This year the rate of change to internet marketing has increased exponentially. Whether it is the explosion of social media, the localization of Google or the inflow of advertising dollars online, 2010 will be a year to remember. I have listed my top 10 changes that effected internet marketing this year.
1. Google to Facebook: The internet spotlight has switched from Google to Facebook this year. Thanks in part to the hugely successful feature film “The Social Network”, which I think for people outside of internet marketing actually helped them understand the magnitude of social media. Plus all the privacy issues helped to keep Facebook top of mind in the public’s eyes. However, Facebook still has a long way to go to before it can be a Google killer.
2. Social Media: The use of social media as an SEO tool is now officially in every SEO’s tool box. Even offline marketing has adopted social media. It seems like every commercial I see on TV has a Twitter and Facebook Icon in it, with a call to action saying “call or click for more information”.
3. Yahoo & Bing: The merger of Yahoo and Bing was a big announcement that took way to long to actually happen. Now that Yahoo and Bing have merged they have a combined market share of 28%, which for most advertisers finally makes it worth while to advertise on Adcenter.
4. Localization of Search: Google’s changes to the way that they display local search results now pushes non-local search results further down the page. You had better have a serious local search strategy in place for next year or you will may be pushed right off the first page of SERPs.
5. Like Button: The use of the “Like” and “Tweet” button has really replaced the use of social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon. This also illustrates the spread of Facebook’s influence on 3rd party sites.
6. Paid Social: The use of paid social media such as Facebook Ads and Sponsored Tweets has ski rocketed.
7. Mobile: Time to jump on this band wagon. Some of my clients are getting 30% of their traffic from mobile. I personally switched from Blackberry to iPhone and probably do half my searches now using the iPhone.
8. WordPress as a CMS: WordPress is one of the fastest growing content management systems in the world. Which is a big change from just being a blogging platform. You can now easily build yourself a full blow website in WordPress in a matter of hours for free. Hosting providers like GoDaddy actually allow one click installation of WordPress on your domain in a matter of minutes.
9. Ratings: are now showing up more and more in the search results. These ratings come from either you Google Places listing, Yelp or e-commerce system. Watch for more growth and weight to be put on ratings in the future. In Adwords you can already integrate ratings from your Google Products account into you Ads, which significantly increases CTR and Conversions rates.
10. Site Speed: Well it is official Google wants the internet to be faster, so if you site is slow you will now be penalized for having a slow site which lower rankings.
My advice is to put aside time each week to read internet marketing blogs, so that you can stay on top of all the changes, or hire a internet marketing consultant who will stay up to date for you!