Online habits are changing, and while search remains the gateway to the internet, consumers are expecting a lot more than ’10 blue links’. This year, search went social and mobile as consumers used their tablets and mobiles in ever-more sophisticated ways. Google, Bing, Yahoo and Facebook all made major changes to their search tools for advertisers and web users alike. As part of a new 2012 review series, Netimperative looks back at our 10 most popular search marketing news stories and trends of the year.
The introduction of Google+ last year heralded a new era in social search, with likes, shares and comments from friends influencing rankings at a far greater level than before. Facebook continues to make inroads into the sector with sponsored search and rumours of a Yahoo partnership, while Twitter has become a major news aggregator as much as it is a micro-blog. Mobile search is also on the rise, and multi-channel shopping has lead to savvy shoppers searching for online deals while browsing in-store. Key phrases themselves are also getting longer, as consumers get more specific in their research.
View our top 10 biggest search marketing headlines below. For the latest updates on the digital industry, sign up to our daily or weekly newsletters or follow us on Twitter here.
Watch this space for updates on the top 10 advertising, mobile, search, social, ecommerce, multimedia, gaming and regulation news of the year- all coming this week.
Paid search marketing trends: Sponsored search ad spend up 24% globally
Paid search budgets are on the rise globally, up 24% on last year on average, according to a new report. The Kenshoo Global Search Advertising Trends report examines the performance of paid search ads by analysing aggregate campaign data across search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Baidu, and Yahoo! Japan based on more than $3 billion in annual paid search budgets managed through Kenshoo.
Search marketing trends: 53% of organic search clicks go to first link
Getting to the top of Google is becoming increasingly important, with 53% of US searchers clicking on the top link of the natural search listings, according to new research. The study, from Kantar media’s Compete.com, also found that over 3 in 4 searchers (77%) click on the top 3 links in the natural listings.
Google+ share button appears on search results: SEO goes social
Google has added a Google+ share button and notification box on its home page and all search results, in a move that could dramatically change the way brands appear on its search results. Pressing on the + Share button reveals the Google+ post update box lets the user add links, pictures, and then choose who they share that information with. It means users will be able to share something immediately without having to go to the Google+ homepage.
2012 search trends- Keyphrases get longer as searchers get savvy
Google has extended it lead in the UK search market which shows no sign of slowing down, with the proportion of searches containing four or more words increasing. James Murray, Digital Insight Manager, Experian Marketing takes a look at the latest UK search trends.
Facebook and Yahoo in search talks?
Yahoo has been in talks with Facebook over a possible search deal that could see an end to its partnership with Microsoft’s Bing, according to a news report. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, unnamed sources said that Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo!, has held discussions with Sheryl Sandberg,Facebook’s chief operating officer, about how the two companies can work more closely together.
Google shock sales slowdown: Shares suspended after results blunder
Google saw nearly $20bn wiped off its market value in minutes yesterday, after third quarter earnings figures released prematurely by mistake revealed a surprise drop in profit growth. The web giant reported a 20% drop in net income to $2.18bn (£1.36bn) between July and September. But the announcement, which was expected after the market close, was released early after financial printer RR Donnelley filed a draft of its earnings statement without authorisation on Thursday morning.
Facebook tests sponsored search results to rival Google
Facebook is testing new “Sponsored Results” ads that will let advertisers promote their businesses in the social network’s drop-down search results, according to a new report. TechCrunch reports that the service will let advertisers bid against specific pages, apps or places (rather than just keywords).
Google and Twitter clash over social search
The relationship between former search partners Twitter and Google has become more frosty this week, with the two web giants locked in a war of words over the increasingly important role of social search. The row follows Google’s recent “Your World” update means users will see more links to Google+ when they search the web, including in part of the results page usually set aside for advertising.
Google boosts search ads with video version of AdWords
Google has launched a video version of its AdWords search system, aimed at small businesses that want to utilise the video medium but can’t afford TV commercial slots. Previously, connecting ads to videos in YouTube based on search terms has been restricted to large companies with big marketing budgets. The new service sees Google open the “do it yourself” system to videos.
Social media SEO- Facebook and Twitter ‘now play key role in Google search rankings’
The number of Facebook and Twitter shares a website accumulates is playing an increasingly crucial role in determining their Google search ranking, according to new research. The study, from SEO agency Search Metrics looked at the search results of 10,000 common keywords and 300,000 websites. One of the key findings of the study was the important role social media now plays in Google rankings.
For our full round-up of 2012, including best virals, oddest news and biggest blunders, click here