reported "Official: Facebook and Twitter do influence rankings". Still, in 2012, precisely how metrics and engagement signals from social networks impact rankings will undoubtedly change and progress in 2012.

I think links from Social networks will become more important but equally the quality of your fans / followers and engagement on these platforms will play a bigger part in how you social score stacks up to help (or hamper) your website in rankings.

Considering your profiles on social networks in terms of receiving traffic that might have traditionally gone to your own brand website. The reason being is that brand pages on social networks will undoubtedly start to rank for major key-terms as they develop.

2. Footer Links Will Get Devalued Further

This has been mentioned by a number of the influential SEO experts and it makes absolute sense. Websites have used footer links to create more internal links to key pages within the website. They were often used to help get important pages within two clicks of home to encourage a larger % of page rank to distributed and increasing the likelihood of it ranking. Footer links tend to be consistent on websites and therefore easily identifiable to search robots. Considering how you intelligently link to content and structure your website could soon be high on your agenda!

3. Bigger Panda-style Algorithm Changes Will be Rolled Out

The panda updates during 2011 were huge leaps forward for Googles Spam team but I think most believe there is still a way to go. It would appear experts in SEO think the same. I would bet that a number of significant updates will be rolled out to combat spam & paid for links throughout 2012! It's happened the last few years.

One final small prediction... broadening the scope of SEO

My main though around SEO in 2012, is that I'd like to see more non-specialist understanding of SEO; a re-birth of brand & creative marketers but in an online marketing role. I think brands are starting to realise the requirement for remarkable content created for customers. This requires intimate understanding of customers and big ideas... Personally I would welcome them with open arms...  The links, engagement and true growth will come as a result of creating remarkable things not running technical "SEO processes".

So in short I predict that more and more SEO agencies will incorporate brand / creative roles into their offering to compliment the more technical orientated teams that currently exist. This all hinges on customer engagement and content strategies, so I'm a little surprised the experts haven't really picked up on this, instead looking more at algorithmic changes.

Would you add / remove or change any of the above? Let me know in the comments area below.

I wish everyone the very best of luck for 2012, I am certainly looking forward to it!

Author's avatar

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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