2010: The year Social becomes bigger than Search?

Jan. 08, 2010 | by Gregory Lyons


2009 was the year social media became mainstream and your mum got a facebook account. Twitter took off in a big way (Twitter bigger then Amazon) and Facebook saw massive growth (Facebook bigger then Yahoo!) but search was still king of the hill, will that change in 2010?


Hitwise released some interesting stats last year that showed that social was now bigger then search in New Zealand and that at the end of the year Facebook overtook Google as the most visited site on the internet (albeit only for two days). So is this a trend that will likely continue into 2010? Well the growth of Social Media has not levelled off yet, people are now using the internet map-of-social-web-1000to blog, upload pictures and videos, socialise and network in greater numbers all over the world (click right for larger image). It looks like social media will soon surpass search in Australia and I would expect the same to happen in many countries this year.

So is search passé? Most definitely not, 2009 saw many of the big search engines integrate social data into their search results. You can now see real time Facebook and Twitter results in search pages, results based on your social graph and a whole litany of other social data (images, videos, news etc) right on your search page. The web is evolving, search results are becoming more personalised, social media is playing an ever increasing role online and as such online marketing must evolve too. No longer is it enough to simply “SEO” your site, companies are now learning that they must engage in holistic digital marketing campaigns that create captivating content that users naturally want to engage with and share. They are increasingly finding that the old model of pushing a message at people is failing, instead activities like creating branded engaging content and applications is a more successful way to capture attention.


2010 is going to be an exciting time online, new powerful smart phones mean that we’re spending more time accessing the internet from a mobile device, augmented reality if implemented correctly promises to further evolve social media and how we interact with our surroundings and with brands. We’re searching more using our mobiles, browsing social networks and micro blogging from our mobile device. 2010 is full of exciting challenges and opportunities and I look forward to seeing what it brings.

Image credit: Plymouth Architects

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    Comments (6)

    • Gregory Lyons

      Compete have just released some new stats stating that facebook is now the second most visited site on the internet

      Feb 23, 2010 01:31 pm

    • Chris Eden

      Social overtakes search in Australia too...Social overtakes search in AustraliaJan 22, 2010 02:42 pm

    • Gregory Lyons

      @UrielCorinthian you might enjoy this :)Jan 11, 2010 03:51 pm

    • Jeremy Head

      Completely agree Greg. Old school SEO will become increasingly irrelevant. Our challenge in 2010 is to help clients see this and be bold enough to engage in more sophisticated strategies that synchronise SEO with Social Media/engagement strategies. This is where lasting and siginficant success will come from.Easier said than done of course!Jan 11, 2010 12:51 pm

    • UrielCorinthian

      Bigger than, bigger than... Not then...Jan 11, 2010 12:16 pm

    • Zoe Sands

      Brilliant and informative, the supporting data just proves how important social media is becoming. I agree organisations need to take a more integrated approach with digital rather than treating each online discipline separately as many people do. 2010 will see the raise of social media experts, who just will proclaim many great things, but lack the substance and digital awareness of taking an integrated approach.Jan 11, 2010 11:59 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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