For those of us in the business of analyzing data for search engine marketing campaign optimization and calculating ROI for our clients, World IPv6 Day may just be any other day in search. However, today’s world-wide testing for problems of ‘brokenness’ with the expanded IP addressing scheme will undoubtedly result in delays and timeouts for internet searchers around the globe. Only time will tell the extent of the impact on search today, and luckily time is limited to the 24 hour period of the June 8th test.
For those of you who don’t know about the internet protocol upgrade, the easy explanation is that as IP addresses are constantly being created the existing internet protocol – affectionately called IPv4 – is rapidly reaching the capacity of IP addresses it can support, a measly 4.3 billion. The solution….what else, IPv6 of course. IPv6 will present a pool of addresses that is a billion-trillion times larger, so a need for an IPv8 test in the calculable future shouldn’t be an issue. Today’s test is to identify glitches in the expanded address protocol. Only 400+ sites are participating in the test, but since Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are among them, the test will apply to the overwhelming majority of searches performed today.
Data-driven marketing strategies depend on analytics and this includes factoring the implications of what any anomalies of a given day may have on business. The best example of this is what benefits or deterrents a national holiday will have for a client’s profits. The Christmas season may bring a boost in retail, but the Easter weekend may see a large drop in sales due to low search activity and stores being closed. Also, a blizzard on the east coast may result in record lows for sales for several days.
When performing analytics on week-over-week, month-over-month, and even year-over-year data, a day’s events can aid in explaining large crests or valleys for the key performance indicators. This knowledge both provides insights for anomalies in search activity and sales, and facilitates data-driven marketers’ development of campaign strategies.
It’s likely that today’s testing of the updated internet protocol will only have a slight effect on search, but if campaign data reflects unexpected drops in KPIs, it is important that Marketers take the search implications of World IPv6 Day into account before making optimization decisions.