The perfect search engine would be a small microchip implanted in our brain. It would act as an instantaneous connection between the vast complexity of our brain and the vast complexity of the Web. To find something, we would just have to think about it and the chip would match that concept with the most relevant destination online.
Google took another step forward in personalization with its new My Search History
service, now in beta. Is this the future of search?
While a booming industry has sprung up around paid search and its application to customer acquisition, there is a shortfall when it comes to search's strategic impact on corporate and brand reputation. This is surprising, considering the prevalence of mega brands with damaging third-party content appearing within their top search-engine results (note United Airlines, McDonald's, Splenda, and even iPod among others).
I stopped by Citibank on my lunch break and ran into an old friend. "Are you still doing computers?" he asked. "I'm in the Internet business," I replied. That was a quick enough response given the circumstances, even if it doesn't tell the whole story. I never once thought I worked in the computer industry. The Internet is omnipresent and device-agnostic; confining it to computers would be like saying cars can only drive on racetracks.
In preparing for a presentation I'm going to do in a month or so to a group of catalogue publishers, I decided to do some research to see how search worked to bring traffic to some well known online catalogues. What searches translated into traffic for Lands End, L.L. Bean, or Victoria's Secret?
The BtoB NetMarketing breakfasts are proving to be among the most reliable sources for column ideas, if only to remind me, every time that they're in my city, that it's time to write about business-to-business trends again.
Studies have indicated over 70 percent of Web traffic arrives from search engines. Every marketing executive knows the statistics - the top 10 search engines account for over 90 percent of traffic; 80 percent of search site visitors will not pass the first results page; 50 percent will click on the top 10 sites rather than scrolling down a listing page. Accordingly, marketing executives pay significant money to ensure their sites are highly ranked.
Listening to advertising guru Jack Myers at an executive briefing event last week, my mind kept racing ahead. Myers gave an energizing presentation where he discussed technologies changing the television business, market opportunities, and the increasing demands for creativity. Before the presentation, someone asked me, "What was InterActiveCorp thinking when acquiring Ask Jeeves?" My first response was honest, but not all that insightful, as I yammered about the high growth potential for search. Then, during the Myers talk, I jotted down the real answer: "Ask Jeeves: Largest Local Search Engine." If IAC CEO Barry Diller makes good on his …