About the Author

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Content Managerat| + posts

Sven Nossek is a Content Manager at UnitedAds, overseeing all aspects of content creation: from research and briefings to content plans and the final text. He has been involved with content management, SEO, content marketing, and artificial intelligence in marketing and content areas since 2019.

In addition to German, he speaks English, is learning Swedish, and knows a few words in Spanish. In his free time, he reads fantasy, science fiction, and historical novels, writes himself, cooks, and can be found at medieval markets where he combines his passion for history and archaeology with another hobby: brewing exquisite mead from regional ingredients.

A Look into the Future of Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, the practice of optimizing websites to perform better in search engines, has existed almost as long as search engines themselves, dating back to the mid-to-late 1990s.

Throughout this period, web search has continuously evolved, and today’s search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, and others bear little resemblance to their earliest predecessors, despite some fundamental constants.

Recently, a growing chorus of voices has suggested that web search as we currently know it may be on the brink of a major shift or even nearing its end. This isn’t the first time such predictions have been made, as indicated by my phrasing.

Given the significant changes and developments in the search landscape, it remains prudent to consult the “SEO crystal ball” to foresee potential future trends. Unlike previous discussions which focused on the immediate future, this time we aim to look further ahead and consider how these potential shifts could impact our work as an SEM agency.

The journey of SEO: yesterday, today and tomorrow

Since its inception in the late 1990s, search engine optimization (SEO) has undergone significant transformation. Initially, SEO tactics were rudimentary, focusing primarily on integrating keywords and amassing backlinks to climb the search rankings. Unfortunately, this often led to search results filled with low-quality, unreadable content and link-stuffed pages.

The landscape began to shift with major updates to search engine algorithms, which started to prioritize content quality and relevance. These changes were catalyzed by search engines’ desire to improve user experience and provide more valuable, informative results. Over the years, these algorithms have grown more complex, evolving SEO into a sophisticated discipline that demands a thorough understanding of user experience, content integrity, and the technical aspects of web design.

This evolution has introduced several new dimensions to SEO, including the need to ensure websites are mobile-friendly, given the exponential rise in mobile internet usage. Similarly, the focus has shifted toward local SEO, enhancing visibility for businesses in local search queries which is crucial for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to attract nearby customers.

Moreover, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into search algorithms has begun to reshape SEO strategies. These technologies allow search engines to better understand the context and nuances of user queries, making it imperative for SEO professionals to optimize content not just for keywords, but for relevance and user intent.

Looking ahead, the importance of voice search is also growing, driven by the popularity of AI-powered virtual assistants. This trend suggests that SEO strategies will need to increasingly focus on conversational keywords and natural language queries.

The continual adaptation to these changes requires SEO experts to remain vigilant and proactive in their approach, constantly updating their skills and strategies to align with the latest developments. As we delve deeper into these current trends, we’ll analyze their implications and how they will continue to shape the dynamic landscape of search engine optimization.

SEO transformation: The forces behind the change

In this section, we look at the most important factors currently influencing search results and forcing the evolution of search and web optimization. Please note that these factors are not to be understood individually, but also influence and complement each other.

AI: The game changer in SEO

Screenshot ChatGPT conversation that is not entirely helpful

The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in SEO has developed significantly in recent years and will continue to grow in importance.

Innovations such as the Google Search Generative Experience (SGE), an advanced technology for interactive and context-related search results, are at the forefront of this. The SBU, which creates an intuitive search experience by integrating AI and machine learning, can revolutionize the way information is searched and found.

Generative AI is also an important current trend in its own right. It is used in tools such as ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini. These AI models are able to generate content that is optimized for both human readers and search engines and offer new opportunities for SEO strategies.

For example, they can help with the creation of texts, the analysis of keyword trends and the development of content strategies.

For a deeper insight into the development of the Search Generative Experience, I recommend our
Slowblog about SGE

However, all previous applications of AI in the context of web search also show that human expertise and creativity are still required to achieve really good results. I don’t expect this to change any time soon, but increasingly powerful AI tools will have a lasting impact on search itself as well as search results.

How algorithm changes are redefining SEO

  • Focus on user experience (UX)

    Websites that offer an excellent user experience – informative, easy to navigate, fast loading and mobile friendly – are favored by search engines. This results in the need for UX optimization in order to achieve and maintain top rankings.

