Online marketing experienced a roller coaster ride in 2012 most especially for the search marketer. For internet marketing, the coming together of various forms of marketing as well as technical change, mobile adoption and collation of big data gave impact to everyone in the industry. Several events in online marketing made their way in 2012 – Google events, mobile emergence, authorship significance and other influences.
Google Updates – Search Plus, Panda, Caffeine and Penguin
Internet marketing was greatly affected in the early parts of 2012 with Google releasing social reporting as part of its analytics tool, changing some algorithms. Those practicing if-y links were the ones that were hit the hardest and wondered how to recover from losing rankings and cope up with penalties. Then came Google Search Plus Your World (SPYW), making a real buzz plus the news about concerns on how information architecture work together to make a great shopping experience, ecommerce and long-term SEO strategy security. Everyone wants to find out what technologies Google uses to identify abnormal linking and the penalty-causing over-optimization.
Thus, when Google cracked down in the year, marketers and site owners started to ask if the sites they are holding are worth the rankings. They explored how to come up with an SEO that is algo-proof so that they can avoid devastating consequences of any updates about algorithm so their websites will stay healthy. Google has been known to have a way of rating a site’s quality but on how it does it is not completely understood. The launching of Google SPYW tried to solve issues about content authority and trust by involving pages, profiles and people which are integrated in the search results.
Updates like Google Panda and Caffeine decreased the rankings of those sites which quality was already low. On the other hand, the sites having great innovation and good content have their rankings improved. Then came Penguin, which cleaned up spams while trying to destroy black hat applications. The cause and consequence of Penguin updates is the significance of content – more importantly, relevance and quality.
Bing came out challenging Google more forcibly this year. It signified an aggressive and sharper technique while “Scroogled” campaign scrutinized the “new paid for shopping” results of Google. Bing likewise took an interest into partnership with Facebook and to use Quora, LinkedIn and Twitter data to check on social signals compared to Google’s +1 info graph.
Year of the Mobile
The mobile continued to grow and created an enormous need for responsive apps and designs when Google announced mobile optimization guidelines in June. For most marketers, 2012 is the Year of the Mobile. In fact, there is an estimate that local mobile advertising shall be $24 billion in 2016. Multiple ad formats such as dynamic search, display ads and location targeting were then included into AdWords for Video since YouTube is recognized as the second most huge search engine.
The Power of Content and Social Media
Content marketing is again the consequence of all Google updates. Those in charge with internet marketing realized that Google changes are great SEO strategies as compared to some short-term techniques for building links. Content marketing is not new, but it is now part of a strategic change for the search marketer, prompting for a refocus of content and indicate the end of short-lived SEO tactics.
Then came the convergence of media and industry changes than what have been shown in search engine results pages. Google stated that their overall goal is to provide the most relevant results possible for a search query. Moving from short-term to long-term, search and social were then big businesses. Data is everywhere, no doubt; but how they are found and take value from them is the key to success. Google has that data. Hence, seeking for ways to access its data, then refine and secure it becomes a topmost priority for businesses.
Authorship likewise became a key opportunity when the importance of author content, recommendations and influence began to show in personalized search results. To be a topic authority and promote content was a talked-about fresh ranking factor.
Change never failed to stay constant, even in internet marketing. The year 2012 saw great changes which are almost impossible for some to keep track in detail. What were seen are transformations of what have been worked on, and how they were defined. Long-term strategies replaced short-term techniques and content steers the integrated agenda of marketing.
The changes and challenges that were faced in 2012 are guarantees that 2013 shall be full of thrill. On February 18 to 21, industry great minds shall meet in London for Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conferencing & Expo, a global conference to educate delegates about search as well as social and internet marketing.