Danny Sullivan and Eric Enge discuss the Evolving Search Market

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Danny Sullivan

This interview with Danny was a great experience as always. We dove into a variety of topics relating to the major changes in the past year (i.e. blended search, personalization, the growth of SMO), and the major changes to come.

Danny is the Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which owns and operatesSearch Engine Land, Search Marketing Expo, Sphinn, and Search Marketing Now.

Interview Transcript

Eric Enge: For years you spoke about the upcoming major changes in search. And then, as you noted sometime last year, suddenly they all happened at once. For example you used talk about personalization in search and “invisible tabs” (blended search), and things like that. What do you think the biggest changes have been in the past year?

Danny Sullivan: I think it really was the blended search portion of it. I did this thing at the end of the year where I started talking about Search 3.0 and Search 4.0. I had spoken for a long time about, as you said, both, personalized search and the verticalization of the search results. I really felt those type of things would come simultaneously. In 2007, it really seemed like it was the blended search that arrived with Google’s announcement of Universal Search.

Yahoo focused for a while on using shortcuts, and Microsoft did some results integration as well.

I am sure we are going to see it get even more refined in 2008. In fact, Google universal search has already evolved. And, we are only about six months after its announcement. I expect the same pace of change to continue.

Eric Enge: They are still figuring out what really makes it work. It’s a fairly big step; it’s not a trivial thing to figure out how to compare the relevance of a video with the relevance of a webpage and then decide where to place it.

Danny Sullivan: Absolutely. It’s a very difficult thing, and that’s part of their gamble. Their statement is, we know how to mix all of these things together. It’s not just that we are doing basic pattern matching and always drawing the same sort of stuff up that’s out there.

Eric Enge: Right. Not long after Google announced Universal Search, Ask did its own variant where it wasn’t really so much integrated in the result, but there were standard places in the page where they always showed related content. I could argue actually that if I am looking for video and I know the videos are over here on the right rail, that’s better for me than having it integrated in the results.

Danny Sullivan: Right.

Eric Enge: I am sure the other search engines would argue differently. We had Microsoft Searchification announcements, and Yahoo as you said they initially did shortcuts and have really pushed that. But then, they have also started to integrate videos, images and other stuff into the search results. So, what’s the significance of all this for end users? Is blended search going to truly improve search quality?

Danny Sullivan: I think it will. A lot of people, for example, who do local searches, don’t understand that can use a local search engine, and now they are just going have these correct choices made for them within web search. There is going to be incorrect choices made as well, but I think it on balance it will be better. It will help people understand that there are other options for them that are out there. I think it’s a real plus.

Eric Enge: Right. That’s one really big thing. Blended search provides exposure to the vertical search properties. First of all people don’t really want to have to click an images tab, or a videos tab, or a blogs tab, or whatever it might be. If that’s what they are supposed to get for a result they want it in web search.

Danny Sullivan: Right. The search engine should read their minds, and somehow make it all happen magically. Most people don’t even know that these sorts of things exist.

At times, I have asked people how they would search for images. Usually, they would just type in the words into a web search engine, maybe with the word pictures next to it. If you then tell them that there is this thing over here that let’s you search for images, their jaws drop.

Eric Enge: How is this going to affect the SEO community?

Danny Sullivan: There is a lot of opportunity for people who are paying attention to the local space. In local search, you can go and change the title of your own listing directly, and there is not that many listings you are competing with, so it has a bigger impact. There is also a big opportunity with video search. I think that there are many new opportunities for people, and it’s certainly more fragmented, but not every SEO has a local client, or has a client that has video content.

They may find it challenging to see some of the real estate go away. But, I do think that there are good opportunities for people to get involved and find new ways to get out there. I think that the other change, the idea of personalized search means that once again it’s going to be to provide great content. Good content should continue to do well in the long run because people don’t want to go through a bunch of junk.

Eric Enge: Right. Contrary to the arguments that many people in the industry make, SEO is actually getting more complex. I am not talking about just twiddling with titles, and canonical redirects and other basic technical SEO. I am talking about the grander picture of bringing in traffic from a search engine. You really need to understand how to do image optimization, video optimization; local optimization and how to make the choice of which of those to pursue for a given client.

Danny Sullivan: I agree with you; it’s becoming much more complex. People who say that search engine optimization isn’t hard, and that anybody can do it, fixate too much on old style SEO. They believe that SEO is working with web pages, and that’s it. They don’t think about the vertical spaces that are out there. Google has eight different types of search results that are a part of universal search. Keeping track of that is hard enough, much less how you actually get to optimize some of that material. There are real skills here that are involved.

