What is the next big thing for search? Industry experts from iCrossing, iProspect, Kenshoo, The Search Agency and 7thingsmedia discuss

As part of The Drum's quarterly print supplement on search marketing, we speak to key players in the space to find out what they think will be the next big game changers in search marketing.

Adam Skalak, head of natural search, iCrossing The next big thing is internally integrated SEO. Search is developing from an intangible, often keyword-centric activity towards a discipline that focuses on human beings. There are conversations happening in the PPC world around the shift from keyword to intent. From an SEO point of view the approach we take focuses on building influencer and consumer engagement. My team are increasingly advocating a close relationship between marcomms activities and SEO. Brands that will successfully integrate the two will benefit from sustainable SEO.

Neilson Hall, head of owned media, iProspect UK Search is a constantly evolving beast but it’s one where the lines between brand and performance have been quite well defined till recently. With the inclusion of different content types, through universal search, integration with social and the release of new ad formats that allow new ways of targeting and retargeting consumers, we are finding new and innovative ways of using search for brand or campaign based activity. Expect to see search being used in smarter, campaign specific ways which tap into the vast search toolbox that’s been put in front of us.

Nick Blake, client services director EMEA, Kenshoo Once people start to understand attribution more and are able to optimise to it correctly, we’ll start to see different bidding strategies based on the true value of the keyword at that time rather than every time. There will be 
a more holistic view across digital and the interplay on brand and direct response, engagement and intent will see a real change 
in the way search is managed.

Daniel Bowtell, PPC manager, 
The Search Agency The next big thing in search is context. There has been a clear statement of intent from Google that they want to be providing you the information you need before you know you need it, whether through Google Now, personalised maps or Google Glass. The importance extends into other engines such 
as Blekko, who allow users refine their results 
by context. As Google and Bing are both 
reducing first page result numbers it’ll be more important for sites to provide a clear answer with a strong context.

Ben O’Neil, search manager, 7thingsmedia At the agency we feel search can be a true facilitator to bridge the offline and online worlds, if utilised correctly. With new advancements in location bidding and time scheduling, as well as offer extensions, paid search has great potential to reinforce store performance and drive qualified footfall armed with an incentive to buy. Geotargeted search micro-strategies, as part of overall marketing goals, will provide the next steps to truly integrated search success.

This feature was first published in The Drum's search supplement.

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Katie McQuater

As magazine editor at The Drum, I edit the monthly print edition of the magazine as well as commissioning and writing features for the publication.

Send feature pitches to katie.mcquater@thedrum.com

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