SEO Trends 2016: Part Psychology, Part Technology

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Have you ever played the game where you open Google and type in just one letter, word or phrase to see what comes up in the auto-complete field?

It's a little strange, like having someone guess your thoughts. The results will represent a mixture of what topics are trending, things you have searched before and topics specific to your region and language.

The strange aspect of it is that minutes later, you'll get an ad on your Twitter feed or Facebook page for the same thing you just searched on Google! It's the really sophisticated algorithms that scan and analyze our online lives, and mine information about us, that guess what it is we need or want.

The predictive process employed in a simple search is now morphing into a fascinating new psychology being practiced by machines on human minds. If you are interested in the deeper dive on this topic, Wikipedia has a fascinating page on predictive analytics.

In addition to being able to predict the way you plan to complete a sentence, the algorithm is beginning to guess why you are searching. If you frequently search for topics in say, "astronomy" is it possible that you are more likely to be interested in purchasing science fiction books and novelties as well as accessing information about astronomy? These types of guesses are going to become more common as more and more of your search information is cross-referenced.

Marketers have actually been making guesses like this for decades. Your personal preferences, in a way, define your "persona" much more accurately than just your demographic profile. The power to make these marketing assumptions and affinity connections has been increasing exponentially ever since the "Mad Men" days due to the fact that so much information about our habits and preferences is available to such sophisticated computers.

For the consumer, these ever-advancing technologies are either a real convenience or intrusive. While there are ways to adjust your personal settings so that you can somewhat control the amount of personal information shared across your interactions, it's getting harder and harder to stop. On a positive note, it may be extremely helpful to receive an ad with a coupon for a shop or restaurant that is near an event you are attending. The sudden appearance of that coupon on your screen might be a delightful surprise or an annoying invasion. The more these technologies are deployed and tested in the marketplace, the better the fine-tuning will become. Marketers will want to use the strategies that consumers respond positively to and scrap those that irritate them.

SEO, Google AdWords and Social Media Management companies and consultants have been adjusting their tactics as changes arise. Unlike the straightforward and fairly simplistic advice given by the Federal Government for their agencies to deploy SEO, service providers are staying on top of the ever-changing SEO story. Companies with robust online presences rely on the expertise of these organizations. They understand that even large corporations with in-house marketing departments might not be able to devote highly focused attention to changing technologies in order to keep their SEO, Keyword, and AdWord strategies effective.

It used to be that simple strategies (like the recommendations outlined in the usa.gov site) could be managed with good keyword and tag selection. This assumption is being challenged by new voice command technologies, which will cause the written, long-tail keyword to be less and less effective for search. Voice command searches will pose a different kind of challenge for predictive models, and according to Jayson DeMers, contributor to Forbes, "This trend could reward pages that contain colloquial conversational content." This means that our guesses about what consumers will ask for when they search will need to adapt; marketers will need to broaden their imaginations to include new words or phrases associated with the keyword they want Google to find.

So as a small or large business, how do you stay on top of ever-changing search technologies so that your customers can find you? The best bet for those with the capacity to get ahead of trends is to utilize the services of a good SEO consultancy. The field is incredibly specialized and these firms devote 100% of their time providing the most current expertise. Profitable companies must manage their product or service, not to worry about keeping up with the latest trend in e-commerce and online marketing.

Without a doubt, the trends will continue to shift quickly and every new device, every new interface between people and information will change the way marketers approach their message. Staying abreast of innovations is critical but can be challenging. Consider leaving this task to the pros and concentrate on what your company does best, providing excellent products and services and creating profits. Find a great management firm and let them help you stay competitive online.