Once in a while, I feel compelled to Yahoo! for a search. One may wonder why. It’s not like the lederhosen are particularly slimming. But there is one part of the Yahoo home page that continues to frighten and intrigue.
The ultimate proactivity of the Web is the semantic future of marketing. Every interaction is about data, and with enough of it, predictive analytics are possible. Is Big Data simply an idea to you - or do you have a plan to activate around information?
Every second, unfiltered information streams fill a growing data ocean. To sift through the depths, sort the finds and bring exactly what we need to the surface, we rely on the mapping and ranking algorithms of Google and other search leviathans. Their technology fuels our virtual treasure hunt, but without the right coordinates, there's little guarantee we'll salvage anything of value. Two startups, Aardvark and Hunch, think a greater emphasis on the people on both sides of the search will improve their chances of striking gold.
Google's autocomplete search recommendations have spawned a new Internet meme. And before you keep reading, let me warn you: this post could rob you of your productivity today.
Traditionally, SEO has focused on content, website architecture and linking. These areas of focus are still critical, but as social media gradually becomes more important for SEO, it’s also about identity, relationships and content.
Aims to show how AdWords affects digital conversions.
Paid search continues to be a highly effective channel for retailers, driving traffic and a profitable return on investment (ROI). In fact, retail advertisers invest more in paid search than almost any other industry.
Goggles is the image search feature in the Google mobile app, and by layering the app’s best attempts to match his photos, Bland has created an artistic view of the world as seen through Google’s eyes.
The space-based web we currently have will gradually be replaced by a time-based worldstream. It’s already happening, and it all began with the lifestream, a phenomenon that I (with Eric Freeman) predicted in the 1990s and shared in the pages of Wired almost exactly 16 years ago.
Marketers are buzzing from the aftershocks of Google's recent most updates, code-named Panda and Penguin. Both the Panda and Penguin updates contained very clear messages for marketers: stop focusing on technology and tricks and start focusing on people. If your website appeals to people, it will appeal to Google's algorithms too.
search engine and e-mail referrals are more than holding their own against social media sites when it comes to generating sales in the second quarter of 2012. Social media sites only contributed to 2.85 percent of online shopping traffic in the second quarter.
While Google keeps cramming its search results pages full of tools and social content, today Bing confirmed with me the full roll out a redesigned search results page that completely clears the left sidebar, and replaces the tabbed header with a cleaner set of links.
Google is taking Googling yourself to a whole new level, by folding users’ personal data into Google search results. The personalized search results pull data from users’ Google accounts such as Picasa and Google+, and offers users the option to toggle between searching their own personal data and searching the Web as a whole.
The acquisition of Twitter by Google is the ultimate strategic buyout. We know that Twitter turned down a $10 billion buyout offer from Google sometime in early 2011. There have also been other overtures made over the past several years by Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Surprisingly, Twitter is still independent. Why hasn’t Google paid up with all of that cash on its balance sheet? How could Twitter turn down $10 billion when the company isn’t worth anywhere near that based on earnings or even projected earnings (1999 style)?
The battle between Google and Microsoft to shape the future of personal computing has stepped up a gear after Google unveiled an internet-centric laptop that it said would offer a cheaper alternative to the traditional PC. Executives at the search company said companies such as American Airlines and Kraft had been lining up to try out the new machine in the hope of saving large amounts on their PC costs.
Headaches for brands—and the people who manage them—are increasingly common when it comes to search results. More are on the way thanks to social media and the proliferation of smart phones. You should be aware of the impact on your brand because both social media and the use of smart phones to express opinions are growing quickly.
One of the deep ironies around Google's near-monopoly over the search industry is that its spare interface and text-based aesthetic has made the act of searching a commodity exercise -- most users don't notice (or care) how they arrive at their digital destination. Yahoo aims to change that perception, as well as make a dent in Google's dominant market share, with a heavily revised search product it released Thursday.
In May, Google announced its interactive TV platform that brings a search box, internet browser and apps to TV viewing, though it has kept quiet on what we can expect from the device. Now, weeks before it ships, Google has launched a website to outline the new features and its media partnerships. Here's what you need to know about Google TV.
Some speculated that Google Instant would drastically change the way people search by letting users see results for their queries as they typed. That shift hasn't happened yet, according to an analyst at Conductor, a company that provides search engine optimization tools to marketers. "It doesn't appear to be having a significant impact on how users search," Conductor concluded. But that's not quite what the data show.
Now, even on the Internet, it is not what you know but who you know. After a decade when search engines ruled supreme — tapping billions of Web pages to answer every conceivable query — many people now prefer getting their online information the old-fashioned way: by yakking across the fence. Turning to friends is the new rage in the Web world, extending far beyond established social networking sites and setting off a rush among Web companies looking for ways to help people capitalize on the wisdom of their social circles — and to make some money in the process.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'm reading Nicholas Carr's book "The Shallows." His basic premise is that our current environment, with its deluge of available information typically broken into bite-sized pieces served up online, is "dumbing down" our brains. We no longer read, we scan. We forego the intellectual heavy lifting of prolonged reading for the more immediate gratification of information foraging. We're becoming a society of attention-deficit dolts. It's a grim picture, and Carr does a good job of backing up his premise. I've written about many of these issues in the past. And I don't dispute the trends that Carr chronicles (at length). But is Carr correct is saying that online is dulling our intellectual capabilities, or is it just creating a different type of intelligence?
Google rolled out the most significant change to its search page since the advent of search ads on Wednesday with what it calls "Google Instant." Rather than requiring searchers to hit "enter," results pop up -- along with corresponding search ads -- as you type in an attempt to predict queries from the very first character.
Google really did just change the game in search today with the introduction of Google Instant. While Google execs at today’s event emphasized how much faster it makes search, Google Instant is really about showing you more search results. And this will have very interesting implications for consumers expectations of what they want from search, search market share, and how sites try to game search through SEO tactics.
The boundaries between search, social and display media are diminishing. This means advertisers, agencies and marketers face a new kind of challenge.
The world of search is changing before our eyes - from one where there is one right answer for all people at a specific instant to another where an answer to one's query can differ based on who they are, their social graph, their location, or even the time of day. No matter how fantastic the algorithms, combined with measured human editing, the assumption that there are "correct" responses to single word queries or short phrases for all is practically gone. That's why users are increasingly using multiple search terms in their queries, and modifying the searches until they find a satisfactory result. Pile on the conundrum of how to approach the world of real-time, social feedback, and geolocation, and a simple If A then B problem starts to look a lot more like calculus.
Before BP could stem the oil gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, it unleashed $100 million in ad spending, largely on network TV, to stem the damage to its image. But it also started spending heavily where it had never spent much before: buying ads in Google's search results. How much did BP spend on search? In two months, BP went from spending very little on search advertising -- about $57,000 a month -- to becoming one of Google's top advertisers, dropping nearly $3.6 million in the month of June alone, according to an internal Google document obtained by Advertising Age. That pushed BP into the upper echelon of search advertisers, in a league with Expedia, which spent at least $5.9 million in June, Amazon, which spent at least $5.8 million, and eBay, which spent at least $4.2 million.
Serving up search results based on what your friends clicked: It’s been a hot topic lately, and one that Facebook has seen fit to claim as its own. The social networking goliath has just won a patent covering a certain type of search algorithm, one that is largely based on the interests and clicks of a user’s friends and friends-of-friends.
On Thursday Google boosted an attempt to make the Web real time by launching a dedicated engine that locates content on Twitter and Facebook -- but social media expert Brian Solis said such efforts could prove futile. Context rather than content has become king -- and consumers will find the most valuable engines and social media sites have the ability to index for relevance rather than real time. Traditional search, real-time search and social search remains disconnected from social media, Solis told a packed room at an event Thursday night hosted by Linked OC, an organization for Orange County, Calif. business professionals. And because he and millions of others can't spend time searching for information in more than three places, the future of search becomes contextual and lives in semantics, matching results not only based on the "likes" of the person searching on the Web, but also those of socially connected friends.
Everyone says Google doesn't "get" social media. What Google gets better than anyone else in the world, though, is search - combine the two and the company may have found a winning recipe. Today Google announced that its real time search feature now has its own home page at Google.com/realtime and a number of new features. The new Google Realtime is well executed, useful and certainly better than Twitter or Facebook's own search implementation to date. The downside? There's a lot that's missing that will limit the cool things that could be done with it.
In my last Search Insider, I took you on a neurological tour that gave us a glimpse into how our brains are built to read. Today, let's dig deeper into how our brains guide us through an online hunt for information.
Outside of a tectonic shift in search results/quality – think how offering 100x more email storage encouraged people to switch webmail companies back in 2004 — people are not going to ditch Google as their primary search engine. And Google isn’t taking any chances – by paying Dell $1B for their search toolbar to be pre-installed on new Dell PCs, or pushing Android (who’s the default search engine?), they are doing their part to make current habits continue and lock down their whole “supply chain.” For Google’s enemies, the best way of hurting the search goliath is not to build a better search engine, but rather to give people a reason to stop searching for a wide class of goods and services by preempting search on Google.
How do we read? How do we take the arbitrary, human-made code that is the written word and translate it into thoughts and images that mean something to our brain, an organ that had its basic wiring designed thousands of generations before the appearance of the first written word? What is going on in your skull right now as your eyes scan the black squiggly lines that make up this column?
Google has invested billions of dollars building dozens of different products across a wide swath of the technology industry, from productivity tools to mobile phones to e-commerce. As a result, many tech companies large and small have to think about a "Google plan" -- what to do if Google suddenly gets into their line of business? It's the same way companies used to worry about Microsoft during the last tech boom.
