Is the Google Physical Web Project Changing SEO?

Physical Web

Here’s the “thing”—people aren’t searching for websites anymore, so maybe your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is already flawed. They’re searching for things. The Google Physical Web Project has one goal: Help mobile users simply step up to any device connected to the internet and use it without having to download an app. Think vending machines, parking meters, retail shops and just about anywhere else. You already know that a number of gadgets have internet access capabilities, so is it time to start seeing how SEO tools can bolster rankings on such devices?

According to MarketingLand’s Daniel Cristo, “Connecting to the Physical Web would be similar to how your computer or device connects with wireless networks.” These little gadgets, which you already see at many establishments, are lighthouses letting consumers know they can connect with mobile devices. Maybe in the near future you’ll see one of these lighthouses at the local train station and instantly connect to see when the next train will be arriving—with no extra software necessary. It’s “interaction on demand” says Cristo, and it’s coming at you full speed.

Content Marketing Challenges

The “Internet of Things” isn’t going anywhere, and TechCrunch reports that there will be 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020. However, this is stirring up trouble for content marketers with SEO leanings. People are already being blasted with information and options for devices, and it’ll just get more overwhelming as more and more options for connections are offered—coffee shops, taxi stations, bus stops, etc. Of course people are going to want the easiest way possible to manage this connected matrix, which means they’ll first go to the results with the top rankings. In other words, SEO (and content) is still king.

However, ranking in these kinds of searches might be very different from SEO best practices of yore. It requires the right SEO tools, strategies, and experts to keep you in the game. The good news is that high quality content will still be a top factor no matter what. Recently, Ascend2 undertook a survey which found a lack of in-house SEO skills as a major challenge to amplifying content. Many businesses shied away from SEO agencies and firms because of budgetary restrictions, but that shouldn’t be the case. A variety of packaging and a la carte options makes SEO accessible to every business (assuming you go with a reputable agency).

An Uncertain Future

The Physical Web and optimization/rankings doesn’t have a clear pathway quite yet. However, what is a sure thing is that marketers, SEO agencies, and businesses need to stay on top of trends and shifts. The Physical Web is gaining momentum, and the “takeover” is going to be a slow one. This gives you plenty of time to get on board, secure an SEO strategy that’s fluid, and make sure you’re prepared for when the Physical Web is the norm.

Major changes in SEO are nothing new, and with Panda gearing up for quarterly updates (or so the experts say), being open to change is a must. The Physical Web is just one of the many latest aspects of the changing world and SEO that needs to be addressed and catered to.

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