Search Engines, Advertising & the Value of Brands


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This impressive little guy came from a final group presentation for Dr. Isabella Cunnigham's Integrated Marketing Management course at The University of Texas (way) back in 2011.

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  • Today, we can’t picture a world without the Internet. The amount of information available to us now is infinitely greater than the information we had access to in the pre-Internet era. Now you can find answers to your questions almost instantly. With this great influx of information, we needed the tools to navigate such a wide pool of information. That’s where search engines came in. People needed search engines in order to make use of the Internet. Millions of people flocked to search engine sites.And wherever there’s an audience, marketers are sure to take notice. The creation of Internet search engines not only created a way to find the information or site a user needed, but also a new way of marketing. Today we will talk to you about the basics of search engines and the key search engine companies, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and the future of search.
  • I won’t take a long time going over the basics of search with you, because no doubt most of you already know the way search engines work. But just to get us all on the same page…When you type something into a search engine, that’s called the search query, and it returns pertinent results or hits. How does it do that?Search engines operate on algorithms, or mathematical equations, to present the sites it predicts will most accurately respond to your query. This equation works instantly and independently—that’s why your search results can be returned in under a second. Sometimes human expertise is used as well, manually shifting the rank of certain pages. Search engine corporations work on developing and maintaining their own special algorithm, three of which we will explore later. So where is this algorithm put to use? Search engines create their own indexes full of an expanding database of websites. They discover new websites with the help of web crawlers.Web crawlers are computer programs that browse the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner, moving from one site to the next one it links to. Web crawlers are also called ants, automatic indexers, bots, web spiders, web robots, and/or web scuttersThese crawlers create the index that are searched using an algorithm.
  • Here you can see a brief timeline of search engine history. The very first search engine was Archie (Archive without the V) created to search FTP archives by students of McGill University in Montreal. This had a human-run index.Out of the desire to not have to do search indexing by hand came W3Catalog, the web's first true primitive search engineon September 2, 1993.Next came AltaVista and the Yahoo! Directory, Ask Jeeves, and MSN SearchGoogle finally was developed and put online in 1998.Yahoo! Search, more broad than Yahoo! Directory, debuted in 2002Cuil, once labeled the Google Killer, was released in 2008, but failed in killing GoogleBing, as you know, rebranded from MSN Search and debuted revamped in 2009.
  • So now we’re going to take brief looks at a few of the major players in search engines right now, starting with the one that we all know and use…
  • Of course first of all there’s Google. How many people use Google as their primary search engine? In 1996, Stanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page famously started the search company in a Stanford dorm room. It was incorporated in Mountain View, CA in 1998, but they have offices all over the world, including right here in Austin.It is definitely the most popular and most used. Insert current stat about internet usageIt easily distinguishes paid ads from real results. We’ll talk more about their paid ads later in the presentation.Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing them with a rich source of information
  • First of all, it’s worth noting that Google does not share the exact formula of their algorithm. It’s one of the things that’s made Google so successful, so why would they share it? However, many people speculate on the exact formula that Google uses, and you can even find a lot of information on it from Brin and Page’s own research project paper from while they were at Stanford. Basically, those web crawlers or spiders search the web, jumping from site to site to index as many webpages as possible, indexing text and other content.They then look at how many times your search term is used on a page, the prominence of those search terms (such as whether they’re in the title of the webpage or headings in the page, and if synonyms of those terms are used as well.It then combines that with the site’s PageRank, Google’s patented quantifcation of a website’s importance.
  • So what exactly is PageRank? This is a way to assign a number to each webpage to determine its importance and relevance. It determines how many other pages link back to that page, keeping in account the importance of those page’s PageRank.This produces a page’s overall score. A page with a higher PageRank will then be displayed higher up on the results list.
