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Big Search News in the Big Apple
Leave it to AskJeeves to end the Search Engine Strategies Expo on March 4th with a huge announcement. In search of a greater piece of the pie, AskJeeves acquired Interactive Search Holdings for $343 million. Excite and iWon will join the Jeeves family after the deal closes in July. No wonder the Jeeves crew had huge smiles on their faces as they strolled through the Hilton - the stock took a nice northerly stroll into the $29 territory.
Two days before that, Yahoo! announced their paid inclusion program, which provided fodder for the refreshment breaks. And what was Google up to? Well, outside of Craig Silverstein’s (Google’s Director of Technology) stunning revelation about “Search Pets” at the Future of Search Roundtable, the company said it would focus on developing new products through Google Labs. High on the agenda for 2004 is Google’s local search product said Sukhinder Singh, General Manager of the local initiative.
Singh said that companies such as Citysearch were doing an excellent job in the local search area but Google will definitely focus on “improving the quality of their product” by the end of 2004. According to a widely sited study on local search by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com, local commercial searches – those seeking merchants “near my home or work” represent 25.1% of all searches being performed by online buyers, more than double the amount previously estimated by analysts.
Fans of ‘Paid Search’ might be relieved somewhat to learn that this is their year. Fredrick Marckini, CEO of iProspect, proclaimed 2004 as “The Year of Paid Search Marketing.” Marckini also forecasted this would be the year for SEM acquisitions. Come to think of it, he looked pretty happy on Thursday.
For those who were unable to attend the Search Engine Strategies 2004 on March 1-4, MarketingFind will have more tips, tools and ideas from the Show in the coming weeks.