Search Engines Offer Marketing

Search engines certainly recognize the opportunity and dilemmas they have introduced into doing business on the internet. Like the commercial real estate broker who drives the hard bargain on commercial sites that will bring success to a business in that location, the search engines have realized their symbiotic relationship with businesses in need of the traffic that search engines earn through their brand recognition and perceived relevancy of search results.

Search engines not only sell prime location through the positioning of bid-for-placement sponsored listings, they are selling leads. Businesses and non-profits can buy search engine placement as discussed previously. They would not continue if PPC expenditures were not exceeded by business initiated from search engines.If you look farther down the chain, some lead generation focused websites pay for prime placement in search results and then sell the leads they generate from their visitors to actual service providers or retailers who prefer to reserve their marketing budgets for actual leads rather than potential leads.

When you fill out a contact form in return for a free IQ test, you may really be delivering your personal details to an interested business who buys leads from the website you are interacting with. Protecting consumers from bad experiences resulting from providing personal details over the Internet is why most websites provide a Privacy Policy document linked from their homepage.

Read more: The Tools of the Search Engine Marketing Trade

Business Directory

With the rapid expansion of the internet in the 1990’s, link analysis was soon applied to the challenge of searching the internet. Google Founder’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page introduced the PageRank Algorithm, which is the basis of Google’s search technology. This algorithm uses the link structure of the web to determine the ranking of a page in the process of putting vast numbers of results in descending order by relevance.

Basically, a web page’s relevance is higher if it is linked to by many other pages that are also relevant. Another influential approach is the HITS algorithm introduced by Jon Kleinberg where he identified two types of web pages. Authoritative pages can be considered highly relevant pages because they are pointed to by many hub pages. Hub pages in turn point to many authoritative pages. The results of each calculation are then recalculated to avoid this being endless circular logic.

The facts above are the basis of why Google has emerged as the leader in search engine technology. 3PRIME believes that Google and the other major search engines will continue to use this basis as they continuously refine their algorithms to improve their product. Always keeping relevancy in mind, 3PRIME is glad to use a short-term link acquisition campaign to introduce visitors to the site to the search engines and sites that are the most useful to them.

Google, Quadruples profit from same quarter last year (2005)

Google’s revenue increased significantly over last years numbers. Revenue for this last quarter, ending June 2005, totaled over $1.38 billion, more than double last years revenue for the same quarter, which was a little over $700 million.

Google tracks the commissions paid to its search partners, primarily webmasters participating in Google’s AdSense program, under the name Traffic Acquisition Costs, or TAC. TAC for the last quarter totaled $494 million, a number that is likely to play some role in Google’s defense of the first click-fraud litigation, recently filed against the Mountain View-based company by pay-per-click analysis firm Click Defense.

Thursday’s announcement follows similar reporting from Google’s biggest search brand competitor, Yahoo Inc. Yahoo, only two days before, had disappointed its investors with their announcement of earnings that merely matched expectations rather than greatly exceeding them.

Google’s search engine is more widely used than Yahoo’s which is perhaps Google’s greatest advantage in the search advertising market. Each search query provides the search engines the opportunity to present the searcher with a set of “sponsored listings”, text linked advertisements that generate revenue for the search engine every time the searcher chooses to click on one of the ads. Google handled more than double the 2.8 billion searches conducted on Yahoo.com during the same 90 day period, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

Nielson/NetRatings Reports new online search Meta data

Nielson, an online statistics provider, reports that Google still commands 47 percent of the searches conducted online. Yahoo has 22 percent, MSN 12 percent, AOL 5 percent and Ask Jeeves 2 percent. Google processed some 6 billion search queries to its online index, approximately 66 million searches per day for months April through June 2005.

Quote from Google’s Press Release

“We had an excellent quarter. We continued to innovate, we continued to execute and we stayed focused on our users,” said Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive officer. “Google had another solid performance.”

Read more: The Tools of the Search Engine Marketing Trade

What does it mean to have 3PRIME in your corner?

Let’s say you are a small Internet Retailer, with a website. You know enough about the Internet to handle your entire order fulfillment, communicate with your distributors and customers, buy advertising and monitor your industry. Basically you know how you want to be represented but you need experts to make it happen.

