With Google results becomingly increasingly "fragmented" by real-time information, Bing set to replace Yahoo!’s search results and social media becoming more and more widespread, search optimisation faces a "turning point", according to one expert.

Writing on Search Engine Land, Adam Audette said these are positive developments for marketers, but they should not overshadow the main focus of search engine optimisation (SEO) – the visitor.

Indeed, he added, good SEO should act as an "invisible layer" that lies beneath sound site architecture and a "fabulous user experience".

It should concentrate on smart and strong internal linking and "contextual navigation" that expands on the categories being searched – an example of this would be Amazon’s set-up, which displays relevant sub-categories for particular topics, rather than presenting the user with a "slew of other semi or not-at-all relevant links".

Ultimately, however, successful SEO must focus on the consumer, Mr Audette argued.

"It’s all about the visitor to your website. Stay focused on her – she’s precious and has money," he noted.

According to research from Econsultancy and Guava, 60 per cent of UK businesses intend to up their spending on SEO services in 2010.

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