  • Google runs off of advertising revenue. As such, it takes its advertising, in the form of AdWords and AdSense, very seriously. With the AdWords program, advertisers can bid on keywords to have their ads appear  on the right-hand column or top results of Google’s search results as a sponsored link. This basically means that users will be presented with sponsored links relevant to their search queries (Google, Inc.).AdSense, on the other hand, works with publisher sites to place clients’ ads on relevant websites (Google, Inc.). For example, if a woman typed in “wedding dress” on Google Search, she will see several wedding dress shop sponsored links, courtesy of AdWords. However, if she visits to look for wedding tips, she might encounter an ad for a wedding dress shop, courtesy of AdSense.
  • Google also offers and/or owns several other products and services, many of which you can see listed here. You probably use many of them on a daily basis, like Gmail, YouTube or Google Maps.
  • Most recently, Google has been pushing new search developments such as Google Goggles, where you can take a picture of many things you see in your everyday life, like a logo, and Google will search the web for you without you ever posing a true search query. They also recently unveiled +1, which is much like the “like” button on facebook. Google also recently tried to buy Groupon for $6 billion dollars, but they were denied because Groupon said the company was worth more than that. Perhaps as a result, Google is currently working on Google Offers, a service much like Groupon. They are currently testing that out in NYC, the Bay Area and Portland, OR.
  • So why has Google been so successful? First of all, they continue to put out high-quality products that appear to work better than other services out there. They also continually develop and fine-tune those ideas, while exploring new options. They also offer a wide-range of products. This diversity makes the company more stable.Although Google products are complex, using them is easy. The simple interface and intuitive user experience makes Google simple to use.Google also has a favorable brand image. Many people have positive feelings toward Google. However…
  • It’s foolish to believe that someone can be the leader forever. Google has run into a few problems, and could continue to run into more in the future. First of all, Google sometimes generates controversy over privacy concerns. Google keeps record of what you search, and other information, so many are concerned about where that data is going and how it will be used.Google has also failed before. It’s produced several products that failed to take off, including Google Catalog, Google Answers, Jaiku, and Google WaveFurthermore other search engines are aggressively working to topple Google, and we will talk about the main two right now: Yahoo and Bing.
  • Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo. It started out with the Yahoo! Directory, a human-edited directory of sites laid out categorically. The directory, although still running, lost its importance when Yahoo first incorporated Google’s search engine, then produced its own search engine algorithm. Most recently, Yahoo has come out with Yahoo! Search Direct, a search engine that provides a drop down results box that offers more information-rich results before you even finish typing your query.Pull up Search Direct?
  • The Yahoo! Directory charges business websites $299 annual to be registered, but registration is free for organizations and informational websites. However, Yahoo also has a search service that is outside of its directory and uses its own index (?)The Yahoo algorithm is rather similar to Google’s. Like Google’s, it’s also difficult to find information about exactly how the algorithm works. Here are the basic principals that the algorithm looks for, however:-It looks for the search terms in the title of the website, and the prominence and quantity of those search terms throughout the site. -Unlike Google, the Yahoo algorithm places importance on the click popularity of the site-Also unlike Google, Yahoo pays attention to what category the site is in in the Yahoo! Directory-The algorithm also pays attention to side-wide linking (?)
  • Yahoo works off of an ads in an open auction, with the highest bidder ranking the highest. Advertisers then pay per click. Yahoo used to use a controversial paid inclusion program that allowed advertisers to pay to be included in normal search results, but they no longer use that function.
  • You may not use Bing, but you probably know about it. They worked hard to get your awareness. Bing spent $80 to $100 million on their online, TV, print, and radio advertising campaign in the US.Bing is the rebranding of the search engine formerly known as Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search. Bing wants to be known as the “decision engine,” meaning that the search provides more results, and categorizes them in a more substantial way.
  • The Bing algorithm also works in a way similar to Google. Here are what the Bing algorithm finds important.The algorithm looks at if the search query terms are in the title of the webpage itself, the meta description, the text in the links to the page, the number of links on a page, the page theme/keyword density, and how recently the site was created or updated.
  • Advertising on Bing is all processed through Microsoft Advertising. Bing works with your advertising budget through your monthly budget and the maximum bid per click you will pay. Bing also tries to display ads more relevant to the consumer. Bing tracksusers’ computers to follow what ads they click on, the links or websites users visit, and their geographic location.