3PRIME comes in and relieves you of the burden of managing your website. We are the professionals at this and by providing CT web design & development services and consulting with you about your business goals, we are in the best position to create the online functionality that will help your company make the best use of your website to communicate with your customers, broaden your audience and earn new business.

3PRIME will ensure that your products or services are displayed in the most appropriate fashion in regards to what your audience will be looking for. We can program, test and deploy solutions for customer feedback management, payment management and order tracking and managing your product database.

One of our greatest strengths is outside-the-box web application creation. In addition to writing your press releases and newsletter and coming up with innovative ways to distribute materials to your audience, we focus particularly on natural search engine traffic, positioning your solutions in front of potential customers, right when they are most interested.

Perhaps writing isn’t your strongest talent. Many business owners are far better on the phone than they are writers, and 3PRIME understands. We have spent years representing business owners like you with web designs and copywriting and some of them haven’t written a single word on their websites in years! As your online management and website partners, you can rely on us to dot your i’s and cross your t’s because the success of your business increases the value of our partnership.

Strategic Support & Consulting

When small companies become bigger companies, business owners start to have new issues for which 3PRIME can share these new burdens and explore with you new ways to extend your Internet presence and handle current and future issues in the most professional manner.

Marketing on the Internet

Getting a website is just the first step. Once you have a website, like having a house, you need a walkway so people can get from the street to you front door. The search engines provide lots of traffic, you just need to capture the attention of the right passersby.

This type of service is called Search Engine Optimization, which just means that, in a nutshell, you write and organize the content of your site to reflect certain keywords that potential customers are likely to search for given your website’s service type. 3PRIME does this all the time! If you are a local dealer, you can more easily ensure that your website ranks well for specific searches pertaining to your specific region.

Read more: What is an internet search engine

How do Search Engines find Web Pages?

Different methods are used by different search engines, but programs using the variations of the spider method have thus far proved the most effective at indexing large quantities of content and regularly updating these included pages and discovering new ones.

Spider methods refer to the search engine sending out electronic detectives referred to as spiders to find web pages and classify them. Search engines create an index of the web pages it has “spidered”. That index is in constant flux, being updated, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly depending upon the ability of the spiders to detect a new web page or a change in a previously indexed web page.

One of the most immediate goals of search engine marketing is to get the pages one wishes to drive traffic to included in the indices of the major search engines. Two years ago, Yahoo was offering results from Google’s index. This gave Google’s search technology the brand recognition that Yahoo had been building for years.

Today, these industry leaders compete for the eyes and clicks of potential consumers by building the most complete index of the web and properly determining which minuscule chunk is the one we are looking for when we enter a few choice words.

Read more: Being Search Engine Relevant

How do Internet Search Engine companies make money?

Like many businesses, search engines have more than one source of revenue and are working to develop new revenue streams to solidify their profitability. Advertising, lead generation and sponsored web page positioning are the top three source of revenue for the majority of search engines. In the future, paid for content in the form of subscriptions to valuable or timely information may provide a new source for search engine revenue.

One of the most popular forms of paid advertising is pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC). This is a type of lead generation model where the web site owner pays the search engine each time someone clicks on the web site owner’s ad and is referred to the owner’s website.

PPC/CPC has become the primary revenue stream for Google, accounting for 90% of its revenue since they launched their pay-per-click advertising model in February 2002. Businesses use a bidding model to determine how highly they rank in “sponsored listings”, the clearly marked advertisements that are displayed above, below and to the side of natural or organic results from the search engine’s index.

Generating advertising revenue through Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, or Cost-Per-Click, or CPC, earned Google $9.288US million in 2004. Since visitors primarily choose their next destination with a click from the page they are viewing, portal sites like MSN™ and Yahoo were built to deliver traffic to advertisers.

Another type of advertising involves graphical banner advertisements where advertisers are interested in the number of visitors that the website displaying the banner tracks on a regular basis. These are known as impression based advertisements as in each visitor that loaded the page was given the impression the banner suggests. Banner ads are often paid for by a set monthly fee determined by the size and placement of an advertisement.

