SES Live: Search: Where to Next?

Aug 18, 2011 - 4:10 pm 0 by

Below is live coverage of the Search: Where to Next? panel from the SES San Francisco 2011 conference. This coverage is provided by Ben Pfeiffer at RankSmart.

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Ben Pfeiffer: 12:13:21 pm
Search: Where to Next?
It's been said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. And almost everyone likes to speculate about the future. When it comes to search marketing, none are better at it than our veteran panel of industry insiders. Join us for an illuminating discussion as we peek into the next generation of digital marketing and predict what search might look like in the following five to ten years. What should be on your search radar for 2012 and beyond? Does the key to the future of search lie in personalization? Do social networks herald the end of search? Certain industry pundits have even been heard to say that SEO is dead. The future is coming. Are you ready for it?

Anne F. Kennedy, SES Advisory Board, International Search Strategist, Beyond Ink USA
Tamara Colagrossi, Head of Marketing, Marchex
Eli Goodman, Search Evangelist, comScore, Inc.
Mike Grehan, Chair SES Advisory Board, Global VP Content, SES/Search Engine Watch/ClickZ
Rand Schulman, Chief Marketing Officer, Eightfold Logic
Dana Todd, Vice President of Performance Innovation, Performics
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:14:30 pm
This session is usually really great. I have attended this specific session at SES for over 5 years. Always very interesting to see what the speakers will predict search will be like in 5, 10, 15 years.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:16:40 pm
Mike is gonna talk about where SEO is headed.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:17:34 pm
Rand is talking about content engineers (or otherwise an SEO).
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:17:57 pm
Eli says he is a stats guy, he will talk about market numbers, branding, etc..
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:19:23 pm
Dana is looking at the future of advertising. She gives a stat that 83% of people on the net, don't click on an ad, nothing. She will talk about this in more detail.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:19:58 pm
Tamara is gonna talk about how search is transforming because of mobile devices.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:21:00 pm
Anne says lets start with mobile and mobile apps. How is it changing how we search? How can marketers reach transient media consumers.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:21:44 pm
Tamara when users use mobile devices to search a product they are in the last stages of the buying cycle.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:22:05 pm
She gives an example of needing to buy running shoes and how she used her phone to do this.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:22:44 pm
Search engines will be used for the research phase of the buying process. Mobile will be used for the buying/immediate need stage of the buying cycle.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:24:26 pm
Eli says the data supports this. There are many different types of devices now. 14 million tablet and ipad users in the US.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:25:04 pm
3.2 - 3.4 words per search, with mobile the length of words used to search is shorter.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:25:31 pm
The length of the search phrase keeps getting longer. On mobile this will happen too.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:26:23 pm
There is a fundamental shift, search is reaching a glass ceiling. The mobile app economy could be heading there as well. The mobile search bypasses the browser.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:27:11 pm
Mike says people spend their day on the WWW, but don't even use the internet technically. They use apps on their phone.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:28:02 pm
Apps are a workaround for the shortcoming of using a computer. Apps are kind of a mess. You can't find the tops and bottom of the app market.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:28:43 pm
Apps are some what limited. They don't share data, its kinda messy. The trend to the future however is they evolving and it will change dramatically in the future.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:29:00 pm
Creativity with conversion = what?
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:29:25 pm
Creativity without conversion = zero(not art, not branding)
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:29:51 pm
The people that are creating the apps, we need to give them the tools to measure the conversion.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:31:11 pm
Rand says that we need to create courses in colleges that merry both left and right brand ideas that teaches people how to use the web and measure the success on the business side.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:32:20 pm
They get into the subject of art.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:33:25 pm
Mike asks "What is content?"
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:34:37 pm
He is trying to explain that content creation on the web today sucks essentially. There is often little purpose behind it. He gives the example of It has ranked for years, but has no real content. It valuable as a tool.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:34:57 pm
The future of search is around content engineering. Building that content to be found and used.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:35:07 pm
Not content just created for search engine bots.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:35:54 pm
Mike: If you look at the web today, its a huge sea of crap. He says Google thinks they are going to crawl the web and pick out the good bits. It's stupid.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:36:39 pm
