First panel today for me is the Search Industry Update panel moderated by Sandeep Aggarwal of Collins-Stewart with Sean Walsh of LuxuryLink.com, Heather Dougherty of HitWise, Kevin Lee of Didit and Jaldeep Singh of Spock.com
Sean Walsh is speaking about using Google Insights to explain search volume for the keyword ‘vacation‘ and how search volume for this term is decreasing year after year. Walsh is showing what we all have known for a while – people aren’t vacationing due to the economy. Google Trends shows that most search terms are down this year and that is one thing you need to take into account when setting up a Pay-per-click campaign.
Next up it’s Heather Doughery of Hitwise and she states that searches on Google increased 10% in July 2008 compared to July 2007. So far I do not see any darts coming out Walsh’s eyes. Dougherty goes on to say that Google traffic is increasing while maintaining repeat visitors.
She is breaking down the impact of search on site traffic. The automotive industry currently relies on close to 38% if its traffic from search. Automotive is also second in PPC traffic behind Retail.
Kevin Lee, of Didit and SEMPO board member, is breaking down spending on online marketing. Google has gone from 64% in Q1 2006 to 74% in Q2 in 2008. Yahoo has gone from 34% in Q1 2006 to 20% in Q2 2008. Microsoft was at 0% in Q1 2006 to 5% in Q2 2008. So this should give you an indication on where to spend your ad dollars.
Lee states that this year may in fact be the year of mobile, even though the last four years were touted as the year of mobile. Mobile is here but it isn’t perfect yet
Jaldeep Singh of Spock is presenting on ‘people search’ with the top three search engines representing 7 billion searches on people a month. Social media sites such as Facebook also make up 7 billion searches on people a month. 45% of these searches are by name only with 35% by name with a keyword and the other 25% is simply a keyword search that triggers a name. Spock btw is a cool people search tool but it needs some tweaking. Here is a search for Social Media Houston. The first result is someone who is a ‘Multi Media specialist’ and a ‘social drinker’ so it looks like it still has some way to go. Plus I can’t find myself on it(Oh you know you are going to do the same thing)
The panel is in agreement that the future of search is better reporting, spending trends(knowing when to spend more) and the Google vs Yahoo! vs Microsoft fued will continue to drive change in the industry – competition makes everything better!