Eric Enge: Right. One client that we worked on recently has a very, very rich medical image library. So, we worked on doing image optimization. In fact I am going to speak about this case study on the images and blended search panel at SMX West, coming up here at the end of February.

They are getting 2,500 visitors a day from image search. That’s serious volume. I haven’t actually even seen any direct indication that it’s from blended search. This is from people going to the images tab, and finding their stuff. It’s just fascinating how big the opportunities can be.

Danny Sullivan: There are lots and lots of opportunities out there for people. It’s the frustrating when you have people who have to go out of their way to say that anybody can do this stuff, when it and actually it is complicated. Keeping up just continues to get more complicated, and you keep wondering if it’s going to slow down, but it doesn’t.

Eric Enge: Right. It was also interesting to see that Yahoo is beginning to do some integration with deli.cio.us, at least they are experimenting with it as reported by Techcrunch just a little under two weeks ago.

Do you have any thoughts on where they are going to go with this; and what you think they might do?

Danny Sullivan: We got them to clarify in our write up that at the moment that they aren’t using deli.cio.us information for ranking purposes. So, getting your content tagged a lot isn’t going to get you a boost in your Yahoo rankings. I do think that could change in the future, but, it’s not there now. I think that the most immediate thing is this idea has a display impact on people. I have had emails from some old school SEOs, and they feel like social media stuff is stuff that the new kids are doing, and it’s not SEO and it’s bad and it’s going away.

I think that they really need to understand just how wrong and mistaken they are in their thinking. They think that social media marketing is not SEO, just like you could argue that link building is not SEO. Building links is a completely separate activity than making sure that a page is well-optimized on search engines. Yet, search engines are highly dependent on linkage, and so if you are good SEO, you’d better know how to do some link building or you better be working with somebody who does.

It’s similar with social media marketing; it’s something that is growing, and it’s something that SEOs need to be aware of. There are plenty of people at the social media sites, and it’s having a direct impact on SEO activities. It can generate links for you as we have seen. Social media sites generally may have more authority then your site, and you can use them to build up pages that you can start ranking for, that you couldn’t rank for with your own website.

There is also this whole aspect of display where, a lot of people have bookmarked you on deli.cio.us, and that’s being shown to people who are doing a search. Similarly, people who are using the StumbleUpon Toolbar and doing searches on Google are being shown them as they do searches whether or not those particular pages have been stumbled a lot.

So if Google implements a new system where if a lot of people visit your pages, it will put a star or two or three next to it, and if you are an SEO; you damn well better be trying to figure out how to make sure you can get some of those stars on your listings.

This is what Yahoo has done. If you have a site that is very popular on deli.cio.us, searchers will see a visual clue in the search results that tells them that. You’ve got to pay attention to that; it’s just something you’ve got to be doing.

Eric Enge: Right. The way I look at it is that there are so many different opportunities. SEO may not be the right title for what I do anymore, because it’s probably a lot broader than that. The first thing you need to do is develop a strategic picture of the promotional plan for a website. What’s the kind of content it currently has, what’s the kind of content that you can produce that fits the nature of the business; and where are the right places to promote that?

The answer could be drastically different for different businesses. You may have lots of unique images, or you might be able to make snarky and interesting videos, or write articles that fit digg, or maybe you have something that has an educational component to it that you can talk to universities about. This is a whole strategic process of figuring out where the fit is that you have to do at the start before you begin digging under the covers at all really.

Danny Sullivan: Absolutely. I mean and I think that goes back even further. Sometimes SEOs get frustrated when they get pulled into a project after the sites are built. Of course, the right architecture can make your SEO activities a lot easier to begin with. You can imagine it’s even harder if you’ve built a site and you haven’t thought about say some of the social media implications of what’s going on.

It’s all Internet marketing in the end. I think it’s a hard thing for some SEOs who may not have some of these other skills. I don’t think that you have to have them all either; I don’t think that to be a successful SEO you have to be a hot link builder. But you better be able to work with somebody who is, who understands that aspect of it as well.

Eric Enge: Right. Stepping back to deli.cio.us and bookmarking type sites in general, it seems to me that the way users bookmark, if you try to use that as a search ranking signal that it will be a pretty noisy one. Perhaps that’s just a reflection of that that there is a relatively small audience on these sites. It’s millions of people, but compared to the world of all web surfers, it’s a relatively small audience. That would make it pretty difficult to use as a ranking signal.

