I came across an interesting graph the other day when playing around with Google trends. When you plot the trends for PPC and SEO side by side since 2004 you can see a clear shift in interest. The market (or so trends suggests) has shifted from being highly PPC biased to the complete opposite.
I put this shift down to a commoditisation of PPC in many areas of the market, alongside Google’s aggressive sales strategy, as well as a demystifying of SEO into something which is now a core part of any online marketing strategy.
It will be interesting for me to see how this progresses over the next year or so as back when I started out in PPC it was very much the mysterious beast that SEO is now, or has been in recent years. But as it has become less of a mystery, and companies have become to understand it more, many services have become devalued and with agencies having to make sure they are at the cutting edge of the market to make sure they are adding sufficient value to their clients. As SEO too, becomes a more widely covered topic will it go the same way? Will the fees clients are willing to pay be driven down and more clients look to take their SEO in house?
If so, what will replace it? You can see on the bottom of the trend graph Facebook advertising starting to creep into the picture as a trending keyword, maybe some terminology around social advertising is going to be the next boom topic in digital advertising. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.