Blog | ClickThrough Marketing

ClickThrough is Ten! Here’s How Digital Marketing’s Changed Since 2004

Written by ClickThrough Marketing | 17 Jan 2014

Happy birthday to us!

It’s strange to think that, on this day ten years ago, ClickThrough Marketing was a small, two-person operation. Now, we’re proud to say we’ve grown almost beyond recognition.

This last decade has flown by. But when we look back on the last ten years of digital marketing, it’s astonishing how much has changed.

For instance…

Google has taken over the world.

Google is synonymous with search and with digital marketing. It’s one of the most well-known brands in the world, and has expanded from search into operating systems, smart tech and more. And it must have been feeling lucky to have reported revenues of $14.9 billion in Q4 2013.

Image this. But much, much more. Source: Flickr

What’s more, it’s been a verb since 2006. In other words, it’s been completely subsumed into our culture – so it’s easy to feel like Google’s always been in charge. But when you look at the stats, it’s amazing how meteoric Google’s rise really has been.

Back when ClickThrough started in January 2004, the search engine was on the up, with a global market share of 56.4%. The figure now, according to NetMarketShare, is 68.1%.

But just two years earlier, in 2002, Google apparently only had a 30% usage share. It’s unclear whether these stats are global or for the US only, but it still suggests an astonishing rise in a short amount of time.

But Google isn’t everything.

Despite Google’s dominance, the rise in internet usage in emerging economies like the BRIC countries is welcoming some new players to the party.

Personalised CUPS?! They must be big. Source: Flickr

For instance, NetMarketShare’s stats, linked above, show that Baidu now boasts nearly 20 per cent of the global market (actual figure: 18.84%). This makes the Chinese search engine roughly four times more popular than Bing, about three times more popular than Yahoo!, and about 67 times more popular than AOL.

So, as web goes global, it’s important to keep a close eye on these global markets. We could have a true Google competitor in no time at all.

Everything we do is different.

Our digital marketing philosophy has always been the same – to work to best-practice principles to get the best results for our clients.

Take That have confirmed that the 'you' in 'everything changes but you' fame is NOT digital marketing. This may be a lie. Source: Flickr

However, the way we do this has changed considerably since we started ClickThrough. As the web has evolved, so has digital marketing. Technologies have developed beyond recognition, and so have established practices. SEO is now as much about driving exposure and ensuring your site is up to scratch as it is getting authoritative links. PPC is a much, much bigger beast. As for social? Facebook wasn’t founded until a month after ClickThrough’s birth, so it was merely a tiny blip on the digital marketing radar.

But SEO didn’t die

People have been trotting out the ‘SEO is dead’ line pretty much since ClickThrough started. That’s because shooting sacred cows makes for a good headline.

SEO isn't at all like Dracula. But he's, like, not dead and stuff. Source: Flickr

A more accurate headline for any of the ‘RIP SEO’ stories would be ‘SEO is changing’. And that’s not even a story, that’s a fact of life. Anyone who works in this industry has to relish the chance to adapt to change. After all, it’s what makes it so exciting.