There is no formal definition of what is Web 2.0. The term was coined originally by internet guru Tom O’Reilly and MediaLive International at a conference about the collapse of the internet following the falls in value for many internet companies.
It is suggested that the Web 2.0 leader has been Google that gave prominence to relevance and position. Additionally the search engine company started by having no advertisements, it was providing internet information. The scene moved to provide more outlets to information, adding of mini programs or ad-ons like toolbars and more portal centric affiliate offerings that could be added into a website like Amazon and their infamous buy this book to website add-ons like Google maps.
For marketers this meant there were more outlets to suggest their product or service was giving value and could be contained within existing Online communities.
What are the benefits?
Jupiter Research reported that the take up for Web 2.0 tactics are being extensively employed. 48% of brand marketers will deploy marketing on social networking channels, compared to 38% last year. It is reckoned that 50% of brand marketers will target social networking sites in 2007.
Social marketing tactics used by see brands will compete for attention on already popular network sites like Myspace and Bebo. IDC go further estimating that by 2010 around 70% of web content will be user generated.
Bottom line: Network effects from strategic placing of content in places of user contributions are the key to market link and point of presence dominance with Web 2.0.
If all of this is a bit too much to take in, I’ve spied a very good definitive guide on the Basics of Web 2.0, its growth and how it works at SEOMoz.