2011 saw continued growth in the web. Reflecting on 2011, industry press was focused on social media and the mobile web. Search engines ramped up efforts to clean their search results of spam. We also had many patent issues, IPOs and M&A this last year. The big ticket news items below reflect major industry news, or news that directly affects Canadians on the web.
Mobile phones and mobile web presented an increasingly popular medium for digital marketing. With more companies investing in mobile, more advertising dollars being allocated into mobile campaigns and Smartphones becoming more advanced than ever before (flash integration, better usability, html5). Although this is still a small part of overall advertising budgets, it will continue to have strong growth in the New Year.
Search engines rolled out some big changes to the way their search algorithm works in 2011. Google emphasized cleaning up their search results, as seen with the new Block Sites feature and the release of Panda. The update represents a new path for the future and a change that has made SEO and internet marketing much more challenging - but also creates a better landscape for quality content online, which is beneficial to everyone.
In terms of web activities on the search engines, while most web users searched for celebrities, some key news stories ended up on the top 10 list of searches for 2011. Each year Google lists the Top 10 global search trends, in a variety of categories, and then breaks those trends down on a nation-by-nation basis. According to Google's Zeitgeist list for 2011, the things that Canadians most googled were Statistics Canada's census website and, not far behind, the Canada Post strike.
2011 Canada's fastest rising search’s from Google
- Canada Post strike
- Rebecca Black
- Ryan Dunn
- Japan earthquake
- Game of Thrones
- Jack Layton
- Royal Wedding
- Google Plus
We have also compiled a list of the major internet marketing and online business news throughout 2011. Here are some big news makers.
- Google makes a major algorithm change (aka Panda) in efforts to remove copycat websites from search results
- eBay agrees to buy GSI Commerce, provider of ecommerce and interactive marketing services, for $2.4 billion
- CRM company Salesforce.com acquires social media monitoring company Radian6
- Facebook launches "Social Deals" to challenge Groupon and LivingSocial
- Report showing Facebook loosing visitors for 2nd straight month. Lost 1.52 million users (down to 16.6 million)
- Introduction of new social networking site, Google+
- Music streaming site, Pandora, prices IPO at $7-9/share
- Google's Panda 2.2 update goes live with improvements to scraper detection
- Google buys Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion
- The 60-day comment period on draft regulations related to Canada's anti-spam legislation ended
- Google+ social network open to everyone
- Google crawler able to execute JavaScrip/AJAX
- Google+ Pages released worldwide allowing business to create their own profile page.
- Groupon IPO debuts at $28/share
- Twitter and Mozilla struck a deal that makes Twitter search one of the default search options in the new Firefox 8 web browser.
- YouTube launches biggest redesign in its history
- comScore reports Bing and Yahoo have 15% equal search market share in US. Google holds 65.4%
- comScore reports Canadian have the highest number of videos per viewer, average about about an hour watching 10 videos online / day
- StatCounter reports Chrome 15 becomes World's most popular browser, beating IE 8
- Twitter Launches Self Serve Ad Platform
- IBM found online shopping jumped 16.4% on Christmas Day over last year. 7% of all online purchases were made using the iPad
Did I miss anything?
It was an eventful year to say the least. I project that has more to come 2012 in the mobile web and that we will see watching videos online becoming more mainstream. Just as the music and newspaper industry has changed with the rise of the Internet, watching television and movies will continue to evolve into more web based platform.
I see the number of new social users leveling off, rather than increasing, and instead the social networks will focus on expanding their service offerings and integrating features with other applications.
It's never a dull day in the world of the web!