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Tuesday, December 09, 2008
First of all, I thought this session was really fascinating! When you look at how much search engines have changed over the last 10 years, it is truly amazing!

That is when you really realize, search HAS changed. You realize it. You see it. Then it hits you like a ton of bricks. Universal search is here, but is your business there?

It's no longer just text links on a screen. Its images, its videos, its sound, its ratings, its news, and a lot more.

For instance, Microsoft put new technology into their search engines. They know where people are when they do their searches. So give this a try:

Lets go to Msn Search

Now type in weather

Here is what I got:

Notice that it gave me my local weather, plus related searches, sponsored searches, and my very own weather!

This is the new way of searching. Getting what we want as soon as we want or need the information.

Now let's go to Yahoo Search

I love country music so I put in Faith Hill.

Very cool! I get her official site, videos, sponsored search, natural search, and wait...what is this...

I can listen to live tracks from the search page!

Ok so let's cover some of the great material!

comScore shared with us that 48% of people searching online were shown blended search results like you see above, but 85% saw at least one type of universal result. Organic search strategies need to focus on landing pages so that you can help lend to your credibility. Paid search is going to get a lot more competitive and you need to remember the consumer is in control.

**Most important** Provide exposure to other types of relevant content for their query and richer search experience.

Next up, Google who stated that they are going to keep improving relevance which will help users to explore. They want to also work on improving the results summary. This means that webmasters need to make sure they are putting out the best and highest quality of content. Also they need to take advantage of new verticals.

MSN was up next and showed off their universal and blended search results including user ratings and reviews. MSN also stated that 80% of search is done over a period of 10 minutes or longer. This means people are really doing their homework. The sad part - 40% of those searches go unanswered.

Yahoo also stepped up to tell us about improving the user experience when they are searching and opening up SearchMonkey to developers so that they can create applications for people to use to make their search results more personalized. Basically you can create your own type of search engine....COOL!

You can check out an interview with Dr. Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo! Search at Web Pro News that offers even more fascinating information!

Kevin Ryan, SES Advisory Board Chair & CEO, Motivity Marketing

Dr. Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo! Search
Mike Grehan, Global KDM Officer, Acronym Media
Chris Blakely, Director, Client Services, comScore, Inc.
Todd Schwartz, Group Product Manager, Live Search, Microsoft Corporation
Jack Menzel, Senior Product Manager, Google

by: Shawna Seigel

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