  • Bing does not offer as diverse a group of product offerings as Google and Yahoo, but it does provide many different search features.
  • On July 29, 2009 Yahoo and Microsoft announced a 10-year deal to join forces in the online search industry. Yahoo and Bing will still remain two separate companies, but Bing would power Yahoo search by using Bing’s algorithm. Yahoo and Bing decided to join forces to compete with Google and try to gain 50 percent market share or even overtake Google within 10 years of their merger.
  • The holy grail of advertising is speaking to a consumer at the exact moment they are considering a purchase within your product category – puts you directly into the consideration set;Search marketing does this, as well as allows advertisers to directly measure the results
  • Online Brand Management - Approximately 70% of searches are informational. A user may not be ready to purchase a product and will be forming his or her consideration set for a future purchase.  Maintaining consistent appearance online will help ensure that you gain consideration when a user is ready for you.Push vs. Pull marketing
  • Online Brand Management - Approximately 70% of searches are informational. A user may not be ready to purchase a product and will be forming his or her consideration set for a future purchase.  Maintaining consistent appearance online will help ensure that you gain consideration when a user is ready for you.Push vs. Pull marketing
  • -Design with you user in mind, not search engines. Don’t present different content to search engines than you display to users. -Make a site with a clear link hierarchy. -Create useful, information-rich sites; describe them accurately.-Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number. Basically this means don’t optimize your site for keyword terms that don’t accurately represent the content on your site.If the search engine crawlers can’t reach a page within your website, they can’t index it.Crawlable:For robot crawlers to be able to see all your content, they need to be able to see all the pages within a websiteThis means that the pathways, or links, of the site need to be clear and accessibleRelevant keywords: When search engines ‘crawl content’ they are really identifying keywords that will help them categorize information in their massive database/indexThis makes it easier for them to retrieve information that matches a user’s searchThe relevancy of a site to a given user search is based on keywords – make sure yours match Quality not Quantity: Cramming your site with keywords will not help it rank higher in the searchPick the keywords that are most important to your core business offeringWhen it comes to site traffic, you want quantity AND qualityPick keywords based on what your target market is using to search within your product category (this requires research)Simple page descriptions: Which is the easy way of explaining meta tagsMeta tags are not used to rank your page, so including keywords in this description is not importantRather, this is what appears underneath a link on the results page and determines whether a user clicks on YOUR result, whichUltimately determines your click through rateCreate simple URLS:Descriptive URLS help users predict the content of your websiteIf you want to create a portfolio online, you are going to generate more relevant traffic using the URL than www.amandaisgreat.comHave the best content: Search engines want to provide their users with the best content possible. The best sites according to Google typically have these traitsEasy to use, navigate, understandProvides direct, actionable information in relation to the queryProfessionally designed and accessible to modern browsersDeliver high quality, legitimate, credible content (as judged by traffic and the number of sites linking back to you)
  • When a user types in a keyword, the search engine lists the advertisements in descending order according to the bidsPaid search results are listed either above or adjacent to the organic resultsOne or two word search phrases to reach a large amount of searchersLonger search phrases to reach a specific market Search engines sell generic keywords (i.e. “oil changes in Austin) as well as brand or product specific keywords (i.e. “Jiffy Lube in Austin”). See two examples here: if Jiffy Lube competitors wanted to get a leg up, could potentially buy the keywords Jiffy Lube to appear in search results
  • Minimum bid amounts vary based on the number of advertisers vying to have their link listed in response to a specific keyword searchThese fluctuate based on changes in consumer searchers and the number of advertisers competing for a given keyword
  • Impressions = the number of time the ad appears on the search results page; how many people ‘see it’Click through = how many people take action and click on the ad to go to the websiteConversion = how many people take a specified action while on the site (register for something, download something, buy something, etc.); usually measured in conjunction with Google analyticsBased on the success of a campaign, can change the keywords you bid onDepends on the goals of your campaign
  • As of March 2011, based on comScore’s US data, Google is market leader with 65.7%Yahoo has 16.1%, Bing has 13.6%Google lost almost 10% Since 2010
  • social media and user-generated content being published, networks like Twitter offer a whole new source of content. Google, for example, has collaborated with Twitter, to take their publicly available status updates and show them in search results.Google +1, An example of Google bringing a social aspect to search, this is what they’ll need to do if they want to remain a leader in such a competitive space.Driving  web  site  traffic, generating leads and selling product 
  • Goal: Higher conversions:AdWords campaign to show highly relevant messagesRemarketing allows you to communicate with people who've previously visited key pages on your website, giving you a powerful new way to match the right people with the right message.GetSmart Content: “If you understand your audience you can use Smart Content to make your website smarter and more effective.”Your audience consists of segments of people who are driven by different interests and have different levels of experience with your website and brand.
