2012 SEO Outlook

New Years just days away.  My own personal resolutions are to listen to more Neil Young, spend time with the family taking in more culture and to write more songs.  Search Engine Optimization work will always be at the forefront of my daily activities.  Included in my previous posts were SEO recaps of 2011 as well as forecasts for 2012, here are some additional expectations as the years comes to a close.  Noting that the speed of change within Internet marketing is increasingly dynamic at this point.

If it hasn’t bee apparent as of yet, the Twitter platform is increasingly strong and finding ways to monetize itself without intruding itself on its users.  The fresh design that came late this year focused heavy on usability and is a strong mobile and desktop experience.  Marketers will continue to target audiences immediately with tweets at trends, seasonality and use it for networking.

Moving past youTube, 2012 will bring a strong push into video SEO as internet video becomes a leading medium.  Over 85% of internet users view videos online according to comScore.  YouTube captured 162 million viewers in August of 2011 (more than all of Reality TV from 10 major networks – 56% market share, only 105 million viewers).  Interestingly enough, VEVO becomes the leader online for credible music videos – maintaining an art form almost discarded.

Yes, again – Mobile will be even stronger than this past year.  Especially within the local SEO segment considering most mobile queries are with local intent in mind.  Get your site a mobile version, ASAP – its quite simple.  Consider all major devices for compatibility and remember, speed is important.   But more importantly, if you are ECOM, expect to see more and more sales direct from mobile devices this year.  It’s time to take a look at trustmarks and mobile conversion as well as bounce rates/CTR on mobile devices.

2011 was attacked by the fluffy WWF Panda all year with an expectation of more content protection as noted within the most recent Author notes.  So, fair or not we can expect Matt Cutts and the Google Spam team to continue to bring us “updates” to the algorithm as early as Q1 in 2012.  Duplicate content, trustworthy sites and brand awareness, all of which being affected by Google’s social platform and the pending implications and Senators call for Anti-Trust argument will lead to further dialogue quickly next year.

Developers can expect to get some use of the advancements within HTML5 (hey, let’s start using multiple H1’s and article tags) to tell bots exactly what sections of pages are about, as well as the entire page as a whole, with more definitive results.  While Schema.org has seen some discussion it hasn’t transferred into much actionable work within sites.  Expectations for further work in OGP and Schema will be the forefront of many developers conferences.  As noted by Google as of late 2011, Rich Snippets are there to show visitors additional data on result pages.  SEO’s using “fake snippets” may face penalization within 2012 with a quick flick of a switch.

Do I expect the end of the world in December of 2012?  Will Hilary run instead of Obama?  Not a chance.  I expect some hot queries though.  Please have a safe and happy New Years and good luck in 2012.

Todd Bailey

Founder/Editor at pushStar Digital
Todd Bailey is a Lead Contributor for many industry leading community blogs and web sites. He has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Fox News, Yahoo News and many other international news programs discussing SEO, Internet marketing, Brand management and more. He has worked as an Internet Marketing Consultant, Web Developer and Project Manager for over ten years in Burlington, NJ.

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