Google not only concentrates on holding on to search market share gains, but share of mind, as well. On Friday, as reports of Apple's Steve Jobs press conference on the fix for antenna and reception problems on the iPhone 4, Google quietly announced the acquisition of Metaweb. The San Francisco-based startup, a semantic Web and real-world database company, aims to improve those search results Google doesn't do so well, such as finding information about topics that might have two meanings.
Have you ever watched a video on YouTube and wondered how it could have gained more than 1,000,000 views? Many brands ask themselves the same question: How can we generate the same kind of viral video success as the baby dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” or the wedding party entrance dance that crazed the nation? Brands should mimic everyday people that have had success in viral video—yet construct and disseminate videos in a way that does not lose sight of the fact their purpose is twofold: to entertain and spread a marketing message.
As marketers, we’re all ultimately in the conversion optimization business. The success of your venture depends on how many people you get to sign-up, register or order. You weigh the value of each conversion against how much it cost you to win it, and that’s the driving engine of ROI for your organization. The higher your conversion rate, the higher your ROI. But that equation is deceptively oversimplified. In the real world, there are many confounding factors.
When we first reviewed Siri last February, we called it "one of the most ambitious mobile services we have seen in the last few years." At the time, we acknowledged that, while Siri - which was recently acquired by Apple - has answers for a plethora of questions, it wouldn't be able to handle them all. We lamented that "sadly the app doesn't use Wolfram Alpha to give you answers to factual questions (yet)." Today, we lament no longer, as the latest update to the virtual personal assistant notes that it can now provide you with "more knowledge and computation results" using "computational knowledge engine" Wolfram Alpha.
For a company that has made a big business of indexing third-party websites, a substantial part of Google's display success hinges on its ability to milk YouTube and its other owned and operated properties such as Gmail and Google Finance.
There's been a lot of discussion about the ongoing fight for Web supremacy between Google and Facebook but, to date, the debate has centered around matters like privacy and metrics like page views and ad dollars. In the past week, however, it appears both companies are taking direct aim at the heart of the other's core business.
Steve Jobs denied that Apple is developing a search engine when he was asked on stage at the D8 conference recently - not that that tells us anything about what's really going on in Cupertino's labs. But the speculation persists not about if Apple will move into search, but when, how and why.
Search any of these phrases on Google: oil spill, BP, or Deepwater Horizon. Take a look at the sponsored link on top of the page. It doesn't direct you towards, say, an oil disaster recovery group or news about the spill's impact on the Louisiana economy. In each case, the sponsored link goes to BP's Gulf of Mexico response page--essentially, BP's propaganda page about the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Despite everything I hear about focus making us more effective, I'm a chronic multitasker. My computer screen flickers incessantly with alerts from Tweetdeck, Skype and Gmail; if something pings or flashes, I simply must investigate. So you can imagine my concern when I read this article from the New York Times about our brains on computers. We're losing all ability to focus, claims Matt Richtel. "While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress. And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist."
Yahoo Inc. will soon roll out new ways to view content from Facebook Inc. across its websites, according to people briefed on the matter, as it aims to prevent Yahoo users from defecting to the social network. As part of a partnership with Facebook announced last December, Yahoo will begin allowing users to view their stream of Facebook updates—which Facebook calls the "news feed"—from Yahoo.com and Yahoo Mail, these people said. The company will also more easily allow users to post actions they take on Yahoo, such as uploading a photo to Yahoo's photo service Flickr, back on Facebook, these people said.
Gerd Leonhard is CEO of The Futures Agency, and has been described as "one of the leading media futurists in the world" for his views on the development of next-generation business models in the content, communications & technology industries.
Finding the right mix of keywords is as much science as it is good common sense. When it comes to your brand, there are typo and URL derivation techniques that you should consider as part of your overall brand bidding strategy, even when the science (search volumes) appear too low to matter.
Google is a technology company. This doesn't mean it will abandon search. But after 20 years in technology and marketing, I know the signs and can say unequivocally that the company has crossed over. It reminds me a little of Microsoft's climb to the top, complete with regulatory issues and privacy concerns. The attention, this week anyway, turns toward applications, specifically those built on Android. And while those applications could integrate with search, the technology is the star of the show.
One year after its debut, the world is still not ready for Wolfram Alpha. Few would argue that despite the success of Google, Internet search is a solved problem. The way that content is being shared across it is evolving so quickly means that better ways of discovering and presenting that content will always be welcome. Wolfram Alpha certainly provides a different way to think about Internet search. It's heavily weighted toward computational queries, and its practice of curating its results as opposed to simply serving up whatever is available on the Web means its results can be more authoritative than a list of links. But that strategy--useful as it might be to researchers and technical types--hasn't resonated with the general public.
According to Internet Retailer's recent search engine marketing survey of 102 web-only retailers, chain retailers, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers, 28.0% of merchants report more than 25% of their site traffic stems from paid search advertisements, while 51.5% say more than a quarter of their traffic comes from natural search. Search engine marketing is one of Internet retailing's fundamentals, says the report. Web merchants keep pouring money into advertising on search results pages and on search engine optimization projects to move up in natural search results.
Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks about his quest to make all knowledge computational -- able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics underlying the universe.
This morning during his keynote talk at Web 2.0 Expo, Tim O’Reilly took a look at the State of the Internet Operating System — a term he uses to describe the intertwined web services like search, the social graph, and payments systems that power applications on the web (and increasingly, mobile devices). During his talk, he gave a report card of sorts for tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Apple, he says, “has a vision of world domination”, and that with the App Store platform Steve Jobs is trying to build a fundamental challenge to the web.
Over the last month I have given a presentation entitled "Marketing in the Moment" at several different interactive conferences, including the SMX Toronto personalization panel, the PubCon Dallas real-time and social panel, and at Search Insider Summit Marketing Strategy panel in Captiva (click here to view the presentation on Slideshare). Today I want to elaborate on this presentation, and discuss how search and social are becoming imperative elements of a holistic marketing strategy, and how organizations must embrace the concept of marketing as an "in the moment" medium.
If a consumer types a brand name into the Google search box, a home-page link should -- and likely will -- appear as one of the top listings. But does the same thing happen when typing in a generic keyword relevant to that business? Say, "home repair" for Home Depot or "gifts" for Harry & David? That depends on how well they're optimized for Google. And in the case of those two examples, Home Depot and Harry & David website links don't even make it to the first page of Google, according to a recent study by Covario that evaluated the search-engine optimization health of 100 branded websites.
In the first part of my interview with John Battelle, we talked about the actual search experience—the act of searching and our expectations of what the results of that act might be. But as we started talking about change, it soon became clear that change in the act of search translates into change throughout the entire search industry.
Google has launched a Twitter archive service, giving it a more comprehensive index of tweets over time than even Twitter itself. (See Danny’s Where Have All The Old Tweets Gone?) Meanwhile, Twitter gets a logo presence in Google’s search results, the first time Google’s featured a partner like this. The Google blog has details here. For the time being it apparently works for tweets posted from February, 2010 forward. However soon it will be available for all tweets, from March, 2006 when Twitter first launched.
Once you define your goals and know what success looks like, the next step is defining your customer profiles then search for them online. For starters, you should at least know the age demographic, income level or occupation. After you know who your typical customer looks like, you need to find where they are online and what they’re talking about to get a step closer to engage them. This is where you should be looking at using some free online tools to help you gather useful data. Let’s look at using a combination of Google and Twitter to find your customers.
This from the IAB's annual revenue report. I'm a board member of the IAB, FWIW. From the release: Though U.S. Internet advertising revenues, at $22.7 billion for the year, showed a 3.4% decline from 2008, there are signs of an emergent recovery in the industry. The fourth quarter of 2009 hit a record quarterly high of $6.3 billion, a 2.6% increase year-over-year and a 14% increase over the third quarter of 2009.
Social media has exploded in recent years in its use to gauge customers’ likes and dislikes and to identify consumer buying trends. Users have migrated from trusting traditional media for reviews, ratings, and recommendations to trusting what their peers have to say in social media. The new age of digital and social media is upon us, and apparently, already dying in some areas. New data shows consumers are rebelling against all the “noise.”
Have you made the move beyond SEO to conversion optimization? Haven’t heard of it? According to Wikipedia, “Conversion optimization is the science and art of creating an experience for a website visitor with the goal of converting the visitor into a customer.” While this seems to me to be a fairly accurate description of the process, it’s also important to note what conversion optimization isn’t.
Facebook has eclipsed Amazon, Walmart, Netflix, and even Google as the foremost brand name in web searches from U.S. users, according to research from Hitwise. In terms of both traffic and revenue, Facebook has been leaving other social networking sites in the dust for some time. Yet in terms of web search – the terms people use either to find information or navigate to websites – Facebook is just now topping the bill.
YouTube began pushing out the site's redesign Wednesday after testing the format since January. The cleaner, stripped-down version, which comes after a year of planning, more closely resembles the style and design of pages from parent company Google. The changes might seem subtle at first, but that's only because the site sports a cleaner look. Metrics from preliminary tests that YouTube ran earlier this year suggest that overall video playbacks with the redesign rose 6%. People stay on the site 7% longer to view and comment longer. The cleaner design also helps pages load faster.
With so many companies launching Facebook fan pages, initiating paid search ad campaigns and developing ecommerce strategies on the site, it's easy to see how Facebook's social network could become the next-generation niche search engine for products and services. Recent data and technology trends point to the possibility of this cultural shift. For starters, Facebook gained the most growth in search queries, rising 10% to 436 million searches from January to February, according to comScore.
