Companies providing SEO Services and Online marketing are thriving: According to a recent study by Borrell Associates, companies are going to spend £44 billion on SEO Marketing service in 2016. This is more than triple what they predicted for this year back in 2008, before major game-changers like Panda and Penguin even entered the equation.
What’s more, the company is predicting that the SEO industry will continue to grow to an estimated £50 billion by 2018 and £54 billion by 2020.
Though estimates can be fallible, this does suggest that SEO has grown even more than previously expected, with a trajectory to preserve that growth well into the future. In fact, another recent survey of 357 marketers found that more than 90 percent plan to increase their SEO budgets or keep them the same over the next year. Assuming these projections are at least roughly accurate, is there anything that will stop SEO from growing?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons SEO will continue to grow indefinitely:
- More user searches. It’s likely that the number of searches per user will grow well into the future. Older generations, averse to technology, will make way for younger generations, who rely on technology for everything. Plus, technologies will become faster and more convenient, enabling even more search traffic for each user in circulation.
- More users. The sheer number of search users will also feasibly increase, compounding the effects of the per-user search growth. This is largely due to the internet becoming more affordable and more available to different demographics. One day soon, thanks to efforts by Google, Facebook and other companies, we may enjoy universal availability of the internet. And technologies such as self-driving cars will give users more time to perform searches at times when they previously couldn’t. These changes will make it possible for almost anyone to search for anything at any time.
- More outlets for search visibility. There will also be more outlets for search visibility, beyond the conventional search engines we’ve come to know (e.g., Google and Bing). Alternative search engines will certainly rise, but there are two main areas where I expect radical growth: first, the use of digital assistants, which bridge the gap between online and offline search; and second, search engines specific to individual platforms, like app store-based engines, Amazon.com or YouTube search.
- Decreasing power of traditional ads. Traditional advertising methods have been dying for a long time, and they’ll continue dwindling in power until they eventually fade away. When they finally do bite the dust, a number of businesses dependent on traditional ads as a means of customer acquisition will have no choice but to look to inbound marketing campaigns in the online world to supplement their acquisition strategies.
- Increasing SEO sophistication. We’re getting better at creating and managing more intense SEO campaigns. As a simple example, what used to be a matter of keyword stuffing and cheap link building has now become an intricate strategy of content development and publication. Furthermore, we have access to more data than we’ve ever had before, and our capacity will only grow from here.