3 Development Trends That Will Impact SEO

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As SEOs we are constantly tracking and documenting the latest search trends. However, how often do we pay attention to development trends? In my opinion, not enough. You are probably thinking, well why should we? SEOs need to stay on top of every aspect of development in order to learn new ways of leveraging these technologies to achieve higher rankings. Therefore, I am going to review several development trends that are just getting started that will have a lasting impact on the world of SEO.

1. OpenSocial is an open set of APIs that allow social media sites to provide an universal login system. With OpenSocial, users can login to any site using the OpenSocial platform with their Google, Hi5, Myspace, Netlog, Ning, Yahoo, and a host of other site credentials.

Google is currently making it extremely easy for web developers to add elements of OpenSocial to their sites through the use of their Google Friend Connect widgets. These widgets depend heavily on the OpenSocial APIs. So, I know what you are thinking, How does this help with SEO? Well, there is very good reason to believe (including several patents) that Google will start using Social Media Indicators as a part of personalized search. In other words Google wants to track not necessarily what you think is cool, but what your friends think are cool. But, the only way Google can have access to this data is through OpenSocial. Lesson here: start using OpenSocial elements in your sites, like the Google Friend Connect widgets. Doing this will help your site rank in personalized search.

2. HTML 5 may not be out the door yet, but when it is, it is sure to leave a lasting impact on SEO. HTML 5 will make block segmentation a breeze. Block segmentation is when search engines analyze a web page based on the sum of its individual parts. For example it might look at the content of a blog post, and analyze it separately from the heading, and then do the same for each of the elements in the side bar. Up until now it has been some what of a mystery as to how the search engines are able to tell the difference from a post and a side bar. This is because HTML elements currently do not carry any inherently unique qualities. The content of a blog post is wrapped in a <div> along with the sidebar, and pretty much all other aspects of the page. However with HTML 5 there will be unique elements for each section. The content of your blog post will be wrapped in <article> and the sidebar will be wrapped in <aside>. These unique elements will aide search engines dramatically in page segmentation.

3. Running in the same vein as HTML 5, Microformats looks for a new way to format markup languages. Essentially, they offer a new standard for identifying important information. A good real world example of the use of Microformats would be Twitter’s profile page. Here we see Twitter identify important information such as a user’s name using <span class=”fn”>. Microformats help users and 3rd party services (such as search engines) identify data. Google has already started analyzing Microformats for Enhanced Listings. In this example Google is able to identify important product information such as price and customer reviews and add them to the Enhanced Listing. Because of this, Microformats are ideal for e-commerce web sites that want to stand out from the crowd. Its hard to tell how much of an indicator Microformats will play in the rankings, but it is always smart to make your markup as clear and accessible as possible to the search engines, and Microformats does this beautifully.

OpenSocial, HTML 5, and Microformats are all going to be big players in the SEO world in time to come. But, as always, there is something just around the corner that will affect SEO. What are your thoughts? Can you think of any development trends that are sure to impact SEO? If so let us know in the comments!

Joe Hall is Chief Web Head at jozsoft.com and creator of WhosTalkin.com

Joe Hall

Joe Hall

Joe Hall is a bona-fide web head, code poet, marketer, writer, and the man behind Contact Plugin and the infamous 22 Media LLC. Follow Joe... Read Full Bio
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  • I think points two and three are particularly insightful. Search engine’s algorithms are only as good as the information available. New web standards add new options and functionality for web developers, and as a critical mass of developers start to use these new standards, more information is provided to the search engines in ways they can implement into their algorithms. HTML 5 should allow the search engines to parse out page content more easily, helping to cancel out a lot of noise from headers and footers and aiding in the ability to semantically index the web based on core content.

  • HTML 5 Sounds awesome! Looking forward to it.

  • absolutely agreed! probably opensocial apis – will be the most promising theme altogether with mobile social networkings

  • great article, thank y0u for taking the time to write it down.

  • Great post

    I think Google has to do something about the blog/Facebook/Twitter area, as the nofollow strategy is outdated.

    With privacy issues growing around Google I really dont think Google Friend connect is going to benefit Google. But then again who knows.

  • HTML for is a very old format. More than 10 years, it’s time for an update.

  • Looking forward to a more organized web dev structure! Seems to be following closely XML. Another great trend is the opening of networks via API’s. They do add a great benefit to those sites applicable to use it correctly. See you all in 5.0 soon!

    Derek Kean

  • This sure sounds like we might all have some learning to do. And – not yet – some rewriting of entire websites. Yikes!

  • Good Resources.

    HTML 5 was quite a new thing for me.

  • Excellent article and very timely for those looking to stay ahead of the curve with SEO.

  • I’m not entirely convinced about Microformats – we’ve been promised them for years, but they never seemed to hit the mainstream. Perhaps if there was native support for them built into various CMS platforms, but even then I’m not convinced they’re accessible to the average webmaster.

  • As far is open social is concerned, do you think that facebook connect will have the same implications on personalized search?