Predicting the future
The idea of prediction may be as old as human history. From significant world events to smaller everyday activities, the evolution of our modern human behaviours is believed to have started in the Middle Pleistocene period, some 120,000 years ago.
During this period, several South African sites evidenced a change in subsistence strategies. From a time where humans hunted big game to subsisting on aquatic resources from fish to shellfish, palaeontologists have interpreted an intentional shift to behavioural modernity. The surviving cave art depict scenes changing from the hunting of game to fishing. Did these changes in human behaviour help the indigenous people predict the availability of marine resources when the big game was scarce? Perhaps.
Past events to find predictions
Later in history, Michel de Nostredame (1503 – 1566), better known as Nostradamus, first published in 1555, titled Les Prophéties, and later in 1568 as an omnibus edition. These poetic quatrains, a type of stanza consisting of four lines, are considered the first evidence of published prediction.
While academics debate the validity of the forecasts on the events of future centuries, his predictions were rooted in a belief of history repeating itself as he used historical precedent to extrapolate those events to likely future outcomes.
Today, every facet of our daily lives relies on predictions. From a seemingly simple Google search that provides us with the answer to a sophisticated analysis of a medical test, these predictions from the mundane to our health care needs matter. All of them are taking educated guesses, sometimes with facts, to help us to think ahead, and ask better questions of potential future states.
SEO experts and the future of SEO
Attempting to understand the future of SEO, I have started a series ‘Conversations in Search‘. In these interviews, I explore the background of other SEO experts, discuss their views on the current state of SEO practice, and where they believe the future of SEO may be.
Please get to know my guests. I hope these interviews help you to formulate your own view of the future of SEO.
Okay, what is the future of SEO?
People have been predicting the future of SEO, and the demise of it for decades. Google’s index has 1/3 more articles reflecting an optimistic future of SEO than the death of it; both perspectives are forecasts on a possible future state of SEO.
In a long line of behavioural shifts another is emerging. Our search behaviours are changing to seek out higher quality of food of the mind. The rise of ‘fake news’ and a blurring of lines between what is machine-generated, and what is truthful, its no wonder we are hungry for information that we can rely on. Our search appetite is now more selective, like a fussy eater.
We know the types of information we enjoy and those we would rather avoid. Search engines have taken note and are adapting. Search algorithms are tweaking and pulsating to provide us with information in new ways.
Search engines have evolved to understand the value of providing us with individual experiences. They want to befriend us, to become our trusted advisor to provide us with a frictionless, and serendipitous encounter as we skip along the search paths for the themes and concepts we choose to explore.
As our trusted advisor, search engines have stated they don’t want to be arbiters of truth. It’s an interesting challenge. No one likes to be told how to think or do something, but we do largely like the idea of having the benefit of prior experience, to avoid the mistakes of others.
I wonder if it is possible to be a trusted advisor and not speak the truth or at least judge on some scale the level of trustworthiness? I make just one SEO prediction:
Search engines will need to invest in and increase their capability for detecting truth to give users surety in the answers they provide.
Irrespective of how we obtain advice, sound advice is derived from experts. We trust those experts to judge the veracity of the intelligence we consume, and the substance of the facts for those predictions.
Contact us today to discuss your needs.
I’m Damien Anderson, the founder of echwa. My goal is to help website owners get the best out of their search optimisation, and help grow their businesses.