It isn't coming. It's here.
There is something dangerous amongst us. It isn't something tangible, and it has slowly been taking over the SEO industry for years in a cold, unforgiving manner. Because of it, our future is determined for us; rather than us being able to take the reigns ourselves.
I'm talking, of course, about the follower mindset. It has embedded itself so deep in everyday thinking that we don't even fight it or seek a way out. While the worlds of design and development constantly innovate and build off a community of minds, making tremendous strides every year, we in the SEO world cling to the words of a very small group of thought leaders and play an everlasting game of catch-up.
We are a reactive industry. We tell clients when things don't go as planned that we are ultimately at the mercy of the search engines, but few of us rarely, truly try to innovate, and we leave the complex testing and analysis to the 0.2% of industry professionals we follow. Even when we're busier than we could have imagined, we're still actually waiting. Waiting for the next game-changing tactic or algorithm update to react to.
A quick search on LinkedIn shows over 16,000 members with "SEO" in their current job title, in the United States alone. There are, of course, numerous more professionals both in the United States and across the world who work in SEO, and yet even with this abundant talent pool we follow the advice of just a few blogs. Every time Matt Cutts' face appears in a video, SEOs everywhere stop, listen and tweet.
Naturally, we have to play within certain rules in our industry, but why wait for someone on the Moz blog to reveal a new strategy? Why not perform your own tests? Brainstorm your own tactics to try out? Have you thought like a marketer lately? How else can you help spread the word about your products and services and get in front of a targeted audience?
We aren't as confined as most seem to believe we are. There is plenty of room to try new things, build off of successes and even fail once in a while. Most importantly, we shouldn't wait for someone else to give us the green light.
Image from World War Z, Plan B Entertainment