Blended Search Celebrates its first Birthday

April 29, 2008

I have just finished listening to Chris Sherman on the SMN webcast, talking about the advantages of blended search ( a year after it was launched) and I thought “What the hack? Why not summarizing it for you guys?”
so here it goes:

Blended Search – Definition
Blended search, also known by the name of “Universal Search” or “Search 3.0”, is incorporating results from non-web sources (like books, videos and images) into the regular web search results.

What is it Good For?
The sources that we use to get information from are just the same, but we use them more than we did before the launch of blended search. Searchers no longer need to use the search engine’s different tabs (news, images, etc) – they get the relevant results for their search inquiry directly on the web results page. In other words – if “Vertical Search” was alive somewhere in the past, I guess there’s no doubt it’s starting to die now. ūüė¶

Search marketers and businesses’ websites have more seats on first results page to “fight over”. Before “blended search” was born, websites could be shown on only 2 out of 10 results per page. Today, one can be shown on the same two seats from the past (seats that are reserved for the website’s pages, usually the homepage and some inner page) but also on other seats taken for social sites such as youtube (video results) or news sites (press releases).
Basically,¬†one can be shown on most if not all of first pages’ results (take Britney Spears for example).

Searchers are open to more sources of information otherwise they might not know about. Think about your old uncle – if not for the blended search, will he still be sending you funny YouTube videos? Moreover, the blended search makes the all process of searching much easier. looked for an IPhone and got a video result among others? With Google’s “Universal Search” results you don’t need to jump to the video site in order to¬†watch it – Just click on the “Watch video” link (marked in red at the following example):

What is it Sad for? 
Less precision: Vertical search resulted in better search results, since it was focused on specific search field (video, news, images etc). Blended search returns a wide range of results that are more speculative than accurate (in terms of what the searcher was searching for). This is clearly demonstrated by¬† the following screen shot taken from Chris Sherman’s webcast:

No more “good old only web results”:¬† Google is no longer showing only web results. Even if you use the “web” tab in the search process,¬†you’ll get the blended search results which means web sites, videos, images, news sources and alike. This¬†lost of “only web feature” is quite sad, since there are still lots of people who’d like to get these results with no extras…¬†

Bad blogs and products results: Search engines don’t index these two very well, so blended search in this term is quite poor.¬†

So what will Blended Search bring?
Better and much more sophisticated statistic tools to track conversion rates out of different search results, such as video which is un-trackable at the moment.
РBetter and much more sophisticated SEM efforts: Traditional SEO will be nothing but complemental, while search marketing will focus on viral video, creating juicy (and highly optimized) press releases and so on.

What do you say?
Do you see the future of blended search differently?

Feel like reading more about blended search? I bet you’ll enjoy the following:
Blended search increases your visibility ( April 2008 )
Blended search results study by iprospect ( April 2008 )
Google’s ranking advice in blended search¬†( February 2008 )
Optimizing for blended search ( January 2008 )
Search 3.0 by SearchEngineLand ( Nov 2007 )


How Much Does Your Site Worth?

April 26, 2008

I guess everyone would like to say that their site worth is more than six numbers, but online tools will say (or strive to say) the truth. In any case, I gathered some of the tools you can use to learn about your site’s worth as well as to show off about it…

dnScoop
dnScoop is one of my favorite and I think it is also the most reliable source to figure out sites’ and domains worth.¬† Checking Google.com’s worth, for example, returns an estimated value of¬†$2,030,000,000.

dnScoop offers additional information such as:
Domain age – while¬†stating that¬†“being older is better” in terms of existed websites,
Current Pagerank and if it’s valid
Number of inbound links
Current alexa rank,
IP report and
Link value by Text-Link-Ads. 

Website Value Calculator
websitevaluecalculator.com , lust like dnScoop, is 100% easy to use (user friendly). All you have to do is type your URL in the box and you get the site’s value. Google.com’s worth according to websitevaluecalculator is $1,561,822,935, a little less than the evaluation dnScoop’s gave us.

