From Bing-A-Ling To Real-Time Rise: 2009 Search Highlights

It's been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride due to this year's recession, but search has had a big year in a number of ways.  A major engine folded, Bing emerged as a real contender for increased market share, and real-time social search moved forward at a quick pace. These were among the stories that I spent the most time covering and analyzing this year, so here are some links to those columns in 2009, along with some additional thoughts:

Why Search Marketing Will Continue To Hold Its Own In A Recession  - This column was actually published in late 2008, but I think it is worth another read as the recession continues.  Sure, things have gotten better since Q1 2009, but understanding the basic value of search puts perspective on marketing strategy into 2010.

How Search Fits Into The Web Site Design Process - A review of thinking about search during the critical design and redesign process.  I've been beating this drum for years, but 2009 was one of the first years I can recall when clients proactively followed this advice (though the column was inspired by one marketing exec who was about to create a search mess in his site redesign process).  I expect this will become a bigger requirement in 2010.



One Keyword, 909 Advertisers - Think that keyword competition in paid search hasn't hit critical mass?  Try competing against 909 advertisers for one keyword.

Search Behavior Reveals Personal Impact of U.S. Financial Crisis - While many areas of keyword search are stable and predictable, many other areas have changed dramatically as a result of the recession, and most marketers across many different verticals should be reevaluating and researching their keyword lists. 

Google Ups Share of Search To 72%; Yahoo, MSN and Ask Continue To Tank - More on the race for search share.  I still maintain that Bing will rise at the expense of Yahoo, but not so much at the expense of Google.  The data continues to back this up.

20 Funny, Clueless, Weird, and Existential Google Keyword Searches  - Sometimes the topics of my column find me in odd ways.  This one started with a lost set of keys. 

Are Shortened URL Services Sustainable For SEO and Social Traffic?  - There are a number of major issues with URL shortening services, whether you are using them with search or social.  More marketers have become aware of these issues, and have started doing it themselves. 

Optimizing For Natural and Paid Search, After The Click - A review of some of the takeaways at the Search Insider Summit Captiva breakout panel on optimizing for conversion, post search-click.  There is no better way to optimize both paid and natural campaigns than by crafting an experience that converts at a higher rate.

Building a Real-Time Social Search Engine: Why Google Should Buy Twitter  - The first of one of my many columns this year on real time and social search.  In the end, Google didn't have to buy them outright - they just bought their way in.

Bing's Gain Will Be Yahoo's Loss, While Actual Google Share Varies by Vertical  - More thoughts and analysis on the search share race, and also some shared findings of my own enterprise search share study.

What An Algorithmic Approach To Twitter's Social-Search Layer Might Look Like - Hmm.  Social relevance.  Are humans being turned into nodes? 

By The Numbers: Search Share Pre- and Post-Bing  - More analysis on search engine market share in the wake of Bing's launch.

But Enough About BingHoo, Let's Talk About BingHoo - I just couldn't quit talking about search share.

Study: Display Provides Lift To Search  - Results of an iCrossing study comparing display's impact on natural search.

Real-Time Search Is Much Bigger Than Just Twitter  - With so many things going in real-time and social search, Twitter was still getting all the credit.  At the time, there was a lot of confusion among search marketers about the possibilities of real-time search.

Recency in Real-Time Search: It's Much Broader Than Just 'Right Now'  - Meet "recency" - the new "R-word" in search. 

Wowd: A Real-Time Search Engine That Will Make You Go 'Wow' - Very cool search engine concept - one of the few that can truly be called unique and innovative.  Despite Google's real-time launch with similar rich-app SERPs, I still believe that they can offer a unique signal to real-time results, as their user-base continues to grow.  It's a different kind of search result that no other engine -- even Google -- currently offers. 

A Big Week For Real-Time and Social Search - More thoughts and analysis in the wake of the Google and Bing deals with Twitter. 

PPC: Commercial Real-Time Search (Almost) Realized  - A type of real-time search that has gone almost completely ignored. 

Paid Exclusion: Bing and News Corp. Discuss De-Indexing Sites In Google - For all of the hype in the mainstream media, I still think this is a lot of a talk.  But I gave in and analyzed it any way.

On The Impact Of Personalization and Real-Time Search - It's time for search marketers to start reevaluating their approach to search.  What a perfect way to end the year.

Happy holidays to all.

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