What does the remainder of 2011 hold in store for us humbly enraptured internet peoples? Well, I’m no Miss Cleo but I do have a few inklings as to what kind of exciting and further reality shrouding online fun is on the horizon.
First off, Google. Yes, the omnipresent search engine social network collaborative productivity enhancing web browser smart phone operating system company is finally expanding into new verticals. Google Plus has been all a buzz lately, and at 20 million users, it is the fastest growing social platform in history (there’s not a whole lot of history in human years when it comes to social media, but in internet years, there’s centuries). This unparalleled growth will surely continue, eventually hitting a tipping point where Google+ is the worldwide preferred social network. People will refer to their groups of friends as their ‘circles’ in ordinary conversation and ‘hanging out’ will take on a new, virtual meaning. For businesses, Google will become more of a one stop shop for internet advertising. The combination of Google’s already extensive amount of user data from search history, contact information, third party data, etc. with the deep interests, actions, and relationships that Google+ will yield is a potent (if not terrifying) targeting opportunity. The AdWords dashboard will reflect metrics from your Google+ paid search, fully integrated with your Analytics account, portraying natural social recommendation and mention measurements. +1 buttons will proliferate the internet on a mass scale and all facets of Google products (gmail, calendar, docs, etc.) will be instantly shareable with a single click. Google’s organic search results algorithm will be updated to regard social recommendations as an authoritative value, eventually affecting natural search position, along with the practice of SEO.
Also, Google Wallet will be released, allowing smart phone users to quickly and effortlessly make payments at one fell swoop of the cellular device. Google will be a primary player in near field communication (NFC) capabilities, which include many futuristic fancies, involving payments, gaming, information sharing, and things that are difficult to mention due to my lack of comprehension. So yeah, our future is Google. Enthralling stuff but what else?
Location based and mobile services will continue to gain importance. With smart phone saturation proceeding to increase, consumers are becoming more reliant on their wireless devices to perform routine tasks. If your business has not created a mobile friendly version of its website by now, it’s time to get to developing. Be sure to incorporate social interaction options within everything you do on the internet and embrace the egocentric publics’ infatuation with informing everybody about everything about them.
This is, of course, a considerably limited premonition for the moment. Perhaps I will revisit the issue next week, undoubtedly with an entirely different forecast.