Revisiting 2010′s PPC Predictions

About a year ago, I wrote a post titled Three PPC Predictions For 2010. It proved to be pretty popular – after all, who doesn’t want to determine business trends before they happen? Now that 2010 has just about come and gone, I think it’s time that we looked back at my three predictions to see how I did.

Prediction #1 – Yahoo and Bing will join forces, but still won’t match Google for PPC marketshare.

This one was pretty obvious. We all knew that the Yahoo/Bing search alliance was coming sometime in 2010. But, even with their combined market shares, it was clear that they couldn’t add up to the dominance Google has in the search space. The PPC transition completed on October 27th, 2010. According to ComScore, in November 2010 Yahoo and Bing combined generated 28% of the US search market share. In comparison, Google got 66.3%. This certainly makes Bing a much bigger player than they were before, but they still have a long way to go before they dethrone Google as the king of PPC networks. I think it’s safe to say that this prediction came true.

Prediction #2 – Mobile PPC spending and use will continue to increase.

It has been a big year for mobile internet. Gartner reported that mobile device sales increased significantly over 2009. Smartphone use has also increased, increasing the time that users spend exposed to mobile ads. The Apple iPad was released in April 2010, opening a new venue for users to view mobile ads. And, with the launch of the iPad, Apple announced that they were getting into the mobile advertising space with their product iAds. With all this increase in attention on the mobile space, it’s no surprise that PPC spending has increased as well, as advertisers seek to gain impressions, clicks, and conversions wherever their customers are using the internet. I’m calling this prediction accurate as well.

Prediction #3 – Social network PPC advertising rises, then falls flat.

I couldn’t find any hard statistics on this one, so it’s tough to call. Aside from social network targeting through Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other PPC providers, there are two major players in the social network ppc space: Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Direct Ads. Both offer highly specific targeting options due to the self-reported demographic data on social networks. I’ve gained experience with both over the past year, and my results have been…underwhelming. I’ve heard of plenty of people having success with these platforms, but I just haven’t seen anything that exciting yet in my personal experience. But, I think it’s safe to say that social networks aren’t going away any time soon, and PPC spending on these platforms is probably still underutilized. I’m calling this prediction incorrect – social network PPC spending still has room to rise before it falls flat or declines.

I guess that two out of three isn’t too bad. Tune in next week and I’ll take a shot at some PPC predictions for 2011.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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