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Old 06-14-2005   #1
Nacho
 
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How will SEM evolve to other file types and devices?

How do you see search engine marketing and SEO evolving to ther file types (ie. video, music, print, etc...) and devices such as a mobile phone or other (tv maybe)?

Here is one example: A user searching for "star wars ring tones" in its mobile phone and only 3 listings come up. Will those 3 be all natural results or 1 paid and 2 natural. Then how do you optimize that ring tone file to appear at the top? Is this part of the future of SEM/SEO?
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Old 06-14-2005   #2
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The first thing to consider may be that as long as the leading players like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo continue to throw off enormous sums of cash from all operations, they can focus on product and experimentation with little or no monetization.

Just look at things like Google Video or Orkut or Yahoo Local - the fees and monetization aspect are pretty low-key now.

The big question may become the battle for ownership of pipes, spaces, and space. Connectivity infrastructure; your livingroom, boardroom, hotel, car, airplane seat, supermarket, etc.; and the airwaves/wireless space and who controls/regulates/owns those.

There are still way more dollars being spent offline than online. But some of those offline spaces are sort of amenable to being brought into the online fold, into an ad platform, injected with searchability, etc.

Whether it be a device that people carry around (hardware), infrastructure for reaching people in the home, deals with hotels, investments in "smart bus shelters and train tunnels," etc., I think we are going to see the big search players someday take huge steps outside their comfort zone. They will spend big to make it big. But I believe if they are able to afford it, the ones that win will be the best ones to make it useful (and free or low cost) to people, as opposed to the ones that simply try to "stick it" to consumers with more ads.
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Old 06-14-2005   #3
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Great question Nacho. I think the answer is that SEO's will absolutely move to where the long hanging fruit is. There are less and less "tricks" with SEO all the time, and they are constantly changing. It is really a form of "advertising optimization", which I think their are many forms to come as well.

Advertising optimization for hand held devices will certainly become an area of expertise, since the skillset required will vary to things like WAP compatability. As these areas emerge, the need for experts in them will certainly be filled by some rising star in the marketing realm.

I think a good argument could be made that SEO evolved from the same type of advertising optimization that had people changing their company names to AAAAAA Super Services to "rank" well in the yellow pages.
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Old 06-15-2005   #4
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I believe that SEO will eventually disappear and only SEM will remain. Search engines make no money with our efforts (that is pure site optimization). How they will end with SEO I don't know but I think that the technology will move towards a non-optimizable scenario.
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Old 06-15-2005   #5
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I believe that SEO will eventually disappear and only SEM will remain. Search engines make no money with our efforts (that is pure site optimization). How they will end with SEO I don't know but I think that the technology will move towards a non-optimizable scenario.
I disagree. Search engines don't make money directly from natural results, but take those away and they'll lose all market share and the ability to make money off the paid ads. As long as natural search remains then there will be optimization of websites.
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Old 06-15-2005   #6
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Unless they move into a pay per inclussion mode for commercial sites (which has been abandonded by many SE, I know), or any other method they come up with. I truly think that organic results still exist because they haven't found the model that can get rid of them. Do you think small businesses will be allowed to compete head to head with large corporations in the SE forever? Right now I can compete against Microsoft and win the search results game for some tough keywords. How long will that last? Mind you I hope it lasts forever, but I doubt that corporations will sit around while people like you or me (if you optimize small and medium sized business sites) put Arkansas Mr. Bob's car dealer shop ahead of GM's site. Maybe I'm a pessimist but then corporations have this thing for eating small businesses for breakfast, and I am a small business.
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Old 06-15-2005   #7
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I just got back today from the World Television Festival in Banff Springs, Canada. Mobility was a really hot topic of course because so much money is being made now off of ringtones, wallpapers and direct celebrity interaction with subscribers and advertisers. Europe has been making insane amounts of money from these things for years but North America is ridiculously behind in mobile technology but now in typical corporate American style, they smell the money now and the suits cometh.

The overall message of the entire event was INTEGRATION.

A website is a given. Even traditional media is a given. No one was suggesting that advertisers are going to abandon print and TV. BUT, the TV kids are certainly freaking out that so many advertisers are increasing online spends and decreasing traditional offline. That decrease is hitting TV harder than it is hitting print and the big agencies.

I was fortunate enough to sit next to Susan Lambert, director of creative content, marketing and publicity for Buena Vista Pictures, (all those Disney movies), on a panel and if anyone understands integration, it was Susan. She was really an eye-opener.

It's about getting people to your website through mobile apps like Herbie ringtones or the next big summer blockbuster wallpapers and getting people to your apps from the website. Getting people to the website from print and tv and getting people to the print from the website. That type of thing.

She didn't stress search as much as I personally would have liked BUT she certainly did address it and point out that search is a VERY important component of the integration process to Disney.

My opinion is that now that Madison avenue is reading about Google and Yahoo, (even MSN every now and then),search in the wall street journal almost daily, and with their advertisers breathing down their necks about it, the agency is bulldozing it's way in. They don't even question their role in search engine marketing. They automatically assume the agency will control the entire SEM arena as they do print, radio and TV. Listening to people like Marc Szabo of Critical Mass, it is obvious they have become well versed in not only SEO language we all speak in, but also in the part of the equation we are missing. The language of marketing terms. Real marketing terms that big agencies and big clients speak in.

For those in the industry that do not understand terms like integration and how that term relates to big money advertisers, their days as SEO's are numbered and soon they will be left with little more than running scraper sites for Adsense pennies. Which may not be that big of a problem as I don't see that stopping for while. I mean seriously, how bad does the provider REALLY want to stop people displaying,(and auto-clicking), the ads?

So, maybe not stopping but it is very likely going to be a downward spiral. For one thing, more and more people are trying to get a slice of that pie. For another thing, streaming media, mobile/wireless delivery and third party tie-ins are going to start taking some of the ad dollars now being spent on PPC. Adsense will top out eventually and level off. That means consistent, high profit revenue for the provider but less and less revenue for the operator.

Of course local will make a difference but I don't see scraper sites doing nearly as well in geo-specific search. AND as the money starts shifting to local it will be difficult for operators to deliver those geo results without increasing their expenses in unique class c hosting and IP cloaking. Which of course creates an atmosphere of diminishing returns unless there is the money there for the scraper kids to justify the time and expense of setting up those geo domains. Of course some will and I'm afraid THAT may be the new SEO.

One point I would like to throw out here, if the end IS near, the end of SEO is not such a bad thing. SEO never existed in the first place. None of us ever optimized a search engine, with only a few notable exceptions. But even those who actually did work with search engines, that acronym still never had anything to do with what we do in regard to search engine placement and how it applies to online marketing. I've always hated the letters SEO as a description of the search marketing industry because it is misleading, confusing and false. Not only to the outsider looking in, but even to , (maybe especially to is more apt), those whom it is supposed to describe. It keeps us all from discussing and learning what sem is really about and that is marketing. Not cloaking or hidden text or scraper sites. Far too many of us become embroiled in trying to win others over to our way of thinking when we should never have been thinking that way in the first place. It is a shame and it is going to cause more than a few of us to seek new career opportunities in the near future I'm afraid.

Last edited by massa : 06-15-2005 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 06-16-2005   #8
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one thing that will never go away

is the need to build user-friendly, standards compliant, spider accessible sites. it just so happens, that should be the ultimate goal of SEO's.

we talk about scraper sites, cloaking, etc...and I agree with massa, they will go away in time (except where a cloaking-type strategy may provide the best experience for the user).

but, a good site with good, unique content, a solid navigation structure, and some links from sites that have users that would be interested in what you have to say will never cease to be important.
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