Search engine marketing is continuing to evolve, and for the
most part, for the better. Searchers are having an easier time
finding what they're looking for, and search engines will continue
to add features that make life easier for all of us. Here are
a few things I see on the search horizon:
- Maps - Yahoo's addition of related information
overlayed on maps is a going to be a trend continued in 2005,
party brought on by competition from other map sites. Traffic
information is a big leap forward, but other features will
make mapping even more valuable.
- Shopping Search - Still VERY new. As more
customers become accustomed to this powerful type of search,
more retailers will follow. Shopping search companies will make
the setup process less painful for retailers by standardizing
or at least becoming better at reading other program’s
feeds (or so we hope?).
- SMS Search - Other companies will follow
Google's lead with this convenient
search feature. Wal-Mart will freak out and try to ban text
messaging within their stores after observing consumers typing
UPC numbers into their cell phone to compare prices to other
retailers. This will make SMS search more popular after people
read about it on Yahoo’s
Oddly Enough News Stories.
- Consolidated Personals Search – A will
company provide a Froogle
type search that indexes multiple personals sites. Personals
companies will be able to push their ads onto the consolidated
site where people will be able to view consolidated personals
listings alongside the various personals sites rates. Epinions
may provide personals services ratings?
Interface – It will become more like Adwords.
It’s already heading that direction, but still has a way
to go to offer people the same level of control of their ads.
Expect more of a move toward an Adwords Ad Groups interface,
more control over negative terms, and better reporting.
- Ad Firms - Companies who think SEM is simply
an online ad buy will choose to work with their ad firms to
handle the their online ad budgets. Some will receive surprisingly
good service while others may fall short on the technical skills
necessary to handle the various tasks involved in SEM.
- Reciprocal Linking - Search engines will
get better at detecting links for link's sake, and sites currently
ranking high solely from reciprocal links will feel some pain.
Quality web sites owned by people with little understanding
of reciprocal linking will mysteriously be rewarded for being
good. Of course, good sites that actively seek out links from
relevant sites will still have the edge because they’re
expediting the link building process.
- Car Sales – Google will jump into the
car business by adding an automotive section to Froogle that
consolidates car sales sites. Savvy consumers will compare car
prices using their cell phones while on car lots, causing car
- Personalized Search - Personalization won't
make a big leap forward, but people will continue to get better
at searching. For example, people will search using quotes around
“search terms,” –negative keywords, more words
in search phrases, and Search
Within Results, to help them find what they’re looking
- Google's Content Targeted Advertising –
Will finally have separate bidding and Ad Groups from search,
which will lead to an increase in the number of advertisers
using it. This will be good for publishers, advertisers, and
Do you have some additional guesses? Think I'm totally off base?
Stop by the thread on Highrankings Forum about 2005
Industry Predictions to share your thoughts.
Ed Kohler is the President of Haystack In A Needle, Inc., a web
marketing firm in Minneapolis, MN, offering search engine optimization
and pay per click advertising consulting services.
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