Friday, June 21, 2024

Staying One Step Ahead

In a recent issue, WepProNews provided a great article outlining how bid-per-click search engines can generate new leads and sales for your business. Mainstream sites like GoTo.com have been able to use this bidding system as a source of commercial revenue much earlier than their competitors, making them the current market leader in the bid-per-click listing arena. Considering they have also carved out almost 3% market share (meaning they are used by 3% of all Search Engine Users), this is a remarkable feat.

To compliment the article by Murdok though, the important issue to be stressed is that new opportunities are being created daily for your business online. There are many other search engines that are adopting the per-click tracking system based on the highest bid. All of these have considerable less market share than GoTo.com, but are still used by thousands of potential customers interested in your business.

For the small to medium sized business, this can mean qualified lead delivery for a fraction of the price normally commanded by larger search engines. Depending on the services you provide, staying alert to the entry of new search engines or policy changes can provide a very cost effective way to generate new business for your company.

Any successful businessperson knows that one of the secrets to prosperity is to be able to read and predict what future market trends will be. In the interests of free and open enterprise, I thought I would share some of our own thoughts on a tightly kept industry secret. Hopefully it will help to help improve your ability to capitalize on future opportunities, and help to explain why some of the search engines do what they do.

In the Murdok article referenced, they also touched on how search engines are using strict listing policies to prevent spam. In actuality, this is a very clever public relations tool being used by many search engines to help them substantiate plans to detour from their current no-charge policy for URL submissions. They have in some ways intentionally tainted and undermined their own product through the media to provide perspective on the benefit of paying for precise listings in the future.

Almost without exception, all search engines have been created with the intent of positioning themselves to be paid anytime and every time anyone clicks on a listing that is commercially related. Most search engines that have a major market share have not yet converted to this payment system for one reason. Like many other dot-com companies who expected the world, riches and success overnight, they underestimated the lack of revenue they could generate from advertising related to their tremendous user bases.

The online world is still very much in its infancy though, and a combination of professional arrogance, mismanagement, and financial miscalculations have left the search engine world in a difficult situation: they may not financially survive the necessary transition to a bid-per-click policy. This is one of the key reasons that large search engines once commanding up to 25% market share have been unable to benefit from further investments and the glorious IPO’s they once expected. Imagine controlling 25% of the billions of requests entered monthly by some 250 million Internet users. You would naturally imagine that converting to per-click bids would generate a small (if not large) fortune. The future goal of search engines is simple: charge on a per-click basis while maintaining a large and definable user base of financially qualified users.

>From a commercial consumer point of view, stay alert of changes in the search engine industry. Be diligent in your research of search engine activities and the style in which they choose to manage their services. There will always be many first-mover benefits available to business owners as search engines find their footing and try new marketing techniques to improve revenues.

Robert Davis is a media correspondent for Super Reports, the leading
provider of market data detailing online consumer search habits and
product location techniques. www.superreports.com
You can reach Robert via email at rdavis@superreports.com.

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