Danny Sullivan: I think that it’s also prone for abuse, and that there can be that kind of noise. I don’t know that you necessarily would exclude it entirely, that there maybe some real plusses to it. The key is to get the volume right on it. You can also imagine that it might be noisy unless it’s personalized, and the search engine is using your bookmarks, then it’s not so noisy and you’ve made those choices. That’s effectively what Google personalized search is already doing. It looks at what you have done and gives you more of that stuff.

Eric Enge: Is anyone going to follow Google on personalized search?

Danny Sullivan: I think so. Yahoo may be the closest to doing it. I think that the other search engines got scared off because they believed a bit too much in personalization as a group activity. We’ll do what we do with Flicker and deli.cio.us, and that will work the web search results. I don’t think groups are interested in getting together and going though and rate search results as a group. I think that the other engines will come back and look at doing it. It just makes sense to do it. Microsoft is already doing a lot of demographic tracking in terms of what they are doing for the ads that they want to deliver up to people. We should assume that they are going to want to apply that to search results down the line. One of the biggest issues is privacy stuff. No one wants to have privacy things coming out as an issue.

Eric Enge: Right. At SMX Advanced in Seattle last year, I remember Tim Mayer responding that the simplest way to get personalized search turned off in your search results was to come to Yahoo and search there.

Danny Sullivan: Right. People were really concerned about personalized search in Seattle, some of the privacy stuff came up, but the big thing was really from SEOs not wanting this to come in and prevent them from ranking well. They have been out there doing well, and everybody has been on this even playing field. It’s been a one-size-fits-all type of type of search results world, where everybody saw the same results. It’s like fighting a war on one single front.

SEOs have often described SEO as an arms race, it’s a war and everybody is trying to fight it out. Well, they are fighting it out for 10 links on the front page, but it’s the same territory. When we get personalized search suddenly the war fragments into a thousand, ten thousand, million different fronts; how do you fight that? My answer is you fight that by having good content.

That’s what will get you through the whole thing. But, you’ve got other people who say they don’t like personalized search, because they feel it’s making their job harder. Certainly it would be easier and nicer if you could just turn it off on a one time basis if you want it to go away.

Eric Enge: I agree it really is about content. In fact, it’s one of the macro strategies that search engines will apply to put more and more things into the mix, which will increase the demand for quality content.

It’s somewhat of an end run around the problem of detecting each and every paid link out there. It just puts pressure on those various kinds of strategies which are not rooted in quality content. Personalized search seems like it’s having a pretty small impact; and it happens on a small percentage of searches as far as I can tell. It might change a couple of results and that’s kind of about it.

Danny Sullivan: We haven’t really seen a big dramatic shift for a lot of people; I agree with you on that. It tends to be very subtle when you do see it, where it’s only one result or two results move around, and they are very slight. I think over time it’s going to get more dramatic though.

Eric Enge: Right. There is a limit to what they can do. If someone searches on dolphins, and you know they are football fan, that’s great, but maybe the 23rd time they searched on that term they really mean the mammal.

Danny Sullivan: Right. That can also change over a time period. Those are the problems that you run into. I thought one of the interesting ways that you can see in a different kind of personalized search has been what they’ve been doing with the ads, right where you do the search for say travel, and then you do a search for Spain, and they are completely unrelated, and yet you start getting answers that are targeted to Spanish travel.

Eric Enge: Right. You could do that in the organic results as well.

Danny Sullivan: They don’t seem to be doing that yet, but I am sure there will be something like that soon.

Eric Enge: Yes. We’ve already talked a little bit about how social media has impacted search marketing. It sounds like we are in agreement that if you are going into a company and you are going to help them get more traffic to their website, whether you carry all those skills yourself or not, you need to do a good job for them so you really need be able to put together a team that carries a wide range of skills. If social media is the right thing to do, do you have a way to solve that; if it’s link building and you don’t normally do that in-house, then how you are going to get that done. It seems to me that it’s really broadened the horizon of web marketing.

Danny Sullivan: It has, although some of that isn’t even that new though. Take for instance people who really get concerned about usability, and want to see it at our conferences. I have some of it, but I always come back to saying search is complicated enough and usability is an entire other field that deserves its own conferences and deserves its own websites. To be an SEO you no not necessarily also have to be a usability person.

You maybe a better SEO in some regards, because it does not help your client if you deliver lots of traffic, but it’s not converting. Even though you have nothing to do with it, you are still going to get blamed for it.

