Non-Obvious 2012 Predictions
1) A healthy mix of tracking mechanisms, social media integration, usability testing mediums and user experience value add systems will play an increasingly role in determining a site’s ranking.
With Google’s recent Panda update it is clear that SEO is becoming more focused around better user experience. If you are implementing mechanisms on your web site to improve your end user’s experience your site is more likely to be of higher quality in all forms. This will come obviously as a result of increased engagement from using these tools, but it would be short-sighted to think that the search engines would not use these types of detection to influence the quality of their results. Take a look yourself, install the Google Chrome Sniffer plugin and see what the best sites are using. On a side note, if you’re interested in what they’re doing to generate revenue you can use the Google Chrome Ad Sniffer plugin I built recently for this purpose.
2) A new site explorer will launch to compete with the likes of SEOMoz Linkscape, Majestic SEO and now SEO Spyglass with the recent shut down of Yahoo’s Site Explorer.
Frankly I’m shocked the SEOQuake team hasn’t launched their own yet considering how many great tools they have and how effective they are at collecting absurd amounts of valuable data. In any case someone needs to cover the gap between SEOMoz’s Linkscape (spectacular data, high-quality, smaller index) and Majestic SEO (lower-quality data, larger index). Perhaps SEOMoz will accomplish this by growing their index significantly, but at the rate thus far that would be unexpected. I’m quite surprised Bing didn’t adopt Yahoo’s Site Explorer and expand on it, perhaps they will fill this gap this year.
3) Google Analytics will expand real-time Analytics to all their reports
I would bet and I would hope that Google Analytics would adopt their real-time data to apply to all of their statistics rather than one minor section in their overall Analytics package. Well a step up, not all that innovative or impressive considering how much farther they could take it. While they likely already use all this real-time data in their algorithm, it’s time they start sharing it with the webmasters that support their efforts by utilizing Google Analytics on their web properties. Share the wealth Google, seriously.
4) Google organic click-through rates will drop another 25%
Slingshot SEO recently reported on an exhaustive study on the latest click-through rates in Google. Based on the rate at which Google is further diminishing the organic results with advertising to further improve their bottom line, I would anticipate a 25% decrease in click-through rates by the end of 2012.
Date Impressions Installations
2012-11-01 597 10
2012-11-02 576 16
2012-11-03 2180 30
2012-11-04 1336 32
2012-11-05 683 37
2012-11-06 695 23
2012-11-07 705 20
2012-11-08 853 30
2012-11-09 NEW PROMO IMAGES POSTED ONLINE 2,617 19
2012-11-10 11,925 36
2012-11-11 12,148 64
2012-11-12 10,695 36
2012-11-13 8,459 45
2012-11-14 9,326 37
2012-11-15 9,282 37
2012-11-16 9,961 55
2012-11-17 12,971 47
2012-11-01 through 2012-11-08 AVERAGE
2012-11-10 through 2012-11-17 AVERAGE
5) SpyderMate SEO Tools will take off as one of the leaders in the internet marketing software industry
I’m a little biased, but MentorMate’s new product SpyderMate has some seriously innovative tools on the horizon. Just launched in October 2011 and made an appearance at PubCon Las Vegas. Also, just made PC Magazine’s Top 100 Sites of 2011 list in the Undiscovered: Tech category.
Obvious 2012 Predictions
1) Bing will increase in market share
Well obviously, you expect that trend to go South all the sudden, especially with all the money Microsoft has to pay for an increased market share? Plus people like that there’s a semi-serious newcomer/competitor to Google. The internet needs it desperately. Plus the whole default search engine in Internet Explorer situation obviously has its perks for capturing the non-techies out there.
2) (not provided) will get much worse
Obviously more and more people will learn to cover their tracks by logging in and searching. Plus Google’s social network and continual launching of new products that people love and use will only make this worse and worse.
3) Anchor text and link metrics in general will decrease in impact in rankings
This is one of the oldest methods of determining ranking and of course it should become less significant. Search engines are looking to innovate and continual reliance upon old methods is the opposite of innovation.
4) Google will force Google+ adoption through search engine rankings impact
Everyone’s bonus in Google is tied to Google+ being successful, of course they’re going to leverage their search engine to make this happen!
5) Social media share buttons will show up everywhere
Social’s taking over and it’s starting to impact rankings in addition to all it’s other inherent value as a marketing vehicle. Expect social sharing buttons everywhere! For example, feel free to share this post =P