SMX Sydney | Keynote | Chris Sherman

The anticipation is palpable. You can sense the excitement building. That’s right fine readers of the Bruce Clay Australia Blog, it’s time for Australia’s premier search event , SMX Sydney. The keynote, which is titled; Future Directions in Search, will be given by Chris Sherman, editor of that fantastic publication,, lets rock and roll.

We seem to be having some technical difficulties as we start, the screen seems a little fuzzy, but I have power for my laptop and wifi-access so I’m a happy camper as we start off two days of fun.

Chris starts us off with an amusing Youtube video with some amazing shadow puppets and likens the act to what we do in SEO or at least in the mind of some clients and others. It looks like an illusion, but what we are doing as search marketers is making it happen.

Good news

  • Online ad spend is picking up
  • $54 B spent globally on online
  • Search dominates, with 47% of online spend, this is mostly consumer advertising.

Search engines
The Renaissance site

  • It’s Google
  • From upstart to everything in 10 years, started with a laser focus on search to offering everything to everybody
  • Google Australia
  • Insights for search
  • Sponsored maps
  • Local business centre dashboard (now called Google places)
  • They have legal woes, privacy issues and problems with China & censorship
  • Facebook is more loose than Google in terms of privacy
  • Google has a government requests and removal tool where you can see where Google is being forced to remove information by governments

The Emperor’s New clothes

  • It’s Yahoo/Microsoft
  • Yahoo has taken steps to right itself
  • Is the Microsoft deal, salvation or sell-out, Microsoft will do the heavy lifting, yahoo will sell ads
  • Yahoo will concentrate on what happens before and after search as opposed to search itself, going back to browsing roots, aka a media company
  • Nice video of Bill Gates as the borg, Microsoft has pursued an acquisition based approach to products
  • Microsoft enhanced Wikipedia articles are awesome, Wiki on steroids
  • Bing maps has some really nice apps, Museum, Whats nearby, etc etc
  • Maps will emerge as primary interface as opposed to search.
  • Bing travel schedule has got billions of information points that puts air travel in a way where you can tell when it’s the cheapest time to buy an airline ticket

Shiny new disruptor

  • Shows off a nice bowling video
  • It’s Wolfram alpha
  • Not a S.E, a computational knowledge engine, similar to Google circa1998
  • Contains 10 trillion pieces of data, 50 000 types of algorithms
  • Opposite to Google as they have loads of information on the home page
  • Type in interesting questions like finding out who is your second cousin
  • Gives nutritional value of products
  • It’s interesting and useful, no answers to ambiguous questions, although getting better

Social Media

Social media is huge, 1 billion users, spending 2 billion minutes a month, average person spending 16% of time on FB whilst only 5% of time on Google. It’s not a trend, it’s here to stay. Twitter has grown up into a proper search engine.

  • Google 88 billion queries per month
  • Twitter 19 billion per month, this statistic might not be entirely accurate
  • Yahoo 9.4 billion per month
  • Bing 4.1 billion per month

Real time search and SEO

Real-time results are displacing the traditional search results. Fundamental SEO is still NB, but there are opportunities to gain exposure thanks to real-time algorithms, so instant indexing could be possible.

Good news, is that most people are not optimising for real time, universal and personalised results. You can get more that 2 results if you optimise your digital assets correctly.

It is the new point of sale. Almost 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, mobile spend in 2015 should be around 4 billion in 5 years. 25% of all FB users are doing so on their mobile. Between 2013 and 2014, there will be more people using internet on their mobiles than desktop’s. No dominant mobile ad networks now.

Chris is starting to speed up, time to get those fingers moving. People are using apps to search as opposed to the usual search box.

Youtube is the second biggest search engine behind Google. Cisco thinks that in the future, 70% of future traffic will be video. You need to syndicate your videos widely. Embed them into your pages, insert meta data, create relevant filenames and titles. Use lots of descriptive text where the video is embedded. Use URL’s in the actual video.

4 types

  • Device-target ad’s to your device you are using, get people to take action now
  • Geographic-get people to take advantage of their current locations
  • Demographic-targeting ads based on factors like age, gender income etc, similar to DM but used information from search accounts, can be problematic, especially on shared computers
  • Behavioural targeting-ads based on your online behaviour, sites visited, products purchased etc, ads match your interest more closely

Can go to the NAI to opt out of all advertising.

Web search is consolidated into a few major players, going to stay that way, probably. There is competition that will drive innovation. Advertising may decrease as S.E’s continue to refine targeting options.

Thanks Chris!

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

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