• Search Behavior: I Don't Know What I Want, Or Where To Find It
    In my last two columns, I looked at how search plays a part when we're in two information gathering states: I know what I'm looking for and where to find it; and, I know what I'm looking for but not where to find it. Today, I'll look at what happens when we don't know what we're looking for or where to find it
  • More On The Search And Brand Impact Of Vanity Generic Top Level Domains
    In my last column, I discussed some of the challenges of moving an existing Web site to a new vanity generic top-level domain (gTLD). In this installment, I will provide a review of several existing gTLDs, and discuss the branding and search impact, and also the process of applying for a gTLD.
  • Behavioral Targeting's Predictive Future
    The Tour de France ended this past weekend, and if you watched any of it on TV, you were overwhelmed with ads for high-end bicycle brands like Colnago and Pinarello. It makes a certain amount of sense that these companies would advertise in conjunction with the largest and most-watched cycling event in the world. Of the millions who follow the race, though, how many are actually in the market for a $10,000 bike? That disparity between the Tour ads and the Tour audience is representative of the issues with contextual targeting -- and it explains why the next frontier in …
  • An Open Letter To Steve Ballmer
    Every time I read about Microsoft these days I'm reminded of the tagline from "Hellboy II" ("Believe It Or Not, He's the Good Guy"). Much as it's hard to like Microsoft these days (especially if you've recently attempted to install Vista and found that none of your old printers work, or tried to get your brand new Windows Mobile-powered device to connect to Exchange), Microsoft represents the only remaining counterweight to a complete dominance of the online advertising business by Google. For this reason alone we should all be rooting for it, and it is in this spirit that I …
  • Exploring The Value Of Parked Domain Traffic
    I have been reading about the lawsuit recently filed against Google that alleges traffic received from parked domain sites was low quality. What is most interesting about this topic are the sharply conflicting viewpoints online marketers have concerning the value of traffic from these sites.
  • Search Behavior: I Know What I Want, But Not Where To Find It
    Last week I looked at search behaviors when we knew what we were looking for and where to find it. This week we'll look at what happens when you know what you're looking for -- but you're not sure where to find it.
  • Searchery Rhymes: 2008 Edition
    Now that I have a little tyke of my own, I've developed a new appreciation for nursery rhymes. They're my go-to anytime Eliara starts acting fussy. The problem is I that I never know more than one verse so I have to start improvising. Last week, after the 10th reprise of "She'll be comin' round the mountain" had me riffing on Sue Decker and Yahoo, I knew it was time for another installment of Searchery Rhymes. Please enjoy with a side of Apple Seuss...
  • A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words
    We YouTube our videos, Flickr our photos and put both up on Facebook. The proliferation of image-based content meant that it was only a matter of time before images hit our search results pages. What effects do these changes to the search results page have on brands and businesses? As search results move away from being only text, how can companies ensure they have high rankings?
  • No Time For Gloom Or Doom!
    Last week the online advertising industry woke up to the fact that it is not immune to the effects of a broad-based macroeconomic slowdown. Even Google (whose Q2 results were actually stellar), got punished, but that's just because Wall Street's incredibly high expectations are never matched by reality. Elsewhere, at ValueClick and MSN, poor results (attributable to weakness in the display sector) suggest that the industry may be on the verge of a watershed moment in which search and display don't converge, but go their separate ways, with one deemed the winner and the other the loser.
  • Searching For Connectivity
    I'm writing this week's column from WORLDCOMP'08: The 2008 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing. It's a collection of 25 subconferences being held in Las Vegas; I'm here for the one on Semantic Web and Web Services. The first keynote speaker is Dave Patterson, from the U.C. Berkeley Parallel Computing Lab. He's followed by Anousheh Ansari of Ansari X Prize fame. And, like so many Web-focused or -related conferences I've been to recently, there's no wireless connectivity.
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