Aaron Goldman did the SEM world a big service when he discussed the degree to which the "buzz" of search industry insiders swings wildly from conference to conference. It seems that the ostensible leaders of this industry either have the attention span of gnats, or are so enormously influenced by the obsessions of the day that they are incapable of agreeing on a consistent agenda. This is especially remarkable, given that the agenda of marketers -- the people who pay Google's bills -- is as consistent from year to year as the Rock of Gibraltar, and can best be summed ...
During the 2008 election, President-Elect Barack Obama and Senator John McCain had successful strategies that included ground-breaking use of online media in a presidential campaign to reach voters and convey their platforms. Arguably, the popularity of online forums and maximizing the opportunity for consumer engagement through online presence allowed the candidates to be in two places at one time - live, in-market shaking hands while also available 24/7 online -- without collapsing from exhaustion on the campaign trail. So what should we take away from the use of search and social media in the 2008 presidential election?
Last week, I was in Park City, Utah for the Search Insider Summit. As usual, a number of insight comments bubbled to the top over the three and a half days. This time, many of them were centered on the Google hegemony. In fact, on Day 2, we tackled that very question with Danny Sullivan, Jeff Pruitt, President of SEMPO (day job: iCrossing) and John Tawardros from iProspect. What did we resolve? Not very much, but that didn't make the conversation any less interesting.
Last week's Search Insider Summit was filled with compelling content, candid conversation and concrete takeaways -- sorry, ran out of Cs! There was one thing palpably missing though -- BUZZ. Perhaps it was the state of the economy, or maybe it was the lack of snow in Park City, but SIS attendees were decidedly low-key, with no single issue, trend, topic or platform bubbling up and getting the crowd jazzed. That said, there were some recurring themes woven throughout the panel and breakout discussions. And, as always, I present them to you here in Top 10 format.
At MediaPost's Search Insider Summit last week in Park City, Utah, some attendees were frustrated over the economy, and most people were frustrated by the lack of snow. Yet the biggest source of frustration seemed to be Google. It came up during a panel early on Friday specifically about Google. It also came up in the "What's Next" panel that I moderated. And when I facilitated a roundtable on e-commerce following my panel, the participants were most talkative when they started kvetching about Google.
None of us have crystal balls or the power of clairvoyance. Still, there are trends and scenarios which are evident enough to provide a better than even chance of manifesting themselves in the upcoming year. So here's a list of ten things that will happen in 2009 in the world of search. If I'm wrong about any of them, I'll refund all of the money you spent to read this article.
Last week, a grim headline from Fox News caught my eye: "'Neck Breaking' Google Search Performed on Missing Florida Toddler's Family Computer." The story is about missing 3-year-old Caylee Anthony, whose mother is currently awaiting trial for the crime. Additional terms that appear in the Google search history of the Anthony family home computer: "household weapons," "peroxide," "acetone," "alcohol," and "shovels," as well as a search on how to make chloroform. So, due to that search history -- did you form an opinion as to the relative guilt of the mother?
Last week, I talked about branding on the search page, effectively intercepting the user during consideration. Certainly if you're a household brand name, you have to be at or near the top of searches for your product category if you want to defend your position in the prospect's consideration scent. But what if you're a new entry into the market or a relatively unknown brand. Can you still effectively play in the category? Yes, but you have to be smarter than your behemoth competitors. Fortunately, in most cases, that's not too hard to do when it comes to search.
As if we all didn't already know, news reports all over the U.S. informed us on Monday that we are now officially in a recession, and have been in the middle of one since December 2007. Despite the strangeness of such a coordinated and backdated declaration, this recession timeframe provides a clear look back at just how well the search channel has performed, and elevates its prominence in the advertising space.
Two weeks ago, both Yahoo and Google introduced changes to the U.S. search results experience. Yahoo brought Glue to the States; the original version was introduced in India. Google brought forward GoogleWiki, which is about as close as Google has ever come to allowing users to taint the perfection that is the Google algorithm system. As one might expect, the Google release drew the lion's share of commentary, much of it for the wrong reasons around privacy. But combined, these two offerings signal three major shifts in the search landscape.