BtoB: Google's search results increasingly will be influenced by comments from a user's social circle. What are the implications?
Moran: Quality content will always be found. This change just means Google gauges content quality based on social interactions and not based solely on links. If your content is truly relevant, tweaks to the ranking algorithm won't usually have a huge impact. Spammers will suffer a bit more, because their attempts to fool the search ranking algorithms are susceptible to any change in the way search engines rank search results.
BtoB: If I republish the same content on several platforms (such as blogs and social networks), am I hurting my search visibility?
Moran: Publishing the exact same pages in multiple places won't help your search rankings. Google will probably show just one of the pages and ignore the others. Linking to the same content from multiple places is a great idea, however.
BtoB: What are the big changes you expect search engines to undergo over the next five years?
Moran: I think search will increasingly be used as the innards of new applications rather than an application by itself. You can see some glimmers of this with YouTube, where search is a feature. Don't be surprised to see many searches become automatic, as with Google Alerts, where the searches occur constantly to keep you informed. So searches will increase a lot faster than searchers, with robots doing the heavy lifting.
BtoB: What's the biggest challenge for search marketers?
Moran: Justifying their budgets. CEOs don't care about search marketing; in fact, it's a combination of two subjects they care least about, marketing and technology. The trouble is, few marketers explain how search can affect the goals CEOs have for their companies. They have to explain how search marketing brings in revenue at a low cost. If your goal is to get the attention of your CEO, you have to explain how what you're doing meets with his goals. M