This week saw abundant online chatter in in the internet marketing community, from buzz about new social ad developments to Google's renewed emphasis on quality content.
As Brafton reported, Matt Cutts said in a Google blog post that the company would be developing techniques to filter spam content this year. The blog entry was published at the end of last week, and it seems the search giant wasted no time in executing said plans. In his personal blog, Cutts announced today that the company has updated it algorithm, and websites that fail to publish original content will be punished. This development makes clear that Google ranking requires quality content and search engine optimization strategies this year.
To this end, we covered a report indicating that B2B marketers believe hiring journalists will be an effective content marketing solution. This follows last week's report that B2B content marketing is becoming a competitive necessity, with 94 percent of B2B computing and software firms planning to boost their content marketing this year.
B2C content is also proving to pay off; last week, Brafton reported that beauty purchases are driven by blogs more frequently than magazines. Content created with search engine optimization in mind is particularly valuable, as nearly one in five survey respondents said their purchases were impacted by a blog they discovered through search.
Content was also a topic of discussion this week with respect to email marketing. Brafton reported that a B2C Marketing Insider survey reveals fresh content brings new life to email campaigns, with the company reconverting 40 prospects over a six-week period thanks to fresh marketing messages.
Email marketing made additional buzz thanks to a new ad unit being tested by Google. The search giant may soon be offering display ads in Gmail. This development is likely to come to fruition, as Brafton has reported that Gmail has officially been part of the Google Display Network for months.
Marketers might also be interested to know that Yahoo made a recent announcement that it uses email “idle time” to prioritize users' inboxes. This further emphasizes the need for relevant content among brands that hope to reach consumers via their inboxes – and Yahoo mail is one of the most visited web destinations.
In fact, Yahoo sites are the top properties on the web. As Brafton reported, the latest comScore report reveals that Yahoo had more than 181 million unique visitors to its sites last month. Marketers may want to plan search campaigns for Yahoo accordingly – especially since the company's latest revenue report reveals display is up 17 percent.
Microsoft also released its revenue report this week. Although the company's online services division posted overall losses, paid search revenue on Bing was up.
With this in mind, brands might consider creating paid search campaigns for Bing-Yahoo, and those that do will be happy to learn that click-fraud rate is down. According to a new report from Click Forensics, click fraud rate dropped 19 percent in Q4 2010.
In addition to content marketing and paid search initiatives, this week's headlines reveal that marketers are planning to boost social campaigns this year. As Brafton reported, 81 percent of CMOs expect to see revenue gains from social marketing in 2011. News of increased expectations for the social sphere accompanied encouraging statistics about social users.
Twitter visits are on the rise, with Brafton reporting that users go to the site 37 percent more frequently than last year. This coincides with reports that Twitter ad revenue is expected to surpass $150 million in 2011. Plus, the microblogging site says it will reveal a self-serve ad platform later this year.
Social network LinkedIn also generated buzz for a self-serve PPC platform this week. As Brafton reported, the company unveiled a PPC platform with new targeting options.
Also on the social ad front: Facebook announced that it is now offering Sponsored Stories to turn users' chatter into promotional content. (The site generated less-positive buzz when founder Mark Zukcerberg's fan page was hacked.)
Facebook also made the news when Google executives said that the search giant's alleged competition with Facebook is exaggerated by the media. According to Forbes, Eric Schmidt denied rumors that he stepped down from the role of CEO because the company fears Facebook is making a dent in its market.
Many expect that there may also be new social developments from Google. A widely circulated Search Engine Land report hypothesizes how Google will change this year under the direction of new CEO Larry Page. As Brafton reported last week, the search giant announced that Schmidt is stepping down to the role of executive chairman.
Some new changes from Google that are already in the works include the company's plans to go on a hiring spree. The search giant announced it expects to make 6,000 new hires this year. Additionally, it recently acquired the company SayNow to generate new social mobile tools, and it announced that users can upload photos to Google Places.
Bing also announced new photo offerings this week. The company has created a new top image search page, which should indicate to marketers that visual content is becoming increasingly important to catching clicks.
Looking ahead to next week, marketers might expect to hear more about Google’s plans for the year with a new CEO, as well as chatter about the company’s new algorithm that fights spam content. Plus, we might anticipate more news from Twitter about its upcoming self-serve ad platform. Internet marketers, stay tuned.