When the search patterns and behaviours are changing SEO needs to change too. The white hat SEO already covers effectively most of the requirements of the modern search. However there is a clear need of new SEO techniques to help keep the websites in the right SE placements.
As I said in the first entry this year, there are chances that Google will decline in 2008. Google’s strategic errors were enough to annoy a few webmasters and determine them to turn to other traffic channels.
When Google dropped the PR for so many blogs, including authority ones, Google practically signed its own testament. Annoyed users keep on looking for search alternatives to Google, traffic alternatives and even monetizing alternatives (they give up using AdSense in favour of other pay per click search engines).
The Web users no longer need Google to find what they are looking for, but they still use Google search (mostly from their browsers’ toolbars) because “it comes in handy.” This will not last forever though. Let’s not forget that the users like discovering new things and that we are dealing more and more with a Web savvy generation. Only old fashioned users still count on Google search for their needs. Students and researchers already know that the most extraordinary results are delivered by sites like digg – where other users vote for the best stories.
Buying goods doesn’t need Google since a long time already. People spend more time on eBay search and Amazon than on Google Shopping.
Sure, Google is still the most popular search engine and it still shares the largest number of uses on its network of sites. But as things look right now, there is only one way for Google to remain the undisputed online Giant, and that is to purchase the companies that threaten its throne.
In the search field Google needs to compete against hakia, Quintura, Clusty, exalead and a few others. So it wouldn’t surprise me to learn sometime this year that Google acquired one of these companies or at least their patents.