Now that we are over 1 week into the new year, I have decided to take a moment to record six predictions for the year. Here are the new developments I see on our horizon in 2007:
- The social web revolution(s) will continue and expand, but will not be a panacea for current limitations in search. Group (mob) behavior simply has its limitations. However, more and more smart businesses will make a bundle of money by learning to use the social web as a tool to understand their customers, and/or find new customers.
- More virtual world businesses, such as Second Life will emerge as environments where people can gather and express their hidden feelings and identities. There will be a backlash from groups that say that we are building a culture where people don’t need to interact face to face any more. However, they will continue to thrive, and should, because helping people figure out how they really are is just a good idea.
- Trust will be the big buzz word in the world of web marketers. We will learn that industry trust and reputation are the big ticket items for getting big ticket links – the kind of links that will cause your web business to thrive.
- More and more we will think of search engines as just one component of a traffic development strategy. They will still matter, a lot, but other vehicles will grow in prominence.
- We will see more and more big businesses engage with vertical search, as a way to provide a superior experience to visitors to their web site. For these businesses, vertical search will become a component of the smart marketer’s web strategy.
- AOL will be acquired by a major player looking to scoop up additional market share. However, it will continue to be hurt in terms of its market share by the raising level of web competency in the U.S.