Best of Search Conferences 2008: Day 2
Welcome back to day two of the Best of Search Conferences 2008! Today we’re talking about the future of your search marketing program — whether that’s optimizing for blended search, catering to mobile users or entering international markets. There’s a whole big world out there. What are you waiting for?
Opening Keynote: Search 3.0, Search 4.0 and Beyond – SMX West, Feb. 26-28
Speaker: Danny Sullivan
- In 2008 we saw a generational leap in how search works. Search 1.0 was the first generation where location and frequency of on-the-page terms were the primary ranking factors. Search 2.0 adopted the off-page factor of links as the primary ranking factor.
- We are now in the next generation of search, Search 3.0. Search 3.0 is blended search and vertical results (video, images, news, etc.) are integrated into the main results page. Search 4.0, or personalized search, is the next frontier.
- Search 5.0 could incorporate human refinement. Today human editing is intensive and overwhelming. [Editor’s note: But it seems that part of the laborious process that comes with human intervention could be circumvented if SearchWiki became a ranking factor.]
- The value of social search is that the users are empowered to collaborate, there is an additional layer of quality control and a community is brought together and leveraged.
- The key to reducing spam in a social search model is to build trusted communities. When everything members do appears on a profile page, the transparency helps to weed out the spammers.
- Scaling will be a challenge to social search as human editing and upkeep is time and labor intensive.
The Future of Search
- Personalized search aims to deliver the most relevant results, despite possible search term ambiguity, weighing searcher history and preferences and making subtle changes to SERP ranking.
- Effective personalization of search results depends on transparency, security and control. The user should be able to find out when a change was made, to protect their sensitive information and to delete or edit underlying data. Portability, or taking the history with them, is also a factor that can improve personalized search.
- Semantic search, or understanding the underlying structured data of Web pages via text content, would give searchers more relevant results and the freedom to search win a natural language. Advertisers would benefit from the higher relevance in contextual advertising.
- Recent trends in online advertising include the increase of non-premium inventory (second-tier engines), one-stop ad shopping and advanced ad targeting.
- Yahoo’s open developer platform SearchMonkey allows developers to create a personalized search and data experience on their site. Yahoo’s not calling it personalization, but rather, is focusing on user experience.
The Personalized Search Revolution – SMX West, Feb. 26-28
Moderator: Chris Sherman; Panelists: Steven Marder and Phil McDonnell
Futuresearch: Watch This Space – ad:Tech San Francisco, Apr. 15-17
Moderator: Jeffrey Pruitt; Panelists: Grazia Ruskin, Jane Butler, Jen Dorre, Lauren Coberly, and David Kidder
Mobile and Local Search
- Local search sees great returns because the targeted audience is more likely to convert and buy. Reviews, directions, ratings and comments make local search even more effective.
- To best leverage local search, detect which users are on mobile devices and, if necessary, redirect users to the mobile site. While a WAP site is no longer necessary because of the true-browsing experience of smart phones, test your site on different mobile browsers to make sure it is mobile friendly. Less than 15 percent of mobile phones are smart phones.
- The .mobi domain extension is effectively dead in the U.S., although it never really took off to begin with. iPhones and Skyfire devices load pages the same way a computer does. The benefit of having just one site is that it is easier for users to remember the URL and advertising can be viewed by both mobile and computer audiences.
- Local search statistics: 86 percent of search engine users search for local products and services; 92 percent of Internet shoppers make their purchases offline. People are researching their local purchases online, but creating a presence in local search is hard for small businesses because there is no leading online source.
- The iPhone went a long way toward bringing local mobile search to the masses. iPhone applications can combine the benefits of local and mobile by driving traffic to the Web site or location.
Marketing with Videos
- In May, Google sites ranked as the top video property in the country with 4.2 billion videos viewed. YouTube made up 98 percent of those views. Viewers watched an average of 50.2 videos per person and 82 million viewers watched 4 billion videos on YouTube.
- You need a video strategy to get high rankings in YouTube. To do this, look for viewing patterns. For instance, if 75 percent of views come from the related videos section, realize that your viewers aren’t watching single videos but rather batches of videos.
- Eighty percent of video ads are pre-roll and there is great recall with the advertising medium. Pre-roll ads should be short and unobtrusive (15 seconds or less). Mid-rolls are also good because they engage the user first. Of course, no matter if the ad is pre-roll, mid-roll or overlay, if the ad is relevant than it will be less intrusive.
- Blended search, which can include video results on the first SERP, was once a matter of replacing links with blended results, but now the approach is generally additive. Video, however, remains subtractive.
- Tips for optimizing video include: brand your video by adding a watermark and call to action; create media RSS feeds and video site maps and submit the files to video search engines; and keep all video files in one directory and cross link to videos using keywords in the anchor text.
International Search Marketing
- Language is a priority. Target the audience’s language skills (young, old, educated, multilingual), capitalize on local dialect, vernacular and cultural references, and work with native speakers currently living in the country.
- China has more than 250 million Internet users and the Internet is the preferred choice for entertainment and communication. Baidu has the highest search market share, at around 70 percent, with Google taking up the rest.
- There are 53 million Internet users in Latin America and the average number of hours users spent online per month is 16 percent higher than the time average American spent online.
- Google is the dominant search engine in the UK, Germany (95 percent), France (87 percent), and the Netherlands (93 percent).
- There are different models you can adopt for a global search marketing program, ranging from centralized to decentralized, and the best fit will take into account the needs of your organization.
War of the Search Worlds: Unifying Your Global Search Marketing Program – SES San Jose, Aug. 18-21
Moderator: Andrew Goodman; Panelists: Russ Mann, Dan Quinn, Olivier Lemaignen, Jay Middleton, and Mark Scholz
Search Around the World, Part 1: Asia/Pacific and Latin America – SES San Jose, Aug. 18-21
Moderator: Anne Kennedy; Panelists: T.R. Harrington, Motoko Hunt, and Alicia Morga