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Overview of SES London 2008
Search Engine Strategies

Overview of SES San Jose 2007
Search Engine Strategies

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Personalised search results

(viewed 822 times)
The session on personalised search results was very interesting. It
seems that the search experience is going to start changing from
region to region and person to person. We're not going to be seeing
the same results any more, but the results we will see will be results
each other have nonetheless seen.

Gordon Hotchkiss from Enquiro presented some interesting eye tracking
studies on how personalised search results changed the click throughs
across the page. Rather than clickthrus beeing generated primarily on
the top 3 results, personalised results seemed to draw the users
interest further down the page, generating good clickthrough rates in
lower positions such as 4 and 5. He identified a few opportunities
that SEOs might focus on to benefit from personalised results:
- start thinking in terms of themes instead of keywords.
- use images and video more actively, as these appeared more
frequently in personalised sections.
- start to look at authority of websites and carve out your niche as a
research base
- start aggregating content from other authority sites.
- develop into widget / gadget sphere where personalisation is king.
- network your websites around clickstream data, start building more
- Buzz niches
- comparison wizards

Dave Davies from Beanstalk-Inc gave an enlightening summary of
Google's Personal Page Rank patent and the surrounding patents around
personalisation of search results. Google's rationale for
personalisation is based on some key factors:
User behaviour - common search behaviour, time on site, time to return
to engine.
Personal PageRank - user behaviour will influence what results other users see.
Group data - data taken (eventually) from social bookmarking, browser
bookmarks and toolbars.

Jonathan Mendez from Offermatica told SEM consultants to wake up and win back the mindshare on personalisation from the big ad networks. He asserted that if you've been running high quality PPC campaigns then you have
most likely been practising personalisation for years. He showed an
excellent array of data and results based on presenting dynamic
content to the user according to parameters within the referrer
string. For instance, Google will tell you what language the
originating search was performed in - so for instance it may be worth
serving a language targeted ad/alert for a user searching with english
keywords, when their language settings are actually in Spanish.
Furthermore, if you are running PPC ads, you can define parameters for
every ad yourself, meaning you can show different content depending on
the keyword match type of the ad. I had a million of brilliant (if i
do say so myself) ideas of how to tackle some of the issues i face on
some of the b2b publishing titles i optimise for.

Sep Kamvar from Google said that personalisation really only works on
generic 1 and 2 word search terms and added that gadgets were a really
simple way to start exploring what is possible with personalisation.
Tim Mayer from Yahoo chipped in with the comment that personalisation was not just about generic keywords but tackling subjective queries such as "what doctor should i
see when i am in San Jose". Another great write-up here.

Universal and Blended Search

(viewed 683 times)
Search engines are changing the types of search results they deliver.
Now they include related videos, local listings, news results and blog

Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR encouraged companies to re-think the way they
try to get traffic from search engines. Some top tips were:
- use sites like to workout which publishers to approach
for stories.
- include image files with your press releases as 90% of journalists
say visual content is critical to their ability to write good stories.

Some sound bites:
"Blogs are becoming de facto industry press and their ability to
generate traffic, buzz and referred coverage shouldn't be

David Bailey from Google wants to be the search box of first resort. Users have busy lives so we create special features (such as Onebox and Plusbox featuring pictures, maps, ratings, publication dates) for special results.

Universal search is an adaptation of the Onebox feature and is not only about promoting Google properties such as YouTube. Most of the universal search features will add coverage lower down the page. The challenges ahead are to figure out how to create a smarter tool that can rank apples against oranges and still be relevant.

It's business as usual for SEOs. Universal search is still about revealing the web, so SEOs need to stick to creating quality content and describing it well.

A couple of things SEOs can do is:
-Create good video content that people will like - product reviews and upload it to YouTube
-Enhance your Google Map listings. Get your businesses and those you represent onto the map.

But Universal search is NOT about promoting our other properties (no no no no! ;-)

An excellent write-up here.

Ciao at SES

(viewed 757 times)
Ciao All the way from Munich.

Search landscape- packed session hosted by Andrew Goodman

(viewed 721 times)
Jeremy Crane from put together some really interesting stats on how people search the the internet.

- In US there are 6 billion searches per month but only 4 billion lead to a referral to a website. (Effectively a 66% clickthrough rate)
- The most clicked website as a result of search queries is Yet, incredibly, this only accounts for 4% of the total referrals delivered by search engines. What this means is that, SEOs and online marketers are looking at a query market that could be plotted on a graph as having a TINY head and a GIGANTIC tail.
- Men are 4% more likely to only use Google over any other Search Engines. Women will use multiple engines. Senior citizens have a greater disposition towards
- 51% of US users are only going to use Google to find stuff. Yahoo and MSN loyalty are rated at 34% and 14% respectively.
- Customers start searching for a product 81 days before they buy it. Searches get more and more specific the closer they get towards purchase.

James Lamberti from comScore Networks had some great world wide stats on Search

60 billion search queries made worldwide on all major search engines and including internal search engines from major sites such as and printmedia publications and co-opted search engines.

Pure Search Engine Stats
25 billion queries worldwide
8 billion in US

New Search Marketing Opportunities are continually emerging.
- 1 billion queries per month on YouTube. They have yet to work out how to monetise this, but it's inevitable.
- Total queries on MySpace would actually stick them at 4th in world for all Search Engines
- Total internal queries on Ebay would rank them above
- 2 billion searches per month on

PR train wrecks, how 2 avoid

(viewed 568 times)
Kevin Ryan (SEW), Brad Berens (iMedia Communications) and Rebecca Lieb (ClickZ)

Commandments of good online PR:

-Know thy publisher.
-Co-ordinate thy teams.
-Communicate internally.
-Don't batch and blast your press releases, if you want big publishers to pick up your stories.
-Give publishers exclusives.
-Don't copy publishers stories and re-issue them as press releases.
-Give publishers long embargoes, so they can research and report the story themselves.

Post search ads- retargeting ads based on search queries

(viewed 598 times)
Ad networks are starting to base ad targeting on search queries and not just contextual content.

It's big!

(viewed 701 times)

Its a good day to get optimised

(viewed 625 times)