Last year I made 10 predictions for PPC in 2010. I got a few of the more obvious things right, and few things wrong and I completely failed to predict some quite important changes. Here’s how I did:
1. CPCs will rise
This one was spot on (and also a complete no brainer).
2. More display advertising
More of our client’s at SEOptimise are using the display network now; some of them are even getting very good results from it so as far as my own PPC life goes this prediction is correct. I don’t know about the industry as a whole, does anyone have any figures about how the search/content share of spend has changed?
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).”
To a certain extent, the AdWords Search Funnels feature fits in with this prediction. It does not yet feature an actual attribution model but it does give you the data to have a shot at building one. I also predicted that we would still be talking about attribution modelling well into 2011; it is too early to say if I’m right on this one, but I think I probably am.
After seeing the Search Funnels data I no longer believe that conversion attribution is the answer to all my PPC problems; I think we will still be talking about it but I don’t think that much progress will be made in the near future (it is just not as important as I first thought).
4. Bing/Yahoo I
I predicted that Binghoo would increase their share of ad spend. For SEOptimise, this is true but for the industry as a whole I was completely wrong about this. As of Q3 2010 Google had increased their share of ad spend by 2% (according to Efficient Frontier’s search engine reports
5. Bing/Yahoo II
I thought that one of the ways Binghoo could improve their market share was by improving their interface and advertiser tools. Although I quite like their new keyword tool not much has changed in this area. The AdCenter interface is still pretty horrible and still doesn’t work in Chrome. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this one.
6. Other Platforms
“Other sites will introduce their own CPC auction platforms.” I didn’t mention Facebook in this prediction. If their CPC advertising feature was launched in 2010 then this prediction is a success but I think they already had it in 2009. I am unaware of any sites that have launched CPC adverts in 2010 so this prediction is wrong.
7. Real Time Search
What real time search?
8. Conversion Optimiser
“I expect Google to continue to work on their conversion optimiser tool”. Google launched “enhanced” CPC bidding during 2010. I consider this an improvement over their Conversion Optimiser tool although it is far from a “set it and forget it” solution (which is a good thing in my opinion).
9. Changes to the AdWords Advanced Exams
I haven’t noticed any big changes in the industry after the introduction of these exams. Fail.
10. Paid Search Will Dominate the SERPs
New background colour for adverts. Instant suggestion box pushing organic below the fold. New ad extensions giving AdWords even more real estate. Changing “Sponsored Listings” to “Ads”. A fairly obvious prediction to make (and one I’m happy to make again for next year) but definitely a successful one.
I give myself 4.5/10 for last years list. What do you think? What about your predictions from last year?