From SES NYC 2005 | Return to Table of Contents
|The competitive research session is on the subject of how to seek out your competitors’ listings, understand their methodology for success and leverage it for your own efforts.Moderator Detlev Johnson takes us all back with a description of the old “leapfrog technique” used to rank higher at Infoseek’s search engine back in 1995. He then introduces the four panel members; Alan Dick of Vintage Bath & Tubs, David Williams from 360i, Cam Baizer from Performics.com and Bill Tancer of Hitwise.
Alan Dick, the founder of Vintage Bath & Tubs, begins the session by discussing his company’s background and success online. He makes several well-received jokes about “selling crappers” when his mother wanted him to be a lawyer, then goes into his slides on competitive research techniques.
Next up is David Williams of 360i. David has a short introduction piece, then jumps right in to his slides on research tactics.
In the Q+A, David mentions that having DMOZ editor privileges can help to get your site listed and recommends using that to leverage getting into the directory.
Next up is Cam Baizer from Performics.com. Cam mentions that Performics is now owned by DoubleClick (an acquisition that was made last year). The company currently has 170 employees based in Chicago and serves 125 brands. Cam touches on the subject of keyword “inflation” being a relative myth and notes that his firm has found that keyword prices have reached a stable level over the last 12 months, and that in many sectors they monitor, even declined.
During the Q+A, Cam mentions that no PPC campaign receives a “rebate” from the search companies and he assures the audience that even when you spend 100mil+, you pay the full CPC each time.
Gavin Appel from Hitwise speaks on his company’s product, a monitoring service for 25 mil+ users over 160 industries at the network level. Hitwise conducts time analysis of traffic levels to see where increases have come from (links, search, etc.) – for example, he mentions a Google algo shift (update). Gavin also discusses using a competitive analysis to show terms where you are not competing (where your market share is low). Hitwise has its own built-in search term research term as well (sources are unclear) and a success rate tool that is built in.
Gavin also touches on some of the new tools from Hitwise. For example, he shows a system whereby a researcher can see what percentage of searches for a particular term are done on Google and who in the sector is most successful in generating traffic – you can use this to ID affiliates, competitors, link partners, etc.
Last up is Bill Tancer (also of Hitwise), who talks a little about some of the major search engines. He mentions that while Google is still the fastest growing service overall, MSN has seen a 14% growth rate over the last 4 months. Bill brings up some numbers and metrics; first, that Google still accounts for 55.5% of US searches, and that many Yahoo! & MSN searchers do so out of convenience (I infer he means ignorance – those who don’t know how to change their homepage, etc.) Bill goes on and shows some demographics:
That wraps up competitive research. I did not differentiate between the presentation and Q+A period in these notes, so they are included above.