• Search Behavior: I Know Just What I'm Looking For
    We seek information to fill gaps in our existing knowledge. The extent of that current knowledge and how we've structured it will play a large part in determining intent. It will help shape our knowledge requirements, our strategies for retrieval and how we will evaluate information scent. As stated in my previous two columns, we're generally in one of three states when we turn online for information; we know what we're looking for and where to find it; we know what we're looking for, but not where to find it; or, we don't know what we're looking for or where ...
  • Anythinggoes? The Impact Of New ICANN Vanity Top-Level Domains
    As if marketing on our little Worldwide-Interweb / Series of Tubes wasn't already wild enough, the governing body over all Internet domain names just held a vote to ensure that things will get a little wilder. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted at its June meeting in Paris to open up root level generic Top-Level Domains to private entities. In addition to commonly known extensions -- such as .com, .net, and .org -- individuals, corporations and non-profits may apply for .anything, or literally any word or phrase not taken that contains three or more characters.
  • Search Untethered
    Several months ago Google released an astonishing, but underappreciated, tidbit about iPhone users and their search behavior. Specifically, Google disclosed it received 50 times more search requests from the iPhone than from any other mobile device.
  • Manufacturing Relevance And Experience On The Fly
    A recent MarketingSherpa survey reported that more than 40% of marketers said that they didn't track conversions (23%) or ROI (20%) for their search campaigns. Like it or not, the focus in paid search is real-time optimization of keywords: bidding and all things click-related. This is the playing field where we primarily fix our attention based on its competitive, dynamic nature. Is this focus important? Yes, but there's a price we pay for such a polarized view.
  • Is The Search Industry Closed for Business? Or Just Opening?
    With the announcement of Google's deal with Yahoo to serve search ads within the Yahoo network, the U.S domestic search industry suddenly looks a lot less competitive than before. Yahoo has stated it isn't getting out of the search business, and MSN remains firmly committed to being a player. Yet the current data shows Google north of 60% market share. The view in Europe is even more dramatic, where in several countries Google is for all intents the player with 80-90% market share.
  • Foraging For Information With Search
    In my last column, we looked at berrypicking as an analogy for gathering information. The theory was put forward in 1989 by Marcia Bates. Then, in 1995, two researchers found even more inherent behaviors demonstrated in the way we seek information. It turns out that we may literally hunt for information.
  • In A Converging Media World, What's A Search Marketer To Do?
    There's no question that the pervasiveness of the digital platform is changing the face of media as people take control of their consumption, leaving marketers, agencies and publishers scrambling to integrate their assets. The result is a convergence of channels -- my favorite is "digital print" as exemplified by the Amazon Kindle -- and a convergence of marketing tactics. It's inevitable that silos will come tumbling down and, when they do, everyone with a stake in search marketing better be ready. Because no CMO is going to settle for a search-only solution. Nor should they. So what can search marketers ...
  • We May Both Be Speaking English, But...
    I was back at home in London recently and I did the unthinkable. Twice. And both incidents occurred on the same evening. Now for this story you need to know that I'm a Brit living in New York with a VERY strong British accent....
  • Inside Microsoft's War Room
    The titanic clash between Microsoft (aka "The Evil Empire") and Google aka "The Don't Be Evil Empire") is accelerating, and while most attention focuses on the ongoing on-again, off-again Yahoo deal, the most significant elements of Microsoft's strategic plan are being laid irrespective of the deal's ultimate outcome. Let's take an imaginary walk through Microsoft's War Room, spend some time studying the "threat board," and assessing the major threats and opportunities as they might be perceived by a Redmondian. (Note: all points in this article are conjectural and have not been conveyed or even suggested by any living and breathing ...
  • Berrypicking Your Way through The Web
    In the last three columns, I explored the fundamentals of humans seeking information. To refresh your memory, the purpose of this series is to explore the importance of branding on the search page. Taking several steps back to begin my run at this topic (and risking a series that is "long and extremely wind baggy," in the words of one reader), we're now starting to get at some of the important concepts to understand how we interact with a search results page.
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