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4. Growth of SEO Industry - Nothing too Nostradamus about this one. With importance of search engines finally sinking in, need for quality SEO services is booming in U.S. and U.K. I predict this solid demand will continue in 2002, especially in newly developing markets such as Australia/New Zealand and Europe.
5. Death of Two Majors - In any industry, there are always winners and losers. I think 2002 will signal demise for at least two of major search engines and directories, especially given relevancy and freshness of results are so important to market at moment.
6. One or More Major Partnerships - To survive in an industry as volatile as theirs, search engines often need to partner with others. I see some major rivals combining in 2002, just to stay alive. I also see some more major partnerships between online and offline firms, particularly between search engines, communications and media corporations.
7. Move away from In-House to Outsourced Services - Optimizing for search engines now involves a lot more than just traditional site optimization. It involves PPC or PFP campaign management, site copywriting, keyword research, marketing and industry consultation. As search engine optimization becomes even more complex and time consuming in 2002, more businesses will realize SEO is a full-time job and not something their marketing or IT staff can do 'on side'.
To get results, they will have to either hire a SEO specialist in-house OR (more cost-effectively) outsource their requirements from a professional SEO that has economies-of-scale in place to get job done quickly and effectively.
8. SEO industry Shake-Up - With growth of PFP & PPC, search engine specialists will have to keep their skills sharpened constantly in 2002 and keep up with industry developments to ensure they remain competitive. With consumer watchdogs keeping a close eye (see here: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.cfm?contentID=1897), developing industry standards and ethics, as well as crackdown on spammers sure to continue, SEO industry is sure to experience a major shake-up next year, with only most successful and ethical SEOís left still standing.
9. New Technologies - Finally, just like in previous years (think 67 character domains, Ezula, Zeus, MS Smart Tags), Iím sure there will be some significant technological developments in 2002 that will impact search engine industry and make us all head for forums and chat rooms in a panic. But thatís beauty of this industry - they donít call it cutting edge for nothing!
Article by Kalena Jordan, CEO of Web Rank. Kalena was one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia & New Zealand and is well known and respected in her field. For more of her articles on search engine ranking and online marketing, please visit http://www.high-search-engine-ranking.com