If Google Co-Op, Yahoo My Web, and other such developments from the search engines continue to emerge and grow in prominence, then the search engines and their hundreds of millions of users will soon find themselves subjugating to a new ruling class: the Aristocracy of Relevance.
Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel, recently quoted in the Financial Times of London, had a bit of friendly business advice for search-giant hopeful Microsoft. The Financial Times quote reads: "My impartial advice to Microsoft is that you have no chance. The search business has been formed." I'd like to disagree.
Maybe it's just stating the obvious, but I've noticed that the cost of certain keyword categories tends to skyrocket every year around this time. Terms like "buy flowers," and "unique gift ideas" climb higher as marketers fight to get in front of the hundreds of thousands of time-strapped, guilt-ridden sons like myself who head online each year to find, buy and send the perfect tribute to their moms.
I pity the poor new entry in the search engine space. How do you possibly stake out new territory in the hottest online space there is? How do you attract enough users to gain a critical mass? Well, you have to offer something different.
Given the landscape and the medium's inherent and ever-growing complexity, I just don't understand why some search engine marketing firms feel the need to become interactive agencies overnight....
"United 93": a tale of patriotism, heroism, terrorism, and... search engine marketing?
If stock prices or the weather change suddenly, if a Cinderella team or an unknown first-round draft pick appears out of nowhere, or if there's a mid-day breakthrough in the fight against bird flu, are you ready to handle the search traffic that ensues? Are you able to leverage it to your benefit?
According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, 45 percent of Internet users--about 60 million Americans--say that the Web helped them make big decisions or deal with major episodes in their lives in the previous two years. Recently I conducted a highly informal study, tracking a colleague's search habits for one week, to confirm or refute what the survey is telling us....
Let me quote some rather startling numbers to you from a recent eye tracking study we did. In the study, we examined where people first looked on a search results page, where they first scanned a listing, and where they eventually clicked.
Many of you likely are aware that Google recently dipped its toe in the waters of the print ad world and found those waters to be choppy. Some industry experts believe that this lackluster performance proves that print (and even radio or TV) media buying can't be transformed into an online biddable marketplace like search. I'm not so sure about that....