Ask yourself for a moment, what is the operating system of a Google or Bing search? What is the operating system of a mobile phone call? What is the operating system of maps and directions on your phone? What is the operating system of a tweet? On a standalone computer, operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux manage the machine's resources, making it possible for applications to focus on the job they do for the user. But many of the activities that are most important to us today take place in a mysterious space between individual machines. Most people take for granted that these things just work, and complain when the daily miracle of instantaneous communications and access to information breaks down for even a moment.
According to ForeSee Results’ 2010 Social Media Study, YouTube is the second most powerful social network for consumer engagement. This critical component of the social web remains vital for causes, associations and government organizations. Non-profits have been engaging with YouTube for years, but it’s still important to have a specific online video strategy. The following five tips can help organizations maximize their YouTube offering for the most impact.
The Web, as virtually everyone who uses it knows, is a great way to research and find people; it is without doubt unprecedented in its utility. While preparing Thursday’s article about the best strategies on using the Web to find long-lost friends and relatives, I came across one obvious fact: when looking for people you’ll come across loads of misinformation and scams. Nothing new there, of course. But after you’ve exhausted the information you’ve found on Google, can you increase your chances of finding the person you’re looking for by using one of the fee-based services that offer access to millions of public records?
Google’s legal structure in China will allow the company to continue operations in the country even if it closes its local search engine, local employees and industry and legal experts say. The comments come amid frenzied speculation that Google is on the verge of carrying out its January threat to retreat partly or fully from China.
As soon as I decided I wanted to explore the question of where search was going, I knew sooner or later I had to talk to John Battelle. John wrote what I still consider the definitive look at the industry, The Search, in 2005. Since then, in addition to running Federated Media, he has continued to be one of the more thoughtful, visionary, frank and opinionated voices in this space. Recently, his musings have taken on a decided tone of discontent. In a few recent blog posts, Battelle mused that search, while not necessarily “broken,” may indeed be increasingly falling short of our expectations. This lined up well with my own feelings that relevancy may no longer be an adequate proxy for usefulness.
According to the latest Hitwise analysis, Google's lost its crown as the most-visited Web site in the U.S. last week. The new king of web site traffic is, of course, Facebook. In the future, technohistorians may marvel at this event. During the Winter holidays there were a few momentary spikes in traffic which placed Facebook on the top, but if you check out the graph of the long term trend shown above, you can see Facebook's meteoric rise is now on target to meet or beat Google. And if that curve continues on its trajectory, which it may well do for a while (its market share is 185% up over the same week in 2009, for example,) Facebook will become number one by a huge margin, versus the tiddly little 0.04% separation it currently has above Google's 7.03% share of average weekly market share.
A top Chinese minister warned Google Inc. "will have to bear the consequences" if it stops filtering its search results in China, suggesting there is little room for compromise in the high-profile showdown over censorship. Friday's remarks were the sharpest words yet in an unusual duel that could set a precedent for international business in the country and could escalate tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments.
MSN on Tuesday officially debuted its refurbished home page, with a greater focus on Bing-powered search, local content, in-line video, and top social networks. "This marks the beginning of the ramp-out over the next couple weeks of our new home page here in the U.S.," said Erik Jorgensen, ccorporate vice president at MSN. The new site, which went live in beta form last November, also includes a new MSN Local Edition, which will exist as a stand-alone Web site, but will feature prominently on the relaunched MSN home page.
Google Inc. is testing a new television-programming search service with Dish Network Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, the latest development in a fast-moving race to combine Internet content with conventional TV. The service, which runs on TV set-top boxes containing Google software, allows users to find shows on the satellite-TV service as well as video from Web sites like Google's YouTube, according to these people. It also lets users to personalize a lineup of shows, these people said.
Back in the day, a decade (to 50 decades) ago, we discovered media — news, information, or service — through brands: We went and bought the newspaper or magazine or turned on a channel on its schedule. That behavior and expectation was brought to the internet: Brands built sites and expected us to come to them. Now there are other spheres of discovery — new spheres that are shifting in importance, effectiveness, and share. I believe they will overlap more and more to provide better — that is, more relevant, timely, and authoritative — means of discovery. These evolving spheres also change the relationships of creators and customers and the fundamental economics of media.
Want to know how Google is about to change your life? Stop by the Ouagadougou conference room on a Thursday morning. It is here, at the Mountain View, California, headquarters of the world’s most powerful Internet company, that a room filled with three dozen engineers, product managers, and executives figure out how to make their search engine even smarter. This year, Google will introduce 550 or so improvements to its fabled algorithm, and each will be determined at a gathering just like this one.
Curt Dalton has found a way to turn marketing on its head. The 36-year- old economics major, based near Boston, will launch a search engine by the end of the month that identifies demand for products and services, so marketers can fill the supply.
We're at the beginning of a major shift in how we find, consume and interact with information. If the 2000s was the Google decade, then the 2010s will be the Facebook decade. Already, you can see the writing on the wall - pun intended.
Yesterday brought the news that Google has officially purchased Aardvark, a small San-Francisco-based social search startup that happens to have been created by former Google employees. The timing, coming just two days after Google unveiled Buzz, can't be coincidental--but what can Aardvark do for Google? An awful lot, as it turns out.
The news broke today that Google will be buying Aardvark, a human (and algorithm) powered social search engine that I have written about quite a bit (early last year, most recently, all). I've also featured the service's founders at both Web2 and the CM Summit.) I've confirmed the news in an email with CEO Max Ventilla. I can't say I'm surprised by this news. Aardvark's founders and advisers have strong ties with Google (Ventilla worked there, and a key adviser was at Kaltix, which was purchased by Google). To me the critical question around this move is this: Will the Aardvark acquisition be a Dodgeball, or will it be a Applied Semantics?
Great content doesn't grow on trees, doesn't work in a vacuum, and doesn't need to be driven solely by what your readers tell you -- you need to have a strategy built around content to grow a site. Glen has written a really useful post that can help you see why content needs to get most of your attention -- he built and sold a site. He lists many characteristics that are part of my experience as well. Your results -- in this case mine -- may vary depending on the level of commitment and focus you put on them.
YouTube is the world's No. 2 search engine -- behind only its parent company's search engine, Google.com -- but does that mean it can monetize like one? The difference could decide whether YouTube becomes a mildly profitable media business based on home-page ads and video campaigns, or if it can scale like Google search, tapping a world of small advertisers using self-serve tools to bid on keywords.
With another holiday season behind us, retailers are busy crunching sales data to measure success and year over year revenue. However, this is also a good time to assess your company’s brand experience. And if yours needs improvement, integrating offline and online marketing can help.
A new decade. I like the sound of that. I'm a bit late on these, but for some reason these predictions refused to be rushed. I haven't had the contemplative time I usually get over the holidays, and I need a fair amount of that before I can really get my head around attempting something as presumptive as forecasting a year. So I'll just start writing and see what comes. While past predictions have focused on specific companies and industry segments (like Internet marketing), I think I'll try to stay meta this time. Except for Google, of course, which is still the only company in the Internet economy that can be seen from space. For now. But we'll get to that.
Yesterday we posted the first five digital-marketing predictions from Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic, which looked at mobility, geo-location, viral marketing, gaming and online display. Today, we bring you the final five. And we want to know -- do you agree? What do you think will be the big issues of 2010? Here's the rest of the predictions for 2010.
YouTube, the video site owned by Google, is about 10 times more popular than its nearest competitor. But Hunter Walk still thinks of it as an underdog. For Mr. Walk, director of product management at YouTube, the competition is not other Web sites: it’s TV.
Every address, every building, every business has a story to tell. Visualize your world that way: Look at a restaurant and think about all the data that already swirls around it — its menu, its reviews and ratings and tags (descriptive words), its recipes, its ingredients, its suppliers (and how far away they are, if you care about that sort of thing), its reservation openings, who has been there (according to social applications), who do we know who has been there, its health-department reports, its credit-card data (in aggregate, of course), pictures of its interior, pictures of its food, its wine list, the history of the location, its decibel rating, its news… And then think how we can annotate that with our own reviews, ratings, photos, videos, social-app check-ins and relationships, news, discussion, calendar entries, orders…. The same can be said of objects, brands — and people.
As we become increasingly dependent on the Internet, we need to be increasingly concerned about how it is regulated. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed “network neutrality” rules, which would prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against or charging premiums for certain services or applications on the Web. The commission is correct that ensuring equal access to the infrastructure of the Internet is vital, but it errs in directing its regulations only at service providers like AT&T and Comcast. Today, search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s new Bing have become the Internet’s gatekeepers, and the crucial role they play in directing users to Web sites means they are now as essential a component of its infrastructure as the physical network itself. The F.C.C. needs to look beyond network neutrality and include “search neutrality”: the principle that search engines should have no editorial policies other than that their results be comprehensive, impartial and based solely on relevance.
Websites live or die based on how a small group of programmers at Google decide their sites should rank in Google’s main search results. As the “router” of the vast majority of traffic on the internet, Google’s secret ranking algorithm is probably is the most powerful piece of software code on the planet. Google talks a lot about openness and their commitment to open source software. What they are really doing is practicing a classic business strategy known as “commoditizing the complement“*.
The fine line between search and social media marketing programs is growing thinner every day. People toggle back and forth among Google, Facebook, and Twitter to find deals, connect with brands, and start the purchase process. What's more, many sites are now finding upwards of 20% of inbound traffic is coming from "shared links" that people pass along via social networks -- giving paid search ads a run for their traffic-driving money! One of the main questions I hear from our brand clients is: "How can I integrate all this social media stuff into my already highly productive search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) programs to make all of my marketing initiatives deliver more ROI?"
