||Day 1 Coverage
SMX Keynote Conversation: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
- Steve Ballmer explained how the partnership between Microsoft
and Yahoo! will help Internet marketers: the quality of a search engine
depends heavily on the relevance of advertising, and the relevance of
advertising relies on the volume of bids. For folks here that means more
eyeballs, which is great. It will also help Microsoft scale and improve
relevance. With more signals there will be improved results.
- He also addressed rumors about Bing becoming the default search for
the iPhone, saying that it's just a rumor, though Microsoft is focused
on increased distribution of Bing and improving the Bing app for iPhone.
- When asked what differences there are between the culture at
Microsoft and the culture at Google, he said that the number one thing
that Google did that contributes to their success is getting search
- In response to the suggestion that Microsoft buy Twitter, he said
that it's not clear whether Microsoft should own the company or not. He
explained that as an independent, Twitter has a lot of credibility with
their user community. He's not clear they would have the same
credibility if they were under another company. Instead Microsoft is
focused on a strong partnership.
- Regarding mobile search, he said that there will need to be more
innovation and IQ applied to mobile advertising, answering questions of
how to rethink the fundamental UI and design model of search and how
organic and paid get laid out on a phone.
Mobile Paid Search Ads: Real Opportunities
- There's a difference in the way people search on mobile devices
vs. on PCs. On computers people have a long conversion process. On
mobile devices it's much quicker because people are on the go. To
advertise on mobile, you want to sell something and you want to drive
consumers to brick and mortar locations.
- When optimizing a site for smart phones: 1) use light graphics for
faster load times; 2) use Java rather than Flash because of iPhone
limitations; 3) test site.mobi vs. m.site.com vs. site.com/mobile to
find the most successful; 4) track traffic with sniffers, cookies or
pixels; 5) choose the hosting solution with the fastest user experience.
- When optimizing a search ad campaign for mobile: 1) isolate mobile
into a unique campaign; 2) know that if you're not in position 1 or 2,
you're likely not going to get a click; 3) don't drop the long-tail
keywords in your mobile campaigns.
- When creating ads for WAP browsers: 1) character counts are much
shorter; 2) URLs aren't allowed to have hyphens; 3) popular verticals
are sports, celebrity, news, wallpapers, videos and ring tones; 4)
reinforce mobile friendliness: "mobile optimized", "4 Ur Phone", "Mobile
Ready"; 5) CTR is frequently high, even when relevance is low; 6)
there's less need for exact or phrase match.
Not Your Father's AdWords: The New Google Ad Formats
- The Universal search philosophy of Google's organic search is
being extended into paid search. New features including Ad Sitelinks,
product ads, local ads and comparison ads are part of that effort.
- Ad Sitelinks deliver up to four links below ad, pulled from 10 links
indicated by the advertiser. Ads must meet "certain quality criteria"
and Ad Sitelinks will appears automatically for qualified campaigns.
Google claims a "30% average increase in click-through rate" with Ad
- Google Product Listing Ads are out of private beta. Advertisers must
submit a product feed via Google Merchant Center (formerly Google Base)
and Google chooses which products are shown for a query. Advertisers
pay for conversions, not clicks.
- Comparison ads bring a user to a page where they can add filters to
their search and contact different advertisers. Google wants to align
what the advertisers and users want with an appropriate pricing model.
They expect to be experimenting a lot in 2010.
Google's Personalized Search Revolution
- Google's personalization of search results rely on geography,
topicality, preference, patterns and a user's social circle. Google aims
to personalize search results with transparency and user control.
- A signed-in user can control their personalization by clicking on
Web History in the top right corner of search results. From here, a user
can remove or pause items on the list, or wipe out the entire history.
Data is retained forever, or until removed.
- Google displays social search results based on Google contacts
(chat, friends, family, coworkers, followees), a user's Google profile
and the Social Graph API.
- SEOs benefit from personalized search because there is less
likelihood of competing with the whole world, and more likelihood of
competing with sites in your area. A site is also less likely to get
visitors from search that aren't looking for what the site offers.
Supercharging Your Descriptions With Sitelinks
- Sitelinks are links to pages within a site displayed on search
results. In organic results, two-column Sitelinks display when Google
believes the result is the most authoritative for a particular query.
One-line Sitelinks show when Google believes the result is highly
relevant but not necessarily authoritative for a particular query.
- Tips to get better organic Sitelinks: 1) create a site that is
well-structured and easy for users to navigate; 2) use meaningful page
Titles; 3) pay attention to anchor text throughout your site; 4) avoid
boilerplate and repeated text; 5) consider headers and other content on
- Breadcrumbs on search results are a variation of Sitelinks. They are
found in place of the normal URL, showing a site hierarchy of where the
result fits on the site. Each level of the hierarchy is a clickable
link. A site must have a clear and visible hierarchy with linked
breadcrumbs on the site for breadcrumbs to show in SERPs.
- Ad Sitelinks can help you segment your user before they ever reach
your site. They also give advertisers the opportunity for brand
segmentation. If a brand has several sub-brands, Ad Sitelinks can
highlight those segments. Ad Sitelinks can also direct traffic to the
most valuable or popular pages of a site.