Metaverse SEO: Thoughts to prepare your brand.
By Nick Papagiannis, VP Search Director
With over 500,000 searches per month and a market size projected by Bloomberg to reach $800 billion by 2024, the Metaverse is one of tech marketing’s hottest topics. For marketers it’s time to start positioning your organic search and SEO strategies around the possible manifestations of what content experiences will look like and the key tasks you should be prepared to do. It’s difficult to predict how the Metaverse will ultimately shape up, but here are some thought starters for search engine marketers to think about:
Facebook rebranded as Meta in 2021 and intends to structure the company around the Metaverse with the hopes of being the number one domain in the metaverse. Devices and experiences will soon follow including augmented reality, virtual reality and smart glasses. Microsoft just bought Activision; while they claim it wasn’t a Metaverse-focused acquisition, there is speculation that it will provide Metaverse opportunities for them. Google, Apple and many other tech brands are also looking at how they can take advantage of Metaverse opportunities.
Like current online experiences, SEO optimizations will have to be case by case and domain targeted. For Facebook and the main search engines, it will be important to have optimal social pages and directory/location pages if companies have retail or office locations on each platform. Additionally, SEO strategists should stay tuned to webmaster blogs and venue announcements for new guidelines and algorithm updates.
Building off the above point, currently Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and even Yelp (from which Amazon Alexa pulls information) offer brands an opportunity to upload information around each of their locations via directories into their own template (e.g. Google My Business, maps etc.). Expect this area of marketing to evolve even more so towards the Metaverse. Brands will be able to offer users more localized visual experiences. So, these local directory pages will evolve and become critical interaction points for users and brands.
From an SEO perspective it’s important to stay in the loop on the evolution of local directory pages and to continue to provide each platform and search engine complete information and visuals so pages are best positioned as the Metaverse gains popularity. Additionally, current algorithms reward brands for having more complete and accurate information. Expect that scoring to continue and to be emphasized even more.
Facebook partnered with Ray-Ban to create smart glasses. Apple is rumored to be drawing up their own version of smart glasses and other hardware. This means users won’t be able to have a full Metaverse experience without visuals and potentially other hardware. Similar to device-targeted SEO strategies for mobile and voice search, it’s important to prepare SEO strategies for visuals and other hardware that comes to market.
Search engine strategies
Search engines are at the forefront of connecting users with information and experiences and that will likely continue with the Metaverse. SEO teams should continue to adhere to search engine guidelines and directions regarding the indexing of websites and content. These will likely evolve and become more comprehensive as the user experience becomes richer and connected to different domains like Google and Facebook. Similar to directory optimizations in the first point above, SEO strategists will have to connect all the dots of different user content discovery touchpoints, beginning with search engines through all the different platforms.
Eventually, search engines will likely become their own Metaverse experiences which makes it important that web assets are optimized around the confluence of user experience and search guidelines. Some of the current best practices that will likely remain critical include optimized HTML tags (including schema.org tags), URL structures, useful and rich content, spider-readable text, secure environments (e.g., https), fast loading content, and providing a sitemap and robots.txt files to ensure proper page indexing.
With the revenue opportunities and other expectations for the Metaverse, competition for user attention and engagement should be extraordinary. With Facebook’s name change to Meta, it’s obvious that their goal is to be the top Metaverse domain. The expectation is that the Metaverse will be socially oriented, and the algorithm will likely mimic the current Facebook algorithm which rewards higher engagement content with the best placement in front of users.
Google and other search engines also reward high engagement and user-satisfying content through their current algorithms. Don’t expect that to change. Regardless of the platform, expect algorithms to utilize metrics that take into account users’ behavior and engagement. Content with the highest engagement and user satisfaction will fare the best. That being the case, it’s important to offer users valuable content and exceptional experiences.