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2015 Internet Marketing Recap: Mobile, AI, Remarketing, and More

Every year brings exciting new developments to the world of online marketing. While these changes can terrify some business owners and marketers, they often create great new opportunities to reach bigger audiences and generate more leads. Of course, this requires you to keep up with the latest trends and to stay away from questionable tactics. 

2015 saw a lot of new innovations in marketing, and many of these changes are likely to have an impact on businesses for years to come. The marketing and advertising experts at First Scribe took some time to break down the most important new developments in marketing from the past 12 months:

Sarah Klosterbuer - Internet Marketing Director

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015 and what do you anticipate for 2016?

I suspect the RankBrain announcement is just the public acknowledgement of something Google has been using to some degree for years, but either way it signals a shift to the importance of optimizing websites to be the best result for a given query set as opposed to chasing an algorithm and focusing on a handful of keyword rankings as a success metric. Techniques that once guaranteed quick SEO success are simply not as effective anymore as the algorithm becomes more fluid. It’s important that business owners recognize this and update their online marketing efforts accordingly to stay ahead of the game.

Nate Tower - Senior Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

The new features that expand audience targeting in Google AdWords and Bing Ads have dramatically changed the way online businesses can reach potential customers across all channels. With Remarketing Lists for Search Ads and Customer Match, digital advertisers have more control than ever over their reach. With this improved ability to follow potential customers around the web, advertisers can better focus their spend and bring in more conversions without raising the budget. 

What do you anticipate for 2016?

Google will finally release the real-time Penguin algorithm, but the roll out will take much longer than anticipated, and it won't be the answer to everyone's Google algorithm prayers. It will, however, create a need for a much more proactive approach to SEO. While you'll still see articles claiming SEO is dead, the new Penguin will make high-quality SEO more important than ever before. 

Kelley Burfeind - Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

I think Mobilegeddon was the biggest deal—clearly not by measure of its ultimate impact—but because of how Google handled it. As part of a corporate marketing team at the time of the news, to have an actual notification from Google saying that my company’s outdated website could be "penalized" by a certain date was quite the tool to have when pitching website improvements to the C-suite. Sometimes these updates make Google seem like an enemy, but in this case it felt more like an advocate. It pretty much forced the mobile-friendly conversation to happen in organizations where it otherwise wouldn’t have.

What do you anticipate for 2016?

For 2016, I expect to see more of Facebook trying to become Google (and Yelp, and Amazon, and...)

Maeghen Gosmire - Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

RankBrain is an important and significant update to Google’s search engine. By introducing RankBrain, queries will not only return more relevant results, but retain the ability to decipher what someone may be looking for in the future. This will allow for more information to be passed to the end user and minimize time spent scrolling through results.

What do you anticipate for 2016?

For 2016, I expect to see a continued evolution though search results. We are beginning to see that search engine information is being categorized into Knowledge Graphs, related queries, and broader, yet relevant, answers. As RankBrain continues to “learn,” I have no doubt that the sophistication of the Google search engine will be beneficial to end users.

Irina Raskin - Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

While Google Mobile Update (Mobilegeddon) wasn’t as scary as the media made it seem, it was indicative of Google’s recognition of the significant increase in mobile use and the importance of user experience. 

What do you anticipate for 2016?

On sites targeting younger audiences, we are already seeing higher number of visits on mobile devices than on desktops. This trend will likely continue to grow in 2016 and expand to other age groups.

Carson Richmond - Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

Schema 2.0 updated the data languages that can be used to implement onto a website JSON(-LD). This allows for easier and more flexible implementation of markup data that can be pulled into SERPs.

What do you anticipate for 2016?

In 2016, I anticipate that we continue to see a rise in importance of Schema Markup Data. As they are continuously adding new vocabulary, properties, and improving the structure, search engines will be able to better understand each website's content. Also, with Schema being partnered/sponsored with the 4 largest search engines, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes more of a ranking factor.

Julie Wenzel - Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

One of the most important marketing news this year was Mobilegeddon. Though we didn’t see the dramatic affects from it like some predicted, it brought significant awareness to the mobile front. Mobile is not going away any time soon. Mobilegeddon was a big reminder of that fact.

What do you anticipate for 2016?

I anticipate 2016 to be one of the biggest years for the necessity to market across all digital channels. Companies will have to put more focus into content writing, social media strategies, personalization, interactive media, and email campaigns to even have a chance against the competition. Having a static site you don’t update for years isn’t going to cut it anymore. 

Dustin Deling - Internet Marketing Specialist

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

Google announces RankBrain, revealing machine learning as part of the algorithm. Introducing this AI as the third most important ranking factor shows us how far technology has come. 

What do you anticipate for 2016?

Digital Assistants like Siri and Cortana are going to push a new form of optimization for internet marketers.

Mark Maier - Digital Advertising Associate

What was the biggest internet marketing news from 2015?

I believe it’s important to highlight the updated Local interface, as it continues to evolve and continues to improve its ability to improve its user experience. It’s a great example of why all businesses need to have a solid grasp of their online presence.

What do you anticipate for 2016?

I’d anticipate Local data improving by becoming more inclusive and focused with its data, especially with niche products and services, as well as emergency resources.

Final Thoughts

2015 was a pretty exciting year in marketing, and we expect 2016 to have at least as much excitement. Of course, as fun as speculation is, adaptation is much more important. That's why we're always investigating the latest trends and adjusting our strategies to capitalize on all opportunities. We're looking forward to another year of not settling in to old routines. 

Contact First Scribe today for web design and internet marketing that's truly designed to help your business grow.