Sunday, February 21, 2010

Google sets the tone for 2010

(Photo taken at Costco by Greg Cryns)

Google is stirring up the mix in 2010.

Google's purchase of Aardvark sparked a lot of debate about how the search giant will view social networks in the future. I tell my clients to get profiles at Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter at the minimum. I encourage them to get as many as possible. In addition, Google launched Google Buzz, its own social network.

Guest Post

Internet Marketing - Why 2010 Will Be A White Knuckle Ride For Web Marketers
Copyright (c) 2010 Titus Hoskins
Bizware Magic

Next year may just prove to be one of the most challenging times
for pursuing online or Internet marketing on the web. It may just
be a watershed moment for many marketers struggling to keep
abreast of all the different factors which have come into play in
recent months. Most of these changes will stem from two main
sources for potential upheaval: the first being the New FTC
(Federal Trade Commission) Guidelines regarding Testimonials and
Endorsements and the second being "ALL" the recent changes
within Google.

Actually, we already have the new FTC Guidelines which came into
effect on Dec. 1st of 2009, but how these new rules are enforced
will play out in the coming year as test-cases are brought to
court. Basically, these new rules call for absolute disclosure
and full transparency regarding Testimonials and Endorsements
when a product or service is being offered for sale. Any business
(monetary) relationship between the endorser and the company must
be made known to the potential buyer. Obviously for those in
online or affiliate marketing this could have a great impact if
these new rules are strictly enforced. Just imagine all the
website owners and bloggers who slap a few banners or affiliate
links on their sites to cover hosting or operating costs... will
they now have to disclose all these business arrangements?

For professional affiliate marketers and the companies/products
they're promoting, these new guidelines could cause potential
headaches and/or legal ramifications since a general blanket
disclaimer on their sites will no longer be suffice. To help
solve this problem, many of the major companies are now placing
an "affiliate" tag on all their banners and making it obvious a
business relationship exists with its affiliates. In addition,
many online marketers are placing additional disclaimers,
affiliate seals and in other ways making it known certain links
are indeed affiliate links and a relationship does exist with the
product and/or services being promoted.

With these new guidelines, another big issue is email marketing,
one of the major marketing techniques of most online marketers.
Will a full disclosure be necessary for every email sales pitch?
Savvy web marketers know the key to increased sales is in the
"follow-up" and the "cookie-ing" of potential buyers; how
will the new Guidelines affect this very effective marketing
practice? How all these new rules or guidelines play out will
make next year a very interesting one for marketing on the web.

Despite this, perhaps the greatest cause for upheaval in the
coming year will be Google. There are countless reasons why
Google will be a major game changer in 2010 for online marketing.
Ever since Bing and more recently the potential Bing/Yahoo
competition, Google has gone into complete overdrive,
implementing new changes and debuting new programs like there was
no tomorrow.

First, we have Google Caffeine which Google is introducing (full
force) early in the new year. Google Caffeine, which is a major
overhaul of its search engine, will no doubt cause many a
marketer some sleepless nights as the total fall-out becomes
evident. Other Google updates in the past (Florida Update comes
readily to mind) have wrecked havoc on many top ranking sites,
but this time Google is doing things a little different and have
even given webmasters a beta version of the new search engine.
Still, rightly or wrongly, many online marketers are bracing
themselves for the full impact of Caffeine, will it mean smooth
sailing or a stomach sickening roller-coaster ride for marketers
and webmasters?

Second, we have the introduction of "Real Time" search which
will be featured in Google's SERPs. This will make the social
media sites like Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace... much more
important. Again, the implications for online marketers could be
enormous since many can now reach the first page through a
different route. Will it also mean more "Real Time" spam? But
more importantly, will it mean a greater marketing opportunity
for the online marketer who exploits it?

Third, we are seeing Google moving more and more towards "Visual
Search" with the introduction of Google Goggles for mobile
phones. Just take a picture and you get the Google results
instantly - no typing, just point and click. Just envision
countless clueless teenagers or more importantly helpless
shoppers suddenly being empowered with knowledge and wisdom.
Could do more for education since the invention of the printed
word and the info-commercial combined. Talk about scary! But will
the implications for web marketing be just as revolutionary and

Fourth, Google has made it known through its spokesperson Matt
Cutts, that site-loading times will be a ranking factor in the
new improved Google. Also, proper and correct page coding will
also be more important if you want your site to be at full
advantage. Broken links will be a big "No-No", while linking
out to important related sites a big plus. All this is only
logical, Google's main product is and has always been its search
results, anything which improves those results and provides a
more pleasing experience for the Google user should be front and
center. Obviously, one way for Google to stay on top, is to
provide the best search results to its users.

Fifth, in order to please the end-user, Google is also moving
more towards "Personalized Search" which will make SEO and
ranking in the top spot for your chosen keywords a total
nightmare for many professional SEOs and online marketers. If
everyone can choose their own top results, isn't SEO more or
less, a lame duck? Again, the ramifications of personalized
search will further play out in 2010, but will professional
marketers like what they see?

Finally, while no one would argue Google is King of the Hill when
it comes to online search, will all these new changes strengthen
or weaken Google's grip? Will the combined Bing/Yahoo be able to
give this giant some much needed competition? Or will Google's
main competition come from an unlikely source, such as big name
multi-national corporations who are moving their operations
online. Can these big-name keyworded domains start directly
pulling in the majority of the web's traffic, making all search
engines secondary? As people become more web savvy, will they go
directly to what they're looking for on the web, bypassing the
search engines altogether - including the mighty Google? Such a
scenario could have greater consequences for the affiliate
marketer since a direct line to a company's site or product will
obviously mean less sales for the online marketer, who really
works in coordination with the search engines, either through
organic search or PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising in these same
search engines.

Overall, the new FTC Guidelines and recent changes to Google,
will make next year one of the most interesting times to be
pitching anything online. Throw into this the full effect what a
combined Bing/Yahoo might bring to the table, and you have the
recipe for a tumultuous white knuckle ride, until the dust
finally settles and marketers make adjustments like they always
do. So hold on, because things will probably get a little hectic
for many web marketers before we see the light at the end of the

The author is a full time online affiliate marketer. His
livelihood is derived from and depended upon search engine
marketing and daily monitoring of targeted keywords,
mainly within Google. He runs numerous sites, including: and
Copyright (c) 2010 Titus Hoskins. This article may be
freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Greg Cryns
Work At Home Profiles (membership site)
Wahm Search Engine (inexpensive advertising)

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