SES: State Of The Search Industry

Good and bad developments, with big changes a-brewing

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The ins and outs of search can be fascinating; there are all sorts of little tricks and statistics to learn and track.  That said, some perspective is also useful, and so a session at SES San Jose ran with the broad title of "Search Industry Update."

(Coverage of the SES San Jose conference will continue through its end.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Sandeep Aggarwal, a senior research analyst at Collins-Stewart and the session’s moderator, began by pointing out that worldwide advertising is a $700 billion matter.  Internet advertising, while worth only $45 billion, should benefit as search advertising grows at approximately five times the rate of other types of ads.

Sean Walsh, LuxuryLink.com’s vice president of online marketing, then stepped in to provide some less encouraging news.  LuxuryLink, which focuses on travel, has seen searches for the term [vacation] decline over the last four years.  Walsh said the U.S. economy is in much worse shape than many people would have us believe, and the shift from offline to online advertising won’t compensate.

We’ll return to a bright perspective with Heather Dougherty, a research director at Hitwise, however.  She focused on Google’s success, noting that July searches increased 10 percent between last year and now.  Google’s getting new users, retaining old ones, and as this occurs, sending all sorts of traffic to the automotive, banking, grocery, and beverage industries.

Kevin Lee, the executive chairman and cofounder of Didit, had some similar information to provide.  Google’s share of the paid search wallet is growing, while of course Yahoo and Microsoft are losing ground.  This is occurring as advertisers focus more on program efficiency.

Lee also put forward some interesting predictions.  In the next year, he believes we should watch out for real-time cookie/profile-driven adserving, a further blending a search and display, and possibly either the elusive Microsoft/Yahoo merger or a deeper Yahoo/Google alliance.  That’s some pretty big-picture – and pretty interesting – stuff.

SES: State Of The Search Industry
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