The Future of SEO: 5 Predictions about how SEO will change in future days March 30, 2016 SEO The world of SEO is constantly changing; we’ve seen so many changes in the last two years alone. Just a few years back, you could buy links and stuff keywords to get yourself to the top of search results, but this is no longer possible. As Google created smarter algorithms, many of these simple ranking techniques were blacklisted, making it harder for businesses to get to that coveted page 1 of search results. Today, sustainable visibility and rankings must be carefully planned and earned through quality content promotion. This in turn attracts high quality links, thought leadership and social signals to encourage Google to give your site higher rankings. However, since SEO is always changing, and indeed has, SEO packages will also change in the kind and extent of services offered. These are some of the predictable changes, and how you can leverage them to keep your business gaining: Content marketing will be part of SEO As Google elevates the importance of meaningful and in-depth content on various subjects, content marketing will become just as important to organic search visibility as link-building, making it your SEO’s job. This has happened already, but many SEOs still offer content marketing as a separate service. The smaller end of the spectrum will have blog creation and social media amplification services, while the large end will include strategic content development and promotion campaigns based on strategic recommendations. Focus shift to sustainable SEO As they have in the past few years, SEO packages providers will continue to change the kinds of conversations they are having with you as the business owner/manager. There will be more emphasis on sustainable SEO practices such as social media, content marketing and newer SEO reporting methods. You should already be seeing some of these conversations with your current provider, if they have kept up with developments in the field. No SEO guarantees In the past, an SEO could easily guarantee your results because they knew that having X links and Y keywords would land you on page 1 results. This is no longer true. The Google algorithms ranks webpages based on over 200 signals, which no one really fully understands. Giving guarantees therefore would imply that the SEO consultant can control outcomes. In fact, you should be wary of SEOs that offer specific guaranteed results per package; they may not be practicing white-hat SEO. SEO costing will be based on retainer Because of the complexity of an SEO effort – it needs content marketing and social media management among others – the composition of SEO packages in the future will change completely. An SEO will be required to do so much more for a client, that providing SEO packages based on monthly/quarterly retainers would be the best way to manage a client’s SEO campaign over the longer term. You simply can no longer pay for discrete services like link-building alone, for instance. However, the change in constitution of packages in turn provides more room for expansion into other online marketing techniques that contribute to SEO, bringing us to the next point: SEO will be marketing as online marketing services SEO services are slowly moving to extinction, since Google evaluates a site’s entire web presence before assigning a ranking spot on SERPs. Now more than ever, high rankings must be about robust SEO in addition to vibrant content marketing and social media management campaigns. Therefore, SEO packages of the future will be more generalized ‘online marketing’ packages, with the same end-goal: improving visibility in organic search. In any case, your business will benefit from the consistency and cost-savings that having a single agency handling your online presence brings.