Will search be different on mobile?
Peter Davanzo points out an article submitted by a searchengineblog reader that hits the nail right on the head for me. Mobile search will change everything.. - See the full article threadlinked above.
The author, Scott Schaffer points out that at some point in the not to distant future, mobile net activity will surpass the regular PC net we know now. And more to the point, the throat will be ripped out of online advertising as PPC advertisers struggle to adapt to a very different set of stats for net usage and a mobile consumer landscape with a very different model for information retrieval.
He goes on to hypothesis about scanning barcodes to get information rather than laboriously typing in phrases into a search engine and how who holds a trademark will count far more than who has the highest ranking on Google.
It's a damn good read, and although there is still infinate room for the mobile web to shape itself in any manner of direction I think he paints a plausible picture. Go have a look and tell me what you think...
When is permission to repost images needed?
Adland point to this post by blogger Jason Calacanis on reposting images. Naturally Jason is talking about it in the context of blogs, like there was some kind of difference between a blog and a regular site, but as many a web dev knows, it's a tricky issue.
From the adland post:
it seems there's a new idea forming - posting images without permission is OK as long as they are small?? Please help me out here, am I reading this right? Fair use? Has the world gone mad!? Is this the guy Denton thought should be the one to look up to when it comes to blogger ethics?
The web does cause trouble in this area, but would this new 'rule' hold water in court, or work in the long run - in a fair way? I don't think so.
And I see his point. But then the idea of images as fair use doesn't sound all that crazy does it?
Opinions? I know we have a few copyright experts in here, let's have your thoughts...
The battle for search loyalty drives innovation
Forresters Charlene Li shares some snippets from a consumer survey conducted on US households. Some of the data is unsurprising but it does make for interesting reading.
Google continues to lead as the site consumers use most frequently to search the Internet, while Yahoo! lost share from 2003.
MSN gained substantial share as the default home page for online consumers. + Among Google's loyal searchers, many were likely to have MSN and Yahoo! as their default home pages, opening up the possibility that these portals will regain search loyalty.
MSN has a slight lead in the percent of consumers who use its toolbar.
Almost half of all toolbar users also use another toolbar.
Google tops the list in terms of search effectives (as ranked by their own loyal searchers) but overall quality remains poor, leading consumers to use multiple search engines.
I find it very difficult to break the Google habbit (and there's mostly no reason why i should) but I have in recent months been turning to Yahoo! a significant proportion of the time.
I cant seem to take Clusty seriously, no matter what good things i hear :)
Hot on the heels of Chitika comes Conducive's AdMarketPlace. Clickz have the scoop in the story threadlinked above but i must say, bearing in mind that Conducive also provide search engine marketing and their site is utterly unspiderable their offering doesn't inspire much confidence at first glance.
Also, they could do with hiring someone to help with their PR - check this out:
"We've taken a lot of the learnings from that and repackaged it a bit into maybe an AdSense version of that system," said Jim Waltz, president and CEO of Conducive, referring to Google's contextual ad program.
Adware cannibals feast on each other
Cnet are roporting on how one spyware company's program deleted millions of a competitors installs that has cost direct revenue, another so dubbed "spyware firm", $10,000 a day.
Im more than a little behind the curve with podcasting but thanks to Aaron im at least familiar with the general idea :)
Today, in the article threadlinked above, Steve Rubel talks about the possiblility of reaching the streets ahead super early adopters that make up the burgeoning ipod nation.
You can’t walk 50 feet in a major city without seeing them. You can spot them a mile away by the dual white wires that dangle from their ears. They’re young, technically savvy, loyal, enthusiastic card-carrying members of the burgeoning iPod Nation. They represent an attractive demographic of early adopter influencers that marketers covet. And, thanks to an emerging revolution in online audio content called podcasting, there are all kinds of new and exciting ways to reach them through “podvertising.”
So, i have 3 questions for Threadwatchers if I may:
Do you have an Ipod?
Is it cool?
Will the new gen mobiles kill it?
Google News' chief robot speaks out
The Register's Andrew Orlowski's anti-google views are well known, most folks in Search take his comments with that fact in mind. This piece, thredlinked above, is however both very funny and, i think, important.
