Predictions for Search Engine Advertising in 2007

It is that time of year for everybody to make guesses at what the New Year may bring, so we thought we would have a go as well. Clearly, we will be sitting down in 12 months time to look at how wrong we were, so please take with a pinch of salt. However, here are our predictions for the year ahead.

Things that we would almost put money on:

  1. Mobile Search – Lots of nice case studies of small but profitable mobile search campaigns will spring up as the UK gets more sophisticated in its use of the internet on mobile devices.
  2. Yahoo! Search Marketing bid prices on less frequently searched phrases will increase despite a speculated drop in the minimum bid from 10p to 5p. This will occur as Yahoo!’s new search marketing platform (aka Panama) kicks-in in mid 2007. The new platform will make it easier for lazy advertisers to bid on these phrases.
  3. Microsoft AdCenter will gain some market share but Google’s dominance will continue unabated, at least for the time being.
  4. Google AdWords will respond to Yahoo!’s move to provide an indication of quality score and Microsoft’s demographic targeting (e.g. allowing targeting by age and sex).
  5. One of the major search engines will have a major ranking update which will leave a lot of commercial websites complaining that results are less relevant. In reality, the search engine’s aim will be to increasingly make the sponsored results the place for consumers to look if they want to buy something – and the natural listings the place to go if you are looking for information.
  6. Google will take landing page quality into account for determining your AdWords ranking. Google will also give an indication of quality score which will wake up some currently inefficient advertisers.
  7. Local search will continue to mature, further eroding the utility of yellow page style directories. More and more small businesses will wake up to this and move their YP budget to online spend. This will include using Yahoo! as their new platform allows geo-targeting similar to that available in AdWords.

Some more far fetched ones:

  1. Google will launch a yellow pages-style paper directory (or alternatively will buy a YP company and start selling space using an auction, rather than fixed cost system);
  2. Yahoo!’s keyword tool will break completely.
  3. UK property prices will drop by 25%

Some utterly wishful thinking:

  1. Google AdWords’ market share will decrease to 50%, allowing some other players to compete;
  2. Yahoo! Search Marketing will rebrand again to something that is easier to fit into a short, snappy sentence;
  3. Microsoft AdCenter will become easy to use;
  4. Geo-targeting offered by the main PPC providers will become 100% accurate.

And finally, some naval gazing:

  1. Attacat will consolidate its position as the SEA Agency of choice for ambitious entrepreneurs;
  2. Attacat will become more environmentally conscious;
  3. There will be another terrible Attacat Christmas card.

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