Despite their prowess in advertising, QR codes are beginning to clash with an established and popular marketing technique. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a marketing trend that has grown in prominence since online content started to generate significant revenue. The concept guiding the technique is to tailor content so that it will appear in search engines. This often involves filling written work with a number of keywords that are meant to be strategically placed so as to catch the all-important eye of Google and other search engines. QR codes, however, do not synergize well with SEO.
Web addresses are the core of SEO marketing strategies. These are often the first things people see when browsing the Internet and, more importantly, a web address is something search engines hold in high regard. QR codes often shorten web addresses for the sake of redirection. Essentially, the codes remove the need of web addresses, as no one, neither consumer nor search engine, will see them.
Navigating the Internet is also evolving, thanks in part to QR codes. Usually, if someone is looking for something specific on the Internet, they type in keywords to a search engine. The engine then scours its database and produces the most relevant results based on the keywords provided. This practice, however, is being replaced by simply scanning QR codes found at retail outlets and grocery stores. Consumers are beginning to navigate the Internet through scanning barcodes rather than search engines.
What this means for SEO is unclear, but the tight-knit structure of search engine marketing may be unraveling as mobile marketing continues to gain prominence.