It’s the time of year when everyone starts making their predictions for 2009. While I’m not going to recap every prediction on the Web, I would like to highlight one prediction I found interesting. Mediapost predicts this for 2009:
Search engine optimization is shifting, from a focus of entirely maximizing a site’s rank in the engines, to maximizing a site’s reach across all the top-ranked listings on a search engine’s results page. While many consumers go directly to a marketers’ site, which should be positioned as prominently as possible in search engine results pages, many more consumers reach marketers through intermediary properties. These include blogs, social networks, photo sharing sites, Twitter, Wikipedia, and countless other social sites that tend to rank increasingly well in search engines. That means marketers have to shift their mindset from optimizing their Web site to optimizing their Web presence.
I’m not sure that’s really all that difficult to predict. Already, we’re seeing that this is the case. Many social media sites will outrank people’s own website’s for their names and brands. While this might seem like a bad thing, keep in mind that anything that helps a person find the information they are looking for is good. If you can optimize your Web presence then you’ll do well online whether your website is ranked No. 1 for your reputation or you have 10 social media sites that fill the front page.
Web Presence Optimization could become the next big term, although I like Reputation Management. They do not necessarily mean the same thing, however. While both have to do with managing reputations online, reputation management tends to be thought of as an after-the-fact strategy for dealing with damage control. Web Presence Optimization has a fancier ring to it and obviously means pre-emptive reputation management. Whatever you call it, I predict that search engine and online reputation management optimization will be big business in 2009.