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… At least that’s what everyone from web designers to bloggers have been saying pretty much since 1997. It doesn’t help that Google updates like Florida, Panda and Penguin have continued to change the SEO playing field, making it challenging to pinpoint each season’s best practices. But, despite much change one thing is certain, after 17 years, SEO is still alive and breathing.

So, with 2014 coming to a close, we have to ask the question again, what is the future of SEO? This week I had the chance to catch up with the Google Guru himself, Shawn Moore, and hear what he thinks is coming next for SEO.

JM: What is the Future of SEO?

SM: I believe the future of SEO is in long-tail speaking search. More and more people are speaking to their devices, for example Siri. And when they’re talking into devices, they’re using longer descriptive phrases to find what it is that they’re looking for.
SEO companies that share this vision will put a lot more emphasis on their long-tail key phrase search terms in order to get their clients coming up in those searches.

To give you an example, if you search today on Google “seo company in Vancouver” you’ll see the results that get populated will be much different whether you performed the search on an iPhone using Siri compared to using Google on a computer.

JM: How will this affect keywords?

SM: I don’t think keywords are going to go away. You just need to have a more rounded approach to what somebody might say in a sentence and factor in those considerations when choosing your keywords.
Keywords will stay, but I think that they will turn into key phrases.

JM: Do you think there will be a new Google update coming in the near future to match this kind of key phrase search?

SM: I think Google’s algorithm is already prepared and developed for this type of search. Google has known this is where predictive search was going. The algorithm is already configured for this. The challenge is that most people aren’t speaking to their PC’s. It’s now the question of how to integrate the technologies of laptops and PC’s to allow users a similar experience that they have on their mobile devices right now.

JM: What affect does Social Media have on SEO?

SM: SEO is blending with social media. The importance of having links and quality content on your blog and other social media tools is weighing much more heavily on searches done on iPhones, iPads or laptops.Those social media elements are going to bring forward an important rating system to get websites to come up in search.

JM: How do you see this affecting the digital marketing industry?

SM: I see it affecting not just our industry, but all businesses online. Those businesses that don’t take the time to consider long-tail key phrases in their keyword strategy will lose their positioning, and therefore they won’t be coming up in relevant searches. And we all know that means they won’t generate the leads if they’re not in the gate.

All businesses need to spend more time considering their key phrases and move that strategy forward in their online marketing to maintain their search results.