Seo Predictions for 2010

SEO Predictions for 2010

Another year of search engine madness is about to come to a close. In 2009 we have seen the Google search engine display many variances and ranking fluctuations. So before we put on the swami cap and bring out Nostradamus SEO quatrains into the light, let’s recap some of the major Google changes and initiatives.

In 2009 The Google Search Engine:

Put more weight toward the keywords in the domain. In fact, keyword-rich domains could achieve top 10 rankings in less competitive phrases just on the weight of the domain name and a few onsite optimization tweaks.

We saw Google increase the visible space for the Adwords Sponsored PPC displays. The money maker for Google is encroaching more and more on the organic search results territory.

We saw name branded companies get extra weight in the organic results, not from normal SEO algorithm enhancements and features, but from manual Google manipulation.

Searchers’ IP addresses were instrumental in displaying Google Local results for major keyword terms in various 1 box or 4 box positions in the organic search results.

Customized Search and IP captured-related searches made search results for the unknown more focused on what you have visited in the past rather then the “true” organic listings.

The introduction of Caffeine by Google displayed more real time results from news, Twitter, Facebook and other sources and was displayed in various locations on the organic search results page.

There were many other factors that changed in 2009, but the ones above are the most prevalent (in our eyes) and affect the potential customer click through rate.

Now for the 2010 predictions:

With the introduction of  the Caffeine Google Search Engine enhancements and the ability to display real time results, and more of the old “Universal Search” parameters of images, news, videos, et al.  traffic from first page SEO results will decrease for organic results if you are not in the Top  3 for that respective search term.

Google will be displaying so much more data and manipulating the organic displays with their data enhancements that normal percentage click through traffic for front page results positions of 4-10 will dramatically decrease.  Here’s what this should mean to the average reader and company: it’s time to increase your SEO budget now rather then be caught with your search engine traffic results in the gutter and scrambling to attempt to catch up.

Social media’s impact on search results will be misguided.  Many will attempt and are attempting to divert budgets to create social media campaigns to attract visitors and catch the wave of potential search traffic.  Organic search results in the future will display social media mentions in a live format. However, they will only be displayed for milliseconds as their display order is chronological.  Link values from social media campaigns will have little impact on the organic ranking results.

Social media done correctly and for branding awareness and bringing like-minded people together is a great concept and can improve your marketability. But in terms of SEO rankings, the affects will be dismal at best. Your ROI will be your measuring tool to determine if social media is effective for you or not.

Google will continue its push to become a Broadcast Network for the Internet.

Many in the industry view Google as a Search Engine with products and services to display websites and enhance a webmaster’s efficiency. Unfortunately, that view is misguided.  In 2005-ish this prediction was made, and every year Google positions itself away from a Search Engine environment and into a source to view data online. The broadcast network business model is like the major television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC Fox etc.) that display shows to attract  viewers.  Commercial advertisers pay for that model.

Google will continue to promote, provide, and display data to attract viewers. They are targeting IP addresses to identify your location. They have brought the Google iPhone application to capture your mobile consumption.   Google wants to know as much about you as it can so that it can tie advertisements directly to you.  In terms of advertising dollars,  knowing you can get your message directly to a “buyer in need” rather then a “channel surfer” will pay huge dividends in the end.

As Google continues to move forward and push the envelope of data distribution, Search Engine Optimization will become more target-focused.   The ROI in SEO is up for grabs and will remain significant, as long as your budget, focus and SEO company can see the big picture and be able to adapt.


  1. Many will attempt and are attempting to divert budgets to create social media campaigns to attract visitors and catch the wave of potential search traffic. Organic search results in the future will display social media mentions in a live format.

  2. Hey they will only be displayed for milliseconds as their display order is chronological. Link values from social media campaigns will have little impact on the organic ranking results.

  3. This is a perfect article since I am curios about SEO too. Thank you for sharing this ultimate guide.

  4. Insightful as always, Eric. Especially the idea that Google will and is becoming a Broadcast Network (Hello, Youtube?). No company in the world frightens me like Google. Remember when people used to be afraid of Microsoft? Well, that is small potatoes now. Google, quite literally, controls information and that is true power. You could add a prediction for sometime this decade: Government breaks Google Monopoly.

