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SEARCH: Six significant changes in search marketing

B2B SEO is going to “get clever in 2011” as a result off six significant changes. Alex Blyth investigates what these will be and what they will mean for marketers
We all know how important SEO is for B2B marketers. As Jack Wallington, head of industry programmes at the IAB, puts it, “For B2B marketers, SEO is a key piece of the puzzle. In a B2B environment, in particular, there are a lot of people carrying out desk research, and since most users only look through the first three pages of search results, if you're not in the top 10 on each page then it will reflect badly on your business. Ultimately, if you're behind in search, you're damaging your business and its reputation.”

What will surprise most of us over the next 12 months is just how straightforward SEO has been up until now. Despite the very best efforts of some SEO practitioners to make us believe it is a dark art – involving arcane algorithms and profound knowledge – in fact it has simply been about getting your keywords right. Those SEO practitioners have mostly done an excellent job helping businesses understand SEO, get their keywords right and rise up the rankings, but that is all they have done.

In 2011 this is all set to change. B2B SEO is going to get clever, and that means it is going to get complicated. Understand how it is changing, and you will be able to harness those changes to your advantage. Ignore these changes, and before long you will find your website slipping down the search engine rankings.