Paid Search, SEO, and the Evolution of Google

August 31st, 2017 by Search Influence Alumni

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. –Heraclitus

One thing that’s certain in the world of search is that technology and user habits are always evolving. David Mihm recently wrote an excellent blog on the ever-changing landscape of search engines otherwise known as “SERP Topology.” We recently had the honor of hosting David as a guest speaker for a lunch & learn for the whole team. He provided us with some powerful insights about the evolution of Google. Here are some key takeaways.

Local serp topography graph

As you can see above, based on his predictions it is highly likely that Google search results will be more and more driven by paid advertising as opposed to traditional SEO in the next 5-10 years.

Practically, this will impact your business in a few different ways. Some industries will continue to stay relevant with a traditional SEO approach, but for many, it will become a less effective strategy.

If you’re a business owner, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. What percentage of closed business is coming from digital marketing efforts?
  2. Where, specifically, are your leads coming from?
  3. How is your team converting those opportunities?

Brand Awareness

If you’re producing content, it will become increasingly important to promote that content using social platforms and other advertising options, such as Google Display Ads. Marketing your brand through ads will continue to be an important and useful strategy.


The connection economy will continue to increase in importance. Who are the influencers in your industry online? Where are they? Find out what platforms the thought leaders are on and connect with them.

Also, find out where your customers are hanging out. If it’s Facebook, then you should seriously consider developing a strong presence there.

Lead Generation

Organic SEO is very powerful, however, one of the downsides is that it can take a long time to grow results. Google ads are a great option to compliment SEO and content marketing strategies because you get instant feedback from your target audience. From there, you can take that feedback, find those great leads, and nurture them into customers.


Search engine optimization is not going away anytime soon. And, in the next 10 years, it will remain relevant for many industries. However, it won’t be quite as effective in the near future. As Google continues to generate the majority of its revenue from advertising expenditure, it inherently implies a push toward incentivizing businesses to use those tools.

If you’d like to understand more about how to advertise your business online, or how you can best take advantage of SERP Topology, reach out here to chat with a strategist.


SERP Topology