Internet Media Beats Ad-Supported for 2011

A very clear lead for Internet use, over other types of entertainment media, is expected in 2011. Already, Internet related media exposure has increased substantially for the average user, with a preference for shorter verses longer clips, and movement away from ad-supported television and print entertainment.

What this means for website owners is that 2011 promises to be a year of search driven online traffic by consumers, and the need for better SEO and content to get them to your site.

The forecast article follows below.

Forecast: Internet Expected To Exceed All Other Ad Media By 2011

Aug 7, 2007 at 9:35am ET by Greg Sterling

Private equity and investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) put out a new ad spending forecast, covered in MediaPost and the Financial Times. Driven by audience migration, the US Internet is anticipated to capture $61.98 billion and become the top ad medium in 2011. Traditional media will show slow, low single-digit growth while alternative media will grow at a compound annual rate of 17.4 percent during the forecast period.

According to the MediaPost write-up of the VSS findings, consumers are spending less time with media overall and less time with “push” vs. “pull” media in particular:

At the same time, the consumer migration to digital media–which require less time investment than traditional media counterparts (think 3-minute YouTube clips versus 30-minute TV shows)–has spawned a year-over-year decline in the amount of time consumers spent with media, VSS researchers say. The tally came in at 3,530 hours in 2006, a per-capita decrease of 0.5%. It’s the first time since 1997, researchers say, that such a behavior has occurred.

Consumers are also migrating away from ad-supported media and spending more time with media they support, according to the VSS Forecast. Consumers spent an average of 1,631 hours in 2006 with consumer-supported media, such as the Internet and video games–a gain of 19.8% compared to 2001. Time spent with ad-supported media, such as broadcast television and newspapers, has fallen 6.3% since 2001 to 1,899 hours per person.

While forecasts are often inflated and make assumptions that don’t come to pass as quickly as expected, VSS claims its forecasts are historically very accurate:

The VSS Forecast also features the industry’s most accurate spending forecasts, producing a margin of error of +/- 2% for 9 of the last 10 years. The margin of error for the 2006 forecasts was + 0.4%.

VSS projects paid search will reach roughly $8.7 billion by year end and $16.7 billion in 2011. The report also projects roughly $6 billion in local search and online yellow pages spending by 2011. All locally targeted online ad spending is expected to reach just over $19 billion by 2011.

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Search Engine Dynamics

When you perform a search using Google, you are not actually searching the entire Internet, only a portion of the Internet called an ‘Index’. The Index is chosen by Google’s software program, using what they call ‘Spiders,’ and keeps an assortment of web pages on file for Google to sift through whenever you type in your search terms. In helping Google comprise their Index, the Spiders initially sift through a selection of pages containing various topics of information, and then search the links associated with those pages as well. Then, you type in your search terms, and Google searches its Index of pages for the terms you have specified.

Google determines which pages to pull to answer your search questions by using several parameters including counting the number of times your keywords appear on the page, where they appear on the page, whether there are related words or phrases on the page or variations, the quality of the website where the page originates, and what the ‘Page Rank’ is of this particular website, among other factors. Page Rank is determined by the amount of outside websites that are linked to the page, and the quality of the links themselves.

SEO Guidelines for 2011

In the game of optimization and ranking, content is still the best and most entertaining way to get customers and clients to your website. This year promises to be among the strongest in terms of SEO and search engines locating your site within the vast indexes held by Google and other search giants.

While content can help your pages climb to the top with the right keyword weight, relying upon it soley would place you at a disadvantage, as search engine optimization plays a vital role in making sure that your great keyword content is seen by as many eyes as possible.

To that end, several experts suggest a few pointers for making sure you stand out, without appearing too overeager in the process.

Links Matter

Excessive linking is a flare for search engines, but you still need to have a few per post to establish the legitimacy of your information, and to create inbound links for yourself within your site.

People Love Pictures

And so do search engines. Properly tagged images can generate incoming search traffic for people looking for pictures online. Remember to include the word picture, and tag your photos with keywords appropriate to the content they both portray and enhance in your post.

Be Bold

Header text and bolding can be very useful when used sparingly throughout your website. Placing your keyword in the title of your post, and highlighting with phrases you feel are most important in describing your content will give them greater search relevance as well. Proper use of this technique will bring your posts to the attention of search engines, as long as you do so sparingly.

Map Out Your Site

Providing a sitemap is not only helpful to visitors, but search engines love them because it gives them a roadmap to what is on your site and where to find it. Relevant links pop out, and links that might get passed over are easier to locate as well.

Great content and inbound links are the mainstays for any great ranked site. These tips will not help at all, unless you have the content to back them up. If you are on top of keeping your site interesting and up to date however, these tips can help mean the difference between getting noticed on page one, and not getting noticed until, and if, anyone moves beyond it.

Levin, L. (2010). 5 SEO Tips Every Website Owner Should Know.