Sep 26, 2018

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Categories: Google

The Future of Search

As we enter the last quarter of 2018, now is a good time to take stock and look ahead for the future of search based marketing. Are the tactics you’ve been using in 2018 going to be a good fit for 2019 and beyond or are there factors you should be aware that could change the landscape we’re all working in?

Most importantly, why are features and news stories like this becoming more and more popular? Is its time in the sun over?

Search is Good

To begin with, some reassurance: search is in a good place, and your continuing investment in it for marketing is not wasted. At the moment annual global ad expenditure sits at $581 billion, and is projected to rise by 4.2% by 2020, with more than half of that rise coming from paid search and social media ads. Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecast – an industry standard – is predicting a $22 billion rise in paid search alone, meaning the total paid search will reach $109 billion over the next 18 months. In brief: search is a driving force and it’s here to stay.

A Broad Base

Search doesn’t just mean Google though, and it’s well worth making that principle a core part of your marketing philosophy.

Other search engines have unique selling points that make it worth diverting your budget there: Bing offers a core audience with different demographics to Google, older, less tech savvy but with money to spend, and while it doesn’t have the same coverage as Google it’s by no means an insignificant minority, accounting for roughly a third of search queries. Depending on your brand and market, Bing could be a perfect choice to target potential customers, while saving you budget due the lower competition on key search terms.

And there are options that take you away from search engines altogether that still sit under the umbrella of search budgeting. Some brands have been making dramatic shifts in their search budget to Amazon – advertising close to the point of sale for the brand.

As with all your decisions it pays to be specific: allotting your budget according to the specifics of your brand, your market and where the too meet are what drives that vital return on investment.

Is Google Lacking?

Google is undeniably the titan of the tech world, in search specifically, but it’s impossible to hold a position of primacy for long without some rumblings of discontent. Something is driving those articles that look for viable Google alternatives.

At a recent event organised by the Drum, a panel experts agreed that Google simply wasn’t performing as well as advertisers like – or expect.

The big complaints were a lack of personalisation to audiences – with ads served according to whoever has the weightiest budget rather than their relevancy to the customer, which is bad news for the advertiser and the searcher – and a perceived apathy on the part of Google to innovate and improve. The service’s nigh monopoly over the search market is not a driver for excellence or experimentation. Bing was cited as a disruptive influence: partnering with Amazon’s Alexa to make strides into voice search functionality, and pushing new features to justify it’s place in the market.

Ultimately, there is still everything to play for here, and the result depends on whether Google will see these complaints as a call to action, or if it can continue to defend its position at the top from familiarity alone.

To make sure you’re getting the best advice, and spending your money where it’s going to do your brand the most good, talk to an expert at Illuminate today and we’ll come up with a strategy that plays to your specific strengths.