atlrus - 2:13 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
I think the good news for the SEO-only guys on this forum is that SEO's future will only get brighter and brighter.
With the current google trend to start a crusade against the majority of the websites - more and more people will need real SEO services if they want to stay organic. Soon adwords space will become so expensive - companies will find themselves better off paying a lot for SEO to get organic ranking, than paying even more for ever-shrinking adwords real estate. Soon it will be like the Super Bowl - lots of companies fighting for a small spot, prices=insane.
The way I see it - most of the ideas suggested and discussed here don't belong to the SEO section, but to the Marketing section of the forum. In the future SEO must go back to its roots - search engine optimization. If you are not optimizing your website to achieve higher organic ranking in a search engine - then you are not doing SEO; social networking, mobile apps, etc. - that's all marketing, not SEO.
There is no next generation of SEO, what has been true in the past remains true today and will remain true in the future. SEO is still facing the following two questions:
1. What can I do to optimize the website itself to rank higher.
2. What can I do to optimize outside signals to rank the website higher.
And the simple answers are still - content and links. You get those two right - you will rank, whether google wants you to or not (manual penalty excluded, of course). There are no other signals that would trump those two. How you will get those two right? Well, that's where SEOs earn their money. Google knows that content and links are the two main signals and there is nothing they could do about it. So they are setting up more and more traps for the SEO, all revolving around content and links.
But the first step will always be admitting to yourself that your aim is to game google. You are not "trying to improve visitor experience", "work the verticals", "stretch the vectors", "improve synergy" or whatever marketing term you could think of - you are simply looking for "what would make this website rank higher on google", simple as that, everything else is just marketing, not SEO.