Archive for the ‘Search’ Category

Adwords Certification Status

June 18, 2010

Why doesn’t online advertising spend alone qualify an individual or company for Adwords certification?

Adwords Certification Status

Adwords Certification Status

Businesses as a rule won’t spend money on search advertising that doesn’t produce results.

Individuals and the companies they work for who produce results online through Google’s search advertising products are by definition qualified.

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Google Searchology: New Search Options

May 12, 2009

Google hosted their second Searchology event today to update its users, partners, and customers on the progress Google has made in search.

Google also uses the event to announce new search features.

Today Google announced a new set of features called Search Options, which are a collection of tools that let searchers slice and dice results and generate different views to find information faster and easier.

Two powerful new Google search options are the Wonder Wheel and Timeline.

Wonder Wheel shows searchers other related terms most often used when searchers are searching for a particular topic while Timeline illustrates the search volume for a particular term within a specific time period.

Twitter Wonder Wheel

Google Wonder Wheel: Twitter

Above, The Google Wonder Wheel shows terms related to searches for Twitter.

Below, the Google search options timeline shows how Twitter has become an increasingly more searched for term on Google over time.

Google Timeline: Twitter

Google Timeline: Twitter

Google Marketing Research Study: The Brand Value of Search

May 10, 2009

Google commissioned OTX, an independent marketing research company, to conduct research to better understand the impact of search impressions on travel brands, specifically the Air, Hotel, Car Rental, Cruise and OTA Travel Categories.

The primary objectives of the OTX project were to determine:

1). Whether or not a search ad can impact key branding metrics.

2). Whether or not a search result’s placement matters.

The study was conducted in an online controlled “laboratory” format that mimicked a real search experience. Subjects were exposed to 1 of 12 search engine results pages (SERP) each of which showed the same search results  and differed only where the test brand’s ad or organic listing appeared.

The results of Google’s Brand Value of Search study are available on YouTube.

Search before Google?

December 25, 2008
Santa Claus

Santa Claus

Merry Christmas!

Interview with Dr. Qi Lu; President, Microsoft Online Services Group

December 11, 2008

Microsoft’s PressPass recently interviewed Dr. Qi Lu, the new President of Microsoft’s Online Service Group about his plans for taking Microsoft’s search products to the next level.

Microsoft Dr. Qi Lu

Microsoft Dr. Qi Lu

Source – Microsoft PressPass

Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Lu was executive vice president of Engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo. Prior to his 10 years at Yahoo, Lu was a Research Staff Member at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. He also has worked at Carnegie Mellon University as a Research Associate and at Fudan University in China as a faculty member. Lu holds 20 U.S. patents, and received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in computer science from Fudan University in Shanghai, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Excerpts from Microsoft’s PressPass interview with Dr. Lu:

PressPass: Where do you see the opportunities for Microsoft in the search and online space?

Lu: First, I think there is a genuine opportunity to take our search products to the next level. I see that Microsoft’s search product quality is improving at a very, very fast rate, that there are great foundations there. And with the technology base, the talent base, the computing infrastructures, I’m confident that we will be in a position to produce a differentiated and compelling search experience.

The second opportunity is to continue building a very powerful advertising platform. Microsoft has made a series of strategic acquisitions, and also built a bunch of internal technologies and products. The key is to put all those assets together to build powerful, highly scalable advertising platforms. The advertising we see today will be very different in the future because of new platforms for it. Ads will be truly relevant and useful, and the experience will be compelling.

PressPass: Whenever anyone talks about competition in search, the target always is Google. Are they catchable?

Lu: Well, we’re here to win, and my view on this is that to win in the search space, fundamentally you build on the strengths of your product. And we know what it takes to build a compelling user experience and winning product, which is to have a powerful infrastructure, great talent and put great processes in place so that we can out-develop, out-market, out-innovate our competitors.

But make no mistake; I think Google is a very, very powerful company. They are definitely ahead in the search space. There are a lot of challenges ahead. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

It will be interesting to see in which direction Microsoft heads with ex-Yahoo Dr. Lu at the Microsoft search helm.

Will Microsoft resume talks to acquire Yahoo’s search business?

Will Microsoft continue developing their own search product?

Or – will Microsoft now attempt to accomplish both (buy Yahoo’s search business and migrate Yahoo search advertisers to adCenter while attempting to improve Microsoft’s search and advertising products) in their quest to catch Google?

Google Launches Analytics Help Forum

November 25, 2008

The Official Google Analytics Blog announced today they have established a Google Analytics help forum.

Google Analytics Help

Google Analytics Help

Google Analytics users can ask questions and get answers from both Google employees and other Analytics users.

