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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bringing New Meaning to the Phrase "Search Engine Designers"

It's sunny today in Chicago, but due to the fact that I'm at Search Engine Strategies, for some strange reason I'm in a bit of a fog. Couple of tidbits:

I picked up a print version (fancy that) of DMNews from their exhibit booth and learned that the DMA has dropped its Internet marketing conferences, and will simply add interactive marketing sessions to its regular conferences. The editorial by Tad Clarke noted that ad:tech and Search Engine Strategies are teeming with attendees, but the DMA's interactive show couldn't make a go of it. Probably it comes down to the emerging professionalization of search marketing. Those who attend SES are a mix of small SEO firms, pros who do work in-house for companies that rely heavily on search advertising, and so forth. Deciding to attend 4-5 conferences a year, or 6-7 at most, means many devoted professionals in the field will need to go to at least two SES's. When you're trying to do your job, after all, you go to the source, and network and learn from the best. I guess what I'm saying is it comes down to specialization. There is probably room for the DMA in the hearts and minds of many online marketers... but not in their schedules.

MSN Search has the most beautiful booth at SES. A grand, double-decker facade with lighting, tasteful wood tones, and built-in computer screens. To get the word out, they're handing out garments squished into the shape of a butterfly. When you open it, at first it seems that it's all wrinkled due to the squishing. Turns out though that there's some kind of raised spiderweb pattern on this black shirt - and it has long sleeves. It's a bit slippierier than a regular t-shirt, too. And the logo on the back sort of looks like a bat. And there are magnifying glasses up the sleeves. One thing about it -- if they ever want to sell this thing, I doubt they'll have any trouble running an SEM campaign for it. Not a lot of current competition for "lace henley" - or is it "velour henley." It's some kind of cross between Grandma's Couch and the Chris O'Donnell After Hours collection. Methinks MSN contracted a certain Danish design maven cum SEO expert but didn't pay his whole fee, so he gave them this.

Unlike Andy Beal, I doubt there is room for numerous desktop search products in the marketplace. I have Google's running on my laptop here right now. Does Ask Jeeves, or (!) Hotbot, really believe I'll be downloading their tool too? Isn't technology supposed to *save* us time? Remember the toolbar flurry of a year or so ago? Folks I talk to have Google's toolbar installed. A few have Alexa. I like the Firefox extensions that plug in versions of these quite seemlessly. But tell me, do you have the Dogpile or Hotbot toolbar on any of your machines? And so it will go for desktop search.

Well, no more time to waste. I'm presenting on the ever-fascinating topic of contextual ads this afternoon. And then, back to shaking hands. :)

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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