Search Marketing Trends in 2008

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Last week I was able to catch up with Jeffrey Pruitt, EVP, Corporate Partnerships at iCrossing, to discuss his thoughts on search marketing trends and paradigm shifts in 2008. We also discussed some useful sessions people should check out while attending Search Engine Strategies in New York. Here’s how our conversation went:

[Manoj]: Can you give me a brief overview of the trends you think the search marketing industry will see this year?

[Jeffrey Pruitt]:

1) Convergence of Search and Display
As advertising becomes more and more digitized, we will see a changed landscape over the next few years. Non-Premium inventory (not on first page) served from contextual like products:

  • Site-Targeting
  • Content Ads
  • Display type ads
  • Video Ads
  • Display retargeting

And will continue to evolve to search type dynamics, bought in an auction based environment. The fastest growing inventory on the web is non-premium display, which is driving the convergence between Search and Display. This is why you see Yahoo and the other engines bring search and display under one operational organization. See Yahoo Study, "Closing the Loop" With the ability to target and optimize performance brand advertisers will expect improved results on display type products (contextual, site targeting, etc). Firms whose DNA is search can lead the consolidation of Search and Display by having search empower how Display is purchased by utilizing targeting and optimization through auction based platforms.

Although, Search firms tend to view contextual, display and video ad type products as search campaign add-ons and therefore they fail in overall performance. Search firms need to reverse the messaging to include any measurement beyond just brand impressions as more successful than current brand metrics (impressions).

2.) Consolidated and Efficient ROI-Maximizing Ad Platforms and Exchanges

Similar to stocks exchanges, inventory (ads) will be sold and advertising platforms will be the mechanism for buying, selling, tracking and reporting all inventory (print, radio, display, TV,etc).

Exchanges will constitute a large percent of where on-line display advertising is bought and sold.

3.) Video Optimization and Video Advertising

Video optimization allows for extended reach of video assets, creates additional web traffic and fosters viral communication. Videos are served through:

  • Video Uploading: the process of publishing videos to video search engines on a per vide basis (most popular)
  • RSS media: Require submission of content via xml
  • Video Crawler: actively crawl the web for video content

Agencies can further monetize their offerings by utilizing video optimization as a formal service line which includes optimization, creative build, tracking and reporting.

Publishers are innovating video ads through engaging, rich media experiences that do not turn off customers. Interactive Ads on Yahoo or In Video Ads served within the creative content of videos on Google (Adsense) are going to become frequently used advertising formats.

Publishers are innovating video ads through engaging, rich media experiences that do not turn off customers. Interactive Ads on Yahoo or In Video Ads served within the creative content of videos on Google (Adsense) are going to become frequently used advertising formats.

[Manoj]: How will marketers have to adjust their budgets to compensate for the upcoming changes?

[Jeffrey Pruitt]:Some of the budgets will be pulled from traditional sources. More and more you will see advertisers relying on performance marketing, especially if there is an economic down turn. Understanding these trends will help drive this change.

[Manoj]: How important is it to understand all the online touch-points of your visitors?

[Jeffrey Pruitt]: Very important. Everything on line starts with research of your customers and what journey’s they have both off line and on-line. Search sits at the center of digital and the insight that can be gained from Search and then utilized across the marketing mix is endless.

[Manoj]: What are some sessions as at SES New York that you recommend attendees should check out?

[Jeffrey Pruitt]:

  • Redefining the Customer
  • Video Made the SMB Star


  • Microsoft Search Tips and tricks for delivering great results and campaigns with Live Search
  • Earning Money From Contextual Ads


  • Big Brand Search Strategies: Build Connections and Fuel Online Promotions
  • Searcher Behavior Research Update
  • Ad Exchanges Are Changing Everything
  • The SEMPO Survey: 2007 State of the Market
  • Video Search Optimization


Search Marketing Trends in 2008
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About Manoj Jasra
Manoj Jasra is an online marketing veteran of almost 10 years who specializes in analytics, social/search strategy and mobile marketing. Manoj is currently a Sr. Strategist at one of Canada's largest Telecommunications Companies, Shaw Communications Inc., where he leads Social Media, SEO, PPC and Web Analytics strategies. Manoj first started in the search marketing industry with Enquiro Search Solutions, where he spearheaded web analytics, SEO Training and the development of cutting edge search marketing solutions for clients.

Manoj is a Professional Speaker having participated at events such as Emetrics, Web Analytics Xchange, WebTrends' Engage, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Innovation Summit and Search Engine Strategies. He authors Web Analytics World (a top 100 Online Marketing Blog) and consults through his firm Jasra Inc. WebProNews Writer
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