Like all forms of marketing, search engine marketing continues to evolve.  When one spoke of search engines, one almost exclusively meant Google.  With two of every three searches conducted on Google, you have to say it’s still like that.  But the very nature of search is changing…it’s not just typing in a word or two in the search bar.  It might be finding a restaurant on Yelp; it might be looking for a person on Facebook; or, it could be non-tracked search on DuckDuckGo.

It’s clear that search is evolving.  In this way it’s no different from radio or television.

A recent article on SearchEngineJournal written by Marc Purtell looked at five key trends happening in search.  Let’s see where the industry is heading…according to Marc.
1.    Search is for everyone. This is true but, it’s important to understand why.  Search is now an integral part of the consumer buying process.  More than ever before consumers research products and companies before making a purchase.  This is particularly true in industries such as finance, auto, insurance, and other big ticket items.

2.    Search is growing.  As stated in the opening paragraph, Google is still top dog by far, but their growth is slowing, while bing and facebook are growing at a faster rate.  There are more and more searches every day and people are using a more diverse set of search engines to shop and find answers to their questions.

3.    Geo-targeting and mobile are where it’s at.  Optimizing your site for local search traffic is becoming increasingly important.  The use of GPS to track a user’s location has a direct impact on the search results.  And since more and more searches are being conducted on mobile devices, it’s increasingly important.  Your sites must be mobile-friendly if you want to take advantage of this growing search sub-set.

4.    Coordinate paid and organic search efforts.  Purtell cites studies that show when organic and paid search appear in the same search window, conversions are higher.  This means coordinating keyword efforts.

5.    Social matters. Oh yes, social media does matter.  Search engines admit to social signals being an indication of website quality.  Get used to it.

We don’t know exactly where search engine marketing is going to be five years from now, but we do know it will be different. My guess is, mobile will be the predominant search tool and there may well be a set of smaller search engines that are specialty search engines.  Not much different from the proliferation of radio stations and the way in which they target different audiences.

That’s my big prediction of the day.  Remember, you read it here first.