For Search Engines, the Largest Community Wins

The BBC looks at how the search engine war has moved to a new battlefield.

No longer do the different search sites compete on how many results they can provide to people not least because, as even Google admits, most people get what they want in the first five results returned to them.

Instead, the BBC suggests that whichever search engine can develop “sticky” communities is likely to be the one that sees the most growth. On that basis, my money is on Yahoo, with IAC/Ask second, followed by AOL, then MSN. While Google is doing a great job of launching lots of cool tools, the others are doing a better job of integrating their offerings with well-defined communities.

The Buying Cycle of Online Buyers

The NYT has a short and sweet piece on how online shoppers conduct their searches.

Most prepurchase searches use only generic terms, like “hard drive.” Consumers tend to make these searches early on, and then conduct a small flurry of brand-name queries right before buying

At Fortune Interactive, we’re heavily focused on the different stages of an online buying cycle, so this story is a nice reminder for everyone focusing purely on the buy-stage words.

Also important to remember that once the online research is completed, most buyers don’t immediately make a purchase. They could come back to a site weeks later or even make their purchase at a physical store.

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Google and DOJ Face Off

The Mercury News has everything you need to keep updated on the Bush administration’s attempts to get Google to reveal its data.

Sell Your Book Via Google

Danny has details of a new initiative from Google that will allow publishers (and authors) to sell online versions of their books through Google Book Search.

Publishers set a price, then consumers can buy and read the book online. At the moment, the program supposedly will not allow copies of the book to be saved to a computer or pages to be printed (“copy pages”) to be made.

Danny notes Google’s attempts to ward off complaints that Google is scanning books via the Google Library program and selling them. As Google states…


Google Talk Released For BlackBerry

Great, just months after I switched from a Blackberry to a Treo (hoping to have access to a wider range of apps), Google goes and announces Google Talk for Blackberry.

Anyone know if there is a version for the Treo 650?

Via Nathan.

How Do We Define “Bloggers”?

After reading Steve Rubel’s commentary on a new study that suggests less than 5% of bloggers act like real journalists, I asked myself “who’s actually defining bloggers?”

Rubel’s comments include…

What I glean from this study is that the majority of bloggers generally amplify news through pointers and commentary to information others might not see. They’re not conducting real thorough reporting.

It’s clear that the term “blogger” has two distinct meanings.

a) Blogger = a news ‘journalist’ that uses an informal reporting style and offers personal commentary.
b) Blogger = anyone that publishes thoughts and commentary to a web site, on a regular basis, using a tool such as Blogger or Typepad.

Marketing Pilgrim Wins a blOSCAR

At Marketing Pilgrim, we’re not shy in accepting any award we can get – we’ll even give up the PR with a link back to the awarding site (we’re that easy). ;-)

Our thanks to for awarding us their “Post of the Week” for our Online Reputation Monitoring Beginners Guide.

Here’s what they had to say…

“This is Andy Beal’s post on ways to monitor your online reputation. While this is not about recruiting, this post is a great primer on ways to monitor the blogosphere regarding your online employer reputation. We selected this piece because it was informative, educational, easy to digest and something that would provide great utility to a wide audience of bloggers. So on behalf of may we be the first in congratulating Andy and awarding the first of our Starbucks gold.”