The internet and the future of the online world are constantly changing. Many of the giant leaders in the technology industry such as Mark Zuckerberg are talking about what that future might look like. He and many others are stating that the future of the internet will be significantly more immersive and connected. 

What this means is that the internet might become what is called Metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook recently changed their parent companies name and identity to Meta, as he has decided that they are going to focus on being one of the first companies in the world to be centred around this proposed idea of a Metaverse. 

The online world has been all about search engines as we know them today, more specifically Google. Meaning that when people are trying to get their business or their brand out there, they have been trying to optimise their site(s) with search engines such as Google in mind. 

SEO marketing is currently without a doubt the most powerful tool that when utilised correctly will make all the difference in the overall success of a business in the current online-centric professional landscape. Basically, if you don’t use search engine optimisation then you are going to have a much more difficult time succeeding in the modern business world. 

Due to how necessary SEO is today there are many people that over the past 20 or so years have devoted their working life to being experts in the field of optimising websites for the most popular search engines. Professionals that work with SEO are typically able to make a lucrative career out of this booming industry. 

What is Metaverse specifically? 

Metaverse will use virtual reality equipment and spaces to create almost ‘worlds’ that people can interact in and search for information. Much like the internet we know today but with this focus on VR at the forefront. Many big-name brands around the world are already doing the same as Meta (Facebook) and making initial steps towards having these immersive virtual establishments. 

What these virtual locations might end up looking like is hard to say. Meta has been running advertisements, promotions, and in-depth talks on what its online space will look like. One of the most widely seen ads for this so far was during Super Bowl LVI in the US which had an estimated viewing audience of over 208 million. 

Many people when VR first came about just believed it to be a gimmick and at the moment that is still kind of true but it is important to know that when the internet first came about people believed that was a gimmick too. There is really no way to predict where technology is going to go next and what is going to be the next big thing. 

So, if you are someone that works in an industry that this will affect then it might be useful to keep your finger on the pulse of what this will all mean for you and your business. 

Similarly, to VR there is AR which stands for augmented reality. This is more the idea of something being displayed in the real world which might ‘alter or augment’ reality; basically, projections. Many brands are adopting this style of new tech to entice users to get involved with their products or services. This has been around for a while but it is really hitting new highs at the moment, the biggest example will most likely be Pokémon GOwhich has been using AR since its inception in 2016. 

How could this affect SEO? 

It is hard to say, but what isn’t hard to say is that if the Metaverse becomes ubiquitous and changes the landscape of the internet and how we search for information online then search engine optimisation will not only have to change, it will change. 

The world of SEO today required businesses to change how they looked at marketing, obviously traditional styles of marketing still exist but everyone is hyper online, meaning that marketers had to change how they do their job. 

That will be the same case with the Metaverse, and a big thing to keep in mind with this is that the ones that succeed the most in this landscape will be the ones to do it first. So, brands at the moment especially the big brands that can afford will be (are) preparing for this new reality. As they will all want to be in early to the new important tech. 

It has been clear over the years that brands that aren’t able to keep up with the changes in the technological aspects of the world are typically left behind. Look at brands like Kodak who were famous for being market leaders that never adapted to the times ultimately leading to their downfall. They were so scared of losing the money that they were making from traditional film that they never capitalised on the change to digital. 

Businesses like Kodak and Blockbuster (being overtaken by Netflix) are used as case studies on what not to do when new technology starts to become an inevitability. Now is Metaverse an inevitability? It is hard to say, people like Mark Zuckerberg might be inclined to say yes to that question, and some people who might be more sceptical might look at the challenges and think that it won’t replace the internet of today. 

SEO will change because it has to. Marketers that don’t adapt to the Metaverse SEO won’t be able to keep up with the people that do, it is as simple as that. It is difficult to know today what specific market strategies will be used, as at the moment it is not fully clear what the Metaverse will really be. 

What can be done though is to look at real-life examples of what businesses are currently doing. For 2 weeks during May of 2021, the fashion brand Gucci and the online children’s videogame Roblox (which estimates roughly 20 million players a day and an estimate of 200 million a month) partnered up for an art installation. An online and virtual art installation that is a replica of their Florentine art installation, aimed at marketing the famous Gucci brand to the younger audience that plays Roblox. 

Players were able to dress their avatar (virtual self) in Gucci branded clothing and then walk around the displays taking it all in, making it an enjoyable and unique experience but also a distinct example of Metaverse SEO as it is simply a marketing campaign.  

This is most likely what we are going to see in the initial stages of the Metaverse; brands creating online experiences that users can take part in. There are numerous other big brands partnering up with already established spaces to market their products in a new and unique style.  

The spaces that are typically being used at the moment are video games, this is due to them being already established virtual spaces that have large audiences. This is Metaverse in its initial stages.  

Where the future of it might be is really up to not only the users and what they want to be also the limitations and cost of the tech. VR equipment is becoming cheaper but that does not mean that for most people it would be worth their while to purchase.  

What does this all really mean for the future of Metaverse SEO? 

So, does this all mean that brands should try and adopt new marketing styles that fit into this internet I.e., the Metaverse? Maybe. 

Big brands such as Gucci and Roblox are going to be the ones that are able to afford to try. This will always be the case though. Smaller companies simply will not have the resources to adopt new Metaverse SEO marketing, well until they absolutely have to that is. 

It is really important to take into consideration that VR has lasted a lot longer than other supposed gimmicks such as in-home 3D. Does this mean that Metaverse is going to become the new way that people browse the internet? To be honest no one can really know for certain.  

What is evident though is that search engine optimisation (SEO) is here to stay, people are connected online now that is just a fact and the world is going to stay hyper-connected one way or another. Be it through what we know today or the Metaverse or maybe something else that comes along.  

If you work in SEO then you are working in an industry that is most likely only going to grow. Marketers that can figure out how to use this hyper-connectivity to their advantage whatever it remains or changes to, are sure to be in a position to be incredibly successful.  

Also, if you do work in SEO then it might not be time to change your entire approach to online marketing, that is unless you work for the marketing department of Meta.  What you should most likely do though is stay up to date and informed as much as you can because the day very well might come that you do in fact have to change how you operate.