Effect on Webmasters
?"> In an interview at the conference, Tim Mayer, director of product management for Yahoo Search, declined to discuss when Yahoo might launch desktop search. But he said that the interest among search engines in desktop search is part of the broader trend of users wanting to access Web search results in new ways, "We feel the desktop is important, and we want to provide a full search experience," Mayer said. "Its a strategic entry point, and a lot of [Web] search is about distribution." Click here to read about Ask Jeeves recent upgrade focused on personalization.Some search-engine marketers anticipate that desktop search will change the dynamics of how users view results, but others are not convinced that it will gain as much traction as it has hype. "Certain people in the industry say it will revolutionize search-engine marketing," said Joe Laratro, vice president of technology and chief technology officer at search marketing company MoreVisibility, of Boca Raton, Fla. "But [desktop search] doesnt mean there will be a diversion from users looking for search results on the Web." Other trends, such as the growth in multiword search queries and introduction of advanced search features where users can tweak relevancy rankings, are more likely to force changes in the way webmasters optimize their sites for search engines. MSN, in its beta launch of its algorithmic search, included a feature where users can alter relevancy such as the timeliness and link popularity of a given result. If that were to catch on among users, Laratro said, Web site operators would have little knowledge of where their sites were ranking among a group of users. In other Ask Jeeves developments, the company followed up its recent revamp this week by adding the ability for users to view cached Web pages in search results and by supporting Mac-based Web browsers, a company spokesman said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
The search engines may spur more Web searches through the desktop, but the effect of desktop search on the webmasters and marketers vying for top rankings remains unclear.