• Test-driving Quintura Visual Search Navigation
    Building on the rich search user-interface crowd that now includes Yahoo Mindset, ChaCha, and Become, Russian search engine Quintura unveiled its new, visually based search interface on Monday. I checked it out.
  • The Hidden Cost Of A Link
    How much is a link back to your site worth to you? That's one of the questions that arises with PayPerPost, the service which, as its name suggests, offers a marketplace where advertisers can pay for bloggers to post about them with a link to their site, all within the blog's editorial content. The link itself is arguably the most valuable part of the whole operation.
  • Relevance Is Relative -- Some Thoughts On Quality Score
    As of last week, Google now tells advertisers how their ads' Quality Scores rate. Quality, as Google has it, means relevance; delivering Quality Score grading is Google's gentle nudge that advertisers create more relevant ads. And if Quality Score is making paid ads more relevant for searchers who are looking to shop, it's worth asking where the future of organic search really lies.
  • Using Effective Keyword Strategies
    An advertiser's keyword list will determine the cost, size and reach of his advertising account. However, many new online marketers are unsure where to start when selecting an effective list. Will very broad keywords bring too many untargeted customers to the site? Will keywords that are too specific not bring in enough traffic? Unfortunately, there is no rule book for selecting the most effective keywords, but thoughtful selection and ad creation can help to develop a cost-effective campaign.
  • I Have Seen the Future (Thanks to Regular Coffee)
    Why do epiphanies always happen in the middle of the night? The fact that I was in a semiconscious state for this particular epiphany has everything to do with the fact that we ran out of decaf at the office yesterday and I figured I could squeeze in just one cup of regular coffee without serious side effects. I was wrong. This particular epiphany was catalyzed by a short news story about the new research processor chip that Intel is working on. It promises to be a performance breakthrough of breathtaking proportions and while it's destined for supercomputers, the trickle-down …
  • Should Marketers Outsource Search?
    In my last column, I covered the ongoing debate about whether or not search marketing is rocket science. Ultimately, I downplayed the importance of that issue and put the focus on the real question behind this hotly contested topic -- should marketers outsource search management to dedicated firms?
  • Imagining A Web Where Links Don't Matter
    Everywhere I turn, the SEO discussions center on linking and link development. Instead of just extolling the value of links, I started to wonder what would happen if links weren't so highly valued. Imagine if, in this "Twilight Zone" exercise, you woke up one day to find that the major search engines no longer used inbound links as a way to rank Web sites or other types of online content. The effect would be calamitous, on par with the Department of Treasury one day saying that greenbacks would no longer be valued as currency.
  • YouTube's Search Fix
    In the midst of ongoing frictions between YouTube and Big Media, I'd like to suggest a change that could help both sides. To fight piracy and provide more value to the entertainment industry, YouTube should alter its site search ranking to favor its partners -- the roughly 25 big media players like Sony Pictures, Capitol Records, and NBC, each of whom have their own channels within YouTube.
  • Third-Party Serving In Search: The Solution To Click Fraud And Other Dilemmas?
    Search is the ultimate data vehicle. Every action is tracked, captured, measured, analyzed and then discussed ad nauseam. However, a funny flaw exists in this data-driven marketing vehicle. That flaw? The serving of all advertising.
  • The Inevitability Of Personalized Search
    Google's announcement a little more than a week ago that it would be showing personalized search results to more people through a change in the sign-in/sign-out default signaled perhaps the most significant change in search marketing in the past few years. Although Google's announcement heralds a relatively minor change in terms of user experience, at least for the present time, it represents a step down a path from which there is no return. This path marks a dramatically different direction for search that will have far-reaching implications, both for advertisers and users.
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