It may be hard to believe, but the Internet as we know it is just over 10 years old. So, what does the crystal ball show us about the coming evolution of web marketing?
Web Marketing A Look Into The Crystal Ball
E-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds and continues to set new marks every year. As comfortable as you and I might be using the Internet, it is really only in its infancy. As huge as Google is, it was only created in 1998. Think about that for a minute. Google is less than 10 years old. My, how far we have come!
As the Internet continues to grow, how web marketing will evolve is a much-discussed subject. There is little doubt the future is bright. As more people join up with the Internet revolution, e-commerce continues to grow. Still, one canít help but acknowledge Internet users are becoming more sophisticated, particularly as a younger generation moves into adulthood and gets issued credit cards.
Web marketing is currently a bit of a mess. Remnants of the old, such as banner ads and email marketing, are arguably on their way out. Banner ads produce horrific click-through rates because people are wary of getting stuck on a site they canít get away from. Email marketing is tainted by problems such as spam, phishing scams, and identity theft concerns. Personally, I delete all emails that isnít from a person I know. It is just too risky.
The dominant web marketing models now are pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization. Search engine optimization will be around as long as people use search engines. The promise of free traffic is simply too glorious to ignore. Since it is fairly difficult to commit fraud in search engine optimization, it is difficult to see any future legal issues threatening it. That being said, people will always find ways to bend the rules.
Pay-per-click advertising [ìppcî] has a less clear future. The primary problem is clicking fraud. Click fraud occurs when a PPC ad is artificially clicked. The only intention of the clicker is to cost the advertiser money. Some estimate the percentage of fraudulent clicks on PPC platforms runs as high as forty percent. If true, this theoretically means you could take forty percent of your advertising budget, use it as toilet paper and get the same sales results. Pretty scary, eh?
So, what do the next 10 years hold in store for marketing on the web? In my personal view, search engine optimization will remain the dominant online marketing method. PPC will also continue but will be modified into something used to conquer click fraud. I also think information publishing in the form of free copyright articles will become more and more dominant.
Combined, these three platforms represent the future of web marketing. Of course, nobody could have foreseen the explosion of eBay ten years ago, so we may all be surprised by where things stand in five or ten years. Considering Google is less than 10 years old, nobody can really say what might pop up tomorrow.