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With the UK officially out of recession, online retailers will be hoping for a bumper sales year. But what are the online shopping trends likely to be for the year ahead and what can the past teach us about what to expect?
The dark clouds of the credit crunch seem to have passed (or at the very least, parted), so with consumers having more money and better access to the Internet, 2010 promises to be yet another good year for etailers.
Last year alone, the online retail industry grew by 14%. So despite the apparent gloom of recession, the online market has continued to thrive. But whilst all arrows are currently pointing upwards, there are some notes of caution to temper any buoyant optimism, the most obvious of which is the VAT rise.
To help you to optimise sales and capitalise in a bullish market, we’ve put together a quick guide to the trends to look out for this year.
The movement towards paying for your online news appears to be gathering pace. Rupert Murdoch appears to have completely ignored how content online is distributed and decided that it’s time for his News Corporation sites to start charging.
The assertion that quality, unique content is something worth paying for is not wholly incorrect. If reporters have spent a good deal of time and resources unearthing a news story that nobody else is covering, then there will be demand and you should expect to pay a fee. However, these cases are rare.
If day one of the CS Forum provided me with a deeper understanding of content strategy and useful takeaways [See: The Content Strategy Forum - Day One] then day two gave me so much more. I was able to discover content strategy tips from the very best people practising this discipline.
From easy to use success metrics to analysing your content using analytics and from strategies for the social web to effective video content, I listened to compelling talks, something that should be shared to the wider community. One of the key takeaways from the Forum, as advocated by Melissa Rach is that our competitive advantage comes when we share…so share I will…
Touted as the SEO killer [see: Is Google Caffeine the SEO Killer], Google Caffeine is an update to the Google system that has been designed to increased the speed with which results are generated and improve relevance once they arrive. Any significant overhaul of Google has to be taken seriously, but how much it will actually affect SEO and the current rankings is anybody’s guess.
Google are famous for drip feeding information about changes to their algorithm. Matt Cutts is often the one to spread the good and bad news to the wider search community; however, in this instance, Caffeine appears to have been kept largely under wraps.
Real-time information flow could be coming to an Atom or RSS feed near you thanks to PubSubHubbub. It’s a simple concept with a complex infrastructure, but one which could prove hugely beneficial to a range of news seekers online.
Social media has often been lauded for its real-time information sharing capabilities. In fact not all that long ago I asked the hypothetical question ‘has Twitter made the RRS feed redundant?’ Back then it may have been true, but the emergence of the PubSubHubbub model from Google might well reverse all of that.
It’s been trending on Twitter and posted all over the web; it’s mainly hearsay at the moment but there’s noise regarding Google’s latest attempt at creating a Social Networking site, Google Circles.
It started on Friday, The Next Web claimed that ‘Google Me’ or now known as ‘Google Circles’ was going to be launched this year at the I/O conference in May. The word gathered pace and come the weekend, it was claimed that Google would be announcing it even sooner. Read Write Web’s blog claimed the service would be launched at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, which is currently taking place in Austin, Texas.
You know that you’re getting up at a crazy hour of the day when you wake up and teletext is on most of the channels on your television, so as the alarm sounds at 5.30am, with no sign of the morning’s breakfast news, I slowly woke up and started getting ready to make the trip down to Brighton to meet fellow Koozai members for the Brighton SEO conference held at The Corn Exchange.
If further proof were needed that we are moving towards a media centralised on the Internet, today’s announcement that England’s World Cup qualifier football match with Ukraine will be televised exclusively online should certainly help.
For around £5, a million England supporters – numbers are limited so as not to overload the system – can enjoy the now inconsequential game on their PC (or Mac). Whilst this isn’t an entirely new phenomenon, it is the first time that an Internet company has been granted exclusive rights to host a live England match; quite a milestone.
Google introduce Twitter updates in a real-time feed for the first time in their SERPs.
The much mooted and oft lauded social media integration has finally hit the pages of Google.com today. Whilst this is part of a progressive roll-out, it signals a significant change to their SERPs; both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
Soon, along with news, adverts, blog posts, images, local businesses (where appropriate) and the actual search results themselves, you’ll find a rolling feed of Twitter tweets. This looks to be only the start too, as no sooner were Twitter updates launched, but they also announced that Facebook and MySpace messages were in the pipeline.
Google officially announced the second stage roll out of the Panda Update across all English language regions yesterday.
The algorithmic update was initially launched in the US just over a month ago and was designed to help users find the higher quality sites in the search results.
The team at Google have had a lot of positive feedback about the update from both searchers and website owners. Whilst searchers are seeing more relevant results and website owners are benefiting from increased visibility, now that spammy competitors have been downgraded in the SERPs .