27 November 2010

Is Search Social, or Even More?

Following on from my theme of yesterday which was asking the question if Search was dead - I have some more thoughts on the subject.

Consider this the nicer and more proactive version vs. my more "rantful" version of yesterday. I am trying to work on other ways to butcher the language since we were encouraged to make our brand names into verbs by Rich Barton. Still working how to create a verb out of Professor Sabena - but I am trying. (Suggestions accepted including Mr or Ms Anon who doesn't like my use of Grammar. - Guilty by the way!)

The merging of Social Media and Search is a natural given the strength of the values that their respective proponents have ascribed to these different disciplines. There is some good data to back this up. I suggest you take this research poll into account. Check out the article in eMarketer with data from Covario.

The sleepy market for SEO indeed any SEM has been shaken up but Google's fundamental changes over the past year. Of these the most significant is Google Instant. But there are now other parts of the tableau that Google is revealing that is going to change Search significantly. Google sees the threat from Facebook in a wide number of areas... I find this battle fascinating having watched both Google and Apple pass Microsoft (my Alma Mater) and leave the former Redmond Behemoth in the dust. With the current battle focused on the Social Web.

But is this clash of the Titans actually benefiting either the consumer or the marketer? I don't see this as the war but rather just another battle in the long term war. Which personally I don't see ending until someone at Justice wakes up and decides Google has overstepped its mark.

I have to say that I still see that survey data and performance do not match in many cases. But who am I???

In my thinking I have been contemplating (over rather too much turkey and some very nice wines) the issue of what comes next. Long term readers of the Professor's Wisdom know that I believe that web 3.0 is harnessing focused wisdom through experts as opposed to crowd control.

Interestingly we are now seeing Google Labs start to push out some very interesting stuff. A shout out to Professor Joe Buhler for picking up on the new Boutiques.com test site from Google.

Check this about section:

Boutiques.com is a personalized shopping experience, brought to you by Google, that lets you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers -- celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers. Boutiques uses visual technology to help fashionistas discover and shop their look and creates the opportunity for designers to showcase their collections and latest inspirations online.

Boutiques.com is built on technology developed by our team of fashion experts who work with engineers to “teach” our computer systems to understand various patterns, pairings, and genre definitions. When signed into your account, Boutiques.com learns about your style and preferences and in turn, provides you better results and recommendations over time. Ultimately, Boutiques.com will provide shoppers with a much richer and interactive shopping experience and help drive traffic to retailers' websites.

Global search and replace the word "Fashion" with "Travel" and you will see what I mean.

The Googleplex rulers clearly expect to get Travel under its belt as a scalp once they complete the acquisition of ITA Software.

Google is clearly keeping an eye not just on the "social side" of the web but also the next generation of "moderated/guided mode". As Google states:

..."by taste-makers -- celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers."

So now you need to start thinking about that... consider yourself warned


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