On global SEO prospects in the 2020s: interview with Valery Kurilov, co-founder of SE Ranking platform

Valeriy Kurilov – co-Founder and CEO at SE Ranking, investor, IT entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in marketing and software development. He is a member of the Forbes Tech Council.

The Role of SEO in Digital Marketing in the 2020s

SEO has always been one of the most popular promotion channels, because organic search remains the key channel in terms of volume and conversion for many segments to this day. Even though SEO doesn’t deliver instant results like paid social media promotion, in the long run, all your SEO investment will pay off in the long run. Having taken a place in the TOP, you will consistently receive traffic to the site, while paid traffic ends as soon as you stop advertising in your account. Many companies understand this and are investing in SEO today. And given that 2020 has forced many businesses to go online, I think that in the coming years, even more companies will try to “befriend” their sites with Google.


According to research by StatCounter, The total share of Google among search engines in Russia in March 2020 was 54.89%, Yandex – 42.17%. According to Alexa Rank statistics for 2020, Google is again leading in terms of the number of daily views in Russia (14.58 minutes and 4.78 pages per visitor versus 4.39 and 2.99 for Yandex.


Google has been the number one search engine in the global market for many years. There is a possibility that in the next decade, Google will have new competitors: for example, Apple or, perhaps, Elon Musk can create their own search engines 🙂 But, as the example of Bing has shown, even investing billions of dollars in technology development, it will be quite possible to reach the level of Google not easy. Therefore, in the next 10 years, Google is likely to continue to dominate the market – except that the share of requests on YouTube will grow. Google assessed the prospects of video search back in 2006, when it bought YouTube, but webmasters in the 2020s should think about creating high-quality video content in addition to text.

World TOP search engines on the Internet

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How is the demand for SEO products and services changing: what are consumers waiting for?

In the new realities, more and more companies are realizing that they need to go online and use organic search to attract users and increase sales. Therefore, the demand for both SEO products and promotion services is growing.

When it comes to agency stories, everyone expects a positive ROI. Previously, the site was usually promoted for the keywords that the client wanted. Now more and more companies are focused primarily on profit – they are interested in whether an SEO agency can bring more clients to a business for a certain budget than if the same money were invested, for example, in PPC.

Expert opinion

Alexey Guberman, Head of Search Engine Optimization Department, Ashmanov & Partners:

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“Of course, keyword tracking continues to this day. This helps to correctly determine the promotion strategy, conduct a comparative analysis with competitors. But regarding the site itself – now there are practically no sections, pages and elements on these pages, for which in one way or another we do not give recommendations for optimization. And this kind of work requires direct immersion in the business and processes. ”

As for SEO products such as SE Ranking, the demand for them is also growing both among large companies that seek to automate as many processes as possible, as well as among small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Many small companies do not have the opportunity to immediately hire an SEO specialist, so they try to figure out how SEO works for themselves. We see the growing number of educational materials, and we observe a trend towards simplifying the interface of SEO products so that any person – both professional and novice – can understand them.

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How SEO Markets Differ by Region (Country)

When discussing regional differences, they usually compare the features of promotion in the CIS and in Western markets. And of all the countries of Europe and America, the US market is of the greatest interest. The reason for the attractiveness of this market is obvious – a large number of active Internet users, their high paying capacity. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that the competition for a place in the top of the American SERP is also very tough. To beat the competition, you will need a lot of quality content and backlinks, and you will have to pay a lot for quality. Of course, everything depends on the niche, but in general, the cost of promotion for the United States in particular and for the West in general is high.

Of course, even in a highly competitive niche, you can try to advance on low-frequency queries. In Western search results, a huge proportion of queries are so-called “tailored queries”, for example, “how to open a coconut without a knife and a hammer”.

The fact is that the volume of semantics for the English-speaking audience is dozens of times greater than the volume of semantics for Russian-speaking users, and a large percentage of such keys are precisely low-frequency queries. Research by SE Ranking has shown that Tailored Queries account for about 93% of all traffic. Focusing on such keys, you can start getting traffic quickly, even despite the presence of strong competitors.

