After spending the last month reading list after list making SEM predictions for 2011 I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring. When you truly look at predicting anything, the best case scenario is you’re right and the worst case scenario, well at least you made an effort. So, without further ado, here are my top 7 SEM predictions for 2011:
1. Above the Fold Content Becomes Less Crucial
One of the biggest things to take away from the infographic craze is that users are willing to scroll if you have engaging content. Virtually every mouse has a scroll feature; create amazing content so I want to use it.
2. HTML5 and CSS3 Will Begin to Go Mainstream
The general population is afraid of change. Most tech people are early adopters and embrace change. Now we just need the people building sites for clients that are still using IE6 to let them do it the right way. Listen to Smashing and start using HTML 5 and CSS3 today.
3. The Death of Foursquare: As big players integrate location-based services better, the smaller pioneers will fade.
Let me start by saying I’ve never been into letting people know where I’m at so they can go to my house and kidnap my dog while I’m out drinking. Therefore, I may not be the authority on any this issue. However, I do hate having to juggle four different apps in order to let everyone know what I’m having for dinner, where I’m having it, that I just became the Mayor and that I checked in to save 20% on appetizers.
4. Google’s Disdain for RSS Will Continue to Grow
With rumors already swirling about Google moving resources away from Google Reader, it’s likely that support for RSS will fade overall. Personally, I used to be into RSS as it’s an excellent way to keep abreast to the latest news and industry blogs, however that all went away when Twitter became my professional social vehicle and Facebook became my personal social vehicle. Using Twitter and using it right helps to filter out all the fluff and only read content that is valued by people who know more than I do.
5. Blekko Will Become an Important FREE Tool for SEO Professionals
Blekko has already made efforts to supply SEO data to users. I think the next step in the process is to allow the data to be exported and manipulated. Stay Tuned…
6. Local Search Will Drive More Customers to Brick & Mortar Stores
Yelp reported that in December of 2010 35% of all searches on Yelp.com came from a mobile app. Please take into account that this number doesn’t even include the people who go directly to the site through their mobile browser instead of using the app. People are searching locally and on the go because they want to spend locally. Looking at Google’s shift towards local content only reinforces the fact.
7. Customer Reviews Will Take Center Stage
One of the biggest obstacles working with companies that are just now jumping on the local bandwagon is that it’s difficult to get an influx of reviews. As local businesses begin to optimize for local search, expect to be asked to review a business more and more as you’re walking out the door with your lunch.
In the end, there were a million different predictions I could have thrown out there. Check back next year and we’ll see how I did.
What are your thoughts/predictions for 2011 and beyond?