What You Can Expect From the World of PPC in 2011

Most would agree that 2010 was a good year for the PPC industry.

Google AdWords continued to innovate and lead the marketplace. The floundering Yahoo Search Marketing merged with Microsoft adCenter to form the stronger Search Alliance. Facebook continued to make strides in creating a substantial PPC-based social media advertising platform.

So where does that leave us for the New Year? What can we expect from the world of PPC in 2011?

Growth of Display Advertising

Formerly known as the Content Network, Google’s Display Network is like a sleeping giant. Google has always put some resources toward its development and it has continued to thrive despite a long-held sentiment by many advertisers that it’s an unwieldy marketing channel.

Throughout 2010, Google stepped up its game with enhancements to how advertisers interact with the Display Network. Developments from 2010 have built a foundation that will allow strong growth in 2011. New targeting options like remarketing, and betas for category and interest based targeting mean that it’s easier than ever to create targeted, well-performing Display Network campaigns.

Actionable Attribution

PPC managers have talked about attribution for years as an analytical data point — something to be discussed and shared with clients and stakeholders. In 2011 a new wave of insight will bring about actionable attribution.

Third-party tool vendors (and maybe even Google) are working out the kinks to enable PPC advertisers to make meaningful bid changes based on attribution data. Thank you PPC gods!

Maturity of Facebook PPC

The Facebook PPC platform made huge strides in 2010 both in functionality but also in saturation to the PPC advertising crowd at large. More people are using Facebook (500 million and growing!). More advertisers are testing and getting good results from Facebook PPC.

These two elements combined are pushing the folks at Facebook to continue improving and innovating with their advertising platform. In 2011, look for capabilities to add new types of creatives, stronger reporting and analytics, and new controls a la ad rotation.

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