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March 24, 2009

Beyond Googling: Where Will Your Customers Be Searching in Five Years?

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After stepping into the wrong session with a similar name, I’m coming in a few minutes late to this search and the future session.

Anne Kennedy is currently on the podium. She is the managing partner and founder of Beyond Ink and is also on the SES Advisory Board. It sounds like in her presentation the future is all about video. Although, I heard some talk of mobile as I walked in.

ComScore says that in the UK, the mobile video audience has increased 10 percent. In the U.S. it’s doubled.

Points to ponder

  • Online U.S. ad spending will increase despite declining total advertising spending.
  • Now nascent video online advertising will grow most.

What’s in it for Google?

  • Google YouTube = video platform
  • Google TV = video ad platform

Suppose Nike could:

  • Broadcast a game on YouTube.
  • Embed a link or two.
  • Would their viewers bcome buyers?

Small screen video is the next big thing in search

Concrete Networks TV in 2 years had 1 million views. DIY searches on YouTube are greater in quantity than traditional Google traffic to their site.

Pauline Ores is next and is going to go outside the box with the deep Web and semantic search. She is also on the SES advisory Board and is senior marketing manager of social media engagement at IBM. She asks if people have heard of the deep Web. The public info on the deep Web is currently 400 to 550 times larger than the commonly defined World Wide Web.

The deep Web contains nearly 550 billion individual documents.

The other thing she hears people talk about is the semantic Web. If she’s looking for a pizzeria, she has more requirements, such as equidistant between her friends, gluten-free for the vegan, etc. Semantic Web would be able to handle all these questions for you.

Deep Web and semantic Web are more complex than the current Meta data now available through current search engines. Deep content has to do with expertise. The best way to get into a database like that is to find someone who specializes in that. Semantic is something people are better at than current algorithms. Tourists in NY stop her all the time to find something located between such and such places. She thinks that beyond the Meta model will be another model. She says that that’s been started with human-based Web resources. The artificial intelligence of computers is not going to be as good as humans. As far as search engines, it’ll be about figuring out the semantic and getting to more deep, niche content. Social media can help with the semantic needs.

Beyond Google Panel: John Marshall at podium.

John Marshall, the moderator and CTO of Market Motive, says that Yahoo Answers and Mahalo are much more successful than Google’s Answers program. But Anne says that that model was pre-social. Now people go to Twitter to ask their network for help and answers. It’s still possible that people can utilize those networks.

Frank Watson is next to talk about Twitter. He is the CEO of Kangamurra Media. John says that in the session they aren’t going to predict that Twitter as a company or brand is going to be able to do all the following, but the technology in general.

Frank says that he had a script worked out but he walked out to get a newspaper this morning and the front page was about a woman tweeting her giving birth. He says the existence of an alternative has to make you smile.

Twittering, Tweeple, Twilly

People like communing and being social. There are a number of services built on Twitter (TwitLinks, TweetValue, twhirl, TwitPic, tsurch, etc.). There are a lot of companies making money on Twitter because it generates serious traffic.

Could Twitter be Google’s Excite?

  • Google should buy Twitter
  • Alta Vista, Lycos, Excite
  • GoTo — Overture — AdSense

Real Time Search

  • Natural disasters
  • Major accidents
  • Newswire
  • Polls

How Google loses

  • Real time search may be seen as better.
  • Ask friends instead of search engines.
  • Momentum can cause change.
  • Greater Twitter traffic sources seen.

How Google wins

  • Becomes too spammy.
  • Something else comes along.
  • Google buys it.
  • Everyeone gets bored.
  • Twitter gets eaten by whales.

John says that when he hears about new technologies, he feels like he did 15 years ago when he tried to explain email to his parents. A key way to think about things is email is for old people. Pauline says that her kids think of email as FedEx. Anne says that her kids have figured out that to reach her they DM her and it shows up in her email.

Q&A

What monitoring tools would you recommend for brand and reputation management?

Frank says that you can use Search.Twitter but there are a number of other tools. Guy mentioned some good ways to do keyword monitoring. Anne says that you can build a dashboard to monitor via iGoogle. Check it out at sempdx.com

How do you differentiate between innovative branding and innovative technology when there are so many fast-changing channels.

Frank: You don’t absolutely know but you might as well surf the good waves while they’re around. It’s hard to say but as an industry you look at it and you know that the social media elements are taking over a lot of our communication. As a technology, search is more than just search engines. Take opportunities to monetize all of the elements that are growing into what we do.

Pauline: What peers say is very important. Doing CRM is a big part of what you can do and it’s blending into Twitter.

Frank: There’s a Salesforce app for Twitter now. There’s a lot of information out there.

Google is taking over the world and buying everything, but how’s it going to work in the future? Is all information about us going to be sold? Are the things we’re searching always going to be private?

Pauline: You are being tracked and we don’t want Minority Report to be a reality.

Anne: The ACLU has said that we give up our privacy for convenience. It is something to remain concerned about. As much as we may not like it, it’s reality. Stay vigilant.

Pauline: At some point you do need regulations because it’s not the big bad Google that’s selling your data; it’s organizations that are compiling lots of little things and putting the pieces together.

There’s a lot of search happening on social. There’s also a lot of social results coming up in search. What do you think of that cross-over?

Frank: He says it’s great for reputation management. If you have something you want to push down you can try to move up social pages by registering for more.

Anne: It was inevitable and here we are.

John: Social media is more transient. If you think you can use Twitter because it’s focused on real time, content then appears on search. Social pages are now treated as a peer of other results, but he wouldn’t be surprised if Google started to devalue social pages since they change so quickly.

Anne: As marketers we have to be aware of new things and how to use them. Start thinking of the new models and how to use them.





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