Richard Baxter: “I don’t think other search engines stand a chance”
In less than two weeks 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 you could be visiting the conference!
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.
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?
Search is a fundamentally more social and rich experience, for any Google query I execute, I see evidence of my social circles activity and, as a logged out user – I can see how many people might have shared a specific URL. Google are expanding (and competing in) more verticals, and we’re seeing them develop in this respect quite rapidly. Flights, Hotels and Finance queries are amongst those where Google are clearly reclaiming their own real estate making it a significantly more challenging ecosystem for the every day marketer.
Do you already feel the impact of “Search Plus Your World” as a searcher?
As a searcher in my space, almost. I suppose that digital people, as early adopters are amongst the most likely to share and learn new tools, so you’re bound to see a footprint in this space. Search Plus Your World isn’t impacting my own searches as much as I’d have expected, but I am seeing it happen.
Looking at Europe, what do you feel other search engines should do to get closer to Google?
I don’t think “other search engines” stand a chance in their current guise. In fact I think the minority search engines will always be left squabbling over the scraps of search engine market share left by Google. The real threat to Google is the large social networks that already have the audience – like Facebook and Twitter. While Google are encroaching into the social space, Twitter and Facebook must be thinking “OK, let’s just build out a better searcher experience and compete with Google on exactly the same turf”.
A bit on SES
I’m speaking on two topics – “SEO Tools of the Trade” (Wednesday, 22nd February at 11am) where I’m going to be discussing (and showing) some of the tools we use in our day to day SEO consulting at SEOgadget HQ. The second session I’m preparing for is “Advanced Keyword Modeling” (Thursday 23rd February at 10:45am). This is a topic that is oft-overlooked in any real degree of complexity, but owing to the evolving nature of search it’s critical to understand how people are searching for the products and services listed on your website. I’ll be demonstrating some Excel techniques that you can take home and use to improve your own search marketing techniques.
What makes SES a conference you want to speak at?
The scale and wide range of speakers. I’m really excited to See Avinash Kaushik who, in my opinion is one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen!
Is there a session, apart from your own, you would urge people to go and see? And why?
Apart from Avinash’s (which is a do not miss session!) I’ll be watching as many of my friends (I think I know pretty much all the speakers) as I can possibly squeeze in!
What should people ask you when they see you at SES?
Anything. Actually it’s always nice to hear from people who know our site and want to just talk. One of my frustrations at conferences is that I never get the chance to speak to everyone (obviously). If you see me, stop me and say hi!