Google’s search results pages will never be the same. In an effort to secure the lead in its quest for dominance in “real time,” Google recently announced exclusive feed deals with Twitter and Facebook, delivering a punch to Microsoft which had just announced advances of its own in the social media realm of tweets and updates.
Google's first search engine let people search by typing text onto a Web page. Next came queries spoken over the phone. On Monday, Google announced the ability to perform an Internet search by submitting a photograph. The experimental search-by-sight feature, called Google Goggles, has a database of billions of images that informs its analysis of what's been uploaded, said Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering. It can recognize books, album covers, artwork, landmarks, places, logos, and more.
If you’re at all like me, then you find Web search pretty frustrating when it comes to figuring out the local weather forecast. You pop a city’s name into a search engine and get a list of a few different weather sites. Oddly enough, they often have quite different forecasts for the days to come. The question remains: sweater or no sweater? Microsoft has taken some steps to solving this riddle – and a number of other irksome Web quandaries — through some fresh updates to its Bing search engine that it unveiled Wednesday.
Microsoft’s top search technology executive on Wednesday all but dismissed the likelihood that the company would pay newspaper owners and other publishers for removing their content from Google. His comments came a week after it emerged that Microsoft had been in talks over a News Corp-led initiative that would have paid publishers to leave Google as a way to boost Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing.
New start-up Factery Labs is launching its first service on Tuesday, a technology called FactRank that can tear through Web pages and collect what it calls "facts." These are bits of information from each source page that Factery Labs' algorithm then organizes into an order of importance. What this means for you is that developers will soon make use of the technology in third-party search engines or on Web pages to very quickly deliver reading summaries. This cuts out most (or all) of the parts you don't care about, while organizing the bits you might. It also manages to do all this in real time.
Jack Balkin invited me to be on a panel yesterday at Yale’s Information Society Project conference, Journalism & The New Media Ecology, and I used my remarks to observe that one of the things up for grabs in the current news environment is the nature of authority. In particular, I noted that people trust new classes of aggregators and filters, whether Google or Twitter or Wikipedia (in its ‘breaking news’ mode.) I called this tendency algorithmic authority. I hadn’t used that phrase before yesterday, so it’s not well worked out (and I didn’t coin it — as Jeff Jarvis noted at the time, Google lists a hundred or so previous occurrences.) There’s a lot to be said on the subject, but as a placeholder for a well-worked-out post, I wanted to offer a rough and ready definition here.
Bing and Google recently announced partnerships with Twitter and Facebook to provide elements of real-time and social search to their respective search engine results. On the surface, this probably blew past most business owners and marketers as not much in the way of being important. If the information is online, aren’t Bing and Google supposed to find it? And, frankly, the partnership has some interesting implications, but isn’t phenomenally noteworthy … yet.
Over the past several weeks, leaders in the search industry launched an aggressive, very public series of campaigns designed to capture the elusive future of search mind and market share. The accelerated evolution of “real-time” search, introduced to us mostly through the adoption of Summize, which was eventually acquired to now serve as Twitter search, inspired both Google and Bing to release new iterations of its search engine to now include live Twitter results. Bing also announced a deal with Facebook to include status updates and shared content that were intentionally earmarked for public consumption – although this is expected to go into effect at a later date. Each announcement was strategically timed to release during the prestigious Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco while the technology world focused on tomorrow’s trends discussed during the show. With the great deal of attention thrust upon these two industry giants, Yahoo is now rumored to also have a real-time strategy in the works. Unlike Bing and Google however, Yahoo is potentially seeking to either partner with or acquire a current real-time search player.
Microsoft’s Web portal MSN today unveils its most significant redesign in a decade, as the company looks to increase engagement on the property while spurring usage of its fledgling Bing search product. “We think we’ve designed the best home page on the Web,” said Scott Moore, U.S. executive producer, MSN. According to Moore, the new home page is designed to focus on four key areas of overarching consumer interest: video, social networking, search and local news/information.
Nobody's arguing that SEM (both in its paid and organic subspecialties) can deliver ROI. But viewing ROI as a primary and exclusive goal for your organization's search campaigns is dangerously myopic. Here's why:
Yes, there's a bit of a circus going on with real-time search, and a new player seems to appear weekly. Meanwhile, we get predictions of how Google and Bing had better do something soon with it -- or else. Let's try to rein it in a bit, starting with, just what is real-time search? You know what web search is -- do a search, get web pages. Image search? Search, get images. So real-time search gives you -- real times?
n a new TV commercial for travel search engine Kayak.com, an old man packs a suitcase. "I'm returning to where it all happened," he says soberly. As though he's referring to a former war site, he says, "We stormed that beach like it was already ours, and after the first shot, it was all a blur." Behind him, on the type of schedule and boarding sign seen at busy train stations, a word and a price appear: Cancun for $139. The witty, 30-second spot is one of three new commercials that play up travel deals in a major ad blitz breaking today from online travel company Kayak.com. The outfit, a search engine for online travel planning that helps travelers compare air fares, rental car and hotel rates, plans to spend most of its $60 million ad budget offline. It is the first big traditional ad play for the Norwalk, Conn., company.
A few years ago, I interviewed usability expert Jakob Nielsen about where search might go in the future. He shared an interesting insight:"I think there is a tendency now for a lot of not very useful results to be dredged up that happen to be very popular, like Wikipedia and various blogs. They're not going to be very useful or substantial to people who are trying to solve problems." That stuck with me. Relevance, as determined by search algorithms, and usefulness are not the same thing. And then, John Battelle touched on the same topic in a blog post a few months back: "So first, how would I like to decide about my quest to buy a classic car? Well, ideally, I'd have a search application that could automate and process the tedious back and forth required to truly understand what the market looks like."
I spend a lot of time gazing into a crystal ball that I know is going to be cloudy half the time. Lately I have been pondering Facebook's future. Facebook is clearly on a roll and is knocking on Google's door as the biggest site on the web. Will it continue to dominate or see its lead slip? Here are two potential outcomes.
As consumers, I think you’ll agree, prior to making any decision purchase, most of the time, our journey begins with a combination of online search and real world conversations with friends, family and peers. As the Web matures, a greater volume of our attention and focus continues to shift from other mediums to the Web for not only purchase considerations but also for content discovery. It’s how we learn. It’s how we stay connected.
Last week was big for Twitter. After years of speculation about whether the company was going to have a business model, Twitter announced two deals at our Web2 conference - first with Microsoft's Bing, and second with Google. Details of the deals were not disclosed, but as Google's Marissa Mayers admitted onstage, there were indeed financial terms.
Some advertisers, including some of our clients, have started to reallocate branding funds from offline marketing efforts to paid search. Why search?
Social Search just went live in Google Labs. Google announced that it was working on this Social Search feature at the Web 2.0 Summit last week, but at that time, Google's Marissa Mayer announced that it would only be available "in a few weeks." Social Search taps into a user's social network profiles and displays relevant links and status updates that members of a user's own social network have shared at the bottom of the default search results page. According to Google, Social Search will enhance the search experience on Google by providing users with more personally relevant search results.
As major events unfold, Twitter, Facebook and other similar services are increasingly becoming the nation’s virtual water coolers. They spread information quickly, sometimes before the mass media do, and their ricocheting bursts of text and links become an instant record of Americans’ collective preoccupations. It’s no wonder, then, that pundits and investors are salivating over the prospect of an effective way to search this information. Twitter, of course, has its own search engine. But others with names like OneRiot, Collecta and Topsy are also vying to become the Google of real-time search.
On Thursday, Google co-founder Sergey Brin made a surprise visit to the Web 2.0 Summit and was interviewed on-stage by John Battelle for about 18 minutes. Our full notes from that day are here, but the video above gives a good sense of where Brin’s head is at right now.
The Google Custom Search Blog announced the release of a mobile friendly Google Custom Search engine interface support for devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and Palm Pre.
As part of an upgrade to Google Analytics, the Internet giant is adding the ability for its customers to track their traffic to both mobile sites and applications, breaking out the devices being used. The idea is to give marketers one place to track digital campaigns, whether they're on the Web or mobile.
2009 was a bad year for online advertising, too. This year figures to be the first down year for online ads since 2002, the hangover from the internet-bubble years.Spending on online advertising is expected to come in at $22.8 billion in 2009 in the U.S., down 2.9% from a year ago, due to steep declines in sponsorships, classifieds and e-mail advertising, according to a projection from eMarketer issued today. Banner ads were virtually flat with 2008. The lone bright spot: search, which will grow 4% overall, proving itself the most resilient and counter-cyclical form of online marketing. Video also grew, but it's still too small a category to make a difference in the overall numbers.
In this continuing economic roller coaster, marketers have become more open to different ways to optimize their end-to-end marketing funnel. Increasingly, they're turning their attention site-side, where any improvements in conversion rates can lift the ROI of every marketing channel and infuse new efficiencies into the marketing mix as a whole. This shift in focus marks a milestone for e-businesses, who have had processes in place to optimize acquisition ad channels for years. Most likely due to the money regularly being spent on media, optimizing search marketing campaigns, display ads and other efforts have long been top of mind for marketers looking to get more done with fewer resources.
