Effect on Webmasters

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-11-17 Print this article Print

?"> 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.
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.
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.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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