  • Content depth and quality

    Content depth and quality have long been the focus of algorithm updates, and this trend is continuing. Search engines reward comprehensive, well-researched and high-quality content over keyword-stuffed pages. This underlines the importance of high-quality, relevant content.

  • Local SEO becomes more detailed

    The algorithms increasingly offer personalized local search results. For companies, this means focusing more on localized content and company listings in order to be more visible in local search results.

  • Integration of social signals

    Social signals such as shares and likes influence the search results. A coherent social media presence is therefore becoming increasingly important for the overall strategy.

More than keywords: the importance of E-EAT

You may have wondered why E-EAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trust) was not included in the algorithm changes. The main reason for this is that we consider the factor to be so important that it needs its own paragraph.

  • 1

    E-EAT = author information. That is simply wrong. Pages can have a high E-EAT score and not contain a single author attribution, while others meticulously list their authors without benefiting significantly. Author details are particularly useful for readers. E-EAT, on the other hand, is a factor that a website earns through good, reliable and verifiably correct content on a topic.

  • 2

    E-EAT guarantees good rankings. That is not correct either. It would be correct to say that websites with a high E-EAT score can build up rankings more easily and maintain them in the long term. Bad and irrelevant content will still not perform well. This is especially true for YMYL topics, as particularly strict guidelines apply here.

  • 3

    E-EAT can be set up quickly. Since it is basically about evaluating expertise and trustworthiness, it is not enough to publish a few good articles on a topic. This trust and proof of expertise must be confirmed on an ongoing basis by creating new content and keeping older content up to date.

It is therefore important to create consistently high-quality and, above all, technically robust content on your own focus topics for a good E-EAT assessment.

This tells both users and search engines that it is a trustworthy source.

E-EAT is an essential evaluation factor, especially for “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) topics, i.e. everything relating to finance or health and medicine. Websites that do not have a high rating will usually not be able to achieve good rankings for these topics.

With the increasing integration of AI into search functions, the importance of E-EAT will continue to grow. These tools will be trained to recognize trustworthy and reliable sources and give preference to their content.

From traffic to conversions: SEO in the commercial sector

A significant change is taking place in commercial SEO due to the increasing integration of AI in search. In e-commerce in particular, search results are shifting away from content and organic traffic towards conversions, some of which take place entirely in search.

Especially when it comes to buying products or booking services, the Search Generative Experience offers a way to see, compare and purchase the best results directly in the dialog box.

The target website is then not visited, which is also referred to as zero-click conversions.

For companies that have so far relied heavily on content to attract visitors to their store, this can become a problem – depending on how much their target group uses AI-supported search. This will require a change in strategy towards clear, structured data and information that is easy for AI to understand.

For products and services that rely on detailed explanations and descriptions, less will change. And for companies that already rely on clear, concise information and already work with structured data, the change in search can even have a positive impact.

A clear brand message, trustworthy content and unambiguous offers are crucial for continued success.

In practice, this means that companies need to adapt their SEO and content strategies to be present not only in traditional search results, but also in the dynamic responses generated by AI. A strong, clearly communicated brand that is able to respond directly to users’ needs and questions will be the key to success in this new era of search engine optimization.

Content remains king: the consistency of high-quality content

When optimizing for information-oriented questions, high-quality content remains the be-all and end-all. With the increasing integration of AI into search, the creation of content that is valuable for both users and AI is coming to the fore.

  • Depth and relevance

    Don’t just treat topics superficially, but offer comprehensive, in-depth information that goes far beyond basic knowledge. This creates added value for the user and increases the chance that your content will be recommended as a further source by AI systems.

  • Clarity and comprehensibility

    Presenting complex topics in a simple and understandable way is an art. Content that is both technically correct and easy to understand appeals to a broader target group and is preferred by search engines.

  • Timeliness and precision

    Keep your content up-to-date and precise. Outdated information or inaccurate data can reduce the credibility and thus the value of your content.

By paying attention to these core elements, you can ensure that your content remains relevant in the long term and is appreciated by both human users and AI systems.

This turns your content into indispensable resources in AI-supported search that offer real added value and generate continuous traffic.

Local SEO: Optimization for the neighbourhood

Local optimization is an essential part of marketing for all companies that have a local connection. This method is not new, but with new search functions it has taken on additional and current importance.

This includes in particular the use of structured data and the updating of local information in order to improve findability and visibility in local search results.

Structured data plays a central role by providing search engines with detailed information about your business, such as opening hours, location and services. This information is important in order to be listed correctly in the search results.

