The Brighton SEO conference is, I believe, the largest of its kind in the UK. We're expecting over 1,000 delegates today. I'm up immediately after the "Ask the engines" panel featuring representatives from both Google and Bing, and you can peruse my stack above on where I think the third decade of the web's development might take today's SEO practitioners.
What's the hypothesis for future vistas?
Well without web search there would be no search engine optimisation, right? (You can see why I get invited to speak at such august gatherings ... pure insight!) And yet the SEO skillset no longer needs the fuel and constant vagaries of public WWW search to keep practitioners in full employ.
SEO can be considered with ill repute when it's perceived to be about gaming (read "fooling") search engine algorithms in order to serve solely the website owner's perceived needs. However, when you view SEO skills as working in partnership with search engines to help deliver the right information to the web user at the right time in the right format, suddenly the reputation is transformed. How incredibly useful!
Moreover, we are moving beyond WWW search. All sorts of data and information and knowledge repositories are growing fast as the age of Big Data, Big Information and, hopefully, Big Knowledge dawns. Anybody with the facility to help make sense of that data, transforming data into useful information and information into knowledge, has the right skills at just the right time.