The fundamental changes in the search industry have become more evident to me than ever because I have just been reminded how much the consumer is driving these changes. I realized this because I'm missing Search Insider Summit at Captiva Island, Fla., due to a seven-day-old new daughter. Instead of being with my fellow industry pundits discussing the latest and greatest, I find myself at home juggling a two-and-a-half-year-old boy with more energy than a Cheetah on cocaine with a seven-day-old baby girl, a very tired and sore mom, and more family "help" than anyone should have to contend with.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at Search Marketing Expo in Toronto. Though this was a smaller, localized event, the attendees and speakers came from near and far, and generally this was a more experienced crowd in the search space (not to mention the overtone of advanced analytics due to the concurrent eMetrics event). Here are a few highlights:
There have been a slew of reports released in the past week showing that paid search marketing rebounded nicely in the first quarter from the doldrums of the great recession. So now that paid search and the digital economy is bouncing back, and we've got a little spring in our step -- what's next?
Here's a tip: the ones who succeed in the coming years will be those who make a genuine contribution to humanity. Greed is out; dishonesty will be revealed, and, ironically, the more you prioritize doing the right thing over the bottom line, the more your bottom line will benefit. This direction is inevitable, thanks to a simple phenomenon: the proliferation of ever-more-powerful search capabilities and the rapid disappearance of whatever semblance of privacy we once had. We are experiencing a top-down, bottom-up convergence of forces that compel us to just be better people
"Search is not where it's at," Steve Jobs said at an event at Apple headquarters last week. "People are not searching on a mobile device like they are on the desktop." Take that, Google.
The search industry is populated with thinkers and talkers. The thinkers are terrific at talking, but do much more than participate in a conversation -- they can drive it and stimulate participants into understanding different perspectives. Wouldn't it be nice to get some of the most amazing thinkers together in one room? Imagine the conversations we could have! Maybe we could even do it somewhere beautiful and include fun activities, so that all of thinkers can get to know each other. This definitely sounds like a must-attend event, right?
Today you sit there, an audience spread across the digital marketing landscape, scraping together a few precious moments on your daily calendar to read this column. Next week I hope you'll all be basking in the sunshine of Captiva Island, Fla.,, your cranium brimming over with tidbits and brain-bombs about search and the industry we toil in. The Google-gods willing and major algorithmic overhauls aside, we can all get away from the daily grind long enough to step back and take a look at where this whole thing might be going.
Next week, many of my friends and colleagues will be descending upon Captiva Island, Fla. for the biannual Search Insider Summit. In today's column, I'll share the results from the past seven summits to see what trends we can identify and help people "skate where the puck is going" or, more appropriately, "sail where the boat will be" in Captiva.
Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, "What the Dog Saw," is actually a collection of essays
: specifically, his work at The New Yorker
from the past ten years or so. It's a book designed for the same sort of curious mind that delights in the random parallels found in "Freakonomics"
(in which authors Levitt and Dubner ask, "What do Sumo wrestlers and kindergarten teachers have in common?"). Gladwell's essays draw comparisons between mammograms and precision bombing, Enron and the Nazi "super weapon" of the 1940s. And in amongst this collection of oddities, he finds the time to wonder why, in …
My last couple of articles were about balancing technology and experience. My theme was that technology is black and white and comes with inherent limitations and strengths. As a result, there will always be a need for strong best practices and experienced search specialists to get more blood out of the proverbial [search] stone. This is not all that different from another example in recent history that many thought technology would replace -- the paper industry.