This has evolved as more websites seek to build traffic from a variety of sources. Rather than pay a set monthly fee, advertisers were willing to pay a premium for placement and pay only for traffic delivered to their website. The company most successful with this model was Overture™, who successfully sued Google for infringing on Overture’s patented Pay-Per-Click technology in 2004. The $328US million settlement paid to Overture in the form of Google stock did little to dampen Google’s operations, cash-laden as they were from one of the most successful initial offerings of public stock in recent years.

Google has announced future services that may have content charges associated with them therefore opening another potential revenue stream. The content Google has talked about so far are access to University library materials from several well recognized organizations, specifically Stanford University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford and the New York Public Library.

Read more: How do Search Engines find Web Pages?

The Tools of the Search Engine Marketing Trade

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, refers to the determination of the appropriate steps to take to achieve the highest possible visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). The first step has been to determine what keywords are relevant to the searchers interest and the web owners’ offering.

SE Marketers use tools to see the words search engine users use to search. The number of user searching for a given keyword phrase is also in flux, as people using search engines become more sophisticated in the art of searching. However, since there is an ever increasing supply of inexperienced web users, the glut of traffic on very common, general search terms will remain a pot-of-gold for e-businesses now and in the future. SE Marketers try to help web site owners avoid using keywords that may describe their offerings accurately but are unlikely to be words that searchers will use.

Next, one must “re-invent” their web pages in order to make them the best possible result for the search words that are expected to draw search engine users interested in their product or service. This may involve writing new copy for the web pages, creating a new page to discuss keywords and how they relate to their business in depth, or completely reorganize websites to allow search engine software to accurately evaluate the website’s relevancy to a group of keyword phrases.

SEM may be referred to as the research needed to develop an intelligent search engine focused marketing strategy. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is then the actions taken to optimize websites for the search engines so the client website will obtain the best possible positioning in terms of relevancy and importance.

Read more: What does it mean to have 3PRIME in your corner?

Being Search Engine Relevant

In all search activities whether library book classification systems, data managements systems or even a filing cabinet, the function of searching is not independent from the function of being searched. If you want someone to find your ad in the classified section of the newspaper or Yellow Pages you want to do things to stand out.

Internet Marketing has changed nothing in this regard. Web page owners can do things to help search engines find them and evaluate their relevancy and importance. The only difference is that the web page owner is attracting computer programs that are highly secret in their operation. Web page owners are not attracting human beings with the current knowledge we have of how humans look for what they want, and evaluate whether they think the result relevant to their search.

The secondary concern, not to be overlooked, is the conversion of a visitor towards your desired action whether that is an email address entry, catalog request, an information form completion or a purchase.

The most common method to becoming noticed and positively evaluated by a search engine spider is to use keywords on a web page that will help the spider know what it has found and classify it accordingly. But identification is just one dimension. Search engines are very sensitive to importance. After all they sell their service based upon search engine result relevancy and comprehensiveness. Search engines want the searcher to experience the best possible result. If they fail in this even once, that user is very likely to try another search engine, delivering traffic and associated ad revenue to a competitor.

With the internet quickly becoming the world wide locator for everything from restaurants, books, articles, schools, parts, clothing and much more, being found on the internet is a marketing advantage comparable to putting a store in the right shopping center and hanging out the most attractive shingle.

Big money is spent on the right commercial real estate location and big money is starting to be spent on getting the right internet location. Of course, the difference is that internet locations are not static but change with every search so web site owners need to work constantly to make sure to gain and maintain the best possible position.

Read More: Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Who is on top in the Search Engine Business?

Measuring the greatest search engine depends upon what you think makes a search engine great. Public opinion would indicate that Google.com is the greatest boasting almost 82 million unique users each month spanning the globe. Google is consistently regarded as delivering the most relevant results. They certainly make an effort to make their search service applicable to web enabled businesses through search term advertising.

Perhaps their greatest asset is their drive to index more and more useful information each week. Since mid-2004, Google has launched a series of new projects including the scanning and indexing of university libraries like Stanford University and finding ways to offer video results for searches conducted concerning television programming.

