SEO in 2022 – what do non-SEOs think is going to happen?

reflections on 10 years in seo

Today I did a very impromptu, two-minute exercise, to see what various (non-SEO) team members in the office today thought would happen in the world of SEO in 2022 and beyond. I have pasted what each of the team thought in these two minutes with no edits.

Let’s delve into each response to see what people think.

Jo Threlfall
“SEO will play a huge part of business growth and automation. Google will lead the way of predicting market trends as it will rank businesses in accordance to quality and trust. I think voice will play a huge role in the future as searches.

My thoughts on Jo’s comments: These are pretty much Googles general goals for each year in terms of improving their search product. I don’t agree with the voice search aspect, as you will see throughout this article.

Jen Forrester
“Further increased emphasis on semantic intention to ensure delivery of relevant results. Further diminishing of organic SERP results in favour of 0 click searches (i.e Google serving more SERP features).”

My thoughts on Jen’s comments: Yep, I pretty much agree with this. This is Google’s ongoing search for perfection and probably always be.

Charlie Meyler
“A voice dominated space where the brands that succeed will be those that take on early technologies first. Customers are after convenience, and information quickly, brands will have to adapt SEO to this.”

My thoughts on Charlie’s comments: I don’t think voice search is anywhere near being dominant for years yet, despite so many blog posts about it – and comments such as this.

Harriet Tuite
“SEO will be very competitive.”

My thoughts on Harriet’s comments: Short and sweet…like Harriet herself.

Harriet Sutton-Kirkby
“Everything will be about user engagement, user experience and expertise in content.”

My thoughts on Harriet’s comments: Yep, like Jen’s comments above, this is always going to be the case for the Google search team.

Paul Cunningham
“SEO will be voice activated, more bespoke to your previous searches and interests.”

My thoughts on Paul’s comments: Again, I think we are some way away from this. Voice search is still way too embryonic in terms of deep, considered searches that are made on desktop and mobile.

Hannah Skulnick
“Greater focus on other consumer touch points having an impact on ranking. Influence of AI, other technology and voice search. Updated search methods will be reflected in what Google cares about, and the audience will be able to alter what brands they care to see appear in their searches too.”

My thoughts on Hannah’s comments: Spot on in terms of many of the things Hannah says and my own thoughts. Also, I agree with Hannah’s use of the word ‘influence’ when it comes to voice search – as it not being a cut and dried part of mainstream SEO just yet.

Summary
Well, a mixed bag, certainly, of thoughts from the non-SEO members of the team. So many people (all over the search sphere as well as in Embryo it seems) are saying that voice search will be big in 2022, and have been saying the same for a few years – but what do they actually mean? Do they think more people will use voice to search on their computers? Do they feel that more people will use voice search on their smart home devices over a text search on desktop or mobile? I doubt it. It feels way too much like a buzzword that is too easily repeated parrot fashion.

As for comments from Jen, and Hannah in particular, I feel that these are quite on the money – but there will also of course be many more changes that we are yet to see.