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David Mihm: SEO Will Not Die in 2017 But Organic Competition Will Grow

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At the end of 2016 we asked members of the extended LSA community to tell us what they expect in 2017 for location-based marketing and media. We received a broad mix of predictions from over 50 industry professionals and compiled them into a free report.

Below are the predictions submitted by David Mihm, SEO expert and founder of Tidings:

SEO Will Not Die in 2017 (But the Number of Beneficiaries of Organic Search Visibility from Google Will Decline)

Many local marketing practitioners continue to use the adage “if you aren’t on the first page of Google results, you’re invisible.” That’s already out-of-date and about to be wildly out-of-date. If not by the end of this year, soon enough, we’ll be saying, “if you’re not the first result on Google, you’re invisible.”

More mobile clicks for commercial local keywords will go to paid results than organic by the end of 2017. This will be partly due to the new “chimera” ad units we’ve already seen in the home services vertical, and partly to traditional AdWords enhanced with things like reviews and location information.

Organically, we’ll see widespread single-answer Knowledge Graph results across an even broader range of keywords, and voice queries will return only the top-ranking business–meaning the number of available slots, even for well-optimized websites, will drop precipitously.

Late 2017 will be a tipping point of sorts for a substantial segment of small businesses, who have historically done well with SEO but not dominated their market. They’ll begin to realize that the return on their historical investment is diminishing, even if their rank tracking software says they’re maintaining or even improving their organic positions.

Savvy SMBs–or at least those represented by savvy agencies–will shift more and more resources towards SEO on other platforms including Facebook, Siri, and Alexa, which relative to the investment will drive higher returns than traditional SEO focused on Google.

To access the more than 50 predictions for 2017, download the report here.

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