According to the Google Keyword Tool,there were 7.5 million broad match searches on the term ‘soap’ in September. Granted that some of the searches are related to “soap operas” rather than cleansing soaps, there are still quite a few people searching for the term. CPG companies are fueling this growth in search with increased investment in online advertising. In fact, according to TNS, one of the leading soap brands Dove spent nearly $5MM on online display advertising during the first half of this year. This investment is significantly greater than that of rival brands Softsoap and Olay. Due in part to their investment in online advertising, Compete’s data shows that site traffic to Dove.com are multiples greater than its competitors.
When Google's renowned visual design lead, Douglas Bowman, left the search giant at the end of March, he wrote a passionate blog post about his reasons for quitting. He claimed that the company's reliance on data was so extreme, it prevented it from making any daring design decisions, and quoted one instance when a team couldn't decide between two blues, so were testing 41 shades between each of the choices to see which one performed better. Bowman's post sparked a heated debate on the web. Irene Au, Director of User Experience at Google, acknowledges that Bowman is an extraordinary designer who made huge contributions to the company's products. However, she insists there's a clear logic behind Google's approach. "It's very much a culture of experimentation," she explains.
The search advertising market is coming back, and Microsoft's Bing is slowly gaining share of search-ad dollars. With Google's third-quarter earnings announcement coming Thursday, two digital agencies released aggregate client search-spending data from the third quarter. The takeaway: Search spending among U.S. marketers is on the rise, gaining from the second quarter and getting close to matching spending levels of a year ago after several quarters of decline.
Google wants to own the search experience across every mobile media platform, and its latest offering is a universal search box that lets users of Android-based smartphones look for apps, contact information and web content right from the device's home screens. This means users never have to leave their phone's home page or open a web browser to look up stock quotes, weather or a flight's status. The Quick Search Box,as it's called, also ranks search results by what a user has searched for and has used most often. Android users can also search and call contacts by voice with a tap of the microphone button next to the query box.
You didn't think Google was going to take the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal lying down, did you? The Mountain View, Calif.-based giant hasn't taken an official position on the proposed deal, but it is quietly disseminating a view to regulators, politicians, analysts and journalists: that the need for scale is not a valid case for approving Microsoft's search deal with Yahoo. This, of course, is the core argument in favor of the deal: that Microsoft and Yahoo cannot compete effectively against Google in search on their own and that their deal would make the search market itself more competitive.
Nielsen offers a blog post that shows the various ways that people discover content online. Search is at the top, followed by “portals” (which feature search boxes); at the other end are blogs and social networks. However Nielsen argues that certain categories of people are increasingly social media tools as content discovery sources.
When naming products, it’s always prudent to investigate potential online marketing challenges and pitfalls before launch. Failure to do so may preemptively damage your marketing team’s ability to cast an appropriate branding net. Traditionally due diligence surrounding the naming process involved trademark search, category and creative considerations. Now that’s no longer enough. Crucial naming decisions must also include rigorous SEO, social, reputation and paid search analysis. Here’s a checklist of factors to take into consideration to assure your product name is search-friendly from the outset.
Although Smartphones come with a multitude of Web capabilities, consumers are more often than not using these mobile devices for social networking. Social networking usage on Smartphones has skyrocketed by 187 percent to 18.3 million unique users in July 2009, per Nielsen. The increase, which nearly tripled the 6.4 users million seen in July 2008, allowed social networking sites to account for 32 percent of all Smartphone activity during the year.
The New York Times Co. has big plans for Twitter. The venerable news organization is exploring plans to build search products that can sift through thousands of Twitter feeds and pull together commentary on specific topics. According to Martin Nisenholtz, svp of digital operations at NYT Co., the company has built such a product for its popular fashion-themed blog The Moment, which aggregates Twitter commentary from both editors and readers related to the high-end fashion world.
Are pictures really worth a thousand words? Microsoft hopes so. Today, the Seattle-based software behemoth took the stage at TechCrunch50 to unveil visual search, the newest feature for its new search-engine, Bing. Bing's visual search displays search results by pictures, rather than text, which comes in pretty handy for certain types of searches. Say you're searching for a pink handbag to buy: Click the handbags category, filter by color, and see loads of images to choose from.
In my last column I laid out 10 lessons I learned about marketing from Google. The response from the Search Insider community was, to borrow a phrase from Gaylord Focker in "Meet the Parents," strong-to-very-strong. I received some great feedback and all sorts of suggestions for other golden Google rules. Many of these have application beyond marketing to product development and even general business management. Today, I'll continue the thread around marketing lessons learned from Google. And I'll look to broaden the scope in upcoming columns to include business principles and other miscellany.
For more than 100 years, marketing has largely operated as a push paradigm. We create messages and funnel them through the media to reach stakeholders. Push remains viable. However, with time on social-networking sites and search engines rising, we need new ways to engage and reach people multiple times across different sources. That, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, is when consumers will trust what we have to say. That's what the "power of pull" is all about.
This is Part 2 of my series of posts summarizing a fascinating recent hour-long one on one interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Early in the interview I asked Schmidt about the future of search. I brought up the “search is 90% done” misunderstanding from last summer. Said Google Vice President Marissa Mayer at the time. Specifically I asked Schmidt “What are the hard things to be solved in search in the next ten years?” His lengthy answer meandered around a central theme, that Google needs to move “from words to meaning.” In other words, Google needs to understand queries better, and return results that best match the real meaning of a query. “We have to get from the sort of casual use of asking, querying…to “what did you mean?”"
Surchur has been around for more than a year, but its recent facelift aims to take real-time search toward a new idea: real-time discovery. It may sound like splitting hairs to some, but the point is valid: Real-time search isn’t of much value if you don’t know what to type into the search box. This is why Twitter’s new home page has links to a couple dozen trending topics. It’s why the new delicious.com home page has a tab showing the hottest bookmarks. It’s why Collecta shows what’s “hot now” on its home page, and why OneRiot does, too. But Surchur is going a lot further with its new home page. Founder Todd Hogan calls it a merger of real-time search with real-time discovery.
It will be at least nine months -- and probably closer to a year -- before Microsoft takes over Yahoo's search infrastructure, theoretically consolidating 28% of the U.S. search market and mounting the first credible challenge on Google in a decade. But it's not too early for marketers to wonder if they need to ask: Do we, uh, speak Bing? One thing is certain: figuring that out is going to amount to a mini stimulus package for digital agencies and search-engine-optimization consultants in the first half of 2010.
The elevator speech. It's one of the prerequisites of business development. In the time you can spend with someone on a 30-second ride, how do you describe your business? For established brands, the elevator speech is not so much a speech but a word. For brands like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, you can quickly get from brand name to association in a word. Let's play the game together, in your head or on paper. Google? Microsoft? Apple? Got your word?
Last month I shared what search taught me about running a business. Today, I'd like to list 10 lessons Google taught me -- and the rest of the world, for that matter -- about marketing.
Yahoo! may have thrown in the towel on the business of searching for information online. But the company is doubling down on a technology where it already has the lead over search king Google: in free e-mail service offered over the Web.
Every year, the market-research firm Millward Brown conducts a survey to determine the economic worth of the world's brands — in other words, to put a dollar value on the many corporate logos that dominate our lives. Lately the firm's results have been stuck on repeat: Google has claimed the top spot for the past three years. The most recent report values Google's brand — those six happy letters that herald so many of our jaunts down the Web's rabbit hole — at more than $100 billion. What's astonishing about this stat is how effortlessly Google seems to have earned the public's affection. Other companies — Microsoft, Coke, IBM, McDonald's — spend enormous sums to stay in the consciousness. Google, which makes most of its money from ads, rarely advertises itself. Telling the world how well it does what it does just isn't Google's way.
In a way we are all virtual stock holders in Twitter. We all have a vested interest in its success. Facebook is soon to monopolize the social stream to the same extent that Google has done with search. That is not good for anyone, including Facebook. I have had many discussions with people in recent weeks about the face-off between Twitter and Facebook and also about the high probability of Twitter cutting a deal with Google. When I was asked by Erick Schonfeld at the Real Tiime Stream Crunchup (Video) event about my opinion on Twitter giving Google their firehose feed, I responded that they could do that if they don’t plan to sell their company in the future.
Last week Google informally gave a heads-up that we should all be expecting a change in its main Web search results, based on a new update to search technology that mostly affects its indexing process. Dubbed Google Caffeine, it is a "secret project" considered to be next-generation architecture for Google Web search. And in addition to shaking up the results a bit, it may also pave new roads toward the goal of real-time search results.
Last year, Google updated Google Trends and launched Google Insights for Search, allowing advertisers and marketers to track search behavior based on frequency of searches, time frame, or geographic location. Now Google is throwing the element of predictability into the mix. Looking at a particular trend's historical search popularity, Google forecasts the trend's future performance.
Some pundits talk about Internet users having a “Google habit” that keeps them hooked on Google and keeps Google the No. 1 Internet search engine. That habit is far from harmful, and consumers don’t feel a need to kick it for a simple reason: Google gives them what they want.
I recently wrote about how, in future, search could greatly benefit on-demand digital television, but the future of search doesn't start there and isn't even that futuristic. I think search is about to undergo a major evolutionary shift that will change the underpinnings of how search works, is used, and is defined.
Marc Andreessen is backing a new browser company called RockMelt. Not much is known about RockMelt other than it is being designed by an all-star team (including software engineer Robert John Churchill from the Netscape days) and that it is tied into Facebook through Facebook Connect. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb has a screenshot of the sign-in page and speculates that RockMelt is in fact a Facebook browser. Miguel Helft at the NYT leans in that direction as well. It kind of makes sense since Andreesen is on the board of Facebook, but I suspect it is only half the story.
