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Search Marketing in 2010
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Just about this time every year industry experts throw out their bold predictions as to where Search will go in the upcoming year.  As an example see: http://www.verticalmeasures.com/expert-interviews/2010-predictions-from-10-internet-experts/.  Late in 2008, we featured a series on where Search was heading in 2009.  Part one of SEO 2009 mentioned four elements of change for Search in 2009.
  1. Refocusing on Metrics that Matter
  2. Understanding the SEO does in fact provide value
  3. Shifting of Budget towards SEO
  4. Personalization and Blended Search Results
I'm not sure if these were just safe predictions, but from my experience in 2009, all four of these areas were front and center in 2009.  Others are now saying that some of these items is where Search and SEO is going in 2010.  (For the record we were a year early and believe that in 2010, Search will be continuing to evolve.)

Part six of our series on SEO in 2009 discussed the emergence and importance of universal and blended search ads well as personalization.  Recent activity by Google confirms the importance of blended search.  Combine that with the push for real-time information and real-time search and voila looks like blended search has all of a sudden come to the forefront.  It looks like Universal and Blended Search will be a hot topic at SMX West in March.  According to the site:

This year’s SMX West agenda dives deep on developments and solutions redefining search marketing…
  • Google’s universal search, and blended search in general, continue to alter profoundly the SEO landscape, offering new opportunities for visibility. Yet, old-school SEO tactics virtually ignore universal and blended search.
  • Real-time search is shaking up results pages in ways that marketers are still digesting, while personalized search means everyone sees something different in response to a query. How do marketers react?
 When Google released Universal Search results on their SERPs in May/June 2007 we new that this was not just a test.  As a searcher I know that I needed a richer experience and not just ten blue links.  I do engage with other types of results such as news results, shopping listings, images and video.  The fact is, there are numerous types of blended search results.

While we mentioned that blended search was going to be big in 2009, we think that it will become even more important in 2010.  While we typically do not like to make predictions per se, for Search in 2010, here's what we see as being the areas of focus.

Search Marketing in 2010
  1. Continued Integration of Paid & Natural Search
  2. Increased Importance of Blended Search
  3. More Focus on Real-Time Search and timely Search results
  4. A deeper look at attribution and attributing ROI to actual efforts
I think that we are going to see a definite separation between those companies that truly "Get It" and those that do not. Search marketing maturity models will become a map for companies that get it.  Regardless, Search is not going away and while it may become refined, SEO and organic search marketing efforts will continue to become critical to the online and perhaps more importantly offline success of organizations.

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, January 03, 2010  
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