For SEMs and online advertisers, 2006 was a bubble bath. The tone was set at the end of 2005, when Google paid $1 billion for a 5% stake in AOL. Later this year, Google paid $1.65 billion in its well-publicized acquisition of YouTube, a company with sixty-five employees, no profit model, and a bevy of illegally copied material (complete with litigious owners waiting in the wings). Into this mess splashed an acquisition that finally made business sense: the Publicis Groupe's plan to buy Digitas.
Right about this time of year, you'll see two things coming in your inbox in the way of search-related columns. First, there's predictions for 2007 accompanied by scorecards of success for last year's predictions; second, recaps of the top searches of 2006. I didn't make any predictions last year, so I figure it's too late to jump on the particular bandwagon, but as to the second, I'm fully on board! Last year, I took a look across the major engines and was somewhat disheartened with the lack of intellectual depth that was shown in our collective quest for knowledge. So, ...
It's that time of year when everyone and their mother comes out with their year-end Top-10 lists. In fact, my mother just released her list of Top 10 limbs she'd lose for me to give her a grandchild. Rather than bore you with my list of Top 10 ways to deflect pestering questions from family members, I present the Top 10 Takeaways From 2006's Top 10 Search Queries.
The search engines' lists of the top searches for 2006 signaled a slow news year. How could a year that felt so fulfilling appear to be about nothing? To find out, we'll have to look far deeper than the list of the search trends that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft's Live Search and Lycos released.
It's that time of year. Time for lists about the Best Of This and the Worst Of That. While some people live by these lists or look forward to their publication, I confess that I just can't do it. I'm not wired to come up with New Year's resolutions or say, before I go here's what I want to do. Instead, I prefer to give thanks for what I've experienced. So, as 2006 comes to a close, here are the things to which I Give Thanks.
Last spring, I attended the Pubcon conference in Boston put on by Webmaster World. During one of the breaks between the sessions, I was tucked away in an empty room trying to keep up with the inevitable flood of e-mails. Well, truth be told, the room wasn't quite empty. There was another person, also hunched over a laptop, working at the table next to me. This was the way I met Yahoo's Tim Converse.
Search engines and natural search optimizers are starting to deal with new difficulties in the crawling, indexing and measurement of Web site content. In the page-based paradigm, these activities have been somewhat straightforward, but challenging questions are beginning to arise as more Webmasters are beginning to employ rich internet applications (RIA) designed fundamentally to improve Internet navigation and user experience.
Once every twelve months, as tradition now dictates, I get to publicly eat my hat. It's both humbling and cathartic, and it's in line with the values of accountability that search marketers preach. Of the eight predictions for 2006 that I penned in January, I aced three, was way off on two, and got partial credit on the others. Let's reminisce.
Just as a marriage counselor needs to develop and implement the skills necessary to address the "relationship issues" caused by couples' conflicting wants and needs, search marketers implementing both paid and organic search initiatives must do the same. How so? In many ways, integrating the two is analogous to marriage. For starters, it sounds like a great idea and everyone is excited about it--but ultimately it's not so easy to make it work.
This month's spotlight falls on social search, sometimes also called Web 2.0 search or third-generation search. Much funding has followed the premise that the next big thing is to harness the power of communities to generate more relevant search recommendations. There are so many companies doing exciting things that what follows is just part one of a two-part article reporting on this niche.