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Search Engine Strategies: Something For Everyone

NEW YORK -- What's next in the brewing battle for market share among the major search players?

How does one conduct advanced competitive research, indexing assessments and optimize flash for search engines?

These questions, issues and more are on the agenda as the parent company of this publication, Jupitermedia , kicks off its four-day Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo 2004, today at the Hilton Hotel.

From the introduction to the basics of search engine marketing to advanced advertising concepts such as broad matching and the latest advertising targeting techniques, the conference and show are built to offer something for every skill level, organizers here said.

This show kicks off as the rivalry between search leader Google and number two player Yahoo! intensifies, and as AOL and MSN ramp up their growth efforts, Danny Sullivan, the moderator and editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, which is part of Jupitermedia, told internetnews.com.

According to comScore's rankings as of November, Google's share of the search market is about 35 percent, with Yahoo right behind at 28 percent. The other two players are AOL, which holds about a 16 percent share and MSN, whose share is about 15 percent.

Some of the tips during Sullivan's overview of the industry here Monday included a reminder to understand the difference in techniques among search engines.

For example, at paid search engine Overture, singular and plural forms of words are combined. AltaVista's Prisma "refine" results look like related searches, but are actually based on terms that appear on Web pages. "Because of this, they don't reflect actual search behavior," Sullivan said.

"At AllTheWeb and Yahoo, related search terms are shown in lower-case, regardless of how users search. At MSN Search, 'Popular Topics' related searches are terms hand-picked by editors, rather than being compiled automatically by query log analysis. Because of this, don't consider them to necessarily be reflective of how people are searching," according to materials handed out to attendees.

Other panels include techniques for advanced competitive research, indexing assessments, XML feeds, optimizing Flash for search, and understanding the benefits and limitations of using PDF documents on your site.

This is the 22nd presentation of the SES Conference & Expo, which has also run in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose, London, Denmark, Singapore, Germany and Australia.

Jupitermedia called the show the largest Search Engine Strategies to date, with over 50 exhibiting companies and nearly 60 different conference sessions about search engine marketing and optimization.

Sullivan will also deliver tomorrow morning's keynote address. He will address the changes in the search engine, and search engine marketing, industries since the last show.



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