  • Search this and it appears only in Google, then the next commenter makes the point that, that was true until you wrote this in a blog, oh the irony
  • Consider social platforms, mobile gaming: FoursquareYou are no longer constrained by traditional, nor the Internet.If other people are appreciating the quality content, then they will link to it and we will rank it
  • Over the years, doodles on the Google homepage have made searching on Google more fun and enjoyable for its users worldwide. When doodles were first created, nobody had anticipated how popular and integral they would become to the Google search experience. Nowadays, many users excitedly anticipate the release of each new doodle and some even collect them! celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientistsHaving a little bit of fun with the corporate logo by redesigning it from time to time is unheard of at many companies but at Google, it is a part of the brand. While the doodle is primarily a fun way for the company to recognize events and notable people, it also illustrates the creative and innovative personality of the company itself. Has Google gotten too broad for their own good? Search Engine Optimization is a popular topic amongst the advertising and marketing industry. While consumers first started “searching” for content almost two decades ago, the technology industry has quickly evolved and now offers a medium where a mass audience can be found. While it’s a complex topic marketers need to think about how visible your company is online
  • Search Engine Optimization is a popular topic amongst the advertising and marketing industry. While consumers first started “searching” for content almost two decades ago, the technology industry has quickly evolved and now offers a medium where a mass audience can be found. While it’s a complex topic marketers need to think about how visible your company is online
  • Search Engines, Advertising & the Value of Brands

    1. 1. SEARCH ENGINE BASICS• Search queries generate search results based on pertinence• Search engines operate algorithmically, sometimes with some human input• Web crawlers create indexes
    2. 2. SEARCH ENGINE BACKGROUND 1) Archie, 1990-active 2) W3Catalog, 1993-1996 3) AltaVista, Yahoo! Directory, 1994-active 4) Ask Jeeves (, MSN Search, 1997 5) Google, 1998-active 6) Yahoo! Search, 2002-active 7) Cuil, 2008-2010 8) Bing, 2009-active
    3. 3. • Founders: Sergey Brin & Larry Page• Founded 1998, Mountain View, CA• Most popular, most used• Easily distinguish paid ads from real results
    4. 4. HOW DOES GOOGLE SEARCH WORK?1.Secret Algorithm – Google does not disclose this information2.Spiders – Crawl webpages and create Google’s Index3. Search Terms – Number of times appeared, prominence andsynonym usage4. PageRank - Combines search term importance with PageRank
    5. 5. GOOGLE PAGERANKRates a webpage’s importance by seeing how many pages link back to it, and how important those pages areProduces a page’s overall score
    6. 6. GOOGLE ADVERTISINGAdWords – ads tailored to search termsAdSense – ads placed on relevant sites
    7. 7. ADDITIONAL PRODUCT OFFERINGSGmail, Android OS, YouTube, Blogger, Knol, Orkut, Picasa,Google ChromeADDITIONAL SEARCH OFFERINGSTranslate, Books, Maps, Places, News Scholar, Blogs,Realtime, Calendar, Docs, Reader, Offers
    8. 8. IN THE NEWSGoogle Goggles+1Google Offers
    9. 9. GOOGLE’S SUCCESS• Product excellence• Continual improvement and development• Diversity of product offerings• Simplicity of use• Brand equity
    10. 10. GOOGLE’S LIMITATIONS• Privacy concerns• Failed new product launches • Google Catalog, Google Answers, Jaiku, Google Wave• Other search engines
    11. 11. Founded in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David FiloIn 2000, it was powered by Google Search.In 2004, it used its own search algorithm.On March 23, 2011 Yahoo announced Search Direct
