Danny Sullivan, in his Opening Keynote discusses the Search Engine Industry and what he expects to happen in the future. He discusses the current state of the industry and says we had Google, Ask Jeeves. Gained Yahoo, lost MSN for now and we will lose AllTheWeb.
Danny feels the major search players will be like the major TV networks. He feels there will be few players with a broad reach. Ups and downs of each engine are:
Google: Brand Yahoo: Brand and portal lock in MSN: Browser and portal lock in AOL: Browser and portal lock in Ask Jeeves: Brand
He does not believe you can simply buy an engine to build a brand. Word of mouth is the best method and it was the only thing that worked in the past. What else is important is that your search engine is damn good. 52% say relevant information is most important, 34% credibility is important.
Microsoft will be spending a ton of resources developing their own search and Danny is not so confident they will succeed.
He feels Google's "monopoly" is over but they will continue to succeed. He discusses some of the problems people are having with the current Google. He said that Google has been trying out new algorithms over these months.
Answers are: - Buy PPC to supplement - Do what is best for the human, not the engine. Do not worry.
Yahoo released a CPC model only. This can be a major problem, look at what happened with LookSmart. But Yahoo is still going to list free listings, so it is kind of different. He would like to see Yahoo show which links are pay for inclusion by adding a symbol next to the link or something.
Danny feels that the future of PPC will be...I want to target people who want to buy sofas. Google and Overture will say, ok we sell you a bucket of these search terms for $X per click and you will be covered.
Google is getting personal (look at Eurekster for what this means). They run Orkut.com, Yahoo will and AOL knows it all.
Lots of information in 30 minutes.