Online searches are getting longer (8+ words)

People are using Google instead of portals and one stop shops – we know that. Search is the gateway to content. Even Rupert Murdoch this week said:

Nobody is making money with free content on the web, except search.

Interesting that search queries with 8+ words continue to rise.

Why? Quite possibly because:

1. People aren’t finding what they want via immediate searches. so keep adding words until they find what they want. Finding needles in haystacks take some effort.

2. People aren’t very good at searching effectively, so write things like: find me a hotel near the centre of London (that’s nine words by the way).

3. People ask a lot of questions when they search. For example, right now it’s Good Friday – as per Google Trends, the eighth biggest search right now is: is the stock market open today (six words), while the 16th most popular search right now is: are banks open on good friday (again, six words). These are the sort of searches that are on the increase.

Bottom line – plain English searches are becoming more common. There are so many opportunities for firms to incorporate these sort of questions into their online content, in the form of Q&As or other text. But instead, far too many write content in the most boring corporate speak ever.

My advice is to intercept search terms by creating content on their websites related to those search terms. By having organic search traffic, it makes it easier to rise up the search rankings and also reduces the weighted average cost of acquistion, as your organic search results share increases versus your paid search results share.

Wired’s lesson: “Let everything happen and measure it”

The Editor of Wired, Chris Anderson, has come out with this very interesting perspective, echoing what I was saying earlier in the week:

He described how the old magazine model is one based on scarcity, where its the editor’s job to day “no” and contrasted this to the new web model, where it’s all about saying “yes”.

He suggested that it’s now the web, or rather, the audience that works out if its any good or not.

Talking about business planning, he described how in the old world, you used to write business models explaining how you were going to get ROI, now you just do it and see if it works.

According to Chris, everything is bottom-up, including management.

He now does everything his interns tell him to do, they recently suggested doing a press conference in Second Life, which he did.

“Let everything happen and measure it”, were his parting words.