Its the start of a bright new year, and rather than give you my personal thoughts on what I thought the new year holds, I thought I would get a couple of friends to join me in sharing their thoughts and opinions on what the new year holds. Due to the sheer nature of the beast, we have broken these down to a regular series of posts which we will be releasing over the coming days.
To get a more holistic picture I asked a number of people from across the search spectrum to get involved including:
- Shaun Anderson – HoboWeb – The most influential SEO in the UK according to a recent poll on Holistic Search and the Telegraph (the Greenock Telegraph that is)
- Paul Reilly – Now Search Director for Mydestinationinfo.com however met him during his days at StickyEyes and have always enjoyed hearing his opinions and thoughts on SEO and the sector as a whole
- Nichola Stott – the Media Flow – Nichola spoke at our recent Sascon Manchester SEO event and as well as being one of the most intelligent people I know is also one of the best laughs
- Ben Bisco – Brilliant Media – My colleague at Brilliant – however hugely knowledgable and a laf to boot
- Andy Redfern – Hitsearch – Someone I have known round the digital scene for a while and MD of search agency Hitsearch.
- Judith Lewis – Well respected in the industry and conference scene, and highly talented to boot.
- Andy Beard – Where do I start, Andy wows me with some of his comments during the Dojo chats, and talks in a language few dare to speak. Highly respected in the industry and very pleased to have him involved
- and last but certainly by no means least David Harry – someone who I was very pleased to have involved in this post – founder of the SEO Dojo and Search News Central. Hugely knowledgable – and one of the people I personally have learnt a hell of a lot of this year.
Do you think a viable competitor to Google will emerge in 2011?
And then there were 2. Yup, we lost Yahoo last year so it’s just MS (Bing) left in the game. Unfortunately they will have to do something pretty innovative to make any inroads as far as I see it. Or Google will have to falter in some way. Throwing money at the marketing dept. just doesn’t seem to be cutting it. Will we see someone out of the blue show up and take a chunk of the search market? Not bloody likely. I suppose MS’ relationship with FaceBook might turn into their biggest asset in the search and social game. We shall see…
I don’t think there will be a competitor in the traditional search space. Instead, we should think about how search may evolve and look for competitors there.
For instance, Facebook. Google are obviously twitchy about them and this is ostensibly because they trumped Google on traffic and have a more interesting display offering. However, more scary for Google is what would happen if FB strayed towards search territory. We have already seen a tendency for consumers to turn to FB for answers and it the information contained within Facebook is becoming increasingly varied (company pages, fan pages, interest groups etc. And have you noticed how Wikipedia information pages are making an appearance?) so this isn’t that far-fetched.
Also, the growth of really clever remarketing technology using intelligent attribution modelling (Ad Exchanges and Demand Side Platforms etc) will mean that Display has the potential emerge as one of the best ways to reach consumers when they are in the market to buy specific products.
These aren’t so much competitors to Google, as competitors to Search as a whole. I’m not sure what this will mean for search specialists, but it’s great news for us as an integrated agency.
Google own Search, and I don’t believe they will be beaten although the alliance between Yahoo and Bing have made “advertising elsewhere” much more palatable, I do however believe the we’re now in the dusk of the Search Era at least in the sense we’ve know it to date, and I also believe that the dawn of the era of discover is well and truly upon us.
How well Google fair in these new days is likely to depend on how they position themselves over the coming months. They’re already in a very enviable position with Android and are clearly winning the smart phone war, you could argue that they are well positioned to dominate location and hyper local due to the integration with Maps, Latitude and Places.
In terms of threats to Google, Facebook is an obvious one, but we’re living in accelerating times and there’s nothing to stop a threat from gaining adoption from absolutely nowhere and throwing the online world a curve ball.
Nope. Not in 2011.
Yes and no. I think Bing is a seriously good search engine in the US but it rather sucks in the UK (sorry Bing). I feel if Bing could roll-out world-wide the kind of valuable data in search that it has in the US it could become a contender but unless you start looking at search volumes in Facebook I don’t think 2011 will be the turning point for Google.
Yep… it is called Google – they are their own enemy now.
A viable competitor to Google core search function? No – but in other areas like mobile search, news aggregation, PPC, local advertising will all face increased competition. Google has competitors on many fronts and whilst Google is looking to grow the “mobile” arm of its business in a growing market – other areas will no doubt lose focus. I predict that Google will remain the dominant search engine in the UK (Predictable, Never!) , although Bing and Yahoo will claw back up to 2% of the market share through the course of the year.
Facebook is obviously a big question mark – what FB does this year will probably impact search in a big way but I actually think people are going to get annoyed very quickly with Facebook – I know I am – perhaps falling out of love with it in 2011/2012 because of privacy issues etc. I think Google is the most valuable traffic in the world for the types of clients I work for, and I’d be surprised to see that changing much in 2011. There are other ways of driving traffic to a site, but for me, the main focus for most businesses in 2011 should be and will be Google. I will compliment that by using Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin – oh and Bing.
In my opinion, no. We may however start to see the likes of Bing start to take an increasing stake out of the Google market share both here and across the pond however at this stage Google are still in control of their own destiny to a certain extent. Google’s main concern however will be to see search market share translate into domination elsewhere – perhaps mobile, social or TV. The spectre of Facebook still looms large however I can’t help thinking some further form of consolidation with the likes of Bing may see greater breakthrough within the industry.