Thursday, March 10, 2005

Search And The NY Times

From Search engines build a better mousetrap.

GOOGLE has so firmly staked out its place as the Internet search-engine leader that it has even earned a place as a verb in the English lexicon.

Paradoxically, because of its very popularity, there may be no better time to try something different. I agree.

Google's success has forced competitors like Yahoo, MSN Search and Ask Jeeves to hustle with releasing new product features, search controls and improved behind-the-scenes programming. The resulting bonanza of tools brings more search capabilities, presented more intuitively than the Web has ever seen.

What isn't discussed in this story is the difference between search and navigation. Search is "hotels nyc". Navigation is "Marriott nyc". Once a brand name is introduced in the query, the request turns from a search to a navigation request. If you look at the top 50 search requests, it is stacked with brand names or trademarks. So to make "searching" more efficient, the focus has to include the difference between the two.

This is the reason why I think brands/TM's have a legitimate beef against search engines.

Corporations are the big advertising spenders and if you give them more "control" of their brand/tm and traffic,I'm sure you will see more dollars come your way.

Think of what a brand has to endure to get some eyeballs to their site.

1. They have to guess which search engine to use (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AskJeeves)
2. They have to pick out the "right keywords" even if they OWN THEM!
3. They have to hope that user guesses the right word pattern and maybe their site makes it in the top 10.
4. Once the site finally gets listed in the top 10, your competitor's site is placed right next to yours.
5. The click on your site may be from some guy in India earning rupees.

Having a creative advertising campaign is not enough anymore. There's a better way coming that will put brands back in control of site traffic.

Congrats BatMan John Battelle on being included in another quality piece in this industry.

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