In the past year, the search industry is changing more rapidly than it has in quite some time. A former leader in the field, Yahoo!, is facing deficits and has recently laid off 2,000 employees. Google has increased their emphasis on G+ and their search functionality is now just a part of a larger business model. There is still a place for search on the Internet, but today, user expectations have risen and sites offering little more than search have lost much of their appeal.
While Google may have made its name in Web search, it has fortified its presence online with Gmail, Google+, Google Maps and countless other endeavors. Although Google is a company known for its innovations, some speculate that the brand created these new services and features out of necessity. Regardless of the reasoning behind Google’s expansion and gradual move toward building the brand beyond search, there is some concern amongst Internet marketing companies about the future of search engines and Web search itself. However, the changes in search are actually a positive sign for online marketers.
As companies like Google continue to grow, their appeal grows, as well. In addition to computers, search engines are now accessible through mobile devices and the development of the Android OS and Chrome browser has enabled Google’s Search to reach an even broader user base. Also, increased Google+ integration provides benefits for both search engine and social media optimizers.
At Google’s core, search is still a priority. The Penguin and Panda algorithm updates are a testament to the brand’s emphasis on relevancy and quality within results.
Following the I/O Conference earlier this year, Google seems to have even more innovations and offerings in store in the final months of 2012. Hopefully, it will be a year of innovation for SEOs, too. If the Internet marketing industry can evolve as much as Web search itself has within the last year, the future of digital marketing will indeed be very bright.