When we spoke to Bruce Clay at PubCon Las Vegas 2010, he was full of predictions. His predictions involved Google, local search, social media, links, and more. As he explained to WebProNews, he believes his foresight will, in fact, come to pass since the search industry is changing rapidly.
For starters, he discussed the battle among the search engines. Although Yahoo and Microsoft have partnered in a joint search effort, Yahoo claims it is applying a different algorithm to Bing’s index, which would mean different search results for Yahoo users. Even if this is the case, Clay believes that users will continually shift toward Bing.
Moving on to Google, the search veteran predicted that Google would become a local search engine in 2 years. Local is definitely on the rise, especially since more money can be made in it. For example, local regions can bid on national terms such as shoes. By doing this, they have the potential to increase their ROI. If this happens, they are more likely to spend more money on their PPC campaigns, which means more money for Google in the long run.
“You either play in the local space… or you’re not going to get clicks even if you’re #1,” Clay points out.
He also talks about Google News and how he believes that it will be as big as local is now. He even predicted that Google News would be a viable competitor to major news outlets such as CNN and Fox News.
“I don’t believe we’re going to get into a situation where Google’s going to pass on an opportunity to control the flow of news,” he said.
Getting into social media, Clay made the statement that likes are the new links. Because social is becoming such a big part of search, he believes that likes, referrals, and recommendations will be factored into the ranking algorithm that search engines use. If this happens, you can expect to see new forms of spam.
Only time will tell if these predictions will come about, but the one thing that is certain is that it’s going to be a very interesting time in the search industry.