Monday, March 08, 2004

The big 4 + Eurekster on Search Personalization

Brian Morrissey at DMNews covers the limited info that the big search engines (yahoo, google, aol, ask + eurekster) are releasing about personalization plans.

The article reports that yahoo has the advantage because of its "deep relationship." However, there are no concrete ways in which they are going to implement revealed in this article.

AOL talks specifics:

Gerry Campbell, general manager of search for AOL, said the Internet service would focus on integrating its media content and providing local services. For example, a rabid sports fan from Philadelphia searching on the term "Eagles" should be offered football-related results over aviary or Don Henley sites.

I say big whoop to that.

Google says it'll be slow and gradual based on their fear of ruining their user trust. At this point, I think the "trust" is more of a hindrance than a help.

Ask goes back to their roots of Answering questions. Not sure that's personalization. But it is cool.

There is a quick paragraph on Eurekster who I think is leading the pack right now in personalization coolness.

Stowe Boyd with something original to Say, as Usual

He concludes that some sort of Social Network Analysis will drive the next generation of search performance after quoting Andy Beal's interview with Ask Jeeves' Jim Lanzone, VP Products. Boyd highlights Lanzone's emphasis on Smart Search as a version of social network analysis: Identifying the authorities on the web for a specific topic and using that to weight the results. Sounds pretty right on to me.

Lanzone thinks that this will be the path forward for social search and not social networks that require registration and that monitor search terms and clicks. I think a combination would be best, but Ask nor Eurekster are in the best position to do this. So, I'd say the same thing If I were Lanzone.
ViralMeister Checks out Eureskter.

Ponders whether Eurekster will give google a run for their money.
Search Engine Journal Weighs in on Eurekster and How SEO's will need to adapt to Search Customization.

The validity of the truism about competition driving innovation and producing better products and innovations is demonstrated by the number of new services and innovations introduced over the past twelve months. Search is becoming far more technical and, in many ways, far more specific. Localization and personalization are two of the new common buzzwords in Internet marketing. Localized search results promise increased relevance to the searcher by delivering search results from sources within a reasonable traveling distance such as a postal/zip-code or telephone area-code. Personalized search results promise listings based on specific interests or behaviours of the individual searcher, or the computer used to conduct the search. An early example of a search tool designed to deliver personalized search results is Eurekster. Eurekster bases it’s results on two major factors. The first is the user’s personal behaviour. The second is the behaviour of friends and others belonging to a social or work grouping. The basic idea is that groups share common interests. Weighing a search-query by those interests may produce better, more personalized search results. SEO-Reaction: In order to adapt to these two innovations, website marketers and SEOs will need to add highly specific elements to a client’s website such as geo-specific metatags and text, and corporate identifying information such as full street addresses and telephone numbers. Website marketers will also need to add features to websites making them more useful to individual searchers such as newsletters, local-promotions and blogs to make their site relevant to specific users in order to present a level of personalized attention that will keep viewers coming back, or at least keep the client’s website in the minds of search engine users.

I think somebody has been reading the Cluetrain Manifesto: The web is about conversation.
Michael Bazely Covers the Coming Personalized Search Space.

Michael interviewed me by telephone for this one. I guess I didn't say anything brilliant enough to be quoted, though. It is a good article. He highlights Eurekster. He also goes into depth about using implicit monitoring and explicit profile information for customizing search.

He makes the point clear that the big 3 are looking at personalization to better understand the user's intent. He also says that none of the big 3 are letting the cat out of the bag.
Yahoo to compete with Eurekster?
Marketing Wonk reports "Yahoo plans on letting people search communally together over Instant Messenger." Is this an affirmation by yahoo that Eurekster is on to something? How will this implementation differ from Eurekster? Will Eurekster be involved? Will IM be the platform for social networking applications? IM certainly has the advantage of presence indication to make social networking and group searching real time online.
Eurekster Got Groups

Yo. Looks like Eurekster is beta launching some new functionality that they've been talking about with the press including GROUPS. This is what everyone has been asking for. Looking forward to some good conversations with people about it. More soon...

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