2.1 Bryan Tookey – Ask Jeeves


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2009 Information Innovation Conference

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2.1 Bryan Tookey – Ask Jeeves

  1. 1. International Information Innovation Conference 2009 Day 2 1st October 2009 Steffen Schlimmer – NetBiscuits.com
  2. 2. Bryan Tookey – Ask Jeeves “ Thoughts on local knowledge from an internet search engine ”
  3. 3. 5 topics for this talk <ul><li>Local content is important for search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines need help to get hold of good local content </li></ul><ul><li>Local content is difficult to value and competition tends to drive deals </li></ul><ul><li>The focus of pc search engines is engaged elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>I do not know how much internet on mobile is a threat to local directory enquiries business </li></ul>
  4. 4. Examples of how local knowledge is used in Search Engines (1/3) 1 2 3 Business listings (provided from one source, do not need their own site) Sponsored business listings (paid for, often larger companies) Web results (sites need own website)
  5. 5. Examples of how local knowledge is used in Search Engines (2/3) 4 Enhanced (or smart) answers
  6. 6. Examples of how local knowledge is used in Search Engines (3/3) 5 Map answers
  7. 7. Local content makes up over 5% of our searches, but is not great for making money Local Commercial Entertainment Reference Navigational Revenue per 000 queries $39 $38 $39 $27 $80 ‘ Local’ queries as a proportion of Ask Jeeves UK queries and revenue
  8. 8. Local content is a major reason people prefer one search engine over another Reasons for preferring Google or Ask Jeeves results from a blind survey Users preferred Jeeves results 24% of time Users stated no preference 37% of time Users preferred Google’s results 39% of time 8% Google included more video and image 5% Google included more local content (incl news) 2% Google included shopping/book/etc results 5% Google text links better (relevancy/ranking/summary) 13% - not clear why Google was preferred 6% Google showed multiple links-within-a-url 1% Jeeves included more image/news/local 5% Jeeves answered the question directly 6% Jeeves text links better (relevancy/ranking/summary) 37% - users stated no preference* 3% Jeeves – other reason 9% - not clear why Jeeves was preferred
  9. 9. Good local content is not easily available for Search Engines <ul><li>Info on small local traders (plumbers, etc) </li></ul>Search Engines need… <ul><li>Info on Local amenities (shops, leisure centres) </li></ul><ul><li>Local listings (theatre, cinemas, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Local news </li></ul><ul><li>Maps, geocodes, aerial photos, streetviews, etc </li></ul>But there are plenty of barriers Many of these organisations do not have web presence Short half-life of sole traders means internet info can be out of date Websites often not easily accessed by spiders Information is expensive and owned by other parties <ul><li>Ads from small local traders and shops, amenities, etc </li></ul>
  10. 10. And so Search Engines have a patchwork set of agreements with providers of local info Search engines pay for business listings (improve search results) Type of deal with providers of local info Search engines agree to share revenue and/or provide official Google attribution for companies to resell local-business-ads (improve sponsored listings and revenue) Search engines pay for info for local cinema theatre, etc info Search engines pay for maps, geocodes, aerial photography,
  11. 11. But some search engines are also prepared to try going it alone Offer vouchers for small companies for them to try out Search Engine Marketing Examples of going it alone Create their own street view pictures Buy or create mapping companies Partner 3 rd party for telesales approach to small businesses (Search Engine Marketing) Encourage businesses to go on the web, with free (or cheap) web hosting, page building, web analytics help
  12. 12. Search Engines have no sophisticated way of valuing local content How much compared to deals in other countries How Search Engine justify a price for local info Will deal bring us into line with competitors How much of budget will deal use up How much compared to other deals in same country How much revenue will deal make or ‘protect’ Problem with this method No good comparison – quality may be different or may have monopoly on info Does not say anything about value for money So what? If I need UK info, then buying twice as much French info is not going to help Does not say anything about value for money Better search results will harm advertising revenue; and we can’t be sure people will go elsewhere for this info
  13. 13. Search Engines are not on local content Distribute toolbars User specific search results Semantic search Brand Do basics well Access (make it easier to get to) Reset default search in browser Launch other services (e.g., email, ) Desire (make people want to go to site) Fun functionality (e.g., street view,etc) Wow them for advanced search Market Share Rebrand and marketing Win in mobile
  14. 14. It is not clear how much of a threat mobile internet presents to 118 services LEGACY: But not everyone will have a mobile capable of accessing the internet OPPORTUNITY: Internet search engines will continue to need help in finding comprehensive and reliable info for local info THE THREAT: Internet access will allow users to search for free* for phone numbers of local services, etc OPPORTUNITY: Local companies trying to drum up business will still be willing to pay for advertising 118 services will see revenue decrease from pay-per-call model Search engines will not be able to capture all the value of local searches on the mobile web