Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Ask Innovates With TV Search
The Blog
Erik Collier digs into the latest iteration of Ask's foray into semantic search, searchable TV listings--proving that innovation is still alive and well at the sometimes forgotten engine.

"Our Ask TV listings uses our patent-pending technology DADS (Direct Answers from Databases) to answer queries and questions from structured data feeds and databases," Collier says. "DADS provides highly accurate answers to queries which are relevant to a given topic. Instead of using traditional keyword search algorithms, our technology can deliver much deeper, more precise search results based on understanding of a query meaning rather than syntactical text matching."

So a user can enter a query like, "Is CSI on TV this Wednesday afternoon?" or "horror movies tonight" and get actual listings within the results. Ask TV covers over 100,000 shows across 10,000 stations, with new info updated daily. And users can also personalize the results to show content from their favorite stations. - Read the whole story...

Think It's Click Fraud? You Might Want To Think Again
"Click Fraud has been a serious concern for careful marketers for a long time now," says Joy Brazelle. "But Click Fraud also has become a scape-goat for some poorly performing campaign symptoms caused by laziness or lack of knowledge."

For example, a high bounce rate/low average time on site could be attributed to click fraud, but it could also be a symptom of a mismatch between a highly descriptive ad and a generic or even irrelevant landing page. Meanwhile, low conversion rates could be symptoms of an overly complex or broken shopping cart.

Sometimes a high volume of traffic from the same IP can be seen as a sign of click fraud, but a simple WHOIS lookup could reveal that an ISP is kicking out multiple visitors from one address. Brazelle also touches on why advertisers just starting out may see what seems like excessively high CPCs, as well as incurring traffic from non-Google sites when they've clearly opted out of the content network. - Read the whole story...

The Demographics Of Googlers Vs. Yahoo-Users
Adam Henige uses demographic data from Hitwise to make a case for maintaining your paid search spend with Yahoo. "Google, regardless of it's [sic] market share, still may not cover all of your bases in terms of your online marketing goals," he says. "It's important to keep an eye on the types of audiences in your search engine marketing planning process."

For example, the Hitwise stats revealed that Yahoo has become a popular engine with younger audiences. Almost 43% of Yahoo searchers are under the age of 35, while only 38% of Google users fit that age range. In contrast, Google trumps Yahoo when it comes to users aged 45+. So if you're positioning a product for the younger set, "there's still a sizeable audience to be reached through Yahoo," Henige says.

Meanwhile, in terms of spending power, Google beat out Yahoo with searchers that had spent more than $500 online--and tended to attract searchers from the "affluent suburbia" and "upscale America" brackets. So if your goals are built around driving sales of big ticket items, "gearing your search engine marketing plan towards Google, at least initially, may be a good place to start," Henige says. - Read the whole story...

Practical ECommerce Gets Reviewed
Practical eCommerce
Practical eCommerce has reviewed many a site in terms of overall usability and SEO, but this time the company has stepped up to the chopping block for a critique of its own redesign.

Alan Cox digs into the usability and conversion potential of the new and improved, concluding that "with a few upgrades, the web site could take a few steps forward in meeting its own business goals of increasing participation"--not to mention pumping up the value of any advertising present.

The new site scores high marks for its clean, straightforward design and multiple navigation paths (including by content type, tag or site search), but Cox suggests adding a clear list of topic areas with specifics about what each area entails (i.e., a quick blurb to explain what the SEO articles are about). He also says that the Webmaster needs to increase the stickiness of the content pages by including features like comments or links to related articles to entice readers to linger after they've skimmed their initial content. - Read the whole story...

DriverSide Picks Up Local Mechanic Search Engine
Kelsey Group Blogs
DriverSide, the newly launched hub for car owners, has already made its first acquisition, picking up fairBenjamin, an auto mechanic search engine. DriverSide currently offers a wealth of content surrounding vehicle maintenance, service shop reviews and news, but the move is seen as an attempt to better compete on the repairs and maintenance front with rival site RepairPal.

"The acquisition is hoped to improve DriverSide's repair service data and estimates for common repairs; and possibly add new dimensions to its service that are based on fairBenjamin's service model," says Mike Boland. "This mostly involves anonymously shopping out repair jobs to mechanics who can then connect with car owners." - Read the whole story...

Google's Hunting For AdWords 'Success Stories'
- Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Wednesday, August 27, 2008


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