  5. Very interesting article! How much do you think some of these will really affect the SEO world, and better yet, how do you think these will affect those in the search marketing local area of seo? It’s surely going to be interesting how 2010 does play out!

  6. Thanks for sharing your SEO predictions, well done!

  7. Very insightful post. I have a lot of good vibes from 2010 and I can feel a great paycheck coming, just requires some hard work and a little elbow grease

  8. Yes, I agree its scary how much information Google is attaining on us all and how they can really influence our sites rankings for their own gain or loss.

  9. The conclution for 2009 is very accurate.
    and we all can find Google is going to enlarge its scope of business, not just as a search engine.
    the first two points of 2010 prediction is very important, if authentic, we will change our seo strategy.

  10. This is no new news, we just have to be clever enough to stay on top with Google, by constantly educating one’s self on the new and up and coming apps, search, social, mobile, rss, video marketing standards.

  11. I read with interest your comment related to “putting more weight toward keywords in a domain.” I’ve achieved first page rankings for 45-50 key phrases just by labeling different product sections of my site properly without any other SEO investment. Zeroing in on specific product brand names has made it very easy and although not as rewarding as achieving the top search term in our industry, there is a great payback; paying customers which with a great ROI since the investment is next to nothing. Lowell

  12. A well thought-out predictions. I like your articles,espeially that of using linkdin for link building.

    Good job!

  13. Great post. I would have liked to see more detailed and more specific predictions. Of course, the predictions you have made are all somewhat general, and as such, pretty safe. Chances are google will travel down the paths you have pointed out. I am more interested in what they will do to their algorithms though.

    I wonder if Nostradamus really made any predictions about google. The way people interpret the guys ranting to suit all sorts of different stuff, I wouldn’t be surprised if we could find a few of his quatrains really do apply to google..

    Personally, I think we will see google move away from backlinks as a popularity measurement in the near future. I think it is becoming obvious to everyone, including google, that backlinks are no longer any sort of accurate measure of a sites popularity, much less quality/usefulness. I could be wrong, but I think the days of the coveted backlink are numbered.

    Google stomped the competition a decade ago, by looking at links instead of reading keyword stuffed content and meta data. It worked brilliantly back then because all the garbage, and all the SEO at that time was focused on keyword stuffing, but not so many people were linking to the trash. A decade later and SEO is all about backlinks. Whoever can throw the most money at it can have the most backlinks. Yes there are innumerable ways to get backlinks, and if you can put more money into it (time and energy also equate to money) you can get more high quality backlinks.

    One would think that google’s interest would be primarily in voluntary backlinks. Not backlinks which the linked to site somehow arranged. These days though, I think the number of ‘arranged’ backlinks on the net may well exceed the number of voluntary ones.

    The fact that SEO is so focused on backlinks and google is still weighing backlinks heavily, leaves google wide open to the same sort of defeat that all the other big players suffered to google a decade ago. We are already seeing some young search engines cropping up that are focusing on different methods of measuring relevance.

    Google probably won’t just rest on their laurels, they probably know better than that. If google results give me only the top SEOed sites but some fresh, young search engine gives me the most relevant content – I will go with the relevant content every time. A lot of consumers would love to jump ship too, they just need a viable alternative.

    On the one hand, I would love for google to get away from weighing links so heavily, it is a method which makes less and less sense every day. On the other hand, I dread such a change, because we may find ourselves needing to start from scratch with SEO and/or having to learn all different tricks..

  14. I agree that social media should be used more as part of an internet marketing strategy than as SEO for real-time searching. And, it was so quiet how Google changed personalized results based on what you’ve searched for before from an opt-in feature to an automatic feature that you have to opt-out of if you don’t want it… That might have a negative effect on SEO cause people might not know that the results they’re getting are being limited.

  15. I really hope Google does something about the messy SERPs for certain keywords…like including news items, videos, images, etc. in search results…I wish they’d put them in separate tabs or pages.