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Orion Panel: Tech & Info Giants – 3rd Keynote at SES San Jose 08

The Orion Keynote Panel, “Technical & Information Giants”, touched on fairly broad topic areas this afternoon at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose.

Speakers included Matt Cutts (Google Engineer), Rich LeFurgy (Partner, Archer Advisors), Kirsten Mangers (Co-Founder & CEO, WebVisible), Robert Scoble (Managing Director, FastCompany.TV), Danny Sullivan (Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land), and Tim Westergren (Founder, Pandora).

DSCN5767

Conference Chair and moderator, Kevin Ryan, framed up the introduction to the panel by using numerous pop culture video snippets to emphasize the impact of Google, social media, and the overall internet on everyday lives. Some of the funnier snippets included quotes from South Park and Californication. (more…)

W3C Issues Mobile App Guidelines

The World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”) announced today a mobile web best practices document, providing standards intended to improve the user experience of the web on mobile devices.

This is good, because it will help promote better standards across mobile application development. Until now, developers have been all over the map in terms of how such apps or mobile-enabled sites are created.

So, the big question in my mind — what sort of domain name do they recommend for mobile apps?!? Do they recommend using the .mobi top level domain (“TLD”)? (more…)

SMX LoMo Keynote: Frazier Miller

Frazier Miller, General Manager of Yahoo! Local, spoke yesterday here at the SMX Local & Mobile conference in San Francisco.

Frazier Miller, Yahoo! Local's General Managers
Yahoo! Local’s Frazier Miller

It was very interesting to hear the take on local & mobile from one of Yahoo! Local’s top thought leaders. It was obvious that Frazier has a very tight grip on understanding what motivates consumers and where the trends may be headed in local/mobile evolution.

Some highlights of Frazier’s presentation included: (more…)

Can NearbyNow Escape The Fate of Local Shopping Search Engines?

NearbyNowGreg Sterling points out that a number of companies are attempting to build out inventories of local brick-and-mortar stores and expose this info via search capabilities. Greg notes that NearbyNow has just raised $11.75 million in additional funding, and that there are compelling reasons to believe that local product shopping search satisfies a lot of user needs and conforms to existing shopping behavior. Greg states:

Every shopping engine that doesn’t have this local store data will suffer at the hands of those that do. The significance of this and its potential impact on online shopping (and by extension mobile) cannot be overstated.

My initial gut reaction to NearbyNow is along the lines of: “I’ve seen this during the era of dot-bombs, and it didn’t work — why should it work now?” (more…)

Will Geolocation Become Ubiquitous?

Chris Messina at Citizen Agency has just blogged about how he believes that geolocation data will become ubiquitous for websites to use, and this sort of contextual information about users will form a new layer of information that will available to all internet applications.

I find myself a bit skeptical, just because geolocation data has been around for so long now, and I’ve heard people saying that it will revolutionize how information is presented to us for quite some time. This concept is nothing new, though if you look at it from the perspective that Messina has provided, it’s a fairly compelling-feeling twist as a sort of infrastructure given that could and should be incorporated in the planning and development of any given internet site — particularly social ones — at their very inception.

What isn’t plain is just how integral all the locative information could be, considering the issues of unknowable error rates involved in geolocation data (see the section on “The issue of error rates” in “Geolocation: Core To The Local Space And Key To Click-Fraud Detection“) and consumer interest group resistance to pinpointing of users’ locations based upon privacy concerns (just today there was an article on how groups are complaining to the FTC about the ease of geo-pinpointing of users of mobile devices). I wish he’d touched on those aspects in some way, although I do like the techno-evangelist spin he’s provided on location as a foundational aspect in site design.

Update: Susan Mernit, formerly of Yahoo!, also points out that security is a major concern for applications like dating sites, and that there’s consumer irritation involved with some contextual advertising.

Voice Search the Next Big Thing in Mobile

Gregg Stewart has a great article today at Search Engine Watch on how Voice Search may be the “next big thing” that’s actually already arrived to large degree.

He posts an interesting graph from the Kelsey Group that estimates some fantastic growth figures for ad-sponsored directory assistance usage over the next few years.

Although I don’t really question any of the points Gregg made (more…)

SMX Local & Mobile Conference Discount

If you haven’t decided to attend the Search Marketing Expo Local & Mobile Conference on October 1 & 2, you’ll be missing out on the newest tips and information for two overlapping search segments that are considered to contain some of the fastest-growing marketing potential of any media around. The consensus prediction is for $8 billion in total ad spending by 2010!

SMX Local & Mobile Speaker

I’ll be speaking on the subject of “Managing a Local/Mobile Search Marketing Campaign” on the morning of the first day. There are also a number of other interesting presentations that I plan to attend, covering subjects such as Local SEO, Pay-Per-Call Advertising, Mobile SEO, Mobile Advertising, and LoMo.

For readers of Natural Search Blog, we’re able to offer a conference discount of 20% off the full registration price if you sign up now. Just go to the SMX Local & Mobile 07 registration, and enter our discount code:

SMX20OffLM

Google’s advent of Universal Search has propelled content from a number of search verticals into the main results page, including content from Local Search in many cases. This development has opened the eyes of many marketers to the fact that businesses with local components really need to specifically target their content to appear optimally under this new paradigm. (more…)

Google Phone – ‘Gphone’ launch rumors

News is abuzz with the report that Google could launch the Gphone within a fortnight. As you may recall, I’d earlier resurrected the rumors of Google working on the “Gbrowser” – their own browser software when I learned they’d recently hired on browser security expert Michal Zalewski. I then reported a confirmation of sorts via a Wall Street Journal report, since Google is apparently working on a mobile phone browser in their Boston offices to go along with a new mobile phone they’re wanting developed.

I have a bit of insider information on this subject that might prove interesting.

Two days ago, at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose, Marissa Mayer commented on the iPhone, highlighting how well Google applications worked on it, and admiring the rich user-interface features: (more…)

Marissa Mayer demos the iPhone at SES San Jose

At this morning’s keynote conversation between Marissa Mayer (Google’s Vice President, Search Products & User Experience) and conference co-chair Danny Sullivan, when asked some questions about Google’s interests in mobile search and wireless applications, Marissa whipped out her iPhone and showed some features and user-interface aspects that she particularly admired by pulling up Google Maps and Google Voice Local Search service on the phone:

Marissa Mayer demos the iPhone
(click to enlarge)

As we recently highlighted Google’s mobile phone development project, they apparently have quite a bit of interest in the mobile space. Obviously, they consider the iPhone to have very good user-interface design, since this very nearly amounted to a product endorsement. From watching this, I’d predict that Google is likely to be in talks with Apple to see if they couldn’t partner with them in some major way in order to get prominent placement through the iPhone platform, or perhaps even to persuade Apple to develop the hardware for the Google phone on their behalf.

(more…)

Google Browser Development Confirmed

At the end of July, I wrote that it looked like the Google Browser might actually be in the works after all, based upon their recent hire of a browser security expert. I now see this in this Wall Street Journal article from August 2nd about Google’s push into creating their own wireless phone that they are indeed working on a browser — built specifically for these proposed cellphones:

“Now it is drafting specifications for phones that can display all of Google’s mobile applications at their best, and it is developing new software to run on them. The company is conducting much of the development work at a facility in Boston, and is working on a sophisticated new Web browser for cellphones, people familiar with the plans say.”

Could this be what they’ll have that browser hacker working upon?

(more…)

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