Seven Peaks Insights

The Future of SEO is to Focus More on People Than Technology

TL_Criclabs_Toon_01 (Hero Banner)

Phuwit (Toon) Limviphuwat, is the co-founder of Criclabs, a digital agency specializing in digital products, SEO, and various other services. Toon’s experience includes his work as SEO manager (APAC-MEA) at Electrolux, and on the Morphosis team, part of Seven Peaks. He has also been a key speaker at Working with SEO at BKK Web, a tech event hosted by us last year, where he shared his perspectives as an SEO expert on trending technologies and inspired many people to utilize SEO marketing.

My journey to SEO (search engine optimization) started when I first joined Morphosis, following my departure from journalism. Throughout this period, I learned so many invaluable insights while working on diverse client projects ranging from SEO marketing, UX/UI design for websites and applications, and software development, often involving coordination with multiple stakeholders. These experiences refined my skills and ultimately helped me reach a level of expertise in SEO that I hadn’t expected.

After my time at Morphosis, I got the opportunity to work as an SEO manager at Electrolux, a leading home appliance brand. In this role, I oversaw the management of 40 websites across 30 countries in the APAC and MEA regions. This experience inspired me to establish my digital agency, Criclabs. My goal now is to drive Criclabs and my team to growth and success.


Start Everything with a Thought Process

During my time as a journalist, the media landscape underwent significant disruption due to the emergence of SEO. The industry saw a shift from publishing newspapers to releasing news stories directly on websites, to help readers find them through search engines like Google. The moment that I realized that SEO wasn’t just a meaningless buzzword was when my news agency changed its domain name and lost 70%  of their web traffic overnight.

I needed to know why a simple domain name change could have such a profound impact, especially when the content and structure of the website remained unchanged. I also wanted to understand the fundamental principles of SEO, as well as the key factors that could impact content beyond the quality of writing. 

From that moment onward, I embarked on a dedicated self-study journey to deepen my understanding of SEO, all while actively seeking employment opportunities that would allow me to apply what I’d learned in real life. Above all, a key driving force that led me to where I am today has always been my strong belief in having a structured work process, such as continuous learning, strategic career planning, meticulous execution, and collaborative creation of SEO campaigns with clients.

Why do I believe in the importance of having a clear process? Life – like SEO marketing – comes with unpredictable and uncontrollable factors. However, if I have a process with a clear roadmap for achieving my objectives, and well-defined steps and measures to take, then I am confident that I will ultimately achieve my goals.

“Instead of pursuing happiness, I’d rather be happier pursuing my goals.”
Phuwit Limviphuwat

co-founder of Criclabs


An Overview of Modern SEO

It’s an exciting time for SEO. The SEO landscape is scattered with the unknown, especially with the emergence of Search Generative Experiences (SGE) or Generative AI, which Google is developing to enhance user search experiences by letting them find what they want more easily. This development will revolutionize the way users interact with search engines.

After someone submits a query in an SGE interface, Google's AI will generate tailored answers that it presumes to be correct and close to what the user is looking for, with links added for reference, rather than the list of links usually produced by a conventional search engine. Furthermore, AI can produce various forms of content, including text, images, and videos. This is a game changer for SEO marketing.

Nonetheless, AI isn’t the only exciting development in SEO. For example, Google’s support of AI isn’t always quite so predictable. Take these three recent updates as examples: 

  • Google first announced they would not support content created by AI.
  • One week later, Google clarified that only high-quality AI-generated content would be displayed in search results.
  • In Google’s third update, the tech giant specified they would not list any AI-generated content produced in large quantities or densely packed with information but lacking in quality.

Companies that rush headfirst into AI implementation risk losing their SEO ranking due to Google's evolving algorithms. SEO marketing’s dynamic nature doesn’t just make the game intriguing, but also impacts user behavior and their interactions with search engines.

Although many emerging technologies continue to transform SEO, I want to remain focused on strengthening the foundations of my SEO work processes. While the tools may change, the foundational principles of SEO remain the same.


New Technologies, Same Principles

You’ve probably heard people in the tech industry talk about Perplexity as a major competitor for Google. As someone well-versed in SEO, I believe it's crucial to first assess your target audience and their preferred platforms, then adjust your strategy with your users at the center. After all, a hot new tool doesn’t always uproot the fundamental principles of SEO.

For instance, during the global surge of interest in a greener economy, a search engine claiming to be eco-friendly emerged, boasting that it would surpass the popularity of Google. This development prompted many to question whether they should optimize their content or website structure for this new search engine.

Or, when privacy was a hot topic,  DuckDuckGo actively promoted itself as a search engine that didn't track users or collect their personal data. However, upon closer examination, the operational differences between Google and DuckDuckGo aren’t that significant.

(It is worth noting that China and South Korea have their own popular search enginesBaidu and Naver respectively – which operate on algorithms distinctly different from Google's. However, I won’t go into detail about those in this article.)

The most important thing we need to understand about Perplexity is its criteria for the data it selects in analyzing and creating the data that matches what users are looking for. My best guess is that Perplexity has set processes for adjusting content and producing appropriate references for its users. This isn’t very different from how Google searches for the most suitable content and displays it as a feature snippet on the first search result.

I think Perplexity will open a new dimension in search experiences but planning an SEO strategy for search results in Perplexity might need some adjustments. All in all, the SEO foundation remains relatively unchanged, contrary to widespread concerns.



SEO Focuses on People, Not Trends

I'd like to share some insights regarding SEO. SEO professionals are quite obsessed with Google algorithm updates, new tools, and AI, which are undeniably crucial aspects of this industry. However, what many SEO specialists frequently overlook or underestimate is the human element. 

SEO marketing hinges not on individual efforts but on teamwork and leveraging cross-functional resources. These elements are essential in driving an SEO campaign toward success.

If an SEO campaign relies solely on the expertise of an algorithm or AI specialist without the support of a collaborative team, the campaign is likely to fail.

On the other hand, I’m more likely to find success if my SEO workflow is straightforward enough for anyone to grasp easily. The key lies in simplifying tasks such as revising titles and meta tags, optimizing website performance for faster loading, and adjusting website structure. Even without implementing new techniques, effective collaboration with other teams involved in the campaign is paramount for achieving favorable outcomes.

Based on my experience working with big companies, I've learned that campaigns typically involve 3 to 4 teams. These teams play a larger part in a campaign's success than any Google algorithm updates or emerging trends in AI.


A Successful SEO Campaign Makes Everyone Involved Proud

The key to becoming a successful SEO specialist is to always start by defining the requirements of your campaign. Success is not about devising a completely new SEO strategy or being an expert at implementing cutting-edge AI techniques. Instead, it's about adhering meticulously to fundamental SEO principles, and effectively engaging with team members from various departments.

From my perspective, SEO marketing helps users and people in general. SEO opens up opportunities for people to discover the products and services they want, whether those are offered by us or by our clients. These users might have simply been looking for the best options available, already knew about us, or discovered us through a search engine. This aspect of SEO holds a certain romantic appeal to me and usually yields valuable customers

Moreover, SEO serves as a tool that designers, developers, and other team members within the company can leverage to achieve shared objectives. The collaborative efforts invested in an SEO campaign should ultimately make them proud, as the campaign's success is a collective achievement.

TL_Criclabs_Toon-profilePhuwit Limviphuwat
Co-founder, Criclabs

Phuwit is a co-founder at Criclabs, a digital solutions agency based in Bangkok. His expertise lies in assisting brands in the design, development, and enhancement of their digital products, all aimed at delivering impactful business outcomes.