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Search Marketers' Wish Lists, Part 2

newcomb-kevin
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So far, we've shared some New Years Resolutions, and predictions from several search marketers and social media marketers. I asked many of those same marketers what they would most like to see from search engines in 2008. Yesterday, we ran part one, and today we share even more wish lists from search marketers.

If you want to share your own wish list, or discuss any of the ones shared here, feel free to join the conversation in the SEW Forums.

Q: What's at the top of your wish list from the search engines this year? What are the most egregious problems they need to address? What would be the most helpful product/feature/service they could offer to help you?

Jody Nimetz, senior organic marketing strategist at Enquiro Search Solutions

The item at the top of my wish list from the search engines this year is a keyword analysis tool that provides some sort of accurate search volume. While Google has said that they will never give out this information, Microsoft has a pretty cool tool with their KSP tool that just might do the trick. An accurate search volume/keyword analysis tool would truly be the most helpful service that they could provide.

The most egregious problem they need to address is irrelevant results. Relevancy is the key to search success. The fact that Google continues to display a huge number of Wikipedia listings is a joke. These results are not always the most relevant. As a user I want relevancy. I want fresh results, I want current results (unless otherwise specified).

I would like to see some clarity on how hosting affects website ranking in different geo locales (i.e. Canada vs. the U.S.). I would like to see a percentage definition of a duplicate content threshold. I would like to see the search engines such as Yahoo, Live Search and Ask develop tools similar to Google Webmaster Tools. I know Microsoft has launched Webmaster Center but as of right now, it is nowhere near the tool that Webmaster Tools is.

Joshua Palau, group director of search at Avenue A | Razorfish

As an SEO specialist, I would love to just get a better understanding of how all these forms of media will play on the results page. Marketers are trying to determine how "overboard" they should go with optimizing their assets. For example, video used to appear on the links across the top of Google, but now they are buried under the "more" link. As a marketer / agency – where do I spend my time?

This leads to a second point, which is needing to see more data. In order for many marketers to fully embrace search and make the myriad changes requested, they need to know how much more valuable a page 1 listing is than a page 2 listing, and even more granular (a #3 vs. a #10 listing). Even aggregate numbers would be helpful.

Kevin Lee, executive chairman and co-founder of Didit

I hope the search engines give us more control over syndication networks as well as more transparency into their placement algorithms.

Matt Naeger, VP and general counsel at Impaqt

Number one wish from the search engines for 2008: fix Broadmatch.

Additionally, one of the most helpful products/features/services the search engines could provide would be to build a forecasting tool that you would have the ability to influence, and could put your own parameters inside the engine (here's my budget, here's my position, give me a forecast).

An area we'd like to see addressed are the engines getting better control of their search distribution partners' advertising methods.

An additional helpful feature the engines could offer would be to show whether or not a Web site has an organic listing in the paid interface. Also, it would be great if all engines would pass back for every click the position, cost and ad that was served to the Web analytics package.

Lastly, we'd like to see vertical search integrated into the PPC platform (we should be able to buy an ad on the video side only/image side only, etc.)

Matt Stoddart, EVP sales at LinkWorth

The most helpful thing the deep-pocketed search engines could do would be to provide free, high-speed wi-fi to major metro areas, similar to what Google has done in the Bay Area.

It probably makes the most sense for Google to do this because they represent such a large of majority of search. But I'd think that the search engines would want to enable people to get as much access as possible. I mean, everyone's homepage is search engine based these days, isn't it? Email, chat, etc. People rely on the engines 24/7 so give it to them fast for free.

Nico Brooks, VP of search engine marketing at Local Matters

Wish list for Google:

1. Instead of trying to wipe out Wikipedia, maybe you should tackle global warming or something.

2. Integrate with analytics vendors to be able to provide CPA bidding, campaign optimization, etc to those of us who don't or can't use Google Analytics.

3. Lighten up on third party SEM technology vendors. Your inflated API fees and restrictive usage terms have dampened competition and stifled innovation. Barring that, invest more in AdWords Editor to make it a more comprehensive SEM management tool.

Wish list for Yahoo, Ask and Microsoft: gain market share.

Richard Zwicky, CEO of Enquisite

Yahoo – a unique click identifier; Yahoo gets attacked far too much for click quality issues which could be resolved simply by helping analysts identify unique clicks from refreshes, reloads, back clicks, etc. This is like the Google Click ID (gclid). Allow site / network exclusions.

MSN – make APIs available for adCenter. (plus see Yahoo above)

Google – Clean up the advertising management interfaces. The geo-targeting functions are confusing, and people want / expect to be able to simply define where their ads will run.

Allow advertisers to exclude which search and content networks to include / exclude.

Russell C. Horowitz, chairman and CEO of Marchex

Whether search engines, directories, or publishers, it would be useful to develop a consensus around the value of highly relevant content, including such elements as local blog posts, search results, local articles, and more. Everyone involved with local should acknowledge the variety of different consumer use cases in the space. And everyone involved with local needs to be focused on fitting products to consumer and advertiser needs; not the opposite.

Sage Lewis, president of SageRock

I want Search Wikia to work! I love the idea of user-generated reviews of sites. I think this is the future of search. I'm just not sure wikia.com is going to be the company that does it.

Vic Drabicky, account director and client development at Range Online Media

My top wish list item is a simple one: for the engines to improve the basics. Over the past two years, we have seen MSN and Yahoo re-launch their search programs. With these re-launches – as with anything new – some of the basics (updating bids, getting account downloads, adding new keywords, changing landing pages, etc.) became harder initially. Unfortunately, they seemed to crawl slowly back to their previous levels.

Meanwhile, Google released two of the quieter but most impactful changes the industry has seen in quite some time: Adwords Editor and the Search Query Report. Adwords Editor allows all of the basics to be done quickly and easily – allowing Google account executives to do the real work on the campaigns like optimization and analysis. The SQR provides any advertiser, with any campaign, and at any budget level, an easy way to scale their campaigns in a "comfortable" way. Both of these improvements make Google increasingly more efficient and more financially viable.

Yahoo and MSN will have to make tremendous gains on their basics in order to remain major venues for advertiser spending.

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