On location at SMX West in Santa Clara, Virginia interviews three prominent personalities in the search world: Ian Lurie, Marshall Simmonds and Scott Garell.
Ian Lurie, president of Portent Interactive and co-author of Web Marketing All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies, kicks off the show. Ian is a presenter during the session Analytics Action Plans for SEO & PPC, and he explains how to predict and pick what terms and pages to optimize for based on analytics data. He also talks about how his agency establishes trust and introduces his services to clients with his 10things small business program.
Then Marshall Simmonds, chief search strategist at the New York Times and co-founder of Define Search Strategies, then talks to Virginia about the topic of his Ignite SMX West presentation, where he muses on how history would have been different if major figures had the Internet at their disposal. He also shares a preview of his presentation on the Industrial Strength SEO panel and the challenges of enterprise search.
Finally, Scott Garell, president of Ask Networks, joins the show. As the number one brand charged with answering questions on the Web, Scott explains that Ask.com is a strong platform for advertisers. He also hints at the Q&A social community that Ask.com will be launching in the second quarter of the year. The community aims to connect experts with searchers, pointing to the abundance of information that hasn’t been published on the Web. Combining innovative technology and connections between people is Ask.com’s strategy.
Shows related to Ask
Ask.com is pursuing the real-time and Q&A segments of search with a new strategy and contagious excitement. In a post titled The Next Frontier in Search: Questions & Answers, Ask.com U.S. president Doug Leeds announced that the company was developing technology to better extract existing answers on the Web as well as to better find and index the source of answers not yet published. The latter will be achieved by identifying human subject matter experts that can be called upon to answer questions when they arise. Bruce Clay expresses concern over how Ask.com identifies an expert. What qualifications must be met by experts? How can webmasters and SEOs optimize their odds of being considered expert?
Doug Leeds then joins the program to answer those very questions and to explore the need for evolving technology in the question and answer space. Doug looks at the shortcomings of search in delivering answers and the different ways people approach search when looking for an answer and when researching a topic. He explains what people can do to prepare their site for Q&A search and for being considered a subject matter expert by Ask.com. Real-time question and answer capabilities through human editorial and participation is part of the strategy Ask.com is taking to evolve their search results.
While Ask.com will seek to extract answers from Web pages as they are today, Susan Esparza, Michael Terry and Virginia Nussey consider whether or not microformats could help the process. Microformats are conventions used to indicate common types of content on a Web page, such as info on events, companies, products or reviews. If a standard could be agreed upon for Q&A pairs, would search quality be improved? They consider the solution in theory but are aware that the standardization and technical requirements of new microformats aren’t a quick or nimble fix.
Semantic search aims to serve search results based on word and sentence meaning. The technology tries to understand natural language in order to respond with the best query results. Ask.com has led the way in semantic search technology with DADS (Direct Answers from Databases), DAFS (Direct Answers from Search), and AnswerFarm. Ask.com and semantic search are the focus of today’s episode. Bruce, Susan and Virginia discuss Ask’s clear commitment to the advancement of search, and what the engine could do to better support the SEO and webmaster communities.
|Virginia then talks to Tomasz Imielinski, executive vice president of Global Search and Answers at Ask.com. Tomasz explains the effort he’s leading at Ask to continually develop their proprietary semantic technology. Some search categories, like TV listings and sports, are greatly enhanced by Ask’s ability to extract information from structured data such as databases and XML feeds. They also discuss Ask’s growing Q&A database, which is powered by semantic technology, as well as Ask’s goals for advancement and innovation.|
At Yahoo, they’re approaching semantic search from a slightly different direction. Susan, Virginia and Michael look at the Common Tag, which Yahoo is helping to develop and will support. Michael argues that structured mark up will not be the future of semantic search, advocating latent semantic analysis instead. Susan is concerned that Web site developers won’t take an action that will currently only help their site in one search engine.