It’s no secret that even with their recently-announced alliance, Yahoo and Microsoft will lag well behind Google in the hugely profitable search and search advertising business. How far behind? With a combined 28 percent of the American search market, Yahoo and Microsoft could double their usage and still trail Google, which accounts for 65 percent of the market. But by another important measure, the two sides are much closer. ComScore found that for the combined Yahoo-Microsoft, “searcher penetration,” or the percentage of the online population in the United States that uses one of those search engines, is 73 percent. Google’s searcher penetration is higher, but not by that much: at 84 percent.
Brands and marketers are rapidly leaving the orbit of "paid media" dominance and entering the gravitational pull of the age of "earned" and "social media."
How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous.
We’re really just at the beginning of the era of “mobile search.” Even what we think of as “search” will be dramatically altered by innovations in mobile. In this first phase the transfer of what might be called the “query box” (and related links) into mobile is complete. In time, however, we many even come to see that image — the white box with the search button to the right — as a kind of metaphor for something more intangible (i.e., directed intent) that can be fulfilled in a variety of ways.
The recent skirmish between Apple and Google -- filled with legal innuendos, regulatory scuffles and high-profile departures -- has, if anything, crystallized for me what I had been thinking for the past six months: what we have been witnessing is nothing less than a battle for the future of the surfable Web. On one hand, we have Google, which favors the widest, broadest Web possible, so that its cash cow Google Search functionality remains the key to the discovery of all content on the unruly, unmanageable Web, filled with ripcurls and big waves. On the other hand, we have Apple, which favors a Web that can be managed simply and efficiently from apps downloaded for $1.99 or less from its wildly-popular Apps store. (All apps, in fact, except that pesky little Google Voice app!) Which leads to the inevitable question: how often do you actually "surf" the Web anymore?
Yahoo's long nightmare is over, having finally offloaded its search business to Microsoft after years of rumors, negotiations and reversals. Now all it has to do is figure out what comes next. A new era at Yahoo began the minute CEO Carol Bartz signed the paperwork turning over the right to conduct searches on Yahoo's huge network of Web sites to Microsoft in exchange for 88 percent of the revenue generated by Microsoft's Bing. Now Yahoo is first and foremost a media company, in the business of attracting as many people to its properties as possible in hopes of selling lucrative ad deals on those pages.
Microsoft Corp.'s deal to join forces with Yahoo Inc. in the Internet search and advertising businesses could create a counterweight to the online muscle of Google Inc. It may also help Steve Ballmer end the worst slump in his career at the helm of Microsoft.
Microsoft and Google's increasingly captivating competitive dance took another turn on July 29 with the announcement of a search partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo. The deal could create a viable competitor to Google--or even more enticingly build very different kinds of growth businesses.
General knowledge, from capital cities to key dates, has long been a marker of an educated mind. But what happens when facts can be Googled? Brian Cathcart confers with educationalists, quiz-show winners and Bamber Gascoigne ...
Twitter now has a brand spankin’ new homepage. Of course, if you’re a regular Twitter user, you’re rarely going to see it because you’re already logged in. But for the 5 billion+ people Twitter has yet to convert, it provides the company’s big chance to get them to sign up and stay on their website.
After years of foreplay, Microsoft and Yahoo have made it official: They're cozying up in bed together. The major beneficiary will be Bing--it'll usurp Yahoo search, boosting its Google rivalry power.
If you wanted to research something—the musician Johnny Cash, for example—would you go to a search engine or a library? There are many studies on search usage. It’s safe to say that at least 50% of people now turn to search engines for information. That number increases for certain types of searches, such as shopping or health information. If you are young and grew up in the technology age, the likelihood increases. So our young person may try Google and type in “Johnny Cash” at first. But I doubt it.
It's been just over six weeks since the birth of Bing. While I didn't actually say Microsoft's new search baby was ugly, I was less than optimistic about its chances of unseating Google in a popularity contest. So, with every measurement panel carefully following Bing's debut, I think it's time to see just how the little engine is doing in the search (oops, make that "decision") sandbox.
In late May, Microsoft unveiled Bing, its new Internet search engine, in front of an audience of skeptics: technology executives and other digerati who had gathered near San Diego for an industry conference. To that crowd, Microsoft’s efforts to take on Google and Yahoo in the search business had become something of a laughingstock, and for good reason.
I’m blogging from the Real-Time Stream event in Redwood City, California organized by TechCrunch. I will share more of my thoughts and observations in a series of posts at a later time – there’s just so much too process in “real time.” Let’s just say that the future of search, streams and the concept of the “Now Web” is blindingly bright.
At the Real-Time Stream event in Redwood City, California organized by TechCrunch, industry pioneers and pundits discussed the state and future of the Real-Time Web also increasingly referred to as the “now” Web.
Social media has evolved beyond a series of platforms that enable content publishing, sharing, and discovery into a genuine, peer-to-peer looking glass into the real world conversations that affect the perception, engagement, and overall direction of the brands we represent.
I've been working with companies on SEO for over a decade now, and there's one thing I've noticed: all things being equal, healthy companies with great cultures seem to do much better in organic search results. And by organic success, I mean the good, white-hat, Matt Cutts-approved kind of success. I bet that if you found the companies that do well in organic search, you'd also find companies that Jim Collins (author of "Built to Last" and "Good to Great") would be proud of. This correlation can't be coincidence, so I've outlined some reasons why this might be so.
When a brand needs a fix, everyone's a doctor, and Ad Age readers are no exception. Now that Yahoo is taking its branding assignment to Landor Associates and tapping former Y&R managing director Penny Baldwin as senior VP-global integrated marketing and brand management, Ad Age decided to ask readers for a few ideas to remake the still-popular portal. (Branding problem or not, Yahoo still managed to grow 6% to 151.3 million unique U.S. visitors in May, per ComScore.) Readers' suggestions ranged from personalization and an emphasis on fun to a debate on whether to keep the brand's signature purple. Are you listening, Carol Bartz?
Microsoft is dipping its toes into the hot new area of real-time search. The company said Wednesday that Bing, the search engine it unveiled a month ago, would begin including the latest output of popular Twitter users in its search results.
There are many ways to slice and dice search query intent: Navigation vs. browsing. Entertainment vs. information. Commercial vs. non-commercial.
Real time search is nothing new. It is a problem we’ve been working on for at least ten years, and we likely will still be trying to solve it ten years from now. It’s a really hard problem which we used to call “live web search,” which was coined by Allen Searls (Doc’s son) and refers to the web that is alive, with time as an element, in all factors including search.
How do you find a new search engine if all you know is Google? Typing “search engine” into the usual box might lead you to Microsoft’s newly launched Bing, the combined search at Dogpile, or the former king of search, Altavista. But for those willing to dig around, searching for search engines can reveal a treasure trove: The net is rich with specialized search services, all trying to find a way to get their slice of the billions of dollars Google makes every year answering queries.
Google handles roughly two-thirds of all Internet searches. It owns the largest online video site, YouTube, which is more than 10 times more popular than its nearest competitor. And last year, Google sold nearly $22 billion in advertising, more than any media company in the world.
Bing gets to the point quicker more often than Google. Search engine query results are organized better by a series of filter options and a more welcoming design, according to a report released Thursday from Catalyst Group.
In a world of double-digit unemployment and old-line industries in mid-collapse, here's a sales pitch tailor-made for the times: "Get Paid by Google."
Google started it. Social media, especially with tools like FriendFeed, magnified it - page one is the place to be. The top of page one is especially the place to be. Those few days when Conversation Agent was at number five on AdAge Power150 many checked out this blog from that list. From number 16? Not so much.
The marketing team at Pier 1 Imports chose a challenging time to launch a new campaign. Bank of America had just gobbled up Merrill Lynch, several of the nation’s largest investment firms had buckled down and were receiving TARP money, and in the midst of it all, panic-stricken consumers just weren’t buying.
Last week I had the privilege of visiting the nice folks at Google's New York City office for lunch. Lair of creativity and Web savvy that it is, I wanted to know which of Google's tools fascinate their own ranks most. One of the fascinating answers I got: Google Insights, a little-publicized tool Google launched last summer to analyze search terms over time and location. It lets you plot search terms against each other, figuring out who is searching what, when, and where.
For the past 10 years, virtually everyone has become a believer in the power of search-engine marketing. We plow millions -- billions, even -- into paid search and optimized search (i.e. SEO), all with the intention of generating lots of traffic to our sites. But the search-engine landscape is shifting. Today consumers are far more likely to seek out and, what's more, trust what they read on other sites rather than anything we put out. The reasons are both technological and sociological.
Contentious though it may be, Google Books is an undeniably powerful tool. Now Google's given the service a shot in the arm and boosted its search functions. Best of all it now lets you embed previews of texts in your own Web pages.
A key distinction between PR and advertising has always been that public relations is earned media rather than paid. But now, just as search engines have revolutionized the way consumers access information, search marketing is evolving public relations.
In the new Bing-enabled world, search is hotter than ever. Your entire Search Insider lineup has been trading quips and forecasts about the future of search. Aaron Goldman thinks Hunch may be the answer to my call for an iPhone of search. Today, I want to talk about why Wolfram|Alpha is very, very important to watch. It's not an iPhone, but it is changing the rules of search in a very significant way.
A few weeks ago, I attended a panel discussion about climate change where former Vice President Al Gore referred to the United States as an oil "junkie." At the time, it occurred to me that Americans have another addiction, albeit less pernicious: searching with Google. Surely as we use our cars to get around, we use Google to launch our Web queries. As of March, Mountain View owns 72% of the searches made online. We're Google junkies.
