The web is an organism. It is constantly evolving. It is constantly morphing and changing its shape. It is continually adapting to current trends, new information, and progressive innovation.
In it’s infantry, it was the static web. Then, it became the dynamic web and we began to interact. About ten years ago, it morphed again - this time into the social web. In this era, we have seen the rise and fall of sites like Friendster and MySpace, we have seen services like Facebook and Twitter grow from experiments into online empires. And, we started to see the first glimpses of the recommendation web with sites like Digg and Reddit.
We are now fully entering into the era of the recommendation web - where virtually everything can be viewed, consumed, or purchased can also have a recommendation attached. This begins to shift how we find new information, how we search on the web, and how our decisions are influenced - decisions that we previously were forced to make alone.
So, where does this take us? Facebook and Google each have launched their own “recommendation networks.” Facebook has the now-iconic “Like” button, and Google recently launched +1.These giants will begin to take a stronghold onto the recommendation web.
Facebook will utilize it to connect people further and increase revenue by serving up increasingly targeted ads. Google will utilize it to organize and catalog information on the web and respond to requests accordingly. Both will leverage our existing social networks and what those people recommend to gain insight into our potential likes, dislikes, and behavior.
With the recommendation web, search engine optimization (SEO) as we know it today will be flipped on its head. It will become more important for companies and products to receive recommendations online than it will be to write strategic copy containing certain buzzwords. Search results will be heavily influenced by our social recommendations, and thus, will be catered to fit each individual.
It makes sense that this is the next logical step in the evolution of the web. Companies and organizations should recognize this early and adapt accordingly so they are not left behind in the new era of the web.