A SEO’s role is always changing and adapting ever since webmasters were optimizing sites in the mid-1990’s. With every technological change and every Google algorithm update, a SEO’s job changes little by little. In the near future, a SEO’s role will not become more specialized, but broader. SEO’s will need to widen their scope of skills in order to stay competitive. A SEO’s job will revolve around these three main roles:
1. Search Engine Compliance Officer
The Search Engine Compliance Officer’s primarily responsible will be overseeing and managing Search Engine compliance issues within an organization. This is the role that will be most important for corporations and enterprises to have. The job will be much similar to what it is now, knowing all of Google and Bing’s Webmaster guidelines, and making sure that all things on a site are compliant to those guidelines.
The Search Engine Compliance Officer would be the “first line of defense” against Search Engine penalties. Any new additions to the site must pass the SEO before being pushed live (new pages, new content, tools, categories, sections, tagging, etc), moreover, a SEO should also be present during any meetings of new additions to a site to make sure that that integration is being completed well within a Search Engine’s guidelines and best preferred practices.
The SEO will also need to make sure that all incoming backlinks are compliant with a Search Engine’s policies. SEOs will need to monitor and investigate:
· How the backlink was obtained to make sure that it was not purchased
· The anchor text of the link and comparing it to the anchor text breakdown of the entire link profile
· The “spamminess” of a link
· Whether a banner ad or sponsored link has been nofollowed
· The top level IP’s of links to make sure that they are not apart of a link farm or link scheme
How To Prepare Yourself:
· Read Google Webmaster Blog
· Become Proficient in Google Webmaster Tools
· Learn To Use Google Analytics
· Learn To Use Screaming Frog
· Stay Up To Date With On SEO Blogs, such as:
· Learn To Use Link Monitoring Tools, like:
· Learn to Decipher The Site Speed Recommendations From Pingdom
2. Creative Director
Since Wil Reynold’s gave his amazing RCS presentation at Mozcon 2012, content marketing has been on every marketing/SEO department checklist. Developing great content has been and is the key to sustainable online growth. That will not soon change with the ongoing rise of social media, which are essentially content sharing networks.
SEOs will have to become more like Creative Directors – birthing an interesting and captivating idea, leading the communication for design and copy, and developing the ways for it to gain visibility. The SEO must guide teams with skills and experience related to graphic design, fine arts, motion graphics, content, social media, and development. It would be beneficial for any SEO to study up on and receive certification in any tools that designers, developers, and project manager’s use. The key is to not only be able to speak their language for optimal communication, but also be able to get hands-on in every project.
From the beginning of an idea to the point where it is generating a company traffic, mentions, and backlinks, a SEO has to be the point person, directing his or her creative vision to lead to content that will be a success online or off.
How To Prepare Yourself:
· Learn to Use Social Media Tools, like:
· Ingratiate Yourself into Social Communities Like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Vine, etc To Learn What Is On the Cusp of Social Popularity
3. New Technology Optimizer
Technology is ever changing and there is always going to be a new channel to advertise through. At the moment, it is social and mobile. In the near future, it will probably be voice search especially with the growth of businesses like Wolfram Alpha, Viv, and of course, Siri. The goal of these three technologies is to serve you the best information, with the least amount of barriers. Even though search will be done through voice, there will still need to be a database, a place to pull information from, and that will still be web properties like websites or social pages that they can crawl and serve data.
A SEO is the near future will need to be able to optimize for all these channels. They will need to on the cusp of technology and know how to gain visibility through every new platform that arises – whether it is search engines, app stores, voice search, or even information or ads brought to you during your Google self-driving taxi ride.
How To Prepare Yourself:
· Research and Read the Latest News in Technology
In conclusion, things are not getting more specialized for SEOs, they are getting a bit broader. A SEO in the near future will need to be a jack-of-all-trades, in a sense. Moreover, a SEO in the near future will need to know how any why a search engines ranks a site and make sure that companies are compliant with those guidelines, be creative that can not only come up with an idea, but work with teams to execute and find success, and lastly will stay up to date with all technologies and be able to optimize for every platform.