MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGIES

Name Your Game: 
Search Engines or Content Players?

Posted by David Meerman Scott 01:48 PM on April 11, 2006

Great to see that representatives from three of the four biggest search engines are on the same stage here at the Buying & Selling econtent Conference. Yahoo is missing unfortunately. I was hoping one of the search guys would toss a pie at another, or maybe pull a stun gun from a holster and tazer the competition, but alas it is way too tame on stage.

Jeff Cutler did a great job moderating.

Moderator: 

Jeff Cutler, Chief Revenue Officer, Answers Corporation
Speakers:

Jim Gerber, Content Partnership Director, Google

Cliff Hawk, Senior Manager, Business Development, MSN Search Content Acquisition, Microsoft

Ryan Massie, Group Product Director, Ask.com

Jim Gerber says that Google's philosophy is to be that of a switchboard. "We don’t want to be content owners," he says.
There are four primary initiatives for content creators at Google:
Google News. Crawls freely available news on the web, but also closed content via subscriptions,
Google Video: Google hosts content for video producers and other video content owners to have a platform to sell.
Google Scholar: Also crawls freely available content and closed content via subscription. Will default to the primary publisher (using link resolvers). But the user can change affiliation if they have content from another source.
Google Book Search: Free worldwide marketing tool for publishers. Like being able to browse books in a library. Publishers can go into the system and determine how to sell the books via partner program. Help users to know that a book exists and where to find the book. Goal is for publishers to sell the book. Google Model = Search > Discover > Buy.

Gerber says that Google has gotten some criticism about this program. "But that this is a 21st century version of a card catalog, not a threat to publishers," he says. "One of the best things going for Google is reputation. We will never manipulate the search results."

Cliff Hawk builds partnerships to acquire content for search on MSN. MSN will be powering Windows Live, merging the desktop and content. Will be re-branded to "Windows Live Search." According to Hawk, MSN is "best of breed programmed content experience." He says MSN is for people who just want some information but don't necessarily need RSS and search. MSN is launching an ad bidding service (similar to Google AdWords). In what seems to this blogger as a follow the leader strategy, Hawk says that MSN is also launching academic search and book search in the coming months.

Ryan Massie builds all the vertical search product development at Ask. Ask re-launched a new site a month ago without "Jeeves" the friendly butler. Massie says that Ask has their own search engine (doesn't license one) and also acquires structured feeds of content. Market was confused because they thought the butler meant that actual people answered questions. National Language search is big.

Sigh. I miss Jeeves. I want to get a collector’s item Jeeves polo shirt. Maybe I’ll check eBay. Ryan, can you send me one?

Some great coverage from Buying & Selling econtent can be found on these blogs.
Barry Graubart's Content Matters
John Blossom's ContentBlogger
Rafat Ali's Paid Content
Shannon Holman's If you see something, Say something

David Meerman Scott

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