Some Observations on 2010

Updated December 18, 2010

Doc Sheldon

2010 has been a year of a lot of changes in the search world. Nothing new there… if there’s one constant in the SEO world, it’s change.

Yahoo took refuge under Bing’s wing, Google unleashed a number of new search features and tools. And of course, SEO “died” many times, according to a number of bloggers.

Predictions of things to come have been made (including a couple here and here), and it’s been both challenging and entertaining to monitor the changes and try to figure out what the search engines will do next.

Social media have taken on an expanded role in search, one which is still surrounded by a cloud of mystery (even more than usual). HTML5 emerged, and RDFa and microformats are gathering more momentum.

Discussions are popping up on many fronts, with a good deal of conjecture about the future of PageRank as a metric… or more accurately, if PageRank will continue to exist.  New search engines Blekko and RockMelt appeared, just before the announcement that Yahoo was sunsetting Altavista and Alltheweb.

It’s been a fairly hectic year for leaks too, between Wikileaks and more recently, Yahoo. Assange is under fire from all sides, and I doubt he’ll walk away unscathed. The Anonymous, as they call themselves, may be simply making things worse, in the Court of Public Opinion. According to Blake Irving, Yahoo’s CPO, their leaker will have problems, as well, if identified.

But, hey! We didn’t get into this business with expectations of being bored, did we? The changes bring with them new opportunities, and since most SEOs either are, or have been, independent businessmen (or women!), the challenges of the game are our lifeblood, right?

Right! We thrive on it! 😉

Still, something as simple as the notion that Yahoo might also be planning to shut down threw Tweeters into a near panic. Come on, people! The world WILL go on, with or without! Don’t git yer knickers in a knot!

On a more somber note, we lost one of our own in a tragic tube train accident. Jaamit Durrani’s untimely death brought a tangible sigh of grief from the entire SEO community.

The aforementioned barely scratch the surface of the events that rocked the SEO world this year… I’m sure that a collective effort could fill volumes. The point is, with all these changes, SEO is still here, and in my opinion, here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Like search and the internet in general, SEO will evolve to suit its environment. The tired, weak and lazy will fall by the wayside, and the fresh, bright and energetic will prosper. Nothing new there.

Those that made predictions may either have to hang their heads in shame or may have cause to smile smugly. Those that made the extra effort to grab the fleeting brass ring will hopefully reap the benefits. And at this time next year, we’ll be writing about still more changes that took place in 2011.

Indications today look as though 2011 will be a big year for things like social media, RDFa, Web 3.0, mobile and possibly Net Neutrality. Undoubtedly, there’ll be more yet, in the year to come.

Should be fun to watch it all unfold!


  1. Paul Novak says:

    Long as there are search engines there will be SEO Doc, that much is certain.

    I think part of the reason there is so much “mystery” surrounding social media and search is because no one really knows how to actually meld the two into something useful lol. At least the “social media experts” are getting some mileage out of it;)

  2. DocSheldon says:

    Hi, Paul-

    Safe bet, I’d say. In fact, I look for SEO to evolve into something just as robust as we now have. Good thing we all love a mystery, huh?