1. Google Universal Search. Lots of hype, but really is it that different than what is already there? My friend Owen doesn’t think so. To me, it seems like both Google and Yahoo are acknowledging that “searches for Web sites” is just a piece of the puzzle – Google chooses to address it by incorporating books, news, videos, etc into search results. Yahoo focuses on social networking like delicio.us and Flickr as an alternative to traditional search altogether.
2. Nextag and the A word? Rumors are flying that Nextag has been acquired. Unclear by whom. My guesses: private equity company, Amazon, or Yahoo. More to come.
3. Quality Score Update. A few of my dormant AdWords accounts recently got oodles of clicks out of nowhere. Then the traffic stopped. I smell a Quality Score algorithm experiment.
4. Reactive or Predictive? Having talked to many bid management companies recently, I’m realizing that some companies are big into predictive modeling (“all your keywords that contain the word ‘red’ perform well, therefore, increase the bid on all ‘red’ keywords, regardless of history”) versus reactive management (“look at the last month of data and adjust bids for position, geography, demographics, day-parting, etc for all high-traffic keywords”). Seems like someone should invent a tool that combines the two approaches.
5. Speaking Circuit. I’m tired of looking at conference agendas with faux-expert SEM consultants as the main speakers. So I’m going to start making an effort of talking at some of these conferences for the good of humanity. I’m working on WebMasterWorld PubCon at the moment. If anyone has ideas (or invitations) to speak, let me know.