• 'Ignorance' Is Not A Four-Letter Word
    There's a gratifying resurgence of ignorance going on, and I think the credit should go to search. People and companies are openly admitting that they don't know everything. Not only is it okay to not know things, it's important, as my MediaPost colleague Kendall Allen pointed out in her column last week. We seem to be realizing en masse that, just as companies are either growing or dying, our store of knowledge is either growing -- or growing out of date. And, of course, there's a condition that has to be met in order for us to acquire more knowledge: …
  • Unhappy With SEM? You're Not Alone
    A company called X+1 released a study last week that highlighted the pain felt by many buying keywords from Google and the other engines. Satisfaction with the performance of their companies' SEM campaigns was egregiously poor: on a scale of 1 to 7, only 12% of respondents gave SEM a top-ranked 7, with 57% ranking SEM a 1 or a 2. Performance satisfaction with fairly simple search campaigns (30 to 100 keywords pointing to customized landing pages) didn't do any better: a full 42% reported being either "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."
  • The Latest On Bing
    Although industry reports are claiming great gains in market share for Bing, many paid search advertisers are not seeing these gains reflected in their impressions, clicks and conversions. After analyzing performance data collectively across our agency-managed accounts active in Microsoft advertising, we found that clicks are actually lower now than two weeks prior to the launch of Bing. While week over week volume shows a slight improvement since the June 3 launch of Bing, the volume is still subpar as compared to the previous low-volume holiday week.
  • Grandma Via YouTube
    This week we had a Webinar on Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives. We featured brain scanning images, survey results and the work of Marc Prensky, Gary Small and other researchers, showing how technology has created a generational divide between our kids and us. For me, though, it all came into sharper focus when I walked past our computer at home and saw my youngest daughter, Lauren, sitting there with crochet hooks in hand.
  • Bing's Gain Will Be Yahoo's Loss, While Actual Google Share Varies By Vertical
    Considering the innovation, the interface and the generally good reception from users and search marketers, there is no question that Bing's new results page is a hit. But despite the hype, I don't believe Bing will maintain all of its current lift in share, particularly because the rise is due to the recent buzz and a massive ad campaign. Overall, I think that Bing will land on its feet with a greater share of market, though any lift will come at the expense of Yahoo, Ask.com, and the multitude of long-tail search engines that comprise that smaller slice of the …
  • Soul For Sale -- My Privacy Be Damned!
    People tend to get up in arms easily over personalization and privacy issues. We don't want to be tracked, we don't want to be bought and sold, and we certainly don't want anyone thinking they know what's best for us. I've heard -- or read -- this last complaint multiple times over the past week. If search results are too personalized, the story goes, you'll miss out on all that wonderful non-personalized content you've been ingesting. But here's the thing: as much as we want to stumble across every interesting tidbit out there, each of us will still only …
  • Keep It Smart, Stupid
    It always amazes me how polarized we are as an industry. We tend to skew to the extremes of opinion -- which we see play out in our search strategies and tactics, whether it is at conferences or in pitches. Approaches range from having 100,000+ keywords with everything on exact match, all the way to those running only a small handful of converting words on advance/broad match. Neither extreme is the right thing to do.
  • Looking For Answers In All The Right Places
    I'm not the first to observe that a performance-based model for agency compensation could reconcile this conflict. In such a model, advertisers incur little risk, and agencies are rewarded if their efforts succeed in driving the advertiser's business goals. The trouble is in defining performance metrics and measuring them accurately.
  • Why Wolfram Alpha is Important
    In the new Bing-enabled world, search is hotter than ever. Your entire Search Insider lineup has been trading quips and forecasts about the future of search. Aaron Goldman thinks Hunch may be the answer to my call for an iPhone of search. Today, I want to talk about why Wolfram|Alpha is very, very important to watch. It's not an iPhone, but it is changing the rules of search in a very significant way.
  • Is Hunch The IPhone Of Search?
    As much as I like Bing and think that it has effectively closed the gap with Google from a user experience perspective, it's going to require drastic measures to catch Google's market share and revenue. That said, as Microsoft has often stated, we're still in the early innings of the search game and Bing may just be the rally-inducing hit Microsoft needs. But Bing is still a search engine -- actually, more of a search portal. What search needs is an iPhone. What search needs is a decision engine. Not a search engine with a tagline that says decision engine, …
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