Posts Tagged ‘search engines’

Localised Search Is Not Necessarily Your Friend – Part 2

Written by admin on . Posted in Web & Content Tips

MedTech Insider – UK
October 18, 2011 – 9:29 am

Guest blogger Amy Munice from ALM Communications writes:

To recap part one of this article—localised search affects your company one way or another. If you are building a medical device in Minnesota or Boston, you may be better served by the features of a data logger you can purchase in Italy or Taiwan but you may find it difficult to find one via the web. And if you are marketing a device such as a drug-eluting stent made in Grenoble or Baden Württemberg, you certainly want to be able to reach people in Minnesota or Boston, not to mention globally, but it’s an up-hill climb, because of the local search algorithm.

How to sell online? It is not impossible. Rather, you just need to know how the World Wide Web works circa 2011/2012: the rules have changed for businesses that want to sell online beyond their hometown. Some of the new rules that affect your ability to source or sell products and services include:

1. Now, your competitors are favoured for top search engine rankings in their locale. Depending on the nature of your business, where your competitors—and you—are located could impact your Internet marketing efforts a little or a lot.

2. There is a wild card factor in that search engine algorithms seem to vary in their ability to sort out which business-to-business products and services are truly and best sourced on a global basis.

3. Many large multinational companies are able to get around this invisible-to-many-but-real barrier on the Internet by having multiple offices in locations around the globe and, in some cases, using country-specific URLs.
Obviously, global sourcing and trade continues despite this new wrinkle introduced by localised search algorithms. But your lead generation efforts will be better served if you take the gauge of how much or how little localised search is affecting your company—in both sourcing and selling onand off line.

For example, if you are a supplier to medical device companies, your best advertising spend may very well be for a directory listing in the likes of Qmed, which brings together global suppliers with key people in the global industry. Similarly, while an SEO expert might tell you to go hog wild building links in the blogosphere to raise your site’s profile, free Google Analytics tools will predictably show you that your best leads come from reputable trade media such as EMDT,which any experienced marketer could tell you are widely regarded sources of trustworthy information.

Or, If you are a medical device manufacturer trying to reach physicians worldwide, perhaps you should take note of the Dr. Alistair Lindsay (cardiologist and member of the editorial board of Heart, a leading cardiovascular journal) who finds that one of his best time management methods for staying up-to-date on new drug and device developments is to religiously follow tweets with the hash tags of stent, carotid, atherosclerosis, PCI  and MRI.

At the same time, take note that some of your prospects might strictly use mobile devices to find what they seek while others are not connected to the Internet in any manner whatsoever for a wide range of reasons, none of which fall under the heading of Neanderthal.

In the next column we’ll delve into another devil in the details of how today’s web really works—personalised search algorithms. If you would like more information on localised search and how it affects strategising the best spend for your marketing dollars, please write to alm@almcommunications.

— Amy Munice, ALM Communications

Localised Search Is Not Necessarily Your Friend – EMDT, UK

Written by admin on . Posted in Web & Content Tips

Localised Search Is Not Necessarily Your Friend – Part 1


September 29, 2011 – 10:07 am
 Guest blogger Amy Munice from ALM Communications writes:


Is today’s Internet your friend? 

Alas, for the typical EMDT reader, I have a mixed answer.
Google

At about the same time as the first stirrings of the worldwide recession, the world’s search engines began to start favouring local companies. Localised search algorithms (among other changes) are a predominant part of the 200+ factors that affect a web page’s so-called ranking. (In subsequent columns, I will explain why I qualify the word ranking in the way that I do.) These algorithms assume that a searcher (i.e., your prospect) is more interested in finding local sources for whatever he or she is seeking.
Are search engines capable of sorting out the things you want to source on a global basis from what you want to source on the nearest corner? Based on repeated Googling experiments, I conclude, not necessarily.