Eric Enge: Right. You have people like Kim Krauseberg or Jonathan Mendez, which is now a part of Omniture doing usability and landing page optimization. It’s a very different thing, and that’s something that when we encounter people that need that; we have people we outsource that to.

Danny Sullivan: Right. That’s what makes you successful, is that as an SEO you just know how things have to be outsourced, and who it has to go to. If you are not doing those sorts of things, you certainly understand potential stumbling blocks you are going to encounter, and you make sure the client knows that; you make sure that client knows what you have done, and if they need to get better conversions, who they need to go to for that.

Eric Enge: Right. There are a couple of things that emerge from the whole social media thing. It’s kind of interesting that it also puts a premium on the quality of the content again, as we talked about with personalized search. Even if you write an article for Digg, it will only score well if people vote for it.

Getting the votes is one test of content quality. Then you need to realize that people won’t link to it unless it’s really link worthy. That’s another threshold where it has to be good enough to draw links.

Danny Sullivan: Right. It keeps coming back to how good is the content, because the content can make you or break you. I’ve been saying this since I first wrote about search. But, people come into the space at different points in their life, and they do different kinds of SEO. I think the hardest thing is, understanding the value of content if perhaps you started off as an affiliate marketer. Your job really isn’t to try to drive people to good content; you try to get them on to somebody else’s site (your affiliate partner). That’s a hard challenge and sometimes you may not even have a good answer for that sort of person. Your job is just to be an affiliate marketer, and you really don’t want to be investing in content.

If it were me, and I wanted to be an affiliate marketer, I would still build a website that I thought was adding value to the process. In that view, my job isn’t just to get you off my site to somebody who is selling the product, but it would be to perhaps talk about these different products. Help you understand it, and really add value.

Eric Enge: I’ve done a lot of affiliate marketing stuff over the years. We’ve always taken a content-heavy approach to it; one of the dangers in affiliate marketing is that your partners want to give you the exact content and have you put it on your page. From their perspective they are advertising.

So, they want to control the branding and the messaging etc., and we just don’t work with people like that. We always work with folks that allow us to generate unique value added, and obviously relevant content, and do things that become a real resource and become a draw. The payoff is in an advertising model.

Someone goes and does the affiliate thing, and you make some money. It’s a much more stable way to do affiliate marketing. It takes a lot longer to grow it that way, but it’s much more stable. And, you can grow something which we like to do to a point where it becomes a salable asset. And, when you sell it someone, you know that’s probably going to do well for them; not have them wakeup some morning and have it all be gone.

Danny Sullivan: It is nice if you can have that sort of thing that way, because it becomes as you say a more of a long term asset rather than a short term one, like a bicycle race sprint. If you do participate in a bicycle race, you’ve got to sprint ahead, but then possibly you drop behind because you just can’t keep up with that kind of pace you have to go at. Tortoise and hare.

Eric Enge: That’s right. So, another thing that I think social media has done is really put the user in even more control than they already were as a result of a choices that the Internet offers. Because clearly now, when Comcast technician sleeps in your couch, you can make a video out of it and put it on YouTube and millions of people will see it.

Now, if you have poor customer service, if your product doesn’t really work that well, you have bad business practices, whatever; you are going to get called out.

Danny Sullivan: Absolutely. These sorts of things can start flowing back into some of the SEO stuff that you look at again, because the other part of evolution I think we go through is SEO is that it’s not just ranking well, but the branding impact of it, and the customer relations impact of it. So, what happens when some of these other sites with negative information about your business start showing up in the results and do you know how to deal with them.

That’s another case also where an SEO might think that social media has nothing to do with them, but, it does because now your client is upset that this thing on Digg is at the top of the page, and how you are going to get it off the page?

Now you better understand what’s going on with Digg, I better understand how comments work over there, I better understand these other things that I should be doing.

Eric Enge: Indeed. One of the things that occurs to me is that one of the big things that is going to happen in the search environment is that it’s going to get integrated more and more in to mainstream marketing. There are a whole set of issues related to that; in fact I just published an interview with James Lamberti where we focused on that quite a bit. Search marketers have their own language which is focused around a direct response model, and traditional marketers don’t get that model. They deal with things like Reach, and…

Danny Sullivan: Yes. James has some good examples in that about how you can translate some of those things into the kind of Reach that was out there. I thought he had that one reply in particular where he said these are the people who are ready to buy and you can reach 66% of them through search, so you want them or not?

