Thursday, January 19, 2006 The Search Engine About Customers

I like the Adotas emails lately... they are getting info before me and I just read and do a little research and then blog.

Anyway, the article about is a good example of something that was not on my radar but opens a whole new area of vertical search. These guys should do well providing a method to discover potential lists for sale and marketers may benefit by lower prices from straight on competition. Losers will be the millions of people bombarded with new emails, direct mail and cold calls...

Though it could be used by responsible, non-aggressive marketers..... NAH!

Bush Chasing Kiddie Porn Through Google

Guess George W. is really trying to flex his muscles and show how good he is... he has subpoenaed Google. He if Bill Gates could not get them, I guess Goerge W. wants to show just how much power he really has.

The US government has subpoenaed records concerning child pornography and requests for it made through the search engine. Guess trying that out at Yahoo! or MSN first was not their choice. Go after the big dog and the rest will comply is the new tactic.

The action is sparking discussion on privacy of internet usage over at Search Engine Watch.

This is another one that deserves attention this year. It is always the tough ones that make you measure your freedoms. I would give up some of mine to catch child pornographers - but I am a dad.... though I understand the fight for freedom too. What type of world do you hand over to those kids if all the privacy rights are gone?

Word of Mouth Generating Some WOM

Funny add on to an email I received from Adotas today. They used reference to an article on Word of Mouth to start some Word of Mouth... a bit of a stretch on their part but thought it would be amusing to see how this rolls out.

The lines in question were:
Also, if you didn't have a chance, look at the article today about WORD OF MOUTH marketing:

We hear that tomorrow iMediaConnection will be having a similar article talking about the failure of WOM, and how its really just a fad.

So they started the ball... now let's see how it rolls. The article they reference is basically a commentary on how many people really do not know how to effectively conduct a WOM campaign... not that it does not work, just that many do not know how to work it.

Nothing starts a good online debate better than a little controversy - though here it is the suggestion of it coming tomorrow.... forecast of controversy even better people can get in on it before it really starts!

Let the game begin.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Video Killed the Radio Star: Will Google Kill the Radio Ad?

Well Google is really hitting for the fences with this move... or have they gone to a new playing field?
Yesterday Google announced its intentions to aquire bMarc Broadcasting for as much as $1.1 billion dollars.
With Google Print newly launched, it will soon have another sibling in Google Radio...

Without a doubt Google will have a Podcast Search available soon with the ability of buy ads, but as been suggested by Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Watch, "Guess anyone still entertaining the notion of Google as a technology company versus a media company can put that to bed. Putting ads on radio isn't really a technology business. Nor is it central to that mission of organizing the world's information. Neither is putting ads into print or slapping them up all over the web, either."

Friday, January 13, 2006

MarketingSherpa's 2006 Trends

MarketingSherpa released an interesting report the other day that details the three top marketing trends they predict for 2006.

They see the search engines jockeying positions in reaching their audience. The comparison is made with the TV networks prior to cable entering the picture. "In the past year, the major search engines have concentrated more on tweaking algorithms and launching new services for marketers than they have on competition between each other. We predict this situation will change as the marketplace matures". Guess they have not noticed the intensity of Bill Gates towards Google or vice a versa.

The second area that they see no change to is the small percentage of SEM funds spent on optimization work. This despite, "the one, undeniable truth of search marketing is that across all major engines organic results ... are better noticed, read and clicked on than the paid listings." Yeah but you still have to pay for the paid listings - there is no way to get them for 'free'.

Drop in popularity and usefullness of press releases will be seen this year is the last prediction. This is based on the increased availablity of the releases at Google News, or in Yahoo and MSN news feeds. It no longer has the freshness and exclusivity so other publishers will not use them as much.

Inside the article were a couple of interesting facts which I am taking at face value coming from such a respected research group. Baidu beats out Google in China 52% to 33% - I knew there was a reason I liked the stock (guess it will bounce again this year).

The other fact is how people jump from search engine to search engine. Though this lack of loyalty has been supported by other reports, this is one I do not agree with. I think a lot of the duplicty is from marketers watching results at various engines. Just as I think the usage numbers are inflated this way also.

Overall some great insight... keep them coming Sherpa!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Testing Viral Political Activism

Greg Harnett from Best Of The Web - whose long-sleeve black T-shirt I wear quite a bit - is testing a viral marketing project that aims to promote political activism.

He wants people to create signs etc. and then to send him pictures that he will post on his blog.... give everyone the chance of some publicity... plus he is throwing in free directory listings at BOTW.... now there is even some money to be made in activism...

... nice job Greg!

Monday, January 9, 2006

What Is The Next Big Thing?

Okay the holidays are over and people have caught up from the back-to-back short weeks. It is now time to forecast what this year, 2006, will bring.

Google seems to get a lot of attention in the 2006 forecast game. Melissa Burgess sees the broadened interests of Google as "a technology company using search as a conduit to simplify life—to categorize, classify and provide the world with an easier way of finding information. Every other search company to date has failed to provide this as a means to an ever-changing lifestyle. And that is why Google continues to dominate".

There have been suggestions that Google could top $2000 per share - since they are trading over $465 right now and everyone seems to have them going a lot higher as detailled over at Threadwatch.

Funny they also have a thread about how search engines are leeches started by that old flamethrower Jakob Nielson. The comments so far make for amusing reading.

Then there is the article by Jamie Gottlieb over at the newly created Adotas about how China is growing fast and will surpass the US in users and every other category a lot sooner than many realise.

Guess the early weeks of January always bring out predictions. Personally I predict people will bitch about Google this year for all sorts of things. Yahoo! will have a lot of people bitching about its new AdCenter, as will MSN when they finally emerge out of beta and in full throttle free of the Yahoo! PPC ads.

And one or two other engines will be touted as being the number 4 search engine - though parties will be divided and this will be an ongoing debate....

Guess Bill Gates will find Google was a serious competitor before the year is out... unless IBM decides to get into search too.

Hope all have a prosperous 2006... it will definitely be an interesting one just like last year.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Retrievr: Pictionary Search: Draw It and Engine Finds Pics

We can use all sorts of methods for search. The latest I think is a bit out there is Retrievr from System One.

They give you a little drawing pad and the search engine goes out and looks for shapes in images that match what you drew.... now that gets a little scarry... and a bunch of fun... soon people can play 'Hide and Seek' or Pictionary online. Take a picture or make a drawing, post it online and then have your friends draw a part of it and see who can find the page it is on first!!!!

Let the fun begin.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Sometimes Hyphens Just Work

I came across this list of domains that desperately need hyphens to insure no misunderstanding! Thanks to Experts Exchange

1) Who Represents?, a database for agencies to the rich and famous:
2) Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views:
3) Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island:
4) Need a therapist?
5) Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:
6) Gas central heating anyone?
7) New to Milan and you need electric light? Why not sign up on-line with Power-Gen?