RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Search’ Category

Kenshoo Hires Brand And Agency Vet Doug Chavez To Help It Transcend Search

doug chavezSearch and digital marketing platform Kenshoo has hired Doug Chavez as global head of marketing research and content. Chavez will lead a group analyzing data from the Kenshoo platform and producing insights on the search and mobile advertising space.

Chavez, previously SVP of emerging media at Universal McCann Worldwide, VP of marketing at RadiumOne, director of marketing at Del Monte Foods and director of ad solutions at Yahoo, said he joined the company to help Kenshoo provide “thought leadership” through data derived from $200 billion in online sales passing through the platform.

“Our job with the research team is to look at all of the data coming out of our platform,” Chavez said. “How do we understand that better? What lenses should we be looking at that through?”


Baidu Sets Its Sights On The Global Market

Baidu2Chinese search engine Baidu is one of Google’s biggest competitors. The company recently bought China's largest Android app distributor, 91 Wireless, for $1.9 billion and launched its own smart TV. And it is reportedly developing a wearable computing product, a la Google Glass.

Baidu reported $1.2 billion in revenues for this year’s second quarter, representing a 38.6% increase from the same period in 2012. AdExchanger spoke to Yvonne Zhu, channel director of Baidu’s overseas department, and Johnny Zhu, VP of Charm Communications, a performance marketing agency that Baidu appointed as a partner to promote its services across Europe.

Johnny helped translate Yvonne's comments to English in the below interview.

AdExchanger: How would you describe Baidu in comparison to Google?

JOHNNY ZHU: Some of Baidu’s products are similar to Google like our paid search ads and we have a display network similar to Google, but with more ad formats. We offer ads on top of the natural search results that are a combination of images, text and even video. We also have a mobile ad platform for mobile search and affiliated display ads. Baidu also owns 91 Wireless, the biggest Android app distributor in China.

What’s your strategy for overseas markets? What percentage of your business is international?

JZ: Baidu launched its international agency program two years ago. More European and North American companies are showing interest in China. They see the potential of the Chinese audience and their buying power. Some of the international companies have landing pages in traditional Chinese, but some advertisers don’t have websites in Chinese, only English. The conversion rate [of an English-only landing page] is a little lower than a landing page in Chinese and companies are looking into using Chinese on their pages.

YVONNE ZHU: More than 90% of our revenue comes from China and 10% from global visitors. Our mission is to become a household name outside of China by 2020 and we already have many partners working with us. (more…)

Marin's Search For Display: Slow, Steady, Social

Chris Lien, MarinMarin Software is a stalwart of the search space and a minor player in what it calls "performance display." Ten percent of its revenue comes from nonsearch channels, primarily the Google Display Network, Criteo and Facebook. (It's a Preferred Marketing Developer).

CEO Chris Lien spoke with AdExchanger about his company's baby steps in programmatic and social media.

AdExchanger: How has your display business evolved?

Chris Lien: Performance display for us is a growing part of our business but it's still a small part. About 90% of revenue is from paid search globally. That's Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan and Bing. The other 10% is broadly divided between social – Facebook ads – and performance display. The primary way we participate is through the Google Display Network, and then we also have a partnership with Criteo for remarketing.

Fundamentally, Marin is enabling advertisers to tie the cost and click data at the ad level or keyword level back to the revenue and conversion information that results from that particular ad placement. That way an advertiser can figure out the financial performance, they can figure out better business insights, and our platform offers time savings.


TargetCast Bringing Search Budgets To Display - Or Vice Versa

sloan-targetcastFor many media agencies, Search has always commanded a significant percentage of client budgets.  But over the past few years, with the “search-display” paradigm trumpeted within the ad technology landscape, data-driven display ad platforms have increasingly complimented Search budgets as agencies look to address the "right" audiences across the Web.

Philippe Sloan, SVP, Director of Digital Marketing at TargetCast, has seen the shift first-hand as he works both the strategic and execution sides of client campaigns for his media agency. “When I reference ‘ad technology,’ I'm talking about aligning clients with companies and platforms that provide scale across the Web. It's definitely resonating with clients - clients who I find are up-to-speed with what's happening in the world of digital advertising.”

To stay ahead of the game, Sloan and his team are constantly reviewing new platforms and looking for ways to reach their clients' targets– especially as an extension of search.  Among the solutions he has implemented recently is from ad platform Yieldbot. He says, “Yieldbot was appealing to us in that it capitalized on the power of search by reaching out to people who are actively trying to engage with our brands, and hitting them with something that went beyond a text ad or a banner ad on a site. I viewed it as a combination of the best of search combined with the power of display and the power of an image.”

From his point-of-view, Yieldbot CEO Jonathan Mendez sees untapped data within the pages of web publishers that media agencies can use for targeting.  “Search does it really well – it’s a navigational tool for intent. It gets you to where you want to go. But how do you build a collection mechanism that's outside of search within content? That's what we've done.”


Former Dapper CEO Beriker Turning Jobs Into Ads At Simply Hired

james-berikerSimply Hired is, simply put, a search engine for jobs.

But with new president and CEO James Beriker aboard, after his chief executive experience at Efficient Frontier and Dapper (acquired by Yahoo in 2010), the job search business may receive a media makeover.

