December time is predictions time. Here are my predictions for PPC advertising next year. Bookmark this post so you can have a laugh at the end of 2010 (or bow down before my mighty foresight).
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1. CPCs will rise
A pretty safe bet to begin with. The recession, apparently, is coming to an end and more and more businesses are getting involved with PPC advertising. I believe that some verticals are already saturated; those that aren’t will see a large rise in CPC bids
2. More Display Advertising
Market saturation in AdWords is a bad thing for Google because it means they can’t grow their revenue. After their acquisition of DoubleClick of we have seen them push display advertising a lot more in their webinars, blog posts and with the new “View Through Conversion” feature. In 2009 they have made display advertising easy to use. In 2010 they must convince more businesses that display advertising offers them good ROI
3. Conversion Attribution?
As part of their drive to push more business advertisers into display advertising Google will begin to move away from the last click attribution model that is the core of Google Analytics (and to a certain extent, AdWords). Most businesses will use whatever attribution model Google provides but some will want to look beyond this. I think we will still be talking about this one well into 2011.
4. Bing/Yahoo I
The merging of Bing and Yahoo will make their combined platform more attractive to time/cash poor businesses. Their share of ad spend will rise but this will not be caused by people moving budget away from Google.
5. Bing/Yahoo II
Bing/Yahoo will try and steal advertising budget from Google by improving reporting and the ease of use for account managers. This will not work because businesses will spend their money where the customers are, but it will motivate Google to further improve their interface and reporting.
6. Other Platforms
Other sites will introduce their own CPC auction platforms. The New York Times and Reddit have recently opened their own CPM platforms. I believe that a CPC auction will offer better value to advertisers and users so I predict that at least one online publisher will begin offering this model during 2010.
7. Real Time Search
I can’t imagine Google putting real time results on top of the organic listings without attempting to monetise them. It is interesting to think how they will do this because the keyword/bid model seems unsuitable.
8. Conversion Optimiser
Advertisers with good campaigns spend more money so I expect Google to continue to work on their conversion optimiser tool. Whether they will work on it by improving it or whether they will work on it by improving their publicity with small advertisers I’m not sure. If it is the latter then agencies must be able to prove their worth when compared with this free and easy to use tool.
9. Changes to the AdWords Advanced Exams
This is not amazing futurology since people involved in the program already know about the new advanced exams which can be taken in February. Raising the accreditation bar can only be a good thing; any exam which can be passed in a week isn’t much of a barrier to entry. Short term this will not make much difference but longer term it will result in greater trust in the AdWords certification from potential clients. On the downside people will have to spend more time reading the gospel of Google in order to pass the exam; this will result in an obsession with display advertising (see point 2).
10 Paid Search Will Dominate the SERPs
A no brainer to finish. Paid/Sponsored listings will take up even more space on the Google SERPs.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.