Last week, I talked about the importance of asking why in marketing. I also talked about human hardware and operating systems -- where I eventually find the end of my "why" trails. This week, I want to discuss two books that look at why we're wired the way we are. One is a deeper dive than the other, but they're both well worth the effort.
For the last seven years, there is one vertical search engine that I've used that often exceeds my use of Google and the other major engines. DomainTools.com (formerly Whois Source), is a vertical search engine for domains, and contains a ton of useful data for search engine marketers, IT professionals, domainers, and marketers who are looking for a centralized search information around a particular domain, live Web site or existing company.
It may be practically impossible to track down online scammers, but as people become savvier in how to use search engines, some scams can be contained. I found this out firsthand when two reports of a Craigslist real-estate scam came my way.
For more than a decade, the primary context of search was to access resources located on the Internet. Once the Web became popular in the mid-1990s, masses flocked to directories such as Lycos, Magellan and Yahoo and to first-generation search tools such as Hotbot, WebCrawler and Altavista. Google came along with a radically improved method of weighing the relative importance of Web pages, and once it plugged in the monetization engine, what we know today as "the search ecosystem" was born. For the past five years or so, this ecosystem has been remarkably stable, but it is about to shift …
Yahoo alleges that its recently launched tool, Search Assist, is like a smart friend "who knows how to find the answers to everything under the sun." That actually seems to be a common mantra among a lot of search marketers today. This idea is referred to as "ambient findability" -- find anything, anytime, anywhere. Sounds wonderful, but as a search marketer, rather than as a search consumer, I am finding this to be less and less true
Probability is a consistent master. In many, many things, given a big enough population, you'll find a bell curve rising from the center, showing how closely we adhere to the norm. As much as we think we're unique and distinctive, when you start to look at why we do things, more often than not we find ourselves bound by what I call human hardware and operating system issues. These are products of how we've evolved as a species, our physical shells, the mechanisms of our brain (all hardware constraints) or how our society has conditioned us to act in a …
Well it didn't take long for news to hit of the first major search-related acquisition of the year. Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it was buying FAST Search & Transfer for $1.2 billion. Old-school search junkies might remember FAST from the days it ran AllTheWeb.com, before selling that property and other assets to Overture. Today, FAST is focused solely on enterprise search, so this is not a distribution play for Microsoft. But my guess is better monetizing its distribution is its primary benefit.
The most common reaction I hear when I invite a friend to Spock is, "Not another!" That's understandable; 2007 was the year that accepting online invites went from exciting to burdensome. Yet Spock brings new approaches to search engine optimization that I anticipate will become a model for other sites, and it offers its own benefits for users to manage their online reputations, so it's one invite worth accepting, if just to see how it stands out.
2007 was a year of extraordinary consolidation in the online ad sector, and one very interesting consequence of this consolidation is the fact that the Big Three search engines (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft) have acquired companies whose suite of tools include Web analytics and online campaign management software. This integration brings with it some very interesting possibilities for the Big Three -- which are each in a struggle to squeeze the most money from their inventories -- and some extraordinary dangers for marketers who use one or more of these tools.
For the past week, I've been hanging out by a lake with a group of friends. The pile of us booked out a small compound with three cabins and, despite having access to the Internet, I've managed to use my drug of choice only sporadically, checking email every other day and putting up a short post or two. On the whole, I'm going through withdrawal -- and it's not all bad.