• steve haar

    I often hear discussions about how search is a tool for marketing efforts beyond search itself. In fact, as Google started rolling out their off-line efforts, one of the pitches was the use of search measurements to gauge the effectiveness of traditional advertising programs. While I think there is some merit to this concept, we should keep in mind that, once outside the search box, there are many marketing players with history in these areas. In my view, Google was a bit optimistic about the chances that they would become a core metric of offline results (to be fair, they have not had much time yet). Measuring the effectiveness of advertising using search is not ideal. Particularly given the challenge of trust with advertisers that the company as created around the secrecy (necessarily so) of their algorithms, how they measure click fraud, and lack of transparency on pre-launch search and click data estimates. If there is little trust around the numbers, is an advertiser going to accept Google’s advise to spend more on radio and newspaper ads because their (Google’s) numbers show its working? Trust is not an on again, off again thing. If search is going to be used as a metric, third parties are going to have to play a big part.