What are the "moments of truth" for your brand? For consumer goods, it might be the purchase decision at the grocery store, or how laundry looks when it comes out of the dryer. For service companies, it might occur when the customer connects to an agent. But for many brands there's another moment of truth, which occurs when the consumer sits down at the PC and begins typing.
As much as I like Bing and think that it has effectively closed the gap with Google from a user experience perspective, it's going to require drastic measures to catch Google's market share and revenue. That said, as Microsoft has often stated, we're still in the early innings of the search game and Bing may just be the rally-inducing hit Microsoft needs. But we're still only talking about the search game here. As Gord said, "The iPhone isn't a mobile phone, it's a mobile Web and computing device. The phone is secondary." Bing is still a search engine -- actually, more of a search portal. What search needs is an iPhone. What search needs is a decision engine. Not a search engine with a tagline that says decision engine, but a true decision engine.
If I were on some weird reality show (I know, the "weird'" is redundant), where they made me hire a search strategist, and they only let me give one instruction, it would be this: To understand search, you have to understand human behavior.
Micro-blogging phenomenon Twitter Inc. hasn't figured out how to make money, but that hasn't stopped Web giants Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. from racing to establish real-time search capabilities. The growth of Twitter has fueled expectations that real-time search could drive Internet advertising to new heights by allowing marketers to target relevant ads at consumers interested in breaking events, hot topics or their favorite celebrities. Some proponents argue real-time data and search could develop into a billion-dollar market.
Microsoft is often referred to in the tech industry as "the ultimate platform player," because its considerable fortune has been earned by dominating platforms, most notably the Windows platform that most of the world's PCs use. Lately it has been adding platforms, notably Xbox, which has morphed from a games platform to an interactive device capable of serving all varieties of content, including streaming videos and access to social networking sites and services, and it continues to develop its Windows Mobile platform, whose latest iteration is version 6.5.
Apple's iPhone and other smartphones are generally good for Google: Anything that gets more people using the internet on their cellphones -- and using Google, the web's dominant search engine -- is going to help Google someday make a market in mobile advertising. (That is, as long as it's not cutting down on the amount of time they use the web and Google on their computers.) But Apple's iPhone App Store -- a huge hit -- is not as good for Google. While Google has a tiny business displaying in-app ads, the rest of the movement toward mobile apps and app stores is currently bad for Google. Why?
In a recent survey, we asked B2B buyers how they prefer ordering the things they order all the time. Sixty-three percent said they prefer to order them online. The next largest group was the 15% who would go the traditional route of ordering from a local office over the phone. Another 12% said they'd prefer to order from a real live sales rep. In a recent presentation to a client, I kept that pie chart of results up for a while, allowing it to sink in, because I think the implications are astounding. After it sunk in, I asked what I believe to be a fundamentally important question: "Look at the chart and ask yourself, how closely does your company's strategic direction and resource allocation match that pie chart? That's where your customers are going, and they're moving fast. Are you going to be there when they get there?"
Despite all the bling that has been spent on Bing, few people are giving Microsoft's new search engine much chance of stealing away even a fraction of Google's dominant market share. That makes sense when you consider the strength of Google's brand - the term 'Google' has become the verb for undertaking an online search. The brand, we are reliably told, is now the world's most valuable, with an equity of more than $100bn.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has been talking a lot over the past two weeks about Yahoo and how it competes against Google and Microsoft. Each time she does, I feel like she’s digging the hole even deeper for Yahoo’s prospects in search. Rather than communicate a clear search strategy — which you’d better have if you’re in a war against Google and Microsoft — she resonates mixed messages that Yahoo can ill afford to send.
Microsoft is hoping, of course, that Bing will wipe out Google's dominance in one fell swoop. That, next month, their $80 million ad campaign will cause their 8% market share to morph into 80%. That they'll finally be able to put that pesky Google decade behind them. They won't, of course. They won't because they seem to be forgetting some key fundamentals of the space in which they operate.
Three times in the last month, government agencies have targeted Google for antitrust reviews. An outstanding private lawsuit alleges that Google tried to kill a business-to-business search engine with predatory pricing. And during the waning months of the Bush administration, soon-to-be Obama antitrust chief Christine Varney declared that Google "has acquired a monopoly in Internet online advertising." Last month she asserted that the Bush administration had been too lax in combating monopolistic behavior and that the Obama Justice Department would no longer "stand on the sidelines." This should explain why Dana Wagner, a former Department of Justice antitrust lawyer hired by Google just last year, is rapidly becoming one of the company's public faces.
As companies give mobile-phone advertising a try, many are starting to focus on the search ads that have worked so well on personal computers.
That's THE question to ask: Will our advertising effect consumer actions, and not simply awareness, perceptions and attitudes? But, there's a follow on question to ask: Once advertising has moved someone to experience our brand, will said experience cause them to change their habits? To become a "customer?"
In seeking to make the new search engine Bing as much a part of the popular culture as “bada bing,” Bing Crosby or Stanley Bing, Microsoft is buying prominent placement for bing.com inside television shows and the online video hub Hulu.
I seem to be in the minority. Everybody (including fellow Search Insider Aaron Goldman) seems to be jumping on the Bing bandwagon. It's generated some good initial reviews, and Aaron goes as far as to say, "Bing is far and away the most serious challenge to Google that anyone's ever posed."
The one thing you can say for certain about Twitter is that it makes a terrible first impression. You hear about this new service that lets you send 140-character updates to your "followers," and you think, Why does the world need this, exactly? It's not as if we were all sitting around four years ago scratching our heads and saying, "If only there were a technology that would allow me to send a message to my 50 friends, alerting them in real time about my choice of breakfast cereal."
After reading Joe Mandese's column "Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium," I confess I had exactly the same reaction as that other Joe. "Regularly turn to social media for guidance on purchase decisions"? It seemed that the study that started the whole discussion had missed the point of social media entirely.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Bing.com to the public on Thursday, as expected, at the All Things D conference in San Diego. It will go live worldwide by June 3. But if Microsoft has come up with a clear improvement over Live.com — the also-ran search portal that Bing replaces — it doesn’t quite go far enough to make us feel that it’s time to dump Google.
Microsoft is searching for an answer to a tough problem. That problem is Live.com, which many may not even know is Microsoft’s search engine. While it’s not technically bad, it’s far from being the leading search engine –handling less than ten percent of all searches in the U.S.
In the midst of financial apocalypse, the gadflies and gurus of the global marketplace are gathered at the San Francisco Hilton for the annual meeting of the American Economics Association. The mood is similar to a seismologist convention in the wake of the Big One. Yet surprisingly, one of the most popular sessions has nothing to do with toxic assets, derivatives, or unemployment curves.
"It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you." -- Bill Bryson For those of us with only mortal brainpower, Bill Bryson's vivid imagery renders the concept of complex systems accessible. Complex systems are those that are greater than the sum of their parts; they have properties that cannot be explained through reductionism; they are economies and hurricanes and you and me. Search is a complex system.
Microsoft has used attack ads to go after Apple, and now it has Google in its sights.
I have a difference of opinion with Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. Actually, it's not so much a difference as a question of context. He believes there's room for more visual branding on the search results page. I believe this is a potentially dangerous area that has to be handled very carefully on the part of the engines.
For decades, the nation’s biggest antitrust cases have centered on technology companies. And they have all been efforts by the government to deal with powerful companies with far-reaching influence, like AT&T, the telephone monopoly; I.B.M., the mainframe computer giant; and Microsoft, the powerhouse of personal computer software. Last week, the Obama administration declared a sharp break with the Bush years, vowing to toughen antitrust enforcement, especially for dominant companies. The approach is closer to that of the European Union, where regulators last week fined Intel $1.45 billion for abusing its power in the chip market.
Google has just launched a new “search options” feature on its main search page. When you click on “Search options” you can filter your search by different types of results (videos, forums, and reviews), by time (recent, past 24 hours, past week, past year), as well as seeing related searches, a “wonder wheel” view, or a timeline view.
Every new online search service must face the inevitable question: “Is it better than Google?” WolframAlpha, a powerful new service that can answer a broad range of queries, has become one of the most anticipated Web products of the year. But its creator, Stephen Wolfram, wants to make something clear: Despite the online chatter comparing it to Google, his service is not intended to dethrone the king of search engines.
A guy walks into a search pitch meeting and says, "Thank you for inviting me here today. But I'm not in -- and you don't want someone in -- the search marketing space to be your search vendor." Now the punchline to that could have been the guy ends up on a barstool in about 15 minutes because he was thrown out on his ear. But it wasn't. In fact, the reality was a two-hour discussion about the change that is taking place which has its roots in search, but transcends our business entirely.
Microsoft will argue against a European Commission proposal that it promote competing browsers in its Windows operating system on the ground that such a move would strengthen its rival Google’s dominance in the global search-advertising market, according to a person with direct knowledge of Microsoft’s legal defense.
In the past, we've done Newbie's Guides for certain services, but we wanted to switch things up and really dig into a product's advanced features. Video-sharing site YouTube is the perfect service to start with because it's massively popular and incredibly simple to use, but also has a few powerful features that are tucked away. This guide is to help you learn how to use some of these advanced features and to serve as a simple reference page.
Why don't more brands use organic search results as the ultimate measure of success for their online marketing efforts? If you want to know if your brand is associated with a particular word or idea, then just Google the word or idea, and see if your brand comes up. If you want to see if the messaging in your advertising is getting through, then go to Twitter and search for your message.
