In a keynote speech at a DMA seminar on 8th February, the UK’s Information Commissioner suggested that up to 60% of UK marketing agency CEOs were unaware of the EU Data Protection Regulations about to make their passage through the European Parliament and Council of the European Union and be brought into law. Worrying, given the Regulations in their proposed form would mean the end of one-to-one marketing as we know it.
It’s 18 years since the current EU Data Protection Act Directive was enacted. The digital world, to the extent that it even existed back then, has inexorably changed, and with it the volume and nature of data in existence. According to IBM, we now create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, and 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.
Digital has weaved its way into our daily lives almost without us realising to what extent. The typical consumer has many many digital interactions throughout their day from morning until night, as this short video shows.
Google has long been a company known for dealing in data. Be it collecting, analysing, sorting or presenting data, it has largely maintained its position as the gateway to the world’s information. It’s mission “..to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is a noble one, and it is continually improving its offering to deliver on this promise.
But dealing with huge amounts of data leads to a challenge – how do you deliver exactly the right data at the right time?
For years, Google has attracted the lion’s share of online marketing budgets. Its advertising solutions provide very real and measurable returns, and are very attractive for online advertisers. However, today, Twitter’s real-time results, Facebook’s social connections and Apple’s walled ‘app’ gardens have attracted ever increasing user bases, firmly gaining the attention of online advertisers and presenting a threat to Google’s dominance in attracting online advertising spend.
While Google is competing on the App front with Android, and its search results are getting closer to real-time, Google’s CEO Larry Page sees social connections as hugely important to Google’s ongoing success in attracting advertising budgets. So much so that he has pegged every employee’s bonus to the performance of social and poured huge resources into the ‘Google+’ social network, the very name of which suggests that somehow ‘Google’ alone simply isn’t enough.
SEO doesn’t always get a good rap when it comes to marketing. So when the largest search engine on the planet, Google, declared that SEO can be very good for websites and encouraged SEO practices last week, it’s worth considering what the search giant really meant and how to address it as part of your SEO strategy.
The additional friction caused to the user experience by a slow website can have serious implications for website performance. In the words of the Internet giant Google, “Users are less likely to abandon a site that loads quickly. Speeding up websites is important – not just to site owners, but to all internet users. Faster sites create happy users”.
Studies have in fact shown that the speed of your site can directly correlate with your web traffic and associated revenues. For example:
It’s fair to say that we all value content shared by people that we know, over just any Tim, Dick or Harry. This principle idea has been the catalyst for a number of innovations from Google over the past couple of years, with the aim of making search a more personalised experience for users.
When Google created their very own social network in the form of Google+ back in September 2011, they enabled people to create their ‘own little world’ on a Google platform; this has spawned their latest development in the ongoing search/social saga – ‘Google Search plus Your World’ – which launched a couple of weeks ago.
First of all, let’s set the scene:
- Over the past few years, the number of active users on social networking sites has risen dramatically.
- We’re also more likely to value a friend’s opinion over the opinion of “RandomBlogger29″ for example.
To take advantage of these two points and improve the relevance of search results for users, the boffins at Google HQ launched Social Search back in 2009. However, there have been some recent developments which could potentially revolutionise the way that search and social media work together.
We noticed a change today in the way Google results are being displayed for local searches. Instead of the typical format of the map being shown above natural results and pushing the organic listings down, Google seems to have changed it in favour of moving the map to the right hand side and pushing the paid listings down instead.