Search Industry Today from SES Chicago '09

Dec 7, 2009 - 11:15 am 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2009

Below is live coverage of the Search Industry Today from the SES Chicago 2009 (official SES Chicago Site) conference.

This coverage is provided by Chris Boggs of Rosetta.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage, please excuse any typos. You can also interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed.

 Search Industry Today(12/07/2009) 
Chris Boggs: 

Search Industry Today

Moderated by Pauline Ores. I arrived a bit late and found no Internet connection, unfortunately, so was unable to send this “Live.”

Heather Dougherty from Hitwise gave some good examples related to the FTC recent ruling on pharma, and where the traffic started going to after the precipitous drop in traffic to brand drug sites (per Hitwise). She highlighted the traffic starting to go to lawyers as well as Canadian pharma sites, and paused to remind people that it would be difficult to ignore search as part of your marketing plan.

Anne Kennedy FROM and Beyond Ink is up next and she speaks to recent trends in search, including growing number of total searchers online (I am sure another blogger caught this number). She highlights the recent changes in the SERPs, and some of the additional opportunities with universal search. She speaks to the additional categorization found in Bing, and how to potentially target content for those. She lastly shows the updated heat map from Enquiro which shows people’s eyes gravitating towards the images found in universal results.

Kevin Lee from– search engines seem to continue to find ways to monetize things more effectively. Shows last year’s projections of growth in search volume from SEMPO research, and wonders how the curve will change going forward.

He feels that measured SEO ROI is going to plummet. Early days of SEO were much easier and not as competitive. Also, changes in SERPS and personalized search will make it harder and harder to get the ROI from seo that you used to see, and will need to work harder to get it.

PPC has its own problems - including aggressive bidders as well as increased competition. Kevin is running through slides and thoughts pretty quickly… next goes to branding and search, and that it isn’t measured since it is complicated to mix this in. Google did an interesting study about branding and search. It waited 4 days between search experience and asking people if they had awareness. Still saw a significant lift after 4 days, especially when site was visited.

Attribution modeling: Kevin cautions that you have to think about allocating DR metrics against different media touch points, weird things start happening. Let’s say you have a $1 bid but show you have to drop to 70 cents, this can lead to lost traffic and lost overall conversions, which will change the way you see the performance of the account. He asks where does the attribution following end? Think about the interactive effects of search…when retargeting, which cookie pool do you want to use to retarget them? Your advertising cookies or the search engine cookies?

Tip: Exchange inventory is sometimes very well placed, and he recommends doing your own due diligence but it can be very powerful.

Be very wary of view through conversions. They are very important, but not the be-all-end-all. Issues include the presence of siloed cookies across a number of [programs, and figuring out who should get paid for what. Cherry pick the best clicks and measure/target effectively in 2010!

QA next:

What new ways are the engines allowing advertisers to connect with consumer?

Pann from Yahoo says that you need to do experimentation, as a search engine. One thing they tested early this year was concept of rich ads in search. Focused it on brand terms, because they were fixated on consumer relevance, so they wanted to ensure experience was very relevant. For some brand advertisers it is a home run, for others a strike out. The success of the experiment is allowing them to innovate in other Rich ways. Wants to make it a much more rich/compelling experience.

Kevin says that most engines are retooling their APIs at this point. This helps advertisers more effectively manage PPC towards narrowing the market. Thus, agencies need to use the API to more effectively cherry pick the individuals behind the keyword and target them effectively. He wishes there was a more common technology standard across the APIs.

Anne says that it sounds like there is an opportunity to make a really useful tool to combine the API formats.

How prevalent is use of search retargeting for consumers now?

Kevin: likelihood that client is running retargeting right now is directly proportionate to the traffic they currently have. Success tends to be highly correlated to number of visitors to site on monthly basis…starts to work really well at 500K to 1Million, and increasingly after that. Secondly, how long are they in market with the particular product? If it is a flower delaer targeting specific times, you have to get this done very effectively in order to retarget in time. Longer lasting market time means you can do it effectively for longer period.

Pann mentions “Search Retargeting” product that is actually for their display clients. They have about 100 advertisers using it today, and they are seeing good results.

General discussion: Anne reminds us that the fundamentals of this industry are more and more important to master as the industry grows. She showed that going back to the basics can be very powerful, and cited the example of SEO becoming more important when landing page quality score was introduced to page search. Kevin says it is critical to determine with your agency who is responsible for the blocking and tackling required to create content and campaign reorganization. Sometimes you can offload some of the work to the engines, and but making sure that who is doing it will do it right should be most important.

Audience member asks how to best stay up with the most current changes in the industry?

Pann says that Yahoo sales teams are consistently trained to stay up with the latest best practices, and that regular communication with your account reps are very important. They will be prepared for changes and utilize them.

Anne asks Kevin what about SEMPO Institute? Kevin says there are a number of good training programs out there, and they should definitely be leveraged in order to stay up to date.

Pauline has found they have to always be piloting or testing in order to keep up first hand with changes. then they need to communicate this within their different business lines, and to demonstrate the new value prior to eliciting changes.

Is SEO Dead?

Anne said it is evolving, not dead. What is dead is the rankings, yet over and over people talk about top 10 rankings. The complexity now of what we have to do as marketers is great, because there are so many opportunities to gain visibility and so many areas to focus on, including other types of media.Kevin says measuring is hard, but the even harder thing is prioritizing. Measuring even existing ROI is very difficult.

Monday December 7, 2009 11:33 Chris Boggs



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