A Review of Search Marketing and Social Media in 2010

23 Dec A Review of Search Marketing and Social Media in 2010

Looking back at the year 2010 I see that this blog started off with great intentions but the pace slowed as the year went on. This is partly because a lot happened this year, and I wish I had devoted more time to sharing my thoughts on the major developments as they occurred. Nevertheless, I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the major developments in the world of Internet marketing (from social media and search marketing to branding and technology).

Here are the top five developments, events, news items (whatever you want to call them) that caught my attention this year.

Google Instant Search solves a non-problem

Sure it sounds like a great idea, but its a non-innovative innovation in my opinion. Plus Yahoo already had this back in 2006 and didn’t think much of it. My main problem with instant search is it improve to the search experience. The main issue with search has always been relevancy not speed. Getting irrelevant search results fast isn’t better than getting high relevancy search results a little slower (0.1s slower). Serving highly relevant search results is what made Google, not speed of search. It seems like Google is forgetting this as the years go by and very few of their recent innovation is focused on improving the search experience.

Online ad spending exceeds newspaper ad spending

This just happened in December so it’s fresh news and very significant. While it is not new news, it does confirm what everyone has been saying over the past few years. On the flip side this shift in advertising dollars means the advertising industry will be under greater pressure to deliver a directly measurable ROI. Marketing agencies will need to improve their tracking and reporting mechanisms to build confidence with clients. Furthermore, a premium will be on data analysis to continuously optimize and increase performance. In many ways marketers will need to start moving towards a mindset that CFO‘s can appreciate.

Groupon puts social commerce on the map

The recent failed¬†Google move to acquire Groupon signals the rise of social commerce and the role it will play in the coming years. However, I’m not sold on the Groupon business model because too many retailers who have used its service have indicated that they will not be using it again. This is a big problem in my estimation and indicates that once the novelty of the idea fades it will become more difficult to sustain. Groupon should have taken the Google offer, because in a year their valuation will be significantly lower.

Facebook becomes ubiquitous

It’s hard to ignore a company that is becoming increasingly ubiquitous to the web experience. From sharing data with third party sites like TripAdvisor to churning out new features, the company is always in the news. While I think marketers are spot on to try to engage customers on this social networking site, I question outsourcing company web functions to Facebook. Its akin to moving from a house you own to a rented apartment. Using precious marketing dollars to advertise your Facebook page is counter productive and very short term thinking. Marketers need to think more long term and need to figure out a way to develop their brands through social networks but still retain domain equity in the process.

The iPad paves the way for the tablet

I’m not a Mac guy and I don’t have a puppy love crush on everything Apple does. Having said that I tried a Mac laptop earlier this year and it only confirmed my thinking. I know Apple is an innovative company and it bring lots of great products, but for some reason their market share seems to tap out and the mass market always seems to move towards a better performing, lower cost alternative (see the rise of Android). I think the iPad is significant because it has now positioned the tablet as a viable product alternative to laptops. However, in a few years Android based tablets will surpass the iPad in adoption and use and relegate the iPad to secondary status.

So, there you have it. My thoughts on what I perceive as the major events of 2010. It has been a tremendous year but I’m looking forward to 2011 and all that it will bring!

Finally, I’d like to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a great celebration this season and are greatly blessed and enriched with family and friends.

Thanks for reading.

Top Photo: Slideshow Judge on Flickr
Side photo: Dan Taylor on Flickr
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