Searchmetrics also predicts that in 2011 marketers will be using the term "social media optimization."
As a year dominated by social media comes to a close,
Searchmetrics, provider of search analytics software, reveals its insights and
predictions for the search engine optimization (SEO) landscape in 2011. Looking
back at the evolution of Web usage and trends in 2010, Searchmetrics noted the
game-changers to look out for, while providing an opinion on some of the
challenges the industry will face in 2011.
Since SEO is now being affected by social media sites such
as Twitter and Facebook, Searchmetrics predicted data is going to have to
include concise social media metrics. Additionally, the application used to
collect this data will have to evolve. The report noted that currently agencies
and businesses are using anywhere from five to 10 different monitoring tools
and many continue to use Excel to compile different data and different sources.
"This is too complex of a process for a marketing
professional and can cost an agency approximately 40 percent of their monthly
budget," the report said. "2011 will bring an onset of tools to
streamline this process, providing the information that is needed to monitor
and analyze items such as keywords and domains at a fraction of the time and
cost it currently is."
The company also predicted that in 2011 marketers will also
be using the term "social media optimization" (SMO) when referring to
their online initiatives. Companies and agencies that will come out ahead of
the game are the ones that start leveraging social media for scalable
link-building efforts. The company's research concluded that the Bing-Facebook
partnership may end up being the biggest game-changer in the industry.
Facebook currently has about 500 million users, and with
Google logging approximately 2.5 billion searches per day, research suggested
most people were leaving Facebook to search with Google. But with the Bing
integration, leaving Facebook and choosing another search provider will no
longer be needed, Searchmetrics research suggested: A user's Bing search results
are now listed along with Facebook search results.
"This underscores the power that Facebook has on the
Internet at the moment. Right now we can only speculate on how this will pan
out, but if executed efficiently, this could change searching for information
online as we know it," the report noted. "This partnership has the
potential of making Facebook an individual's (and a corporation's) go-to social
network hub and search engine. Previously, if you searched a company or name
that wasn't on Facebook, you would have to leave the site to conduct additional
The report noted the main change to traditional SEO seen
with Google Instant is that fewer keywords are now being used in searches. From
an SEO perspective, the technical aspects and the amount of bandwidth behind
these types of searches will come into the light. Additionally Google Local
adds another element, allowing for maps results, video results and funneling
traffic through Google's YouTube property, and can change the click
distribution on search engine results pages (SERPS)-putting a site in the spot
on a SERPS that gets most clicks-which, Searchmetrics researchers noted, is
what SEO is all about.
"As social media continues to stake its claim as the
dominating force of the Internet, the entire landscape of SEO will have to
change to accommodate it," said Horst Joepen, CEO
of Searchmetrics. "We offer extremely comprehensive, precise data to our
customers. To be able to offer this level of data means that we need to stay a
step ahead of the industry and add a functionality to our product before the
client even knows they want it."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.