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2012: The Winners and Losers of Social Marketing and Searches
It’s that time of the year when, as analysts, we look back at everything eventful that happened in the online world of search and social marketing, coming up with a list of the winners and losers of the previous year.
They hired Marissa Mayer, a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google, as their CEO. She sure as hell brought back the excitement that Yahoo! desperately needed, even though, ironically, much of it was about everything except her contribution to Yahoo!
Her working right through her maternity leave sparked a debate – is she setting a good example or a bad one for women all around? Well, to Yahoo!’s good fortunes, her presence and antics drove away the press’ attention from their poorly performing product and technology innovation
Management crisis, job cuts (they cut about 14% of their work force)…. All of it was part of Yahoo!’s efforts to restructure its company.
It redesigned its search engine, giving its users three different panes, each of which was dedicated to organic search results, paid ads, and social results. It was also successfully able to integrate Facebook into the SERPs, something that Google is yet to achieve.
Google came up with Google Shopping, and Microsoft came up with “Scroogled”. They wanted buyers to know that the ads in Google’s shopping results were all paid, emphasizing that this worked against those companies who do not pay to be listed.
What Microsoft conveniently forgot to mention is that they themselves give weightage to businesses with higher visibility on Bing Shopping by paying a third-party site, Shopping.com.
The new Timeline feature gave people, especially brand names and businesses, the ability to express themselves or consolidate their reach with cover photos, while pinned status updates remained at the top of the pages so that they could consistently highlight quality content.
The ability for fans to be able to talk to Administrators of pages via private messaging between pages and fans was also a new feature that was rejoiced by many.
Facebook’s IPO faced many technical glitches, as a result of which its stock lost a LOT of value. Its IPO was described as “one of the worst IPOs in the last 10 years”.
Also, biggies like Gap and Nordstrom shut down their Facebook storefronts because those storefronts weren’t giving them as much profit as they’d hope to get from them. Instead, they chose redirect those funds into their own e-commerce storefronts.
Google gave advertisers the option of retargeting lists to be created in Google Analytics with granularity that were based on any combination of segments representing a user’s behavior on the site. Similar improvements in the AdWords world gave advertisers the liberty to define their lists on the basis of URLs.
Google’s announcement for using the ‘rotate evenly’ setting in Adwords indefinitely angered many PPC advertisers and managers. Why? Because it arrested the performance of ads and also served ads of poor quality. And also because it gave Google more control over the ad than the advertisers themselves.
Google (Search Engine Optimization)
Google announced the release of its Disavow Links tool, a tool which gave webmasters the opportunity to let Google not to take account certain links when assessing their website. And even though Bing was the pioneer in its field with this tool, Google got all the attention.
A LOT of algorithmic updates can prove to be challenging even for the best of the best, and with more than 65 Google updates between August and September, it was a very tough year for SEO honchos.