    12. 12. YAHOO! ALGORITHMValues:Search terms in the website titleProminence and quantity of search termsClick popularityCategory in the Web DirectorySite-wide linking
    13. 13. YAHOO! ADVERTISINGAds auctionPay per click
    14. 14. ADDITIONAL PRODUCT OFFERINGSAdditional product offerings:Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, My Web, Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! 360°, FlickrAdditional search offerings:Images, Video, Local, Shopping, News, Answers, Directory, Jobs, Sports, F inance, Creative Commons, Delicious, People
    15. 15. Formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN SearchRebranded and unveiled in 2009“The Decision Engine”
    16. 16. BING ALGORITHMValues:Title of pageMetadata descriptionText in the links to the pageNumber of links to the pagePage theme/keyword densityFreshness of page content
    17. 17. BING ADVERTISINGMonthly search campaign budgetMaximum bid per clickHeavy reliance on cookies
    18. 18. PRODUCT OFFERINGSAdditional product offerings:Integration with Hotmail, Bing TweetsAdditional search offerings:Dictionary, Entertainment, Events, Finance, Health, Images, Local, Maps, N ews, Recipe, Reference, Social, Shopping, Translator, Travel, University , Videos, Visual Search, Weather, Wolfram Alpha, xRank
    19. 19. YAHOO! + BINGJoining forcesBing would power Yahoo! search by using Bing’s algorithm.
    20. 20. WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION?Wikipedia defines it as, “the process of improving visibility of awebsite or a webpage in search engines via the natural or unpaidalgorithmic search results.”
    21. 21. WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING?Marketing is generally defined as…• An integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselvesSearch engine marketing is…• Using organic search strategies and paid search advertising to match brands to engage relevant consumer groups online
    22. 22. HOW CAN SEM HELP MY BUSINESS?• Online Brand Management• Push vs. Pull Strategy• Successful tracking
    24. 24. HOW CAN SEM HELP MY BUSINESS?• Online Brand Management• Push vs. Pull Strategy• Successful tracking
    25. 25. TITLE• Design with your user in mind, not a search engine• Make your site crawlable• Create useful, relevant, information-rich sights• Make your page indexable
    26. 26. IS SEO ENOUGH?• If brands aren’t successful in beating out their competitors organically, they can turn to paid search• Keyword choice is a critical factor in paid search success
    27. 27. BOTTOM LINE: WHAT’S IT GOING TO COST?• Various prices that always change
    28. 28. BOTTOM LINE: HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS? •Impressions •Clicks •Page views •Conversions
    29. 29. CREATE SEM STRATEGYBefore bidding, advertisers should create a SEM strategy • Desired appearance in relation to keyword results • Amount of visitors to site • Conversion rates • Search budget
    30. 30. DISADVANTAGES & ETHICAL ISSUES •Click fraud •Impression fraud •Censorship
    31. 31. MARKET SHARE MARCH 2011 Search Share March 2011 Google Bing MSFT Yahoo! Ask AOL
    33. 33. BOTTOM LINE: HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR WEBSITE BETTER? • Google AdWords, Remarketing • Get Smart Content • Incorporate social • Harley Davidson
    35. 35. THE FUTURE: CREATIVITY WITH UTILITY• Be where your customers are: Ubiquitous connectivity• New Media: whole new place and opportunity to connect with your customer• Remember this when you are designing the marketing strategy• “Ranking results are radically changing, you shouldn’t look at building it, you should look at practicing it”• Measurement: Cost per engagement• Non traditional search: Twitter• Content aggregators: StumbleUpon
    36. 36. REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: GOOGLE DOODLE Burning Man festival First Day of Spring, Design by Eric Carle Aug 30, 1998 Global March 20, 200925th Anniversary of Tetris Robert Bunsens 200th Birthday June 6, 2009 Mar 31, 2011
    37. 37. QUESTIONS??