The point is, marketers should advertise on multiple search engines

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

My recently released piece "Search Loyalty Is Still Hard To Find" has gotten a lot of press.  Some of it for a faulty conclusion.  I've corrected the notion that I was trying to introduce a "Google Killer" with this research on a few blogs.  Glad to see the right interpretation of our our data popping up as well!  I thought it might be worth setting the record straight from our own blog.

My primary assertion in this research is, that although Google's lead in the share of online searchers continues to grow, users find that other search engines are actually more effective for certain things — like looking up stock quotes or finding news stories. Smart marketers should most certainly advertise on Google and Yahoo! but should also target niche audiences via less expensive and more flexible media on AOL, MSN, Ask.com, and Internet service providers.

In no way would I argue with Google's dominance in this market (it leads significantly in terms of both consumer searches and marketer spend managed).  Nor am I expecting that Google's lead is one that will be caught up to by Yahoo!, MSN or any new entrant.  What I am arguing with this research is that alternative search engines can offer more flexible ways to reach some types of audiences.  Advertisers looking to expand their programs and increase the sophication of their paid search buys should definitely experiment on engines beyond Google.

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Comments

re: The point is, marketers should advertise on multiple search

Hi Shar,You're exactly right. However, experimenting is not simple. A key reason Google dominates so much ad spend is not just because it has great media inventory, but because its AdWords interface is so familiar to marketers. In other words, everyone knows how to use the AdWords interface and the entire underlying Google advertising operating system. The tremendous familiarity with that interface makes it extremely difficult to transition to other interfaces. (I've mentioned this in past comments on this blog.) That's why so many in-house marketers fail to diversify ad spend across networks as much as they should. That's why agencies often charge or absorb the cost of training and administration of spend across other networks, often with their smaller clients. That's also why scrutiny of tiny experimental investments always goes so high -- so high that success is often sacrificed to skepticism. It makes you wonder why so many competing ad networks work so hard to create unique front-ends -- in the end, creating even more friction for advertisers trying to plan and invest media.All this leads to the law of user experience, and was brilliantly decoded in a Harvard Business Review paper called Eager Sellers, Stony Buyers. User experience of an incumbent product creates a huge hurdle to newcomers in a market. There's the real cost of switching to and managing with a newcomer product, plus exaggerated fear of those costs. All creating very real friction.That's why advertising tools are so important, especially dashboards that normalize experiences and optimization across all advertising networks -- essentially unlocking the ability of media investment to easily travel to where it will achieve the greatest return. It's all about taking user experience out of the equation when making media investments -- by making the entire experience simple and easy.This is true for the largest ad spenders, as well as the smallest. Tools that create simplicity across ad networks enable advertisers to do more in less time. In dynamic pay-per-click ad marketplaces, where insights and optimizations are perishable, tools often are the only way to achieve your goals. It's hard enough with one search-engine network, let alone the three major ones combined, or more.My intention is not to shill, but we have a great product tour on our site (www.clickable.com) that explains in three minutes how a tool can disrupt the time and complexity of managing performance across multiple networks, or even just one.Regards,Max KalehoffVP-MarketingClickable

re: The point is, marketers should advertise on multiple search

that is right. actually i think it will be useful to experiment on the top 10 search engines.