Upon the early 2012 completion of the company's restructuring, Beriker was hired by the Sunnyvale, California-based Simply Hired’s board last November to take the company to its next stage (which insiders may hope is similar to Dapper’s final act – acquisition). Considering the location in Yahoo’s hometown, Yahoo’s divestiture of HotJobs back in 2010, and Yahoo’s new strategic initiatives such as Tumblr, job seeker “uniques” could be attractive.

Beriker explains that to create today’s index of 13 million jobs, Simply Hired scours the web as well as takes in feeds from job boards. In turn, the jobs data is fed into the Simply Hired search engine, which includes pay-per-click job ads that ride along with the search result pages – a key part of the revenue equation going forward.  Also, recruiters can post jobs with Simply Hired’s network of partner sites such as Mashable, providing a revenue share between Simply Hired and its network.


Google Product Listing Ads, Mobile Surged In Q4

PLAs-AdobeTwo trends dominated the paid search space during the holiday season of 2012: mobile impressions and spend, and Google’s new Product Listing Ads.

Google transitioned its Google Shopping search from a free model to a paid one. The new PLAs work more like AdWords, with retailers and merchants providing Google with information about a product, including an image and the price, and then working through an auction-based programmatic bidding approach.

According to data from Adobe, PLAs are more effective than traditional text ads and, by mid-December, PLAs accounted for 17% of all ad spend on Google and 10.7% of paid search ad spend overall.


Priceonomics Discovering Market Clearing Prices For Consumer Products

Rohin Dhar of PriceonomicsHaving spent five years growing job marketplace Personforce along with a partner, Rohin Dhar and his co-founders are taking aim at the price of things with Priceonomics, a pricing search engine.

The idea sounds straightforward enough: crawl through the web and figure out how much used things  (e.g. your old iPhone 4) are worth based on secondary markets. The startup has also delivered in-depth analysis of pricing inconsistencies that it sees - such as television resale prices. Read this Priceonomics blog post.

Incubator Y Combinator helped propel the startup to an initial $1.5 million investment early last year. Though Dhar wouldn’t divulge traffic figures today, he confirmed that the 65% month-over-month growth the company was experiencing last April has continued into a “hockey stick moment” – presumably even better than April's momentum.

AdExchanger spoke to Dhar last week.

AdExchanger: What problem is Priceonomics solving?

ROHIN DHAR: When you are trying to buy or sell anything in any market, you need to have a market clearing price in order for the market to function. Today, there is no well-known market clearing price for most used items. For a handful of things like iPhones, televisions or other popular items, you can go on Ebay and Craigslist and find a price you can sell it at - and that the market will clear it at. But what we do is set up a market clearing price for millions of products like a bicycle, an iPhone, a 20 year old pickup truck or a $2,000.00 turntable - things that aren’t sold that often.  We’re trying to make markets work better by having a price.


Adchemy CEO Nukala On The End Of Cookies

AdExchanger caught up recently with search services and ad tech provider, Adchemy, and its CEO Murthy Nukala. Nukala sees a change in the way intent will be captured in the future. Is the power of bottom-of-the-funnel search going away? Read on.

AdExchanger: What are the touch points for capturing intent in digital, in your estimation? Traditionally, people think of cookies.

MURTHY NUKALA: First, to answer, let's step back. Imagine the web as it exists five years from now. It is more than likely that it's going to be a multi‑device, multi‑form factor world. It's not going to be web‑centric the way it is today. It's going to be mobile‑centric, tablet‑centric and each consumer will have more than one device. That's the first big trend we see happening.

The second big trend we see is that a lot of the search behavior, which today is very query‑centric – as in using a search box and typing things in - we see that becoming more implicit search as opposed to explicit search.

For example, Yelp, or Urbanspoon. You go to Yelp and you try to find a Thai restaurant in Redwood City, California. By doing so, you're not using Google or Bing to find a Thai restaurant in Redwood City. Using Yelp, in many ways, is a substitute for using search.

These "information utilities" are very vertical specific and you find their growth exploding. As an aside, Roger McNamee breaks out the two types of search like this - "index search" for Google and "behavioral search" for these information utilities.


Why Advertisers Still Love Yahoo (Axis Edition)

Yahoo AxisSetting aside for a moment the credibility gap inherent in any new Yahoo product launch – let alone a search product – you have to admire the company's brazenness in talking up the ad potential for Axis, its new lightweight browser geared toward smartphones and tablets.

Below are a few choice comments Ethan Batraski, director of product management for Yahoo Search, shared with AdExchanger in discussing the new product (which for the record does not launch with any advertising or data collection).

On mobile search retargeting, Batraski says, "There's a huge opportunity to use that data. The advertiser benefits and the user benefits."

On data: "With Axis, because of the experience of the browser, I can target on a number of things. I can see what your search history is, what you're browsing history is.

On new formats: "As we make search more visual, you start to think about display ads. What if I could take a screen shot of the landing page for the advertiser and drop them in among results?"

On cross-device addressability: "[Users are] reachable within all three devices [PC, smartphone, tablet]. We can have a conversation with them across all three devices."

This is one reason marketers continue to adore Yahoo, despite the mishigas. Whereas Google, Facebook and other platform giants rarely talk openly about their ad targeting strengths, except in the context of user privacy, Yahoo seems to embrace it. To some extent you can chalk up the lack of reticence to its underdog status. Privacy watchdogs and legislators don't perceive Yahoo as a threat, so it runs on a longer tether. But to a larger extent the openness is simply Yahoo's legacy; the company was an early adopter (inventor even) of search retargeting and behavioral advertising and so the practices are expected.