Friday, 23 July 2010

The year 2010 so far in search and digital marketing

Structured data and social media are the two major trends (in my humble opinion) to impact upon search and digital marketing so far this year.

I've posted just the once this year, I'm not proud about it, so i thought, 'what have i missed in online marketing and SEO this year?' and was it anything important?

So I've had a look, and put together my highlights of the first six months of 2010, this is in NO way comprehensive.

22nd Jan - 'Event' markup in Google's Rich Snippets. This was also followed by 'microdata' in March and 'recipes' in April. My only blog post this year explains what rich snippets are - and although these three updates are not mind-blowing the continued use and expansion of structured data in search is my first trend of 2010 and a big change that websites need to embrace.

28th Feb - Facebook was added to Google's real-time search. This relates to the second major trend of 2010, not real-time search but the rise of social media in digital marketing. Originally launched using Twitter (of course) amongst others, Google's and Bing's real-time search pushes social media further to the forefront of digital marketing. Watch a good video about real-time search and the history of SEO on SEOmoz.

8th April - Digital Economy Act 2010. Hastily whizzed through parliament before government was dissolved for the general election, this is about regulating digital media. Specifically this covers how internet service providers (ISPs) must provide a list of people believed to have infringed copyright seemingly based on self certification by the copyright owner and ISP. There is no clear indication of checking the validity of evidence against these infringements so leaving the act open to potential abuse and limitation of civil liberty.

MPs debating the Digital Economy Bill
Do you feel represented?
(img source - bitter wallet)

7th May - New look Google. On a lighter note, Google has had a spring clean. Amongst other things what this may do is expose the extent of universal search to more people, making it all the more important to sort out those blogs, news articles, images, products. Like with the rise of social media, digital marketers have just been given more reasons why they should have their search fingers (that's the index on the left hand) in many pies.

11th June - Caffeine indexing system. Caffeine is Google's new search index. This is what it looks at when you type a keyword in and press 'search'. Caffeine apparently searches everything quicker through it's novel structure including real-time web, video, images, news. It will be a few months before we see if there's any direct impact on SEO but it does seem to back up the importance of the trends I mentioned earlier of structured data and social media.

Google caffeine search index

iPad15th July - iPad released. Could this reinvent the world as we know it? No. But i thought I'd mention it as websites race to get themselves iPad ready and EVERY competition at the moment offers one as a prize.

Soon - Google image search update. This doesn't seem to have taken effect yet for me, but apparently was launched recently and is "more intuitive and gets the user the answer a lot quicker". I know a number of sites where images are as important to their users as the text, but this has never been reflected in search. I hope this changes that, but we'll have to wait and see.

And let's not forget - The mobile web. Everyone i know (apart from me) has an iPhone or an Android powered phone. The mobile web is coming of age (sorry for the oft-repeated cliche but i honestly think it's justified this time) and those sites that cater for mobile users are going to have the edge. Especially sites which provide content relevant to those of us on the move - like sport results, restaurant listings, pub quiz answers etc.

With all this excitement and technological invention it sounds like SEO just got complicated. But i don't think it has, all these things are just important to bear in mind. A firm SEO footing is still good content, quality and quantity of links, relevance to your users and then you can look at reaching your audience in as many ways as possible.

1 comment:

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