The Global Search Universe | SMX London 2007

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This is the latest edition of our notes from SMX London 2007, the first ever Search Marketing eXpo to take place in the British capital.

This article covers the session in the paid search track called “The Global Search Universe”, which gave great insight into the development of search marketing around the world.

Panelist included:

Robin Groad– Hitwise
Piers Stobbs– ComScore
Massimo Burgio – SEMPO

Robin Groad took the floor first, and presented data from Hitwise which detailed the usage of search engines in different countries. Robin then went on to explain that as the market was maturing, searchers tended to increase the amount of words used to perform a query -an average 2 words were used last year to perform a search; this has now increased to 3 words. Individual terms (1 word searches) are now increasingly used to search for brands or websites such as amazon, Nike, or even Google (yes, people type Google into the search engine of the same name!) but mostly Facebook, Myspace and Bebo which make the largest bulk of individual user searches.

Robin took the example of the travel industry to explain the differences in localisation of keywords. In the UK, people search for terms related to trains, flights, maps and comparison websites to find information about travel; UK users therefore seek more comparative information. In the US, travel searches are dominated by maps & flights; users seek guidance in their choices. In Australia, travel searches are dominated by flights due to the country’s geographical constraints (distance between cities, and the fact that Oz is an island).

Piers Stobbs then took the floor, and started his presentation by explaining that users were becoming less and less willing to ‘dig deep’ into the SERPs to find the most relevant result. This should raise an interesting discussion as to whether users are becoming more lazy, or whether it’s their trust in [tag]Google[/tag] and its provision of quality results that’s increasing. Piers then touched on Google’s world domination by explaining that the search giant performed 63% of worldwide searches.

An interesting point (another one!) raised by Piers was the fact that there are more searches in Europe than in the US! Indeed, 75% of searches are undertaken outside the US (this figure includes Asia, Africa and EMEA) proving that the American market is saturated with advertisers; this was proved by the fact that Google AdWords revenues are split 50/50 between the US and the rest of the world… Competition is fierce in the States, you should know that if you are running [tag]PPC[/tag] campaigns in North America…

Massimo Burgio then closed the session’s presentations by explaining a little bit about his company. No information there, just a presentation of what SEMPO does, and how you can join. Brilliant!

The Q&Asession got the audience discussing the fact that social media networks are eating shares of internet users from the search engines and email providers. Meaning that the generations joining the internet will use social media as their email, which used to be the primary ‘functionality’ of the internet -email used to be the first destination of 90% of users a few years ago…

The question I asked (myself) was this one: Is it possible that in the future you will have a search engine for each media? –> Linkedin for jobs, YouTube for video, Flickr for images, Google for text/books and maybe, say another one for travel? I don’t really want to setup a vertical search engine, but at the moment it seems to me like Google is taking its time in integrating different types of media to search results. I know they are doing it, but I really want to see more colours, more videos and more pictures in my search results for ‘the rolling stones’!

Thanks to [tag]Robin Groad[/tag], [tag]Piers Stobbs[/tag], and [tag]Massimo Burgio[/tag] for their presentations, and the entire SMX London 2007 staff. If you haven’t done so yet, check out the SMX comics.

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