I am always careful with trends. Often, well-known factors and processes are hidden behind trends with new names. And too often, when following the latest trends, the foundations are forgotten.
Personal assistant: I see a clear development of search engines and ranking systems towards what is known as personal assistant. Apparently, Google’s objective is to anticipate the needs of those who are engaging with the search and, possibly, fulfil them on its own. For this reason, I personally believe that Google’s focus lies more on Google Now – and other forthcoming tools, such as Google Cards – rather than on mobile search.
Apps: in my opinion, the use of and search through apps will increase strongly in the future. Google seems to have a similar view and tries to become a mediator between user and provider through app indexing.
Flexibility and conversion: for search engine optimisation, I think that building strategies in the framework of an online marketing mix is an essential point. The use of SEO measures will become more of a prerequisite and less of an objective (which they never were). The basis of strategies are reliable metrics as well as the guarantee of an earlier conversion. The online presences we look after will shift towards maximum flexibility and conversion optimisation.
More competition: we will have more competition, but this applies also to Google. A ranking system, such as Tripadvisor, brings more valuable visitors for bars and restaurants than Google could. For this reason, as SEO, I see also a clear focus of my work on the optimisation for these systems. Google will remain the ruling search engine also in the future. But in parallel many more are developing.
Data analysis: data will play a central role. Namely, the analysis of data that we have at our disposal or that we collect. In the future, this is what we will do on a larger scale. However, we will also transfer ourselves more data to ranking systems. Here, we can no longer remain limited to the crawling through systems, instead we need to deliver actively. The necessary API interfaces are already available.