For example, let’s say you are doing R&D for a new drug-eluting stent. For that, you may want to source a temperature and humidity data logger, a technology with which I am very familiar. I have worked with two data logger manufacturers—one with a good-enough low-priced offering; the other with units priced above what the market typically will bear and achieving a level of accuracy exceeding the requirements of most applications. I have also talked with most data logger manufacturers worldwide, with technologies at various points between the aforementioned extremes.
My curiosity about the search key phrase data logger was first piqued about four years ago. An editor of a high-profile health informatics publication had gushed on the phone to me about a very cool ultracompact data logger. The maker of this device was in Europe. Knowing that the services my 20+-year-old PR firm provides are key to worldwide lead generation, I decided to call this manufacturer and see if there was any interest in our services. During the course of my conversation with the company’s very capable VP of Marketing, she mentioned, as an aside, that they had absolutely no need for any services—PR or otherwise—to help in their search engine rankings because they were “always number one.”  As we continued talking, I Googled the term data logger and its permutations. This company did not appear on page one, two or three—where the average Googler would give up—or beyond. I mentioned this to her but she was adamant: “we are always number one!”
Hmmm…
My experiments continued. (For those in the know about personalised search, please note that my experiments were done from the same laptop without any cookie cleaning in between experiments.)

I have now Googled data logger in the following locales: Chicago, London, Oxford, Paris, near Scotland, Bogota, Recife, New Orleans, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, San Francisco, Fresno, someplace in the redwood forests where connections were spotty, and along roads between X and Y. What I get when I Google changes. Yes, these are not clean experiments as they are not done at the same time but, rather, are stretched over time, but . . .
That said, Google (or Baidu, Bing Yahoo and so forth) do have localised search algorithms that work wonderfully for my local grocer, but not so well for anyone selling or sourcing more technical products online.
How to sell online? Look for some beginning answers in part two of this article next week. Sneak preview: Directories such as Qmed count for a lot more than you might initially think.
— Amy Munice, ALM Communications

 


Web Wisdom: Personalized Search Algorithms

Written by admin on . Posted in Web & Content Tips

Internet Retailer magazine June 21, 2011 by Amy Munice, ALM Communications   


Filed under Marketing, Web Marketing
9 Comments

Every week I speak with a company president, VP of Marketing or some equivalent, who assures me that they have absolutely no need to focus on web marketing, “because we are already number one.” How do they know this? One thing is for certain, they aren’t using artificial intelligence tools for search engine optimization to receive accurate information on their company’s unique competitive position on the web.  Rather, they type their main keyword into Google, and consistently find themselves at the top of the page or very near it.  But what is wrong with that, you might ask.

How Do Search Engines Work?

Simply stated, that is not how search engines work anymore.  In fact, they haven’t worked that way for quite some time.  This isn’t just Google; this is also true of Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, etc. Search engines now serve you up what they think you are looking for.  They know who you are, and more importantly, who your customers are. They know how you are looking for things, as well as how your customers search for news, companies, products, etc.  Plus, they know the zip code and the local geography where each user is located.  Search engines are getting better and smarter at knowing YOU and each of your customers, as well as what’s what in your micro-locale every day. A quick type into Google, and you are being fed an illusion.

Personalized Search Algorithms

To the more technically inclined, it takes more than cleaning cookies or turning off personalized search in Chrome to get to the “truth.”   Even if YOU turn off personalized search (which is more difficult than an on-off switch in a Chrome browser), you have to ask yourself, “Are my customers doing the same?”  With more than 99.99 percent certitude, you can assume that they are NOT.  Without math-based search engine optimizer tools, you and your site will remain victim to algorithms that “personalize” search. Simply stated, you are leaving it all to fate, or more accurately, to any/all competitors who do get wind of math-based search engine optimizer tools, that can help transform personalized search algorithms from obstacles to advantages.

Think of it this way: site ranking, an objective site ranking, really only means that you are part of a deck of cards that gets dealt to any prospect seeking out the keyword for which your web page is optimized.   If it’s a 50-card deck, the way in which one prospect searches may put your site at the top, and the way another searches, at the bottom, or anywhere in between.

In my next column, we’ll discuss in more detail about ways that search engines work (a.k.a. “search algorithms”) that make it impossible for you to get a good read on your site ranking by simply Googling.
 
Amy Munice is president of ALM Communications, 773-862-6800.

ALM Communications Inc. · 1714 North Honore, Suite 3 · Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.