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Andrew Girdwood: “Search has Evolved Significantly in the Last Year”

14 February 2012 BY

Next week the European Search World will gather in London to attend, network and share knowledge at SES London 2012. Like every year it promises to be a great event with a great line up of speakers. State of Search will off course be covering the event and in cooperation with our friends at SEO Chicks there was the contest to win tickets.

Going up to the conference we will also be shedding our light on the event. We have asked several speakers at the event to answer some questions. Questions about SES off course, but also about the market in general: where do they feel the market is heading.

Today we listen to Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director, Bigmouthmedia.

A bit on the market in general

How much do you think has “Search” changed in the past year and how much will it change in the coming year?

I think Search has evolved significantly in the last year and will evolve just as significantly again in the coming year.

This time last year Google was just adding recipe rich snippets and helping webmasters extract keyword information. This year Google’s blown past humble rich snippets with hugely integrated social markup and is making keyword extraction far harder for webmasters.

Do you already feel the impact of “Search Plus Your World” as a searcher?

Yes, although I’m in the UK I tend to do my searches on Google.com. This means I get Search+ results. I enjoy them. I find them more relevant and more useful. They feel better. Who knows; perhaps by the time the SES keynote kicks off Search+ will be live on Google.co.uk.

Looking at Europe, what do you feel other search engines should do to get closer to Google?

That’s a tough one. I think Bing could do so much better by building far more a community around Xbox and Bing. Why not give my Xbox Live avatar perks and rewards for actions on Bing? The living room and the TV set is Microsoft’s best attack route against Google.

Smaller search engines could examine hyperlocal success and really nailing cultural nuances.

A bit on SES

What will your session and your talk in specific be covering?

I’ve two talks; one on local and mobile and the other on low cost social. In both presentations I’m going to try and balance the “good to know” with the “good to do” and mix theory with practical examples.

What makes SES a conference you want to speak at?

SES is the conference that decision makers at big brands know about.

Is there a session, apart from your own, you would urge people to go and see? And why?

I encourage people to check out “Crossing the Digital Divide: The Leap from Search to Display”. Search marketers must get that evolution in Search is nothing compared to the revolution we’ve had in the Display space. DSP and ad-exchanges have brought Search skills to Display.

Equally; everyone should catch “Tablet Display Advertising: Challenges and Opportunities” as households across the country are edging their way into the post-PC era.

Special credit is due to whoever manages to catch both sessions.

What should people ask you when they see you at SES?

Would you like a beer? I’m happy to chat about most stuff but am particularly interested in talking about biddable media, connected media and the search and social amalgamation that I now call natural media.

AUTHORED BY:
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Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of Stateofdigital.com. -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
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