As 2013 draws to an end we’re left to reflect on what has been a year of unprecedented change for on-line marketing.
The year started with the proverbial bang for Google. By the time May had rolled around we had witnessed a plethora of changes regarding Google’s algorithm, Panda. Google have always been on the front foot when it comes to providing quality search results for their users and have come under criticism regarding the ease that individuals were able to create short cuts to rank in high organic positions such as various spam techniques and advertorials that passed along page rank. These changes were designed to prevent black hat techniques being used to circumnavigate the system.
In essence, if you abide by the rules you’ll reap the rewards.
If we fast forward to October, we witness one of the biggest and eagerly awaited changes to Google AdWords; the introduction of meaningful Ad Extensions. Up until October Ad Extensions were simply seen as a method of padding out your adverts and commanding a larger page share. Taking it a step further, introducing Ad Extensions didn’t affect your adverts ranking at all. Ad Extensions now play an integral part in determining an advert’s placement on the search page. So much so, that Google now look favourably on campaigns that use relevant, well placed extensions.
Believe it or not, Google haven’t monopolised online marketing in 2013. Every established player requires competition to keep their own ideas fresh. Google’s foe comes in the form of Facebook.
The two Californian tech giants have, until this year, been in different leagues when it comes to their online marketing capabilities. However, this is no longer the case.
Just ask anyone that’s ventured into the world of Facebook marketing over the last three-hundred and sixty-five days. Facebook’s appeal is the ability to bring marketing directly to the people that matter. Imagine being able to advertise your wedding dress business to people in your area who are engaged or even advertising your party venue to people who have a birthday within the next two months. Well, imagine no more. On signing up for a Facebook account, they don’t ask you when your birthday is or your marital status for any other reason than to form a marketing profile. These two details alone enable the type of targeted marketing that give you, the advertiser, the best possible chance of selling your service to qualified prospects.
2014 will see yet more enhancements to Facebook’s growing Arsenal. The introduction of Graph Search will see Facebook become a real player in the world of Search Engines.
By building a relationship with Microsoft Bing, Facebook will enable you to search for friends who have used a local plumber or a good accountant. The basis of this product will be to enable a searcher to look for and book a service that their friends have used. Would you rather use a recommended plumber or electrician or take your chances with a random technician? Facebook Graph search is available to a select number of users as I write this article. Beta testing is being conducted across the US and we should see the wide use of this product by the time we wrap up 2014. Obviously, we’ve only scratched the surface of the changes that have swept across the last calendar year but we’ve certainly witnessed a very important period for both advertisers and marketing platforms alike.
Who will come out on top in 2014 is open to debate. Who knows, maybe we haven’t heard of the company that will take next year by storm.
The one thing we can be sure of is, as a company, SponsoredLinX will be ahead of the game implementing ideas and strategies that will best enable you to take advantage of the next wave of changes to grip the world of on-line marketing.
From everybody here at SponsoredLinX, have a great Christmas and a prosperous 2014.