Top-5 lists is always a popular way of presenting quick overviews of developments within different topics. Here is our list of the “Top-5” trends within digital marketing – Please feel free to leave the trends you-ve notised in the comments section.

CC licence - Pic by Galymzha Abdugalimov

1. Referrer spam

Also known as ´log spam ´or ´referrer bombing´, referrer spam is a specific kind of spam-dexing (spamming aimed at search engines). Basically, this technique consists of making multiple repeated website requests through a fake “referrer URL” to the particular website the spammer wishes to promote/advertise. Sites which publish access log details – including referrer statistics – will then automatically link back to the website belonging to the spammer.

Following, the generated links will then be indexed by search engines as they ´crawl´ access log details and create the benefit of improving search engine rankings on the base of the automated link-counting algorithms applied by various search engines. Note that referrer spam, in fact, does not effectively harm the affected sites while, however, it does ´pollute´ statistics and web traffic data.

2. Gmail ads

Ever since its launch, the Gmail platform has seen continued development, including in the area of Gmail advertising. The Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) feature, launched in 2013, offers new options for advertisers in displaying and targeting their advertisement to users.

The GSP method has developed into a sophisticated ad placement tool by which you can now target your ads to users by details including subject line, e-mail addresses, job title and product categories. This is a significant development from previously available statistical information via AdWords (such as keywords, various demographic data and age groups etc.). A downside of the increased integration by Google of these measures – previously recognized as regular spam – is that the costs involved does not guarantee the intended results.

3. Google tag manager

Google Tag Manager is a potentially powerful, free tool that is meant to make it easy for marketers to add and update website tags, as well as to track tags on websites. Features include conversion tracking, site analytics, and re-marketing etc.

While a vast range of digital marketing companies have offered tag management software and services for years, this new Google Tag Manager concept offers a costs free alternative. Granted, it can be quite a challenge managing multiple marketing tags and analytics for your website by yourself – it might not be as simple as intended. Be aware, also, that incorrect or redundant tags can have negative implications for your website´s performance and distort measurement data.

4. Re-marketing stalking

“Re-marketing stalking” has emerged as an interesting and rather efficient online marketing technique for maximizing direct sales. The method essentially involves tracking users after they have left your site and (re-)displaying most relevant ads and offers to them.

This method can be effective in optimizing conversion rates from your online visitors. Keep in mind that it is a ´fine line´ – if you take it too far, it can be perceived as outright ´creepy´ and effect your brand negatively. However, the reason re-marketing has seen recent success and a sustained upsurge is that many people don´t actually realize what it is. The average internet user is unaware that they are continually being digitally ´stalked´ across their movements on the web.

5. Bing

As of February 2015, Bing is the second largest search engine in the US, sporting a search query volume of 19.8%. In comparison, Yahoo (which is powered by Bing) has 12.8% and the main competitor Google stands at 64.5%.

Since its roll-out in 2009, Bing has seen a steady development. Most notably, since 2011, a new back-end search infrastructure, under the name “Tiger”, has been incorporated to offer more relevant search results for users. Following, in 2012, the “Sidebar” social feature was included to further enhance user relevance through social networks references, while Bing´s evolution entered yet another phase in 2013 with the launch of its “Metro” based new look. Bing has already proven to be a “force to be reckoned with” – time will show where it goes from here.

Help us get better!

Are you spotting any trends that you think are worthy of mentioning? Do you agree with our top-5? We all evolve and get better through the conversations and the communication surrounding the topic. So please take part. Leave your insight and opinion in the comment section.