Directories lead on find as well as search

Search marketing has created enormous value both for internet users and online advertisers. Especially for advertisers, the results of their spend are equitable, reasonable and measurable. However, it is directories that are leading the way both in technology terms and by exploiting and developing new media channels (MW March 9).

No single one of us uses exactly the same language to describe something. This is the source of almost every search engine user’s daily frustration – when you have five minutes to find something and are faced with thousands of irrelevant results. “Translation” facilities are required to rapidly convert the search words I use into the equivalent terms used in the item I am looking for. One leading online directory has already achieved this, resulting in happier users and a closer matching between those users and the directory’s advertisers.

Newspaper publishers should also be learning from directories, as they develop editorial services for niche groups in their readerships and attempt to couple these services with advertisers wishing to reach those audiences. With print in decline, we are seeing a surge in traditional publishers trying to understand their readerships, their attachment to the brand and how interest groups could be commercially developed with additional services.

The clever money is looking out for companies and technologies that can deliver not simply “search”, but also “find”.

Jeremy Bentley Chief executive APR Smartlogik

Cambridge

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