For many, until recent mention in the New York Times Quigo was an unknown. A recent post on our blog highlights positive impact clients have seen by driving traffic through Quigo. This prompted me to dig a little deeper into this contender.
Although this smaller company may be viewed as a lightweight by many, this is not the view of seasoned SEM advertisers. In reality the opposite is true….Quigo is providing an ad network that attracts both large advertisers and publishers. Working for an SEO/SEM managing clients’ advertising dollars….the benefits for the advertiser are pretty clear to me:
All of this has helped Quigo become the contender they are today in the contextual ad space. It is very attractive to be able to hand pick sites where advertising dollars are to be spent….and to stay away from those that may not fit with the demographic you are reaching out to. Further, by giving the advertiser the capability to choose a specific section, there is an opportunity to reach site visitors as they dig deeper into a publisher’s content. Another cool thing about choosing site placement is the ability to go local with contextual text ads. Quigo’s network contains many local newspaper and television sites. By selecting placement on these sites and customizing your ad copy – local advertisers are presented with cost-effective channels to reach their local readers (or readers with interest in the local area).
Publishers also benefit from the transparency Quigo offers. In short, advertisers are willing to pay more for ads on sites like Foxnews.com, ESPN.com, etc than for ads on unheard of blogs and forums.
While Google is moving toward this same type of transparency…it could be a too late to gain (back) some advertisers. For Google, this does not seem to be a concern. Kim Malone, director of online sales and operations for Google AdSense, said “We don’t expect a lot of demand for that placement targeting…it’s the brand, the display advertisers who care where they run.” In my experience working with advertisers of all sizes, I have found otherwise. While larger companies may have larger budgets to work with, companies of all sizes see the importance of being able to focus in on a target audience. I would pay for a TV commercial…but would not be willing to pay very much if all I knew is that the commercial would be on TV at some point during the day. What if I want to see my commercial? Where do I begin to look? With no further direction, I could be surfing all day. However, if I was given the chance to pay for a commercial on NBC, airing during The Office….I would be willing to pay more than if the commercial was aired on the Sunshine Network during a program about martial arts weapons.
Although they have not expressed concern with Quigo overtaking the contextual ad space, Google is making moves to align AdSense more closely with Quigo’s model….be on the lookout for changes to reports in the coming month(s).
At a recent South Florida Interactive Marketing Association (SFIMA) meeting, there was a panel of representatives, one from each of the 4 main search engines. When they were asked a set of questions, geared toward unveiling the differences between them, I gained insight into how Google, Yahoo, MSN, and ASK want to be viewed.
Google knows if they provide value, the ad benefit will come. They are all about the end user and making marketing more efficient for all marketers. For example, dMark radio ads, print ads, etc. Google wants to be viewed as a new product. I think this is smart simply because it is what people want to hear (the optimistic people preoccupied with the Internet or the world of Internet Marketing).
ASK really pushes their search tools. They are replacing brand with value, using Smart Answers, the Binoculars Site Review tool, etc., also ASK City which replaced ASK local. They also offer Narrow Your Search and Expand Your Search on the right of the SERPs. I like that they always use this space to offer related search results for a more interesting user experience. Relevancy and ease of use are important to ASK.
MSN is also trying to build information that is relevant and quick to the end user. With the MSN search experience for entertainment and news and Live.com being the customizable search portal built for the user, it’s no secret that MSN sees themselves long term as more of a function integrated into everyday life from products to search.
Yahoo is focused on social search. From Flickr, del.ici.ous, My Web, etc. it seems Yahoo believes the concept of friends will grow their social search network. And with Flickr geo-targeting and Y labs geo-referenced photos, Yahoo from a consumer perspective is the largest local destination on the web. And now with smart phones in your pockets, there is no reason not to use Yahoo mobile search.
If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes! This saying also applies to the dynamic search industry. If there is one thing that is certain about the future of search engines, it is that they will continue to change frequently. For example, I often find myself discussing a Search Engine Marketing topic with a client and the very next day, the same topic we discussed is completely outdated. It could be something as basic as online market share percentage, to a search engine completely changing who they are partnering with. (see next paragraph for more on this topic) The Search Engine Marketing industry is so completely dynamic and constantly changing, and always keeps me on my toes!
A perfect example of how things rarely stay stagnant for too long, is with the search engine http://www.miva.com/ . Miva is one of the search engines we submit many of our clients to. MIVA recently announced that they will be dropping Yahoo and signing on with Google. In more simplistic terms, the search results will no longer be generated from Yahoo’s database; they will come from Google. This change should occur later this month. Being that Google accounts for the majority of the market share, it is not surprising that other engines, such as MIVA, would want to partner with them. Click here to read the entire article (Did I also mention that MIVA was previously called Findwhat?)
Another example of how this industry doesn’t wait for anyone is the constant evolution of Search Engine Algorithms. The top search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms and filters, and spiders continue to improve. Simple changes to an algorithm can have a noticeable impact on the way your site is positioned within the search results. It is critical to be aware of such changes within the industry, and take a proactive approach.
A great way to keep up with the constant changes is to sign up for newsletters and articles from various publications. They are free and very informative. Here are just a few that I find useful:
The Search Engine Marketing industry is never static, and things will continue to change rapidly, however articles and publications like those mentioned above can certainly provide some insight! Happy reading.