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What To Look For In 2007

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One of the traditional acts of the New Year’s celebration is the posting of lists that either look back at the year that was or look ahead at what potentially lies ahead. Of course, the Internet industry is not immune to these year-end lists. Just ask the search industry.

A number of search companies released “most popular searches” lists that really weren’t adequate representations of what people were searching for, a fact pointed out by a number of bloggers and writers, including yours truly. This means not only are these wrap-up lists anticipated, they are also scrutinized for errors.

Because of the nature of prediction – meaning you won’t know if they’re true until this time next year – lists that take the crystal ball approach are just as fun to read. Market research experts eMarketer decided to join in the precognition fun by releasing a list of key predictions for 2007 for the world of online marketing.

The first thing eMarketer foresees is an increase in spending for online advertising, a market that’s already enjoying a lucrative existence. If you follow the trends of online ad spending from the last few years, you can see why they would make this prognostication.

In 2004, $9.6 billion was spent on online advertising. This number almost doubled in 2006, ballooning up to $16.4 billion. A jump to the 20 billion dollar neighborhood is an increase of 19%, certainly not that stout of a climb when you consider the established pattern.

Another area of growth being observed is the online video commercial. eMarketer expects a moderate increase in the amount of money being spent on these types of ads, however, they don’t expect a big percentage of the money being used for online ad spending to be funneled towards this medium (4%)… yet.

The rest of eMarketer’s predictions include:

Social Networks
Worldwide ad spending on online social networks should top $1 billion in 2007, up from an estimated $445 million this year…

Video Game Downloads
Digital downloading of video games will take off in 2007, and by 2010 this distribution method will account for 22% of all worldwide game software revenues.

Hispanic and African-American Internet Users
The number of African-American and Hispanic Internet users in the US will rise to 37 million, from 35 million in 2006.

Mobile TV
Mobile TV took its first baby steps in 2006 with professional content.

US B2C E-Commerce
US B2C online sales will comfortably pass the $200 billion mark in 2007, reaching a new record total, which eMarketer projects will be $223 billion.

Word-of-Mouth
The influence of consumer generated content (CGC) on US consumers’ purchase decisions will continue to grow in 2007.

Broadband Services
eMarketer predicts that one in four broadband households in 2007 will subscribe to a VoIP service, rising to nearly 40% of broadband households by 2010.

DVRs and TV Viewing
eMarketer predicts that VOD will be in 30% of US TV households by the end of 2007 and that DVRs will be in 30% of TV households by 2009.

Concerning the increase of Hispanic users – this is something Nacho Hernandez has been saying for some time. As more and more bi-lingual users gain Internet access I would expect more webmasters to adopt the multi-lingual website in order to increase their customer base.

The fact that social networks and word-of-mouth marketing made eMarketer’s list says plenty about the linkbait phenomenon that caught fire during last year’s Las Vegas PubCon. Social optimization is a very real aspect of online marketing and should be apart of most campaigns. The search engine benefits alone make SMO (social media optimization) worthwhile.

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Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

What To Look For In 2007
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