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Thursday, March 2, 2006

SES: The Other 95%

Mark Malseed is the coauthor of The Google Story, a best-selling account of the company’s rise, which is being published in 17 languages worldwide. He writes about technology and politics from Washington, DC, and travels giving lectures and coaching seminars on search.

The biggest buzzword this year at Search Engine Strategies had to be “so,” the commonplace conjunction that seems to begin every conversation nowadays, especially one where a technical explanation is to follow. So....let me share two important statistics that sum up why a record crowd of 6,000+ people attended the New York expo, and why they’ll be back next year, and the year after...

So.... to capture some of that first 95% segment, the search companies will be throwing their best ideas at retaining visitors by offering new services that play up social aspects of the web (think Flickr and, both recently acquired by Yahoo) as well as ones which offer valuable content in the form of videos, music, books and more.

Secondly, to bring more advertisers online from the 95% swath that are still confined to print, TV and radio, the search companies are working on ways to better target people through ads based on their location, gender, the time of day, the day of the week, and other contextual clues. MSN’s new adCenter, currently in pilot phase, touts these specific targeting features as ways it differs from Google’s AdWords, which it otherwise closely resembles. Google and Yahoo will look to do more themselves. They will also promote pay-per-call advertising, so merchants who don’t have a website can still reap the benefits of online advertising.


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