I’ve been spreading the word about search in print recently and wanted to share more about that. At the end of January, I started doing a regular monthly column in Ad Age on search marketing. Meanwhile, this month I took part in a Fast Company debate about Google. For those interested, more on both below.
What Makes Search Magical was my first Ad Age column that ran at the end of January. You have to be a paid Ad Age subscriber to read it, sorry! It was written especially for traditional marketers, to try and explain why search is a different creature than they might be used to. Here’s the top of the column:
Yes, search is magical. For years, I’ve described search as a "reverse broadcast system." In a broadcast system, advertisers spend lots of money to reach a mass audience, hoping to build desire for a product or service. But most of the audience is not interested in their pitches. Search is the reverse. Each search is an expressed desire, something that someone at a particular time actually wants. Advertisers can tune in to the "desire-cast" that’s going on.
On Search Marketing: A New Google? Not Likely is my second column now out — and it’s open to anyone to read. It covers the "network" model of search I’ve long used to explain why I don’t expect some upstart service to wipe out Google any time soon. Again, here’s the top of the column:
Who’s the next Google? Many ask this question, assuming it’s just a matter of time before a new upstart search champion appears. Trust me, it’s not. To understand, consider that you rarely hear people pondering who is going to be the next ABC, NBC or CBS. Yes, there’s a search war going on. But rather than it being a winner-take-all battle, the landscape is far more like a network-TV ratings fight. The major TV networks might get stronger or weaker relative to each other, but they don’t disappear. Nor do new ones easily emerge to take away share.
Think Google’s overrated? Think it’s going to stick around? That was the focus of the debate in Fast Company between me and Donna Bogatin of ZDNet’s Digital Markets blog. You’ll find us squaring off in Is Google overrated? Tapped out? Due for a fall? Two experts take sides at Fast Company. It was fun to do. That debate is also in print — last page of the March 2007 edition that’s out now, complete with pictures of both of us, though I’m sure you can do without the picture of me :)