Great Search Expectations

With my first column of 2010 I would like to address expectations for the year.  There is a laundry list of industry-specific items that are long overdue for change.  So, the overdue items I am covering today are the ones that I have written about in the past.


Expanded Broad Match:  It has been years since Google lit my fire with this one.  Nowadays everyone has experienced a broad match blow-up; most search marketers even know it when they see it, how to troubleshoot and what to do on their own to fix it.  I have also realized that this was a terrific income move for Google, and thus there will never be an opt-out of the expanded version of the broad match.  My 2010 expectation is for search marketers to do something about it.  Nearly every new client or prospect that has provided me access to Google in the last two years has been astonished by the findings I get from one Search Query Performance report.  These reports are extremely useful for identifying negatives and new keyword opportunities, but they are underutilized. 



Multichannel Integration:  Advertisers have progressively exhibited better integration of online and offline advertising, which is scrutinized heavily during major televised events, like awards shows and the Super Bowl.  Since my first observation of only five Super Bowl advertisers appearing in paid search results in 2006, I have watched advertisers jump on the opportunity to bid on relevant keywords and phrases like "Super Bowl ads" on game day. My 2010 expectation for multichannel integration is to take it a step further.  It's time to understand how keyword phrases correspond to where consumers are in the purchase cycle, and market to them accordingly.  We get caught up in what search can do for other channels, but what can the best practices of others teach us?

Breakthrough Search Engines:  I have written about demographic search engines, like Rushmore Drive; the fact-finding search engine, Wolfram Alpha; and the "decision" engine, Bing.  Rushmore Drive has already closed, Wolfram Alpha is great if you want to reverse-engineer my birthday, and Bing's search share isn't moving as fast as any of us had hoped.  My expectation for 2010 is that Google isn't going anywhere.  As much as I would love to see more competition, the fact remains that even I conduct at least 95% of my searches through Google.

Client/Agency Relationships: Search Insider readers and Summit attendees have heard my frustrations -- about everything from the RFP process to the expectations agencies and clients have for each other. Clients want lower fees and more service, so agencies get in price wars, the business goes to the lowest bidder and by the time the contract is up, another RFP is underway. My expectation for 2010 is that the vicious cycle of RFPs and bad break-ups won't be ending this year.  Unfortunately, there is still so much new search business still out there that we haven't reached our tipping point yet. 

What are your expectations for 2010?

3 comments about "Great Search Expectations".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ellie Johnston from Brandojo, January 15, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.

    Wow, I'm really liking Wolfram Alpha. Thanks for sharing.

    I think we're instore for more of the same in the client/agency frustration arena and I think mobile everything is gaining traction.

  2. Jordan Kettner from Enquiro, January 16, 2010 at 1:37 a.m.

    Interesting point about the client/agency relationships. I wonder how the expansion of online channels like social media and mobile will effect the RFP process.

    Will clients be looking to have a one-stop agency?
    Will they want separate agencies for each marketing channel?
    Will the agencies be aware that this is having an effect on the RFP?

  3. susan Burrows, January 20, 2010 at 11:08 a.m.

    How do I access the 2009 Top 20 Search Agency list

Next story loading loading..