Found features in today’s issue of NMA as part of their Search Expert Predictions for 2011. Check out the article here: http://tinyurl.com/6adcndr
Here’s my predictions for 2011:
2011 will be the year when search and social media converge (although some might say collide). With ad spend on Facebook tipped to double and Google taking PPC into the display arena (moving display pricing beyond traditional CPM to more performance-based models), we’re already seeing the breakdown of the search, social and display silos. Add to this the unification of Yahoo and Bing, which is likely to lead to increases in click costs, and advertisers will need to further consider where and how to invest their marketing budgets intelligently.
The appearance of paid search ads will also change significantly, with maps, products and vouchers being integrated into Google results. Localised targeting will equally continue to increase in importance, along with the use of mobile search and location-based apps such as Foursquare and Google Places, opening up greater opportunities for smaller businesses.
However, there’s no denying that Facebook is the longer-term future of search, and potentially the future search engine. As it creates and acquires more data and functionality, such as apps, stores and search results, it’s becoming a micro-worldwide web in its own right.
That said, winning in search is, to some extent, all about finding the best strategy for, or moulding existing strategies around, the forever-changing landscape. No matter what 2011 brings, any changes will be gradual and there’ll always be areas to capitalise on. However, advertisers must not forget that search, paid search in particular, is a game based on rules, analytics and algorithms; the biggest winners will continue to be those who play by the simple fundamentals best.
Search and mobile will form a warm and close relationship in 2011, with Google Places, Facebook Places and Foursquare vying for the role of best friend. This year will also see mobile play a key role in direct response campaigns, with QR codes becoming more integrated into mobile results, offering the ability to synchronise offers with maps and location-based searches.