At present, im still shocked at the amount of business owners who have never heard of SEO. The single most annoying thing when talking to a business owner is this reply: “If i search my company name in google i come up top for it, so i don’t need SEO.” This is a true lip biting moment, resulting in an overwhelming urge to give the person a dry slap.
I expect that in 10 years, SEO will be one of the biggest forms of marketing, and companies will be putting in much larger spends. But along with this, you will see an increase of cowboys, like the old “I’m a web developer, someone once told me how to stuff some keywords into title tags and bold some text, so now i will offer SEO as a service.” .. So, yeah, more of these types will rear their ugly muppet faces.. Along with a rise in wannabe muppets, there will be a rise in unsolicited spam emails from indian SEO companies (who always seem to have a team of 52 professionals…) that are waiting to AMAZE you with their work, they will guarantee first position rankings in exchange for 5 ‘rupees’ and a packet of crisps..
I think that the skill level attatched to SEO will increase, and the gap between a very skilled SEO and a wannabe will widen a great deal.
Technically i think that social links and mentions will have a much greater effect on rankings than it currently does. Also i think that the spiders will be able to successfully crawl media heavy sites with lots of flash elements and rank them accordingly. I’m hoping that people finally learn that IE is a pile of shit, fingers crossed for that one.