Marketers consistently pick up their best lessons in times of crisis. We think differently about ROI. We act more intuitively. We become more agile and flexible. We "sense and respond." We really don't have much of a choice but to act and not allow yesterday's rules to justify complacency. Two weeks ago, for example, many in the marketing community got their first exposure to the massive power of online video via the disgusting Domino's video by (former) Domino's employees on YouTube and, later, the pizza chain's president's highly effective video apology. There's no question that hundreds of C-level memos crying out "we need a social media strategy" flowed from that crisis.
Is social media the new search? Pardon the clichéd phrasing, but it's a question I've been hearing a lot lately, and one I am at least somewhat qualified to answer.
If you can remember the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before Google (Google reviews) (yes, that’s eons ago, I know), the search engine landscape had a face, and his name was Jeeves. AskJeeves.com, the predecessor to Ask.com, was a popular search engine which used the balding cartoon character as its mascot. In 2006, however, Jeeves was “retired” as the search engine’s representative. Today, Jeeves has reemerged.
Twitter hashtags are used to sort and combine tweets around a particular topic. Putting a hashtag after a tweet (like #brandflakes) would allow Twitter search engines to pull together all tweets regarding that particular topic. The practice is popular among tweeters who are chatting within any meme.
I remember it very clearly. Four of us were getting together for breakfast last year at SXSW. We were waiting for a cab, and we started sharing our Twitter stories. Each of us had one…We had used Twitter in ways that it was never imagined to be used, getting real value from it. It was at that point that I started to think about Twitter as something other than a fun little SMS tool. I also started to wonder if Twitter might be the game-changer that finally put some heat on Google…the favorite conjecture of recent times is “Who is the next Google killer?”.
Not so many columns ago, I urged Microsoft to do something amazing in search. Last week, they did. But it wasn't in a good way. I was on the road last week, and I saw three different things land in my inbox about Microsoft and its search efforts. With each email, my frustration mounted. Finally, Friday as I was sitting in Seattle airport, I couldn't contain myself anymore. I sent an email to the most senior person I knew at Microsoft Search. The gist of the email was "don't do it," Yesterday, I got an email back thanking me for my "honest" feedback. Yet somehow, I don't think it will make a difference.
For the past five years, "we" in search have been fighting "them" at the ad agencies for that slowly shifting piece of the overall marketing pie. In large part, we've been talking past each other the same way that jocks and geeks do in high school. As long as the jocks continued to win the affections of the pretty girl with the big marketing budget, the geeks were marginalized, making them an angry, depressed bunch. Well, you know what? Times have changed, and we've won.
Can Microsoft market its way out of the search basement? Probably not, but it's going to try, entrusting roster agency JWT to craft a campaign for its new search engine, alternately dubbed Kumo or Project Kiev or Live Search, depending on who's talking about it.
In just a little over 10 years, Google has built a business that is impossible not to admire. In fact, its success begs the question -- what would Google do (WWGD)? Media pundit and thinker Jeff Jarvis tackles this question head on with a new book by the same title. In "What Would Google Do?," Jarvis breaks down Google's practices into 12 distinct rules and then applies them to aging industries like media and advertising.
Search giant Google announced it is closing down its AdSense video unit—which allows Web sites to show YouTube content and ads—a bit more than a year after the service was introduced.
How better to launch the third day of the Advertising Research Foundation annual conference in New York on innovation than with a digital scientist who lost the biggest innovation war on the Web -- that of search.
The launch of MySpace Music six months ago was supposed to herald a new era, with the four major labels at long last embracing social media as a disruptive force of good and developing a business model which didn't repulse their customers.
I give you the very reason search marketing is the most powerful platform of them all -- the point (aka intent) of the consumer using the channel is perfectly aligned with that of advertisers and the rest of the marketing ecosystem looking to exploit, er, leverage the channel.
The separation between search and social media is melting away, and a new paradigm is taking hold. Finding the right content is as much about whom it comes from as where you find it. By building a network of credible sources via social media, we're able narrow our "searches" to a select group of people whom we trust. For brands, this means a host of new challenges and opportunities are emerging beyond the traditional search channel.
Social media isn't a good medium for advertising. It is the worst medium for advertising. It will never work. It hasn't worked for chat rooms, message boards, AIM or other socially interactive mediums. Jason Calacanis, founder and CEO at Mahalo, told OMMA Global Hollywood attendees Monday that social media may not work, but search does.
I agree about one thing - building ad platforms like Tweetsense will be difficult. But nothing valuable is ever easy. Adwords was not easy. Overture was not easy. What Facebook is building is not easy. And TweetSense won't be easy.
I've tackled some heady questions over the years as a Search Insider -- "Why Can't Everything Be Searchable?" "Will Search Personalization Create Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?" "Should We Fear Ambient Findability?" "Is MyLifeBits the Future of Personalized Search?" And who could forget, "Is Search Rocket Science?" Today, I'll go for the jugular: What's the point of search?
Ross Sandler of RBC has done what every good analyst should do, which is say something interesting. What Ross has said is that, at its current growth rate, Facebook will surpass Google in size by 2011-2012.
Google doesn’t care about social networking. But perhaps it should, since social-networking platforms are gradually making search less relevant.
Over the past three months it has become in vogue to discuss the future of search in one word -- Twitter. With real-time, consumer-driven micro-blogging, Twitter has suddenly become what the next generation of search is to be. I started to discuss this topic in a column a few months ago, but as the buzz keeps getting louder, it seems to be a good time to revisit and debate the merits of the noise and the potential for both Twitter and the crowd sourcing of search to become the future of the space.
Search, and Google in particular, was the first true language of the Web. But I've often called it a toddler's language - intentional, but not fully voiced. This past few weeks folks are noticing an important trend - the share of traffic referred to their sites is shifting. Facebook (and for some, like this site, Twitter) is becoming a primary source of traffic. Why? Well, two big reasons. One, Facebook has metastasized to a size that rivals Google. And two, Facebook Connect has come into its own.
I wrote an entire chapter in my book, Branding Only Works on Cattle, about how the ubiquity of information available to consumers via Internet search (access, richness, and authenticity) search, would destroy the fundamental, command-and-control presumptions of branding. Thanks to a tip from a fellow dim bulber, today, now I'm thinking that maybe I got it backwards?
Twitter sees lucrative opportunities in search, albeit a different kind of search than what Google offers, and, as co-founder Biz Stone told Ad Age recently, "we'll certainly be exploring those."
Google’s appetite for information is its strength, but for overwhelmed users sifting through results can present a challenge. Many tools exist to help tap Google’s higher-level indexing capabilities and make your queries more efficient. Here are a few easy ones.
The proposition "If we build it they will come" is by now nearly universally recognized as a fallacy by marketers, as well as, nowadays, even most real estate developers. Unfortunately in many sectors of the online advertising world, where behavioral is all the buzz, another often unwarranted assumption has taken hold, namely that "If an ad is (apparently) relevant consumers will engage with it," regardless of how inappropriate or irrelevant the context of the page it runs on.
What? Is Battelle crazy? Hear me out. Think back when YouTube was growing like a weed, and Google snapped it up. Most folks (including me) saw this as Google "getting into the video business," and sure, that in fact was one part of the equation. But as we all know, making money from consumer driven video ain't a cakewalk, and hosting that video is really, really expensive. So why did Google really buy YouTube? My answer, which of course looks brilliant given it's 20/20 hindsight: YouTube was a massive search asset.
Forget MSN and Yahoo, Twitter search is the biggest threat Google has faced. Sooner or later Twitter is going to figure out that search is the way to make money but how could they improve it? What would Google do?
Yahoo is looking to boost the value of its display and search inventory with the launch of three new ad products, each of which promises better targeting by taking into account users’ previous Web activities.
Here we go again. Over the course of the last several months, we’ve heard that FriendFeed was going to kill Twitter. Then Twitter was going to kill FriendFeed. Then Facebook was going to kill FriendFeed. Now Facebook is going to kill Twitter. But something odd is happening. Instead of any of them dying, they’re all thriving, each gaining traffic and users — and they’ll continue to. So what gives?
TweetNews uses Twitter to rank stories that are so new they may not have enough inbound links for algorithm-based ranking systems to prioritize them. The result is a search engine mashup that tracks breaking news stories ranked by Twitter search results, offering faster updates, better relevance and more in-depth coverage than either source by itself.
Google is experimenting with a search feature that allows users to tailor their searches by creating a list of sites they would like to appear most in search results.
The explosion of all types of video content on YouTube and other sites is quickly transforming online video from a medium strictly for entertainment and news into one that is also a reference tool. As a result, video search, on YouTube and across other sites, is rapidly morphing into a new entry point into the Web, one that could rival mainstream search for many types of queries.
In the current economic climate, we all have a craving for comfort foods. And in digital marketing, Google AdWords is everyone's favorite comfort food. But with everyone focusing on AdWords, how can marketers differentiate themselves? One way is through contextual advertising platforms, which offer marketers opportunities to engage with prospects while they are reading content on a Web page.
When it comes to holiday shopping, moms rely more on research than do women without kids, according to the most recent Mindshare Online Research study.
Earlier this year, Google Suggest finally made it to the Google home page. The feature suggests queries as you begin typing in the search box. Now Google is testing providing links to web sites, direct answers and even ads that appear within the Google Suggest list.
Google and Procter & Gamble are promoting their "innovative" collaboration to find ways to draw more online attention, having already done so for viewership of a video for Tide's "Talking Stain" commercial (which I thought was absolutely hilarious). So does it make sense to be hunting for the future of Internet marketing? Or should they be gathering?