2013: The Year in Online Marketing

2013: The Year in Online Marketing

What is it about reviewing a year that makes everything seem so poignant and dramatic?

I mean, just try and watch this Google Zeitgeist video without getting a little choked up.

In online marketing this year, most of us were more likely to be weeping about losing our keyword data thanks to Google’s secure search, or Facebook throttling our ability to reach our fans.

But there was also plenty of innovation and opportunity. Here’s a month-by-month look at the year in online marketing. (Click on any photo for more context on the item.)

JANUARY

Vine launches

Twitter debuts short video service Vine

Twitter debuts short video service Vine

Facebook unveils Graph Search

Facebook introduces Graph Search to a closed beta

Facebook introduces Graph Search to a closed beta

FEBRUARY

Oreo tweets to infamy

Oreo's timely Super Bowl tweet

Oreo’s timely Super Bowl tweet launches a thousand blog posts about real-time marketing

Burger King hacked

Burger King's Twitter account was hacked

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked, creating a strange trend of real and faked hacks that would continue throughout the year.

Twitter launches ads API

Twitter launches Ads API

Twitter launches Ads API

MARCH

Google debuts Universal Analytics

Google Universal Analytics

Google Analytics expands its universal analytics

New look for Google+

Google+ unveils a redesigned look

Google+ unveils a redesigned look with giant profile photos

Google AdWords adds advanced campaigns

Facebook reimagines News Feed

Facebook revamps the News Feed

Facebook revamps the News Feed

Pinterest adds analytics

Pinterest adds analytics

Pinterest adds analytics

APRIL

Google suit settled

Google reaches antitrust deal

Google reaches antitrust deal

Dove campaign captures viewers

Emoticons come to Facebook

Emoticons and activities come to Facebook statuses

Emoticons and activities come to Facebook statuses

MAY

Upworthy gains steam

Upworthy hits record high

Upworthy reaches a milestone of 30 million unique monthly visitors

Peguin 2.0 unleashed

Penguin 2.0 rocks search marketers

Penguin 2.0 rocks search marketers

Gmail redesigns inbox

Gmail unveils new tabbed inbox

Gmail unveils new tabbed inbox

Amy’s Baking is social media ‘don’t’

Amy's Baking Company cooks up one of the biggest social media meltdowns of all time

Amy’s Baking Company cooks up one of the biggest social media meltdowns of all time

JUNE

Leak implicates Internet companies

PRISM Powerpoint slide

The PRISM/National Security Agency leak reveals that Facebook, Google and more major Internet companies allow the government direct access to users’ data

Instagram adds video

Instagram adds video

Instagram adds video

Yahoo acquires Tumblr

Yahoo acquires Tumblr

Yahoo acquires Tumblr

Facebook shows off new Insights

Facebook revamps Insights

Facebook revamps Insights

JULY

Google vs. PR?

Did Google kill PR? Um, no

The PR industry has a minor freak-out when Google Webmaster Tools updates its link schemes guidelines to prohibit “links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.”

Facebook Graph Search for all

Facebook opens Graph Search to public

Facebook opens Graph Search to public

Chipotle ‘hacks’ its own account

Chipotle fakes a Twitter hack

Chipotle fakes a Twitter hack in a baffling PR stunt

LinkedIn launches sponsored updates

LinkedIn launches sponsored update ads

LinkedIn launches sponsored update ads

Google invites explorers to Glass

google-glass-invite

Google rolls out invitations for Google Glass with the Glass Explorer program

AUGUST

Google Keyword Planner debuts

Google's Keyword Planner replaces Keyword Tool

Google’s Keyword Planner replaces Keyword Tool

In-depth articles take spotlight

Google emphasizes in-depth articles with special designation

Google emphasizes in-depth articles with special designation

SEPTEMBER

Pinterest launches sponsored pins

Pinterest announces sponsored pins

Pinterest announces sponsored pins

Google Hummingbird debuts

Google rolls out its Hummingbird update

Google rolls out its Hummingbird update

Chipotle ad dazzles

Chipotle "Scarecrow" video

Chipotle’s highly successful “Scarecrow” video propels content marketing forward

Instagram hits new heights

instagram

Instagram reaches 150 million monthly active users

100% (not provided) approaches

Google moves to secure search

Google moves to secure search

OCTOBER

Instagram launches ads

Instagram adds advertising

Instagram adds advertising

Medium opens to public

Blogging platform Medium launches to the public

Blogging platform Medium launches to the public

NOVEMBER

Twitter goes public

Twitter goes public

Twitter goes public

Internet embraces Batkid

Batkid

Social media powers the viral story of Miles Scott, 5, in remission from leukemia, whose Batkid wish was granted by the Make A Wish Foundation.

Buzzfeed hits traffic record

Buzzfeed

BuzzFeed has its biggest traffic month ever, reaching more than 130 million unique visitors globally

Selfies rule

Selfies

Oxford Dictionaries names “selfie” the word of the year

Snapchat gambles big

Snapchat

Snapchat turns down a reported $3 billion offer from Facebook

DECEMBER

Facebook changes Newsfeed

Facebook tweaks algorithm to focus on news stories

Facebook tweaks algorithm to focus on news stories, lowering the reach of brands

Google+ debuts Post ads

Google+ Post ads

Google+ Post ads are placed across Google’s Display Network, driving users back to the brand’s Google+ profile.

WestJet tugs hearts with “Christmas Miracle” video

Facebook tries promoted video ads

Facebook tests promoted video ads

Facebook tests promoted video ads

Rap Genius gets Google’s wrath

rap-genius-google

Google removes lyrics annotation site Rap Genius from search results after investigating a linking scheme.

Whew! Quite a year for marketers. What did I miss – and which events had the biggest impact on you? Let me know in the comments!

  • http://www.scottcowley.com/ Scott Cowley

    Really impressed with this recap, Courtney. You even managed to capture some of the event-less stuff like selfies. Three thumbs up!

    • RavenCourtney

      Thanks so much, @scottcowley:disqus! Three thumbs is a lot. ;) Glad you liked it; it was really edifying to review it all in putting it together.

  • http://www.popu.ps/ POPUPS

    Very very nice recap!!!!!!

    • RavenCourtney

      Thanks!

  • Richard O’Neill

    Really good recap of the year, thanks for doing this Courtney.

    • RavenCourtney

      Thanks! It was my pleasure. :)

  • Michael Bian

    Great article..Thanks for sharing this one..

    • RavenCourtney

      Thanks for reading! Glad you liked it.

  • idriss
  • Danielle

    Interesting thank you.