In late 2011 I wrote a blog post that highlighted 5 web trends that discussed where the digital landscape might end up in 2012. Now that 2012 is said and done, I wanted to take a look back and see if my trend predictions for 2012 were accurately fulfilled. I may not be the next digital Nostradamus full of prophetic speculation but I think I did pretty good with only one blatant unfulfilled prophecy…
Prediction 1: Mobile Continues to Grow
- 2011 Statement: 5 billion mobile devices expected to be in use by 2012 and mobile spending is predicted to grow 39 percent and should come close to the $1.2 billion mark.
- 2012 Reality: This was a pretty easy one as I think it would be relatively impossible to have seen a decline in the mobile market for 2012. None the less, the rapid growth of the mobile market is still pretty extraordinary to see this sector grow with leaps and bounds seemingly overnight. I couldn’t find exact mobile device usage stats but Trinity reported in July of 2012 that there are over 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. As for mobile spending? Try a 180% increase over 2011, with mobile ad spend coming in at a little over 4 billion in 2012.
Prediction 2: Quality Matters
- 2011 Statement: With the Panda algorithm update from Google, design, branding, user engagement and social signals all seem to have more weight to a site’s rank.
- 2012 Reality: It’s no joke that to rank in Google you need a “quality” website as Google rolled out another major algorithm update (Penguin) in April of 2012. The Panda update in 2011 attacked low quality, poor content and this most recent “Penguin update” took a deep dive into a website’s backlink profile and penalized websites with unethical low-quality linking tactics. Quality driven, diverse content and legit linking tactics are a must for any website that is looking to garner rankings from Google.
Prediction 3: Pin It! (The Rise of Pinterest)
- 2011 Statement: I think 2012 will be a big year for the pin boarding site.
- 2012 Reality: Pinterest has continued to have explosive growth throughout 2012 and topped in at over 27 million visits. This 1,000% increase (compared to 2011 traffic) has now catapulted Pinterest past Tumblr.com in unique views. With this growth and participation, Pinterest is now viewed as legit social network and marketing channel packed full of Pinterest contests and Pinterest business accounts.
Prediction 4: Google Dethroned
Prophecy Partially Fulfilled
- 2011 Statement: Search results maintained by humans present a socialized search experience that might gain popularity in 2012.
- 2012 Reality: Google still remains king of search with about a 66% – 70% market share. Social search engines like Blekko grew by 400% in 2012 but not to the point to even remotely affect the search giant’s market share. Even though social search did “gain popularity” it wasn’t to the point to over throw Google. So, that’s why I give this prediction a partial fulfillment.
Prediction 5: Filter Bubbles Burst (Defeating Personalized Search)
- 2011 Statement: No matter where the filter exists, whether it’s Facebook, Netflix or Google, the need for the human touch is the future.
- 2012 Reality: Integrating the human element into “search” is still years down the road as their seems to be no solution to breaking filter bubbles and defeating personalized search results. Google, Netflix and Facebook still continue to serve you content that they think you want based on search activity, likes, ratings and recently viewed materials. As annoying as this can be the only way to get away from these types of results is the introduction of the human element. Small strides have been made but not enough to change how content is delivered and filtered to us. Prophecy failure…