Local information must always be kept up to date. The consistency of your business data across different platforms is of the utmost importance. A uniform presentation of name, address and telephone number strengthens the local ranking and trustworthiness with potential customers.

In practice, this means that companies need to proactively manage their online presence to meet the changing demands of search engine optimization.

Investing in local SEO is a strategic decision that not only improves your current positioning, but also lays a solid foundation for future growth in the local environment.

About UnitedAds

Experience with UnitedAds how

search engine optimization (SEO)

that catapults your website to the top of search results, growing your business faster and more profitably than ever before.

At UnitedAds, experienced experts have been delivering innovative SEO strategies specifically designed to digitally transform your business for over 20 years. We understand the uniqueness of every company and therefore offer customized SEO solutions that are perfectly tailored to your specific requirements.

Choose UnitedAds to experience how we continue to reinterpret quality, innovation and measurable results in the SEO industry.

Future technologies in SEO: What lies ahead?

Search engine optimization is on the verge of revolutionary developments, driven by advanced technologies and innovative tools.

A new era of search – Welcome to the Age of AI

We are at the beginning of an era where SEO is not just about ranking in search results, but also about creating content that appeals to both human readers and AI-based systems.

Advanced content tools based on AI enable the production of high-quality, relevant and personalized content in a fraction of the time it used to take.

This is already a reality today. ChatGPT, Google Bard and other tools make it possible to design texts or generate images in a short time. As a rule, these are not yet ready to be published. But even today, this can save around 40% of the time a content creator needs to research and prepare a text. The time saved is either used for additional projects or can be invested in fine-tuning the content – thus increasing the efficiency and quality of the results.

In the future, these tools, as well as AI-supported search engines, will be much more powerful than they are today.

Increasingly efficient tools that deliver ever better content will enable even more savings in the future. I don’t expect human labor to be completely replaced by AI.

However, I suspect that in the future we will mainly be left with managing and instructing the AI as well as quality assurance and creative finalization, while the technology takes over the time-consuming tasks of research, planning and draft writing.

Futuristic technologies in search

Another exciting field is new technologies that are currently still in their infancy or seem like science fiction.

Some of these technologies have long been expected to change the digital landscape, but this effect has yet to materialize. Nevertheless, augmented reality and other seemingly futuristic ideas have a lot of potential.

They complement the “real”, analog world with digital tools and create an integrated experience in which the transition from one area to the other is smooth and natural.

Digital assistants are a goal that has been a vision since the advent of voice assistants. These would combine the gimmick of the voice assistant with the impressive capabilities of generative AI and modern search engines to create a true, new understanding of digital search.

While these technologies still seem visionary today, they could be an integral part of SEO strategies in a few years’ time.

Quo Vadis, SEO? Where does the road lead?

Web search is changing. At the moment, these changes are still quite manageable, but even today it can be difficult to keep track of the sometimes very rapid developments.

This is why most SEO agencies and freelancers attach great importance to staying up to date.

But where will these changes lead? Will web search, and with it the discipline of search engine optimization, disappear, as some people have been saying for some time (“SEO is dead”)?

I think that’s doom and gloom. As long as people use the Internet to search for information, products and services, there will also be an effort to place your own content and offers prominently in searches.

But the tasks of SEOs have evolved significantly in recent years from what was common practice at the beginning of search engines.

This change will accelerate as a result of the expected rapid developments ahead of us. It may well be that in just a few years’ time, we will experience web search in a completely different way than we do today.

The ability to adapt quickly to these changes and take advantage of the opportunities they present will be critical to being successful in the future of search engine optimization.

This applies not only to agencies and freelancers, but also to companies and private individuals who are trying to be successful through SEO.

Summary: Where is SEO going?

Web search is changing.

AI tools and changing user behavior are ensuring that this change is progressing ever faster.

This certainly does not mean that search engine optimization is becoming unimportant or even obsolete. But it requires optimizers and website operators to adapt their way of thinking and working.

It is not possible today to make a definitive statement about what the search will look like in five or ten years’ time. This was already the case in the past (which of course did not stop some experts from proclaiming the revolutionary effects of new tools such as voice search).

But today we are confronted with a series of parallel developments which, perhaps not individually, but in combination, can and will have a lasting impact on search.

SEO therefore remains an exciting field of work, with new challenges, but also new opportunities for organic and sustainable growth.

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