Mike asks why do I keep having to ask the same questions over and over to a search engine, and getting the same crappy result. Why can't they just give it to me.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:36:44 pm
Mike asks why do I keep having to ask the same questions over and over to a search engine, and getting the same crappy result. Why can't they just give it to me.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:38:12 pm
Tamara says that apps work well because they provided targeted unique content. I can see what she means, that is valuable and why apps are used.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:42:38 pm
Dana talks about experience. Experience takes into account what people want. Content doesn't take into the experience of someone.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:42:46 pm
They go off onto an education rant.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:43:34 pm
Rand says we are too focused these days of what search used to be.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:43:56 pm
Anne asks whether we will have "experience" search engines in the future?
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:44:59 pm
Eli says people have predicted the demise of search for many years. The reality is that last month there was 20 billion searches last month. People using search engines keeps growing.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:46:29 pm
Mike says people don't wake up in the morning thinking they are going to go search something. No, search is task oriented. It satisfies a need for information.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:47:24 pm
Eli says 10% of people who checkin anywhere, use FourSquare.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:47:24 pm
Eli says 10% of people who checkin anywhere, use FourSquare.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:47:44 pm
Last month 95% of people who checked in somewhere used Facebook Places.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:48:09 pm
Google+ is one of the fastest growth of a social network ever. We will see how it plays out.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:50:48 pm
So what is customer 2.0 of the future going to look like?
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:51:01 pm
They don't want to be sold too, they just want to buy.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:51:25 pm
Tamara says mobile is more about using it to fill an immediate need.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:52:28 pm
Dana says she looked at some stats yesterday that showed more and more people are using their phones in their downtime, use their phones when they are bored, or to pretend they are on the phone.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:53:54 pm
PC's used to be more about surfing the web, going from link to link. Then it became task oriented, its all about conversions and I am getting things done. Mobile is doing the reverse, mobile was about getting things done and now mobile is less about tasks but about playing.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:54:21 pm
62% of people who search for something on their phone call a business.
Ben Pfeiffer: 12:54:50 pm
Tamara thinks mobile is an amazing DM (direct marketing) vehicle.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:00:00 pm
Dana asks whether anyone is doing barcode search?
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:00:34 pm
She doesn't mean QR codes. She mean bar codes in stores, etc..
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:03:34 pm
An audience members speaks up and points out UPC codes etc are universal but its impossible for retailers to manage this and add URL to those codes... The convo is going all over the place.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:09:20 pm
They are still talking about bar codes, UPC codes, etc..
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:09:42 pm
Rand pipes in that we need to teach kids/students how to use the information on the website.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:11:10 pm
Anne asks if any of the panelists about whether they have seen an collaborative efforts in marketing to share info, tweak campaigns, etc.?
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:11:42 pm
Tamara says she does but it requires a lot of people to deliver the right message.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:12:34 pm
Dana says its still important to go out in the real world and watch people use your product. She says we are so focused on just sitting behind the screen where everything is available. Collaboration takes both.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:28:04 pm
Mike says UGC will make a big impact to search more and more in the future.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:29:03 pm
An audience member asks as how we have to work the findability of non-text related items? Images is an example.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:29:39 pm
Mike says originally text was the strongest signal, then it was links. Mike said Google says the strongest signal is end-user behavior.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:30:08 pm
So when people share, etc.. this is a strong signal.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:30:56 pm
Mike says computers are getting better reading subliminal signals.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:32:26 pm
He gives the example of using instant search. For example, someone types in special collection. Next he types special edition. Finally he types in limited edition and it shows him books. That was what he was looking for... Next time the search engine is going to suggest limited edition when someone searches for special edition.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:33:33 pm
Dana says that discoverability is something social is teaching us.
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:39:27 pm
Session is just about over with 5 min. left so I will close it here.

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