John Mueller shared his thoughts on what SEO would look like in the future. A question was submitted to the Google Search Central SEO hangout on 2 July 2021 which asks: “What’s your vision for the future of SEO?”

The future of SEO

Muller did not have the perfect elevator pitch to answer the question, however, he addressed a concern that is shared by those in the SEO industry, which is that Google may be able to understand websites without further optimisation due to machine learning becoming so advanced. This means that if Google’s machine learning algorithms become so advanced that it can understand everything about websites, there will be no need for SEO. 

“I don’t know. Good question. I don’t have that five minute answer on the future of SEO. I think one of the things that people always worry about is everything around machine learning and that Google’s algorithms will get so far as to automatically understand every website and SEO will be obsolete, nobody will need to do that. I don’t think that will happen.”

– John Mueller


In addition to his statement, Mueller goes on to compare the web design industry to the SEO industry by bearing in mind that today’s CMS’s (Content Management Systems) have not made website development obsolete. 

The web design industry adapts to the changes and advancements being made in CMS in order to look for new issues to tackle.


“… with all of these new technologies you’ll have new tools and new ways of looking at your website, and making it maybe easier for you to create really good content, to create clear structures for your website.

Similar to how things have evolved the last 10-20 years as well where in the beginning you would write your own PHP code and craft your own HTML and it was a lot of work and over time all of these CMS’s evolved where essentially anyone can go off and create a website without having to really understand any of these HTML and kind of like server side basics.”

– John Mueller


Why make the comparison?

Mueller makes this comparison because he sees SEO headed in the same direction as web design. He goes on to suggest that things we would do manually such as writing H1 and H2 tags, may be handled by the website’s CMS. 

By listening to what Mueller has to say, it sounds like the future of SEO will largely be automated by various tools. 

Mueller provided an example of a website’s CMS automatically optimising the heading tags while uploading content onto a webpage.

“And I think that evolution will continue and there will be more and more tools available and you’ll be able to do more and more things in a way that kind of works fairly well for search engines and it’s not that the SEO work will go away but rather it will evolve.

So maybe instead of manually tweaking H2 tags and H1 tags you’ll delegate that to a CMS that makes sure that the most important content is already included as a heading on the page.”

– John Mueller


Why should you care?

There are some digital marketers who think that Google will make SEO obsolete through advances in machine learning. However, Mueller suggests otherwise, suggesting that CMS will optimise more things for search engines eventually. 

As of now, Mueller does not see SEO going anywhere any time soon, therefore it is advised to ensure that your business has a strong SEO strategy in place to remain competitive and ranking high in the SERPs. Make sure to check out the trends in SEO as well as the SEO services we can offer you to rank higher in Google.

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