Internet Marketing - Why 2010 Will Be A White
Knuckle Ride For Web Marketers
by Titus Hoskins
2010 may just prove to be one of the most
challenging times for pursuing online or Internet marketing on the web. It
may just be a watershed moment for many marketers struggling to keep abreast
of all the different factors which have come into play in recent months.
Most of these changes will stem from two main sources for potential
upheaval: the first being the New FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Guidelines
regarding Testimonials and Endorsements and the second being "ALL" the
recent changes within Google.
Actually, we already have the new FTC Guidelines which came into effect on
Dec. 1st of 2009, but how these new rules are enforced will play out in the
coming year as test-cases are brought to court. Basically, these new rules
call for absolute disclosure and full transparency regarding Testimonials
and Endorsements when a product or service is being offered for sale. Any
business (monetary) relationship between the endorser and the company must
be made known to the potential buyer. Obviously for those in online or
affiliate marketing this could have a great impact if these new rules are
strictly enforced. Just imagine all the website owners and bloggers who slap
a few banners or affiliate links on their sites to cover hosting or
operating costs... will they now have to disclose all these business
For professional affiliate marketers and the companies/products they're
promoting, these new guidelines could cause potential headaches and/or legal
ramifications since a general blanket disclaimer on their sites will no
longer be suffice. To help solve this problem, many of the major companies
are now placing an "affiliate" tag on all their banners and making it
obvious a business relationship exists with its affiliates. In addition,
many online marketers are placing additional disclaimers, affiliate seals
and in other ways making it known certain links are indeed affiliate links
and a relationship does exist with the product and/or services being
With these new guidelines, another big issue is email marketing, one of the
major marketing techniques of most online marketers. Will a full disclosure
be necessary for every email sales pitch? Savvy web marketers know the key
to increased sales is in the "follow-up" and the "cookie-ing" of potential
buyers; how will the new Guidelines affect this very effective marketing
practice? How all these new rules or guidelines play out will make next year
a very interesting one for marketing on the web.
Despite this, perhaps the greatest cause for upheaval in the coming year
will be Google. There are countless reasons why Google will be a major game
changer in 2010 for online marketing. Ever since Bing and more recently the
potential Bing/Yahoo competition, Google has gone into complete overdrive,
implementing new changes and debuting new programs like there was no
First, we have Google Caffeine which Google is introducing (full
force) early in the new year. Google Caffeine, which is a major overhaul of
its search engine, will no doubt cause many a marketer some sleepless nights
as the total fall-out becomes evident. Other Google updates in the past
(Florida Update comes readily to mind) have wrecked havoc on many top
ranking sites, but this time Google is doing things a little different and
have even given webmasters a beta version of the new search engine. Still,
rightly or wrongly, many online marketers are bracing themselves for the
full impact of Caffeine, will it mean smooth sailing or a stomach sickening
roller-coaster ride for marketers and webmasters?
Second, we have the introduction of "Real Time" search which will be
featured in Google's SERPs. This will make the social media sites like
Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace... much more important. Again, the implications
for online marketers could be enormous since many can now reach the first
page through a different route. Will it also mean more "Real Time" spam? But
more importantly, will it mean a greater marketing opportunity for the
online marketer who exploits it?
Third, we are seeing Google moving more and more towards "Visual
Search" with the introduction of Google Goggles for mobile phones. Just take
a picture and you get the Google results instantly - no typing, just point
and click. Just envision countless clueless teenagers or more importantly
helpless shoppers suddenly being empowered with knowledge and wisdom. Could
do more for education since the invention of the printed word and the
info-commercial combined. Talk about scary! But will the implications for
web marketing be just as revolutionary and enlightening?
Fourth, Google has made it known through its spokesperson Matt Cutts,
that site-loading times will be a ranking factor in the new improved Google.
Also, proper and correct page coding will also be more important if you want
your site to be at full advantage. Broken links will be a big "No-No", while
linking out to important related sites a big plus. All this is only logical,
Google's main product is and has always been its search results, anything
which improves those results and provides a more pleasing experience for the
Google user should be front and center. Obviously, one way for Google to
stay on top, is to provide the best search results to its users.
Fifth, in order to please the end-user, Google is also moving more
towards "Personalized Search" which will make SEO and ranking in the top
spot for your chosen keywords a total nightmare for many professional SEOs
and online marketers. If everyone can choose their own top results, isn't
SEO more or less, a lame duck? Again, the ramifications of personalized
search will further play out in 2010, but will professional marketers like
what they see?
Finally, while no one would argue Google is King of the Hill when it
comes to online search, will all these new changes strengthen or weaken
Google's grip? Will the combined Bing/Yahoo be able to give this giant some
much needed competition? Or will Google's main competition come from an
unlikely source, such as big name multi-national corporations who are moving
their operations online.
Can these big-name keyworded domains start directly pulling in the majority
of the web's traffic, making all search engines secondary? As people become
more web savvy, will they go directly to what they're looking for on the
web, bypassing the search engines altogether - including the mighty Google?
Such a scenario could have greater consequences for the affiliate marketer
since a direct line to a company's site or product will obviously mean less
sales for the online marketer, who really works in coordination with the
search engines, either through organic search or PPC (Pay Per Click)
advertising in these same search engines.
Overall, the new FTC Guidelines and recent changes to Google, will make next
year one of the most interesting times to be pitching anything online. Throw
into this the full effect what a combined Bing/Yahoo might bring to the
table, and you have the recipe for a tumultuous white knuckle ride, until
the dust finally settles and marketers make adjustments like they always do.
So hold on, this could get a little hectic before we see the light at the
end of the tunnel.
About the Author
The author is a full time online affiliate marketer. His livelihood is
derived from & depended upon search engine marketing & daily monitoring of
targeted keywords, mainly within Google. He runs numerous sites, including:
Marketing Tools Titus Hoskins Copyright 2009.