Search Marketing Trends: Marketing & Investment Insights

This year has already resulted in numerous shifts in the search marketing space as we know it:

Trends From an Investors Perspective

  • Microsoft bid for Yahoo!, then withdrew the offer and Yahoo!’s shares dropped nearly 20%
  • Google and Yahoo! are still skirting around a search advertising partnership
  • Ask withdrew from main stream search to focus on women searchers
  • Google’s search share has increased slightly
  • Yahoo! search share has remained stagnant in aggregate
  • Microsoft’s share has fallen

What to do from an Investors Perspective

Yahoo! (Nasdaq) is not dead by a long shot. While the 2 year trend has been a decline, there is much positive speculation about the future of company and thus the stock.

Yahoo! 2 year share price

Google’s share price saw a sharp decline in the first quarter (roughly 45%), but has increased approximately 43% on March values in the last 6-7 weeks. Google’s not going anywhere, and I’m not convinced the share price will experience a similar drop in the near future.

Google 2 year share price

Microsoft’s general trend over the last 2 years has been strongly positive. The share value decrease from February to May 5th can be almost entirely attributed to the Yahoo! bid. Prior to that, many technology shares were hit by poor estimates, the oil price and general instability in the market – all of which fuelled concerns of a general recession.

Microsoft 2 year share price

Off on a mini-tangent, it may be worth looking a little more closely at Apple shares…

Apple Inc. 2 year share price

[DISCLAIMER – I am not suggesting that anyone who reads this blog pay the slightest bit of notice to my investor ramblings. I have no idea what is going to happen with any of these shares. I thought it might be nice for our readers to see what’s been going on in summary in one place all nice and easy like :). If you choose to buy or sell any of the shares I have mentioned, please do so at your own risk. Neither I, nor this blog, take any responsibility for your actions – or the results and consequences of those actions in any way – should you choose to buy or sell any of the shares discussed above.]

Trends From a Marketers Perspective

If we look at trends from the perspective of consumer behavior we see:

  • Continued growth in the use of image and video search
  • An astronomical increase in the influence of social media marketing in the form of consumer feedback and reviews
  • Impact on the traditional F-shaped heat maps generated by eye-tracking studies due to Google’s Universal search results as ‘eyes’ are drawn to image and video search results
  • Increased local awareness and power due to the inclusion of the OneBox ten-pack
  • Increased SERP interaction due to the roll-out of more Sitelinks and ‘Search Within a Site’ search box features

User interaction is facilitated by these features and the probability is that the trend in click-throughs will skew towards increased searcher interaction with more ‘visible’, usable, graphic listings – assuming the relevancy factor is retained.

If we look at paid search changes in Google alone we see that:

  • Google has also recently revised its display URL protocol in AdWords, and
  • Google has been experimenting with the inclusion of video results in the paid search listings.

What to do from a Marketer’s Perspective

  • Marketers should seriously consider budgeting for continued SEO initiatives, particularly regarding internet market research on consumer search behavior.
  • Assigning marketing dollars to image and video production and optimization is imperative as is integrating with relevant social communities.
  • Brands need to aggressively begin to empower brand proponents and embrace reputation management (RM) tools. RM has only recently gained the recognition it should have attained years ago.
  • With the astronomical growth in both social influence and social media marketing, and the impact of reviews and consumer feedback on online purchase decisions, the need for brand transparency is becoming ever more important.
  • Consequently, the need to facilitate consumer feedback and interaction is key to future success in the search and ecommerce space.

Future trends…

If you know – please let me know… 🙂

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