Social media and search engine marketing: Greenlight’s predictions

UK-based Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company Greenlight, recently revealed its “top 10 predictions for natural and paid search in 2010”.

Now, this blog is not really about search engine marketing but about the impact of the changing online behavior of people (as a result of the social Web) on all areas of marketing. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this involves SEM too as I wrote before.

The interesting thing about Greenlight’s predictions is that social media play a very prominent role in them. Some examples.

In the ‘Year in Review Briefing’, that gives an overview of SEM in 2009 besides the ten predictions, Greenlight claim that many advertisers are trusting search agencies with their social media marketing strategies and budgets.

In fact, the company states that it saw an increased investment from advertisers wanting to appear across Facebook’s placement targeting program. Of course, Greenlight knows that social media are about much more than SEM but as the company says, and I quote: “it is positive to note that affordable cost-per-acquisitions (CPA) can be acquired if used effectively”. 

However, there is a challenge: tracking conversion data, something Facebook doesn’t offer and for Greenlight “it’s all in the tracking”. 

More subtle integration of Twitter data into indexing processes and algorithms?

A second ‘prediction’ is that Google’s Twitter integration will change fundamentally and that, I quote again “the Twitter data itself will be relegated to a separate search results page, limited to signed in users as part of search results from your “social circle” or removed from the SERPs entirely”.

Greenlight: “99% of the time it’s just not useful, nor is it clear that people actually want the ability to search Twitter from Google. Where it is useful is as a barometer of what is current.  Expect to see more subtle integration of Twitter data into indexing processes and algorithms”.
Interesting stuff for both social media marketers and search engine marketers. You might want to read the interview I had with Michael Kahn from Performics here. It dates from before Google’s so-called real time search and Michael talked a lot about the importance of Twitter  regarding SERPs.

It might be time for an update…

In the meantime; read all Greenlight’s predictions here.

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