Is Google News' chief scientist, Krishna Bharat, actually a robot? From an interview in the current issue of Wired magazine, it's increasingly difficult to conclude that Bharat could convincingly pass the Turing Test. Every time Google News is criticized for bias, Bharat is wheeled to field out an identical reply. He claims that humans can't be held responsible for what appears on his website - because machines are in charge.
"The truth is, Google News doesn't have a point of view," he tells the magazine. "It's a computer, and computers do not understand these topics the way humans do and can't be systematically biased in any direction."
So human or algorithm? We're leaning towards the latter. What the Bharatbot doesn't seem to have been programmed with is the experience of ever having being someone who reads the news himself: and experience is often the vital difference between bot and machine.
Does Orlowski have a valid point in that G news should take some responsibility for their content?
Google will test animated ads through its AdSense network, the search company said yesterday.
The animated image ads will appear shortly on Web sites that opted to display Google's graphical ad units, which the company introduced in May. Until now, Google has allowed advertisers to use only static banner ads. A test group will run animated GIF files, though Google said it would keep its maximum file size for image ad units at 50 kilobytes.
Ads on your mobile: Believe it or not, you may welcome them
James Pearce takes an interesting look at how inovative telcos and ad firms will very likely begin to advertise to your mobile in an opt-in viral way. The main problem with mobile ads is the fact that the new-gen mobiles, capable of receiving streaming video are infinately configurable and models to deliver ads via your cell are in their infancy.
One line of thought is the classic viral ad. The system talked about in the article would require users to enter a short code to have your ad streamed to them and one way to encourage participation is viral ad marketing.
It's an interesting read if you're following this sector and a good primer on what the various options for mobile advertising are now, and may be in the future.
Convera Plans to Enter Web Search Marketplace
Convera, a company with US government agency ties, including the FBI plans to enter the commercial search fray next year as pointed out by Gary in the SEW blog post threadlinked above. The source of this info comes from this Washington Post artcle and they may very well be something to look out for in 2005.
Yahoo Bolsters Local Search Business Listings
Thursdays searchday article at SEW looks at Yahoo Local's quiet roll out of paid inclusion, enhanced listings and tools for businesses to alter some of the infomation in their free basic listings.
Chris Sherman has the scoop and it boils down to this:
Limited editing on basic listings (free)
Up to 5 listings in the Y! local directory
Enhanced listings which add additional info like: tagline, descriptions, promo links, photos (up to 10) etc
The enhanced listings cost $10 a month and are straight up listings, no ppc involved
You can see an example of a local listing here
Pretty neat huh?
Chris has all the details, check out his write up...
The 6 Myths Of Creativity
FC have a story, threadlinked above on some very detailed and extensive research into creativity in business - if you run a company, or even a one man band, this is gooooood stuff! Check it out for the full details, here's the bullet points:
The Myths of Business Creativity
Creativity Comes From Creative Types
Money Is a Creativity Motivator
Time Pressure Fuels Creativity
Fear Forces Breakthroughs
Competition Beats Collaboration
A Streamlined Organization Is a Creative Organization
I tend to have my most creative thoughts whilst in bed, at the end of the day. Many a time i've gotten back out of bod and sat back at the PC to jot them down :)
Threadwatch member grnidone kicked off a beautiful discussion on cart abandonment and conversions a few days back, it's now ripe for your enjoyment:
She got the ball rolling with this little nugget:
As far as how we combat it, on one site, we place a cookie so when someone comes back to the site, they are offered a pop up window that tells the person they have something in their cart, and if they finish the purchase, they get 10% off their cart. That has worked well, we have a 13% conversion rate from that pop up alone. I think that could go up if we switch to dhtml to get around the pop up blockers out there.
Christine Churchill one of the founding members of SEMPO has resigned her seat on the board.
Founding and rearing SEMPO has, as many of you know, been a bumpy road. We've all learned a lot. It's been a good, if sometimes challenging learning experience. The SEMPO of today isn't the SEMPO I envisioned when I first started with it.
She goes on to say that the industry may require several marketing associations, a statement that looks very like the beginings of the long awaited admission that SEMPO has failed.
Threadwatch sends it's best wishes to Christine however, nobody would wish the personal trials and grief expressed in her last paragraph on anyone. Good luck Christine, and all the best.