Expert opinion

Alexey Guberman, Head of Search Engine Optimization Department, Ashmanov & Partners:

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“When choosing a semantic core, you should always pay attention to queries with” tails “. Often, as Valery says, it is possible to get traffic for these requests faster due to little competition. In addition, with high competition in the subject matter and weak site performance, we recommend starting with low-frequency queries, gradually increasing traffic and subsequently switching to mid-frequency and high-frequency words. ”

Another difference is that there are more information requests and special elements in the issuance in the West (quick replies, People also ask block, previews of videos and posts from Twitter, etc.). This is due to the fact that there is much more data in the Google database for the United States that a search engine can use to give users quick answers to their queries right in the SERP.

Finally, it should be noted that in the West, in contrast to the CIS, Google completely dominates search and occupies about 87% of the market. Therefore, moving under Europe and the United States, you will have to focus exclusively on this search engine. At the same time, in the CIS, you can simultaneously promote under Google and Yandex and thus reduce the risks in case of failure – if something goes wrong with Google, there will still be traffic from Yandex.

What are the prospects for the market and the players (services, agencies, specialists)

As we have already determined, the SEO market continues to grow, which means that the prospects for all players are good 🙂 After all, when the market grows, everyone makes money. I have already mentioned that in this situation, more and more companies understand the value of investing in search engine optimization. Accordingly, the services of SEO agencies and specialists will be in demand in the coming years.

“Remote” opens up new perspectives

First, globalization, and then the forced transition to remote work, made the market more flexible and mobile. A company from the United States, instead of an SEO agency on the street next door, may well attract specialists from Eastern Europe or Asia to optimize costs – in 2020, many companies suffered financial losses, so the topic of budget cuts, unfortunately, is still relevant.

From the point of view of SEO specialists, the popularization of remote content has opened up wider career opportunities for webmasters. Today companies tend to hire employees from different parts of the world, focusing primarily on the qualifications of a specialist, and not on the fact of territorial proximity to the company’s office. This means that in the 2020s, almost everyone will choose where to live, and will be able, for example, to surf in Bali in the morning and promote the product of a European company during the day.

It is important to track trends and changes in algorithms

It is important for both agencies and individual professionals to keep abreast of the latest trends in search engine optimization in order to remain competitive: for example, now it is relevant to work on Core Web Vitals and EAT indicators, improve site responsiveness, create content that exactly matches the user’s intent – thanks to Google artificial intelligence. already understands much better what the user wants, driving a query into a search engine.

Competition in the SEO services market is growing

If we are talking about SEO services, their task is to provide SEO specialists with all the necessary data that will allow them to respond in a timely manner to changes in search engine ranking algorithms. Many services successfully cope with this task: today, clients value SEO tools for the accuracy of the data obtained, the ability to automate routine processes and ease of use. Many people understand that special tools help to promote websites more efficiently, so the market for SEO services continues to grow rapidly. According to the study, the market grew by 8.12% in 2020, and its estimated value could double in the next four years.


It is worth noting that with the development of the SEO services market, competition in it also grows. But users from this, of course, only benefit. In the past, most tools had one or more functions. In recent years, many SEO tools have evolved into multifunctional platforms for solving complex problems. Moreover, high competition forces all market players to constantly improve their product using advanced technologies. Everyone is trying to offer the user the best price-quality ratio, so that the choice is in favor of their product.

Directly about technologies in SEO and automation

The high growth rates of the SEO services market, which we are now observing, became possible due to the rapid development of technologies and a decrease in the cost of server maintenance. Today SEO tools are actively increasing the amount of data and developing tools to process it efficiently.

For example, earlier the average base for analyzing the semantics of competitors in the US consisted of 20 million sites, and now the average is already 200 million. Thus, now the user can fully understand how competitors are moving and what keywords they are promoting.

Another example is the development of technologies that calculate the complexity of keywords. Now the tools do it much better. Add to this, again, the rapid expansion of databases – and it turns out that with the help of SEO tools, the user can easily pick up frequency keys with low complexity. Focusing on such keys, any site can receive traffic and customers at the start. And all this thanks to big data – you won’t be able to achieve the same result by collecting semantics manually.

In addition to collecting semantics and analyzing competitors, SEO services allow you to automate and optimize many routine processes – from creating technical specifications to working with backlinks. Every year, the tools provide more and more opportunities for automation, because this is what users expect.

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