The Future of SEO @annebot #vcbuzz

The Future of SEO @annebot #vcbuzz

SEO is one of the fastest-changing marketing fields. It is also one of the youngest.

Since it started, SEO has changed completely, from how we understand it to our goals.

So where is it heading?

What’s the future of SEO?

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About @annebot

Anne Ahola Ward @annebot is a Futurist, Growth Scientist and CEO of CircleClick Media, founded in 2009.

She has nearly 20 years of experience working on the Web in various functions, having mastered almost every role in web development: DBA, webmaster, developer, graphic designer, and video editor.

Anne is author of The SEO Battlefield: Winning Strategies for Search Marketing Programs

Find Anne on your local TV station, or visit for the latest appearances.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I started my career as a web developer and migrated into SEO as the field was forming through my love of analytics.

Using data to make observations gave me the confidence to make the switch. My time at Apple in Education Marketing showed me that I wanted to be the person who was managing what was on the front of the page, not the code.

Q2 What are some aspects of SEO strategies that have changed the most since it started?

SEO used to be way more about the content (keywords) than it is now. The type of SEO I do is way more geared towards technical performance. Developers are so crucial to today’s SEO, which is why I always have them on my team.

Also, there used to be white hat, grey hat, and black hat- now it’s less so, at least in my experience. There’s no stuffing white text into a footer and hoping it works hahah

Right but now I’m finding those first few results for any given query is kind of garbage-y restating the question you’ve searched way too many times. Another update is surely coming! This happens when things get wonky.

As a developer a lot of companies would hire me for SEO then not understand that was different from web dev so they tended to want me to do BOTH. That’s when I became an alley cat instead of a house cat…

Q3 When talking to clients who insist on doing it the old way, how would you recommend explaining the new SEO and where it is heading?

Just like anything in life, people take things better when they’re explained with kindness and in a way they can understand.

I’ll give clients copies of my book or send articles that help explain any given point.

Also, sometimes I can point them to my TV segments that have covered those topics, which is helpful. I do a lot of education on my @gritdaily column as well as on TV and at conferences. Pointing to that always helps too.

Fair point. I proposed a set of standards for SEOs that went over like a lead balloon. We’re not big on rule-following in this industry. 🙂 Referrals are always good! SEO is truly subjective so always know which type of SEO you want, too.

Q4 In a nutshell, what will SEO look like in the next decade?

I predict that SEO will become even more of a developers game, but we will have robots fighting robots. That’s happening already!

Complex queries and semantic analysis will reign supreme. We’ll hopefully see some course correction in terms of people’s online privacy. I have high hopes for #Web3.

Also, SEO has moved out of search engines, we’ll see it more focused on our televisions, the #metaverse, anywhere people are spending time virtually…

We tend to fear what we don’t understand. SO many otherwise intelligent people always go right to Terminator’s Skynet when they hear AI… Why do we envision a world where we create things that will murder us?

Q5 What are some innovative SEO tools you played with recently?

I don’t typically disclose any tools that I use because they could be construed as endorsements and they change constantly, but Octoboard, Nightwatch, and HREFs are some classic go-to’s that I use.

Call me old-fashioned but I actually like GA, Search Console, and GTM. I do NOT like GA4 as it’s hot garbage.

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