Google is working hard because other deep pocketed corporations like Yahoo! ™ and Microsoft™ are pushing more capital towards developing their search services. Yahoo!, throughout the dot-com bubble, maintained their profitability by expanding their search engine from a service for the digitally literate, to a consumer product advertised at major sporting events and during prime time television.

Yahoo! continues to develop consumer friendly services such as Local search, geared towards supplying the searcher with the contact information of a business near the physical location they are searching from.

Microsoft Corporation has taken a new interest in the potential revenue of search. As a recognized industry leader in computer technology, a long history of profitability, and immense brand recognition, Microsoft has gone from offering search results from other search engine’s indices to developing its own search algorithms and creating its own index of web pages. With that accomplished, Microsoft will undoubtedly try to win search engine market share from the current leader, Google.

Measuring market share is difficult because the same people may use a variety of search engines to discover the answers to the questions they seek. Having watched the incoming traffic of my clients and seeing where they receive their traffic from, I feel confident providing a few statistics. The following numbers are the percentage of visitors that are referred by each search engine:

Google: 30-60%
Yahoo: 5-20%
MSN: 5-20%
AOL: 3-15%

The ranges are given to illustrate that the amount of traffic entering your website might have everything or nothing to do with search engines. Since our goal is to maximize keyword qualified traffic from search engines, these are the results that a website optimized to receive search traffic might expect to receive. Keep in mind that there are many other referrers besides search engines both on and off the web that drive traffic to websites.

For example, businesses might receive the majority of traffic to their website through offline marketing efforts such as direct mail with their website location as part of the mailing, television advertisements promoting their website location, or simply using existing brand names as their website location as in Wachovia.com™. Other examples of traffic generators other than search engine traffic include industry specific directory listings, online yellow pages listings and links from sites that would like their audience to benefit from the information, products and services offered on businesses websites.

Another noteworthy quality enhancing Google’s status as the leader in their pack is their commitment to global relevance. Fully 50% of traffic on Google.com comes from outside the United States. What Google has done to segment both their traffic and their massive index of web pages into regionally focused indexes is supply mirrors of their homepage search form. Two such examples are Google.ca and Google.hk, the Canadian and Hong Kong mirrors, respectively.

In both cases, the purpose is to cater to the fact that what users in one part of the world may find most relevant may not be as useful to users in other areas.

Read more: How have Internet Marketing Techniques changed Internet Marketing?

What is an Internet Search Engine?

A search engine is a website that uses a series of algorithms, or specific computer programs, to find a selection of the most relevant websites based upon a search criteria. Most search engine users rely upon simple keyword searches to find web pages about their topic of interest.

Depending on the purpose or ability of the search engine, users may enter a combination of keywords as their search criteria. The word keyword has been adopted for a variety of purposes but in the context of this article, a keyword is any single term such as “car” while a keyword phrase is a more specific phrase made up of more general keywords, such as “new car loan”. As the internet grows in size and in variety of uses, search engines continually change to find web pages faster, and deliver the most relevant search results to the searcher.

A website is made up of web pages which is what we all view when using a client browser such as Netscape, Internet Explorer or Mozilla FireFox. With the number of web pages growing by the day, the best estimate available as to the size of the internet is the number of web pages contained in the largest search engine’s index. When a search engine performs a keyword search, it must have a set of possible results. We refer to this as its index. Google™ currently boasts the largest search engine index, proudly announcing on their homepage that, as of this writing, they are searching over 8 billion distinct web pages.

This is not, by any means, the full extent of the Internet as companies like Google hasten to break new ground in areas like indexing telephone directories and public information. Even with this “limited” set of possible search results, finding the page or pages you want fast and with more competitive relevancy is the mission of search engines. If a search engine is not know for delivering relevant results when searched, the engine will have no users conducting searches and generating traffic to resulting websites. It is the massive amounts of traffic delivered from search engine results that generates revenue for businesses who in turn seek to earn more potential customers from search engine queries.

Because of the popularity of Search engines and their applications for E-Business, new ideas involving or catering to search engines are making their appearance on the web every week.

Read more: Who is on top in the Search Engine Business?