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Monday, January 1, 2007

What Does 2007 Have in Store for Search?

Posted by @ 8:27 pm

Did you take some time out over New Year to ponder what the year 2007 might bring? The start of a new year is always a good time for predictions, and a few notable names have published their thoughts on where the search marketing industry might be heading.

Here are John Batelle’s search-related predictions:

  1. Microsoft will buy their way into online media dominance since they can’t beat Google at the search game fast enough.
  2. AOL will be bought (with Microsoft and Yahoo as potential purchasers) or go public.
  3. Google Video ads won’t take off until the last quarter of 2007.
  4. Yahoo! will slowly start to recover from the bad run they had in 2006.
  5. Google will face some bad PR in connection with the company and its founders losing touch with their users and their struggle to continue to live up to the “Don’t be evil” motto.
  6. Mobile Internet usage will go mainstream, with search at its core.

You can read John’s full predictions about the search industry and other Internet trends on his SearchBlog.

Andy Beal, the author of the Marketingpilgrim blog, focuses on slightly different areas in his 2007 predictions:

  1. Andy is more upbeat about Yahoo and thinks their new Panama advertising technology and interface changes will have some real positive impact for them this year.
  2. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the next big thing that will explode in 2007, when it also will become more measurable and accountable.
  3. There will be lots of M&A activity in the search marketing industry, with at least one search marketing services firm going public.

Specifically for small and medium sized businesses using search marketing, I see a few other interesting trends unfolding in 2007:

  1. Small and medium sized businesses will fully realize how important local search marketing is for them – whether a business has a website or not.
  2. The Web2.0 community movement will grow in importance for search. Not only will user-generated content continue to reach more people, communities will also be used to improve search results (see Wikia’s/Wikipedia’s new project of community-generated search, for example).
  3. Online advertising bargains will get rarer. With more and more advertisers crowding the marketplace, you will have to work harder to ensure your online advertising budget produces the return you are aiming for.
  4. The push against net neutrality will continue – as this may impact the way in which businesses can operate on the Internet, small and medium sized companies should certainly keep abreast of this topic.

Regardless of which predictions will come true, I hope 2007 will be an exciting and successful year for you!

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