With the launch of this new Analytics Help Forum, the old Analytics Help Group has been closed to new questions but will still be available for informational searches.

The new help forum will have a “Best Answers” feature (as voted by the community) so the best responses gain the most visibility.

Another feature includes a “Related Questions” list which appears as forum participants enter their questions.

Analytics Help also provides a list of top searches for discovering answers to common Google Analytics questions.

Google Analytics Help Forum

Google Analytics Help Forum

Providing this type of searchable knowledge base to Google Analytics users should help both Google and their Analytics user base.

Search: Not For Layman, Laggards or Luddites

November 8, 2008

Today’s Saturday Interview in the New Yorks Times was with Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

One of Schmidt’s answers was simple yet profound:

“We have a product that is more measurable, more targetable, and we are the innovator in the space. At some point, people need to sell products, and at some point they realize that the best advertising is measurable advertising, and they conclude that we do that.”

Businesses who haven’t yet concluded measurable advertising is better than unmeasured advertising fall into three categories.

They are:

1. Layman

2. Laggards

3. Luddites

In a future post, I will describe my experiences explaining search advertising to each type.

Microsoft & Yahoo Vs. Google: The Battle for Local Audience and Mobile Keystrokes

February 9, 2008

Let’s look at two areas where search will play a role in winning new audience and their keystrokes: Local and Mobile search.

Here are how Microsoft, Yahoo and Google web property’s search are performing today.

Its been reported nearly 50% of searches are local in nature. Let’s see how Microsoft’s Live handles a local brand search for Verizon Wireless in New York, NY.

Live is able to locate Verizon Wireless stores in New York and provides five viewing options: Road, Aerial, Hybrid, Bird’s Eye and Traffic. Are their results relevant? Yes. Could we make our way to Verizon Wireless store or reach them by phone with the information Live provides? Yes.

With the Bird’s Eye view we may even be able to see what our destination looks like. Pretty cool.

Microsoft (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless New York, NY

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Road Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Road

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Aerial Map
Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Aerial

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Hybrid Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Hybrid

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Bird’s Eye Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Bird’s Eye

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Traffic Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Traffic

How does Live perform outside the United States? A search for HSBC in London yields similar results. This particular brand search result is for a location near Trafalgar Square. If you aren’t going to be able to stop by a bank branch in London today, you can still take in the sights.

Microsoft (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England

Microsoft HSBC London UK Bird’s Eye Map

Microsoft HSBC London Bird’s Eye

Now let’s try the same searches in Yahoo. Yahoo offers similar results. The look and feel isn’t too much different from those we received from Microsoft.

Initially though, I had difficulty locating the results I was hoping to find. Eventually I did find them – must have been my error.

Our options for connecting with one of the stores include: Getting directions, Save for later, Send to phone and Write a review.

Yahoo (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless, New York, NY

Yahoo Verizon Wireless NY “Find a Business”

Yahoo Verizon Wireless Find A Business

Yahoo Verizon Wireless New York

Yahoo Verizon Wireless New York

I can get the same type of UK map results from Yahoo however; I have to pull Yahoo’s UK web property up to get London results whereas with Microsoft I was able to get results from their US site.

Yahoo (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England

Yahoo HSBC UK Brand US Search

Yahoo HSBC UK US Search

Yahoo HSBC UK London UK Search

Yahoo (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England

Now, let’s run searches for the same terms in Google. Like Microsoft, Google returns five types of views albeit under different button terms: Map, Street, Traffic, Satellite and Terrain Views.

The look and feel of Google’s views seem more visually pleasing than both the Microsoft and Yahoo products, however my appraisal is subjective.

Microsoft’s search and map features seem to be evenly matched with Googles’ and beyond those of Yahoo’s. Microsoft’s “Bird’s Eye” view does appear to ahead of its counterpart – Google’s satellite view.

Google (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless New York, NY

Google Verizon Wireless NY Map View

Google Verizon Wireless Map View

Google Verizon Wireless NY Street View

Verizon Street View

Google Verizon Wireless Traffic View

Google Verizon NY Traffic View

Google Verizon Wireless NY Satellite View

Google Verizon Wireless Satellite View

Google Verizon Wireless Terrain View

Google Verizon NY Terrain View

Google offers only three viewing options in the UK at this time compared to Microsoft’s five, yet I can fetch the results from Google’s US property unlike with Yahoo.

Google (UK) Brand Search: HSBC, London England

Google US HSBC Brand Search London UK Map View

Google (UK) Brand Search: HSBC, London England

Overall Microsoft, Google and Yahoo each offer their version of both business and brand rich search results.

From what I can tell, businesses and brands have yet to scratch the surface so to speak when it comes to reaching their potential customers in this new geographically rich and fertile target marketing environment.