In late 2005 I posted my top ten predictions for 2006. Let’s see how I did. Here’s a summary of the predictions with comments on my progress:

1. 2006 will be the year of “cost per action” or “CPA” marketing.

SO FAR: Well, I can’t say that the world has gone absolutely bonkers over online lead generation (a/k/a CPA marketing). Then again, Scripps did buy uSwitch for $366 million so maybe I’m onto something. In general, the jury is still out on this one. Grade: B

2. There will be massive consolidation in the SEM industry.

SO FAR: Well, again, a bit early to tell. There have been acquisitions here and there, but I think I have to give myself on C+ on this one so far.

3. YPN will have strong growth. YPN is the “Yahoo Performance Network” – Yahoo’s equivalent to Google AdSense.

SO FAR: Wishful thinking on my part. Publishers have expressed concern that YPN doesn’t have the same eCPMs of Adsense. Unless Yahoo gets its act together fast, I’m looking at a D- here.

4. Local search will *not* explode.

SO FAR: Even though local search has gotten plenty of VC funding, I’ve yet to see any revenue behind this phenomenon. Until that happens, I give myself an A-.

5. Google Video Search will become a cash cow thanks to amateur porn.

SO FAR: I may be wrong about Google Video Search, but YouTube or something similar will eventually make this happen. Hopefully this year. A solid B.

6. Nextag will get acquired or go public.

SO FAR: There have been a lot of rumors already about Nextag this year (a merger with Quinstreet, acquisition by IAC, a major portal, etc). I feel good about this: A-

7. LookSmart will get acquired or de-listed.

SO FAR: Do you really care one way or the other? B.

8. Google Base will never come out of beta – not in 2006, not ever!

SO FAR: At this point the question is less will it come out of beta but rather will anyone ever start using it. A solid A.

9. A search engine will buy an ad during the Super Bowl (2007).

SO FAR: CareerBuilder and GoDaddy advertised in 2006. Can Ask and Yahoo be far behind. A-.

10. There will be a flurry of “how to” books on search engine marketing.

SO FAR: The list is growing fast on Amazon. I gotta ask though: what does Dr. Phil have to do with AdSense? It isn’t clear to me . . . Anyways, this is a slam dunk A+.

Let’s figure out the grand total then: 4 As, 3 Bs, 1 C, and 1 D. That’s a GPA of 2.8. OK, not honors yet, but I’ve got three quarters to improve my performance. Stay tuned!

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.