Eric Enge: Right. Your TV campaign might reach 40 million people, but only half a million of them are going to buy. And, your search campaign will only reach 4 million people, but most of them are likely to buy.

Danny Sullivan: I try to be more integrated in helping the traditional viewpoints and standards more, is I try to apply it to broadcasting. Back in 2000, I started talking about the idea on search as reverse broadcasting. What I was trying to say to them is that in broadcast you focus on broadcast your message out to a huge number of people, a small number of which actually care. That’s the only way you tend to reach them in broadcast mode.

With reverse broadcasting, you’ve got a huge number of people who are explicitly telling you exactly what they want, so you have to tune into them. It’s like a no-brainer. However, that clearly was not catching on. I changed to talking about the idea of the desire cast, and that’s what a search engine is.

We are having desires that are being broadcast. But, I think that you will continue to see more integration, although the recession that looks like it’s going to be hitting us; I don’t know how that’s going to go for search. I don’t think the search projects are going to get cut in the sense that I think search works and pays for itself. But, I think that other kinds of advertising where you can’t measure that closely, are going to start getting more of a crackdown on their budgets.

A lot of big gains of the search marketers have made to get into the integrated stage may get lost as people start thinking that they’ve got to protect their pie, and if the pie is getting smaller they are not going to throw it off on the search stuff where it is not getting them any margin whatsoever. They are not getting their 15% cut.

So, I don’t know which way it’s going to go. I think some companies may decide that they have to go into search more strongly, and do even more with search, because they are going to have to measure out their dollars more wisely. I think other people might just start to become very protective.

Eric Enge: So, you see it essentially moving in two directions at once. So, the way I always describe search to people is that in normal advertising modes you are trying to find customers.

In search advertising or just even organic search campaigns, you are trying to allow people who are interested in products like yours to find you. So, the customers are finding you in search as opposed to you trying to find the customers in other forms of advertising. It’s the same thing, you are trying to invert people’s thinking, and that’s sort of the approach I have used to talking about it. So, what do you think it will take for search to get more integrated into traditional marketing? What are the kinds of things that need to happen?

Danny Sullivan: I think that the search marketers will grow up, empower and just take over. I think that’s probably the most optimistic thing that’s going to happen is that you are going to have people get moved out, and you’re going to have new people move in, who don’t have to be convinced because they grew up in the trenches understanding this.

Marshall of the New York Times is a good example of this. I think he changed his title because it would be easier to get equipment if you weren’t the vice president. But, you have these search marketers that have actually moved up within marketing organizations. They grew up breathing it, so they are going to know from the very beginning that this is something we have to be doing as part of what we do. I think that that’s part of the change that will come. Ironically, I don’t think the part of the change will come from Google. I think Google is going the opposite direction.

Google is running around with all these new products that they want to try to get you to buy, and they are trying to do a transfer of how efficient and wonderful search is on to hey, get our print ads. I can go to Google now and buy radio, print and TV ads, especially the branded inventory that they are selling. That’s not integration of search, nor is it Google. I am sure there is some advantage in doing it, but search integration is when you start to do a marketing campaign, you are thinking about search along side outdoor, television, print, radio, and all those sorts of things. You are thinking about search when you start creating taglines in the very beginning.

Eric Enge: Yes. It’s fascinating to see what Google has been doing in this area, because they are investing in so many different directions at once of course, between the programs to buy all the spectrum for mobile search and the green initiatives; they seem to be a little bit all over the map.

Danny Sullivan: Oh, they are. It’s very much all over the place, they are being clear that they are not just a search company and they are trying to organize the world’s information, but they are a company that is trying to do advertising in a big way. There is no doubt about that which is useful I think. And, we should be trying to understand their intention.

Eric Enge: Yes. If you talk to them about what their company really is, it’s not a search company, it’s a data manipulation business.

Danny Sullivan: They can say that, but ads aren’t data manipulation. It’s not that they manipulate data that makes AdWords successful, it’s just advertising. They aren’t manipulating that much data to put ads in newspapers, and nor is the auction model necessarily more efficient, but, yet some people feel that way.

Eric Enge: It would be interesting to see how all their various initiatives succeed. As you talked about Google has sort of gone in the reverse direction here and gotten into all these other channels. But, if we go to GM for example, I mean it isn’t going to be a long time before a search marketing focused guy gets senior enough to take over?

