Last panel of day 1 before the closing keynote is dedicated to other forms of search out there besides the big three. Moderated by Andrew Goodman of Page Zero Media and featuring Sage Lewis of SageRock.com, Jay Sears of ContextWeb Inc, Jonathon Ewert of LookSmart, Dustin Kwan of Ask Sponsored Listings and Mary Berk of Microsoft.
There are other forms of search out there besides a simple Google search such as Image search, Bit Torrent, meta search and various other niche search engines.
According to Sage Lewis there is more media to buy than ever but there isn’t more media budget. The giant ocean of media that can be bought can be very overwhelming. Sage is previewing Pay per Post which is a way to pay people to post to blogs for you. Grr. He is going through some of the smaller search engines that although they are smaller in size but are still effective. Ask.com, Superpages.com and Facebook Business Solutions. FBS is a very effective platform as you are able to drill down into specific demographics. Quigo is also a Lewis favourite.
He talked about LookSmart as well but when a site has flash intro I don’t want to have anything to do with it so LookSmart gets a groan from me on their site. Plus their flash didn’t scale too well on my screen and I’m at 1680×1050. Also as an online marketer I find it hard to trust a site that doesn’t employee even the basics of web site structure for marketing. This is just one man’s opinion
Lewis says the best way to gauge where to spend your money is to ask around. See what other people have experienced. He also states that you need to be clear as to what your goal is – Can you say Covey?
On online testing he suggests allocating 10-25% of your ad budget to testing
Jay Sears says that you spend 5% of your time online searching for something and the other 95% actually looking at your content. I wonder how that is measured and if bounce rate is a factor.
Jonathon Ewert of LookSmart is making the case for a larger reach set and the ability to provide great return. He states that Search Ad Networks make up $900 million in ad spend. Where SADs fit into the world of search is the middle between consumer search such as simple queries on Google et al and vertical search. What is a SAD? LookSmart is one these, along with Federated Media and 7 Search to name a few. They provide an alternative solution to run ads on your site or advertise on someone else’s site. Contact us if you have any questions on alternative ad solutions such as SADs
Next up it is Dustin Kwan of Ask showcasing the Ask Sponsored Listings platform which is currently the 4th most popular ad search network. Ask uses Dynamic Keyword Insertion quite a lot and if you are a regular searcher you may have seen this tactic used by companies such as Ebay and Target. These companies use this type of tactic that automatically inserts a searched keyword into a display add on the search results page. This however can be frustrating as I have searched for something and clicked on an Ebay ad only to get to page saying that that product is not in their system. This can be effective though but tread lightly.
Ask also employees a tactic that puts the exact query string in the ad. For example if you search for ‘VW Parts’ the dynamic keyword insertion will put that in the title but if you search for ‘Weber Carb 74 VW’ it will insert that exact term into the ad. That is pretty cool!
Kwan also warns us that we need to use our tools wisely, this is basic knowledge but it does need to be said over and over again.
Mary Beck of Microsoft states that they are a ‘small guy’ in the world of web marketing. She is doing her pitch on buying on the MSN network so on that note I will conclude my coverage of this panel