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2010 has been called the “Year of SEO.”  While search engine optimisation has been a part of the internet world virtually as long as search engines themselves, this year has marked a big shift in the way businesses perceive SEO.  A greater percentage are employing optimisation techniques and strategies; more are launching full-scale campaigns; and more plan to devote larger portions of their advertising and marketing budgets to this particular sector.  But what does 2011 have in store for SEO?

It is likely that social media will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, and many see SEO becoming an integral component of social media campaigns – or social media optimisation as an integral component of SEO campaigns, however you prefer.  Facebook, Twitter, and other websites will continue to be a focus for businesses.

Searchers tend to be looking closer to home now; they want specific, localized information, and this is a benefit that social media can provide.  Major search engines are also following the local action.  Google Places, for instance, provides convenient information on area businesses.  It is going to become even more important that businesses list themselves in these localized search engines and take advantage of the narrowing of the search world.

After the fiasco at DecorMyEyes reported in the New York Times, Google and other search engines will also begin weeding out “bad businesses” or those with poor customer ratings to prevent negative press from putting bad companies at the head of the SERPs.

Most SEO experts agree that it is almost certain we will see big changes with major search engines, including Google, but especially with Bing.  Some predict voice-enabled search or more personalized results.  Changes in search engines usually necessitate a shift in SEO practices, but a solid campaign is, by nature, flexible and can adapt.  SEO will continue to be a field in flux – but that is the way it has always been.

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