Natural Search Blog


Internet Retailers Finding Growth During The Recession

I earlier wrote about how businesses could take advantage of a recession by swooping in to grab up some marketshare from more fearful businesses who might choose to cut back advertising and expansion during an uncertain period. Now Forrester Research and Shop.org have released some survey results indicating that many online merchants are seeing growth while brick-and-mortar businesses are experiencing reduced sales.

The one cautionary note a Forrester analyst added to the release was that many retailers are apparently planning to advertise more in social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, even though it’s “still unproven how such sites might build direct revenue for retailers” (paraphrased).

I’d note that many of us in internet marketing have identified fairly significant promotional potential in social media sites, and that some degrees of integration with them are possible in many cases without incurring advertising costs — so, it may be that judicious campaigns should still be attempted, even if there is not a lot of research evidence indicating good ROI. Just as with any promotional campaigns, it’s important to try to measure results as you go, and adjust as indicated.

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Upcoming Appearances

SMX West Speaker Badge 2008I’ll be speaking on the “Local Search, and Blended Results” and “Online Retail and Blended Results” panels at the SMX West conference in Santa Clara, California, February 26 – 28, 2008.

Quite a few sessions at this conference are focusing on “blended results” — the new paradigm that has been affecting search results pages layouts and listing rankings. Each of the search engines have been looking into folding their various specialized, vertical search contents into the main keyword search results pages in order to better expose that content and facilitate usage of those features.

Google’s introduction of Universal Search during 2007 was probably the most attention-getting paradigm shift in terms of bringing search marketers to realize that they frequently need to achieve good placement in each of the specialized vertical searches like Images, Local/Maps, Video, News, and etc. to help guarantee rankings and ongoing market-share.

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