• What's New In Search?
    There is so much going on recently in the search space, I cannot even decide where to begin. Wolfram|Alpha, Kumo...I mean Bing ,and possibly something else before I complete this column. I am going to focus on these two today.
  • Conversations From Northwest Flight 033
    "So, what is it you do?" Oh, no! I froze. Since I got into search, I've hated that question, mainly because I don't know how to answer it. I've tried several times, and it's never been a terribly satisfying experience....
  • Optimizing For Natural And Paid Search, After The Click
    At the Search Insider Summit in Captiva, Fla., Gord Hotchkiss hosted a panel and clinic on eye-tracking analysis of Web sites suggested by attendees, specifically addressing the topic of post-click optimization. This session preceded several related breakout discussions, including the "Branding and Post-Click Strategies" roundtable session that I moderated. Overall, this is a critical topic at a time where more and more marketers are looking for ways to show a higher return on investment for spending in SEO, PPC and other online channels. So in this column I'll cover some of the highlights in the breakout session.
  • The Four Immutable Principles Of Search
    We are awash in a sea of practically infinite data, co-created through our news pages and our blogs and our Web sites and our Flickr accounts, and the infinitude of this data forces us to rely on every tool in our arsenal to get the good stuff to reveal itself. And, like cream rising to the top, a small fraction of the global information set makes its way into our consciousness. We expect that Google and Yahoo and Kumo will do their job and find that cream for us. Those engines have ridiculously complicated and absolutely necessary algorithms to determine …
  • How to Solve Local Search, Once And For All
    I'm in need of a good plumber and electrician. Though they must exist, I know implicitly that there is no way to find a good plumber or electrician in New York City. This is where I thought I would start writing about Facebook, and the opportunity Facebook has to corner the local search and services market. No one out there is doing this well -- not the major engines, not the IYPs, not even the new(er) social search and recommendation engines like Yelp -- but no, I'm wrong about that last part....
  • A Tale Of Two Houses
    I have a difference of opinion with Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. Actually, it's not so much a difference as a question of context. He believes there's room for more visual branding on the search results page. I believe this is a potentially dangerous area that has to be handled very carefully on the part of the engines.
  • Is Twitter To Facebook As Google Is To Yahoo?
    This analogy came to me at the recent Search Insider Summit during the Day 2 keynote conversation moderated by Gord Hotchkiss with Gian Fulgoni and Jordan Rohan. As always, these SIS-staples delivered many provocative thought-starters -- but I perked up when they started discussing the opportunity for richer brand experiences on the search engines.
  • Turing 2.0: I Am Not A Robot
    Last week, Saya the robot made her teaching debut in Tokyo. She is "multilingual, can organise set tasks for pupils, call the roll and get angry when the kids misbehave." I'm sure Saya would fail it, but it seems pretty clear that the Turing test is either obsolete or near enough to it not to matter. These days, nobody cares whether a machine can pass for a human. Instead, Turing's been superseded by the far more pressing Turing 2.0: can a human pass for a human?
  • Are You An SEM David or Goliath?
    Malcolm Gladwell recently wrote an article for The New Yorker entitled "How David Beats Goliath. " Gladwell's prime example of his thesis -- that raw effort is often a better weapon than innate ability or excellence -- is the "full court press," in which a basketball team contests the entire field of the court against its opponent through a game's entire period of play. The remarkable thing about this effective strategy, he argues, is that it is so infrequently used by coaches who prefer to play "according to Goliath's rules." Gladwell's idea has direct applicability to the current state of …
  • What's A Wonder Wheel?
    Google's Searchology event was held May 12; as usual, the company rolled out a few interesting new features that you may or may not use and that may or may not impact how you tailor your Web site and content for Google.
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