TheWebsite Value Calculator” site offers its users a banner to show off their sites’ value. Here is the banner Google could use if it felt like¬†showing off…


My site is worth $1,561,822,935.
How much is yours worth?

Site Estimator
The SitEstimator¬†allows you to get the worth of many sites by simply typing their URL and according to it, google.com’s worth is $90,749.59K. For those who’d like to offer the site estimator¬†tool on their website or blog, just get the sitestimator’s¬†widget

Glurk
Glurk describes itself as a “website value calculator”, and maybe because of this it demands that you fill up lot of details before getting the simple answer of the value of whatever site you are interested in finding its worth.¬† Glurk age could be the reason for its being not very progressive tool as it is¬†9 years old and anyway I didn’t receive any propper answer from it when asking for Google’s worth…

What do you think?
Can you trust these tools even when they give different results?
Do you know some other site’s worth tools?


Shew… Google is selling SEM Company Performics

April 6, 2008

¬†What a great piece of news, don’t you think?
I guess we can all start dancing to show our joy and thankfullness to Google for rethinking the absord situation and deciding to step out of it. Google will sell the SEM company Performics to maintain objectivity, since, as they say, they “do not want to be in the search engine marketing business”.
Good for us who¬†want to stay in this business. ūüôā


My 3 Reasons to Use Sphinn

April 5, 2008

I can’t imagine search marketers and SEO specialists that haven’t heard about Sphinn yet (it was launched by Danny Sullivan on July 2007) but you know what they say – “never say never”… Any way, since lately I become quite an addict of this social¬†news site, mainly as a source of information about the SEM industry, I feel like a few words won’t hurt no one (maybe even the opposite). These are my¬†3 reasons to use Sphinn:

1. Stay Up To Date & Diverse
Sphinn allows you to get¬†the latest news from the SEM industry using not a single source but a diversity of sources,¬†including¬†some that aren’t very popular (yet). I don’t know what about you, but if you’re anything like me, I guess you got used to¬†get your SEM reading mainly from one big source, such as search engine land for example. With Shpinn you can get a lot of worthy news items from different sources which is more than just refreshing.

2. Network Yourself
Sphinn community is built on people like you, who are in the business of SEM, SEO, SMO and so on. Visiting Sphinn on a regular basis allows you to get to know important others as well as to get your self known by them. Sphinn users can visit your profile and they’ll probably do that if you sphinn-up their submitted stories or submit an interesting story yourself. Since the users profile include plenty of communicating channels such as email or skipe address, facebook profile, linkedin, twitter and much more you can’t complaint you can’t reach others…

3. Win Traffic (for free)
Assuming you‚Äôre not one of those who live by the ‚Äútime is money‚ÄĚ phrase, by participating in Sphinn, especially via submitting news stories you wrote yourself, there‚Äôs a big chance you can get some free (and quite targeted) traffic to your blog or business site. Submitted stories at Sphinn can get to the ‚Äúhot topics‚ÄĚ (thus presented at the main page) list even with just a few votes such as a little bit higher than twenty.

 

 

 

Check what others had to say about Sphinn:
Sphinns (Positive)

The social news site every search marketer should be using (SEOmoz)
Confessions of a sphinn vote begging whore (Aim Clear Blog)
How to dominate Sphinn in 4 easy steps (Huomah)
XMCP’s Guide to Frontpaging Sphinn.com (Slightly Shady Seo)
Sphinning Sphinn (Search Engine Guide)
Is Sphinn bad for the industry (Bruce Clay)
Are You the Underdog in Sphinn? (Learning Seo Basics.com)
 

 

Desphinns (Negative)
Goodbye Sphinn (Andy Beard)
Sphinn is basically a popularity contest (Internet Hunger)
Sphinn spammers (Blogstorm)