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Monday, January 3, 2011

Things that won't happen in internet marketing in 2011

Yeah everyone does the Top 10 predictions of what will happen in the coming year. Well I am bucking that trend in a major way. Here is what isn't going to happen in 2011. In fact here are 11 things that are not going to come into fruition this next year.

1) Location based services will not reach wide adoption. The power users will still be power users but most people will stay away and most business will try it and then promptly ditch it due to low turnout outside their mega-marketing pushes that cost them more than they bring in via services like Foursquare or Facebook Places.

2) iPad imitators will not see the sales needed to keep them on the market. Apple will keep its strangle-hold on this section but will come out with an update that allows multi-tasking. This will still require us search/internet marketers to consider the best method to market to these devices. Optimization will stay the same for these devices search is search but viewing the page and listing could be affected.

3) Social media integration in search results still won't be perfected. Between spammers and devious marketers gaming the system and your friends being, well..., your friends, integration will not lead to better results but more things to consider when looking at the results (I wonder when there will be so much info per each listing that only 1 entry shows up for a search, hmmm).

4) Mobile search differentiation ain't gonna happen. In the vein of dogs will hunt, people will search! With the advent of Google Instant, this really brings mobile and desktop search closer together and the need for specialized optimization unnecessary. Mobile companies seem to be trying to attract users by making their mobile experience more like their desktop experience.

5) Search Algorithm gaming will not go away. Although Google and Bing continue to make strides to fight the infringement on their algorithm (i.e. Google's renewed efforts to find and punish cloaking) the spammers are hungry and innovative. I have a feeling as the search engines continue to minimize what is viewed as a top listing (sorry but top 10 doesn't make the above the fold status any more) there will be a greater effort for marketers to find any means to gain the attention of their target audience. It is the yin and yang of search marketing the black side (black hats) has the little bit of good somewhere deep down but the white side (search engines) still have that little bit of black deep down. It is all about how big that speck of good or bad is on each side.

6) Pay-per-click advertising isn't going to get easier. Sure there will be new tools but most of the good ones will be out of the price range of most small business owners. Google's innovations will continue to distract from the paid ads that have been under constant legal challenges and public questioning (BP oil spill ads).

7) Automated Search Engine Optimization will not be within reach for most Search Marketers. Similar to their PPC counterparts these tools are out of range for most for the effective ones. However, the ability to create the basis for SEO still escapes most of these tools.

8) FTC Do Not Track legislation will fail (as it is currently written). The Do Not Track (DNT) legislation is too broad and reaches too many companies with deep pockets. Before a version will pass congress certain limitations will be applied and then it will only apply to a narrow scope in specific instances.

9) Search Optimization certification/qualification will not be dictated by any authority. This is something that has been disputed in the industry for years. The idea is that there should be an authority that certifies search marketers so that companies can be ensured that the "expert" they are hiring knows what they are doing and is not going to endanger their company. The issue is that Black Hat SEO's probably know the most about passing these qualifications. In order to subvert the system you have to know the system inside and out. A singular authority for Certification will appear this year or will not be deemed a trusted source for certification. Companies will continue to offer educational courses with certificates but there is too diversified a field and companies don't know who to trust anymore unless Google/Microsoft give an endorsement to one of them. However, that is not happening this year.

10) I will not be buying a vacation home in Cozumel. Oh come on I had to have one fun one in here. At least I know this one will be true for sure (even if I win the lottery I still would not buy one in Cozumel, maybe Puerta Vallarta but not Cozumel).

11) SEO will not die. I know a cliche one to end on but I think appropriate given my profession. I do whole heartedly believe this to be the case. Are there adjustments to tactics? Yes. Are there new methods that need to be learned? Definitely. Will search marketers become irrelevant? Irreverent, Yes; irrelevant, no.

The opinions expressed above are based on observations and analysis. They are mostly hunches and thoughts so please take these in the spirit that they were written...to spark discussion. So lets talk it out!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!>I think...

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