Danny Sullivan: If you look at GM actually, you have them already doing that sort of stuff. I think it was GM that was running the campaigns for their using things like Google Earth, and they were running ads on search already. I think it was Juan Richard at GM that I used to deal with, who would come out for conferences and talk, and who understood searching was becoming more important. Still, I agree with you, I think it’s going to take time in some of these companies where search people would become more senior, but I just think it’s going to happen.

We’ve only had search for about ten years. We are still not to the point where you hear many people talking about how search is being taught in college. It should be, but you do start hearing incidental things here and there. I don’t know how you could be running a marketing course these days and not be taking about search. And, if you were going to college, and you are trying to learn how to be a marketer, and you are enrolled in a college course that did not have search as a significant part of the curriculum at this point, you should be finding another college. How can you ignore the amount of revenue that Google is making?

Eric Enge: Right. It doesn’t make sense. It was very intriguing to listen to Don Schultz speak at SES, Chicago. People wrote about this as being a wakeup call for search marketing, where basically his pitch was that search marketers had to change in order to get at these bigger budgets. I do think there is some of that; there is some need to communicate more effectively with traditional marketers, and that will speed the process.

But, if you step back and take the broader look at all this, we have a world where the consumer is beginning to like being in control. Their ability or willingness to respond to advertising is going to be driven much more in an on-demand mode, i.e. search. TV ads may affect what they search on, but at the end of the day it’s just going to be a very large component, because it leaves them in control and that’s where they want to be.

Danny Sullivan: Don is somebody who is in the academic environment coming forward and saying in 2007 hey, you’ve got to start changing things, you need to get more respect. You can go back to Search Engine Watch, and some article I did in August 2001, it’s called Search Marketing Finally Getting Respect. The opening paragraph says that search marketing has been the Rodney Dangerfield of online advertising. It has gotten no respect. So, I am sitting in this audience at SES Chicago, and I am watching 6 years later somebody from the academic side telling me things that we knew of search marketers when we were in the space.

The message that he is giving out is that these search marketers need to be more integrated, and I am thinking they already know that. They have already been doing that; they are already in those sorts of spaces. There are always new people who are coming into or just starting search, who still need to get that kind of message. But, to me it wasn’t a new thing; it was actually a catch up of the process it’s already been doing on. You’ve got people who are actually doing the search marketing, who understand these things, because they are already in the picture, meaning they are already having to get those sorts of budgets.

They have already had 2 years or 3 years to think out how to win that sort of pie. That’s why when you go back, my concern is that you’ve got these people who have actually managed to earn this amount of money and win some of that pie back. It’s been ages since I have done anything at a conference focused on getting major brands to commit money with search. I really had a lot of people say that it’s not been much of a problem, which is why we didn’t do sessions on that for the past 2 years or 3 years; because people were seeing more money coming in, because the value of search was beginning to be more self-evident.

If you go to SMX, you will see I have one of these kinds of sessions that’s come back, and the session is called “protecting the pie”. Because, now I think the shift is going to be that all this other stuff coming in, like social media, and we should do all these new things that are coming up. You’ve got people who have fought and won some share for search thinking about how do they fend these attacks off and how do they protect their chunk.

Eric Enge: Right, because the social media guy is going to get a check now and it comes out of the same budget.

Danny Sullivan: Right. Although, I don’t know if anybody is going to get the check if the economy keeps going down, but I think the positive is that I think search is going to really come through okay. Search was born out of the dotcom down turn. In fact that’s why I ended up writing that column about getting respect, because in 2001 the financial companies finally will grew up and they realized how much money search companies were making in the middle of this tight depression; this terrible economic state for anybody who is online.

Eric Enge: Indeed. Ultimately the customer is going to drive this. The Pandora’s Box has been opened. They know that they can be in complete control; they can do comprehensive comparison shopping without leaving their chair. They can get competitive pricing and break it down, and they can do the whole thing in minutes. They are not going to go back. I mean this is the way they are going to want to behave.

Danny Sullivan: Search is an everyday part of our lives, and you can pick your survey to find the people that are committed to it. It’s not going away. It’s here to stay, and you’d be foolish and sticking your head in the sand, if you didn’t believe it.

Eric Enge: Right. But, as we talked about, its share of budgets will likely expand. And, if the total budget is little lower, then it might be that expansion just sort of keeps us whole, or if it’s a lot lower, it’s only a little. Ultimately, it’s just going to continue to grow like the weed.

Danny Sullivan: Right

Eric Enge: Thanks Danny!

Danny Sullivan: Yes, thank you Eric!

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