Tag Archives: amazon

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Protecting Your Intellectual Property on Amazon: Brand Registry 2.0 by @bestfromthenest

Amazon has launched their new brand registry program. Learn how to use it to protect your brand on Amazon today.

The post Protecting Your Intellectual Property on Amazon: Brand Registry 2.0 by @bestfromthenest appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

WSJ: How Siri went from virtual assistant market leader to laggard

Internal cultural issues and employee departures have impacted Siri's evolution. The post WSJ: How Siri went from virtual assistant market leader to laggard appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Voice search becomes voice action: A key talking point at SMX London

Columnist Andreas Reiffen recaps a session from SMX London that focused on the future of voice search -- and what search marketers must do to prepare. The post Voice search becomes voice action: A key talking point at SMX London appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Voice search: A digital space race

Voice search has been identified by the world’s leading technology providers as a huge opportunity to acquire market share over the next decade.

It has become a hot topic in the industry, with every new hardware and software release being met with significant press coverage, and countless op-eds and articles analyzing the voice search ‘explosion’ taking place.

It’s clear why the topic has garnered so much interest; not only do voice assistants seem to tally with what many of us grew up thinking the ‘future’ would look like (essentially an episode of the Jetsons), but they also herald the first real shake-up for the search industry since the launch of the first SERP way back in 1996.

Google currently holds a dominant position in the western search market, but even it needs to continue growing. Voice search, and the increased number of queries this would deliver if widely adopted, could provide that growth.

For the competition, who hold a combined 20% of the global search market share to Google’s 79.8%, voice search presents a fantastic opportunity to gain some ground and perhaps even prevent another search monopoly in this relatively new arena.

By gaining control of the voice search market, and providing integrated, seamless device solutions, companies like Amazon and Apple could convince users to purchase more of their hardware. Moreover, Baidu’s speech recognition levels are the highest within this global competitor set, which could provide a platform for them to expand beyond their native China.

From an optimistic viewpoint, voice search technology has the potential to revolutionize how we source information, how we communicate, and even how we live our lives.

Nonetheless, the path to voice search becoming ubiquitous and, perhaps most importantly to marketers, monetizable is not a straightforward one. With so many technical and practical challenges remaining it would be prudent to avoid being overly hasty in making proclamations that 2017 will be “The Year of Voice Search”.

A study by Forrester indicates that most people are still not using voice search at all. Speech recognition needs to reach around 99% accuracy before the user experience is good enough that people might adopt voice search more widely. Monetizing what is majoritively still a screen-free interaction remains a significant challenge for search engines.

That said, with the combined might (and investment) of the world’s tech giants behind it, all the signs point to voice search gaining traction with consumers through 2017 and beyond.

So who are the major players taking a stab at it? Our playful infographic highlights takes a look at why Google, Amazon, Microsoft and co. might be so keen to steal a march, and where their respective advantages and disadvantages might place them in this voice search ‘space race’.

Click the image to view the infographic as a PDF.

Infographic created by Malena Finguerut, content and marketing specialist at Croud, and graphic designer Chelsea Herbert

Initial Interest Confusion rears its ugly head once more in trademark infringement case

Columnist Chris Silver Smith details recent trademark infringement cases in which site search results pages caused legal issues for retailer sites. E-commerce businesses should take notice! The post Initial Interest Confusion rears its ugly head once more in trademark infringement case appeared...

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A visual guide to Pinterest advertising

Pinterest has slowly been building itself up as an advertising alternative to Google and Facebook over the past 12 months.

The company’s focus has historically been on building an engaged user base through its intuitive, visual interface.

As a social network, it has always offered something a little different.

However, advertisers have been skeptical about whether Pinterest could ‘monetize’ this model, due to the nature of engagements users have and also the demographics that typically spend time on the site.

Those concerns have not been allayed altogether, but Pinterest has made some fascinating moves of late. They have launched a paid search partnership with Kenshoo, completely upgraded their visual search capabilities, and expanded their reach by adding a new Google Chrome extension.

By combining an engaged user base with advertising that doesn’t disrupt their experience, Pinterest may have a formula that works in an age of ad blockers and decreased consumer attention spans. Their stated aim has been to own the ‘discovery’ phase of the purchase journey, suggesting products to users before they know exactly what they are looking for.

Google has clearly taken notice, too. The search giant’s recent product launches, such as its ‘similar items’ feature and the recent announcement of Google Lens, demonstrate Google’s strategy to stymie Pinterest’s growth. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

That said, Pinterest remains a relative unknown in the advertising space. Many advertisers would no doubt welcome a third, genuine alternative for their digital ad dollars, a fact that will likely benefit Amazon as well as Pinterest. But before taking the plunge and launching a paid campaign, there are some things we need to know.

As such, it seems timely to take a step back and assess what really differentiates Pinterest from the competition, what options are open to marketers, and what you need to know before getting started with Pinterest advertising.

Since this is Pinterest we’re talking about, we thought a visual guide would be most fitting. 

(You can view a high-resolution PDF by clicking on the image below).

Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other recent visual guides and infographics:

Infographic created by Clark Boyd, VP Strategy at Croud, and graphic designer Chelsea Herbert.

Google announces Assistant app-discovery channels, broad ranking factors

It's early, but Google will soon need to rank Assistant apps, too. The post Google announces Assistant app-discovery channels, broad ranking factors appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Report: Google Assistant bests rivals for questions answered and overall accuracy

Cortana was second for questions answered, Alexa second-best for accuracy. The post Report: Google Assistant bests rivals for questions answered and overall accuracy appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Twiggle offers plug-and-play semantic search to online retailers

Company says its sophisticated search can be implemented without replacement of existing enterprise search. The post Twiggle offers plug-and-play semantic search to online retailers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

Search advertising has swelled to become an industry worth over $35 billion annually, yet it is still heavily driven by text-based searches and dominated by Google.

However as Google’s index goes mobile-first, consumers get to grips with voice search, and technology advances to avail of image identification in our predominantly visual culture, new opportunities are opening up for the competition.

One such opportunity lies in the use of Google’s own Chrome web browser, which allows companies (including Google’s rivals) to develop and disseminate extensions to grow their digital footprint.

This may not necessitate or even facilitate a seismic shift in the industry, if Google continues to provide a search product that responds best to a user’s query.

Undoubtedly, Google remains the go-to location when consumers know what they want; but what if other providers could get in on the act earlier, by nudging consumers towards products they hadn’t thought of or never knew existed? What if consumers start to move away from text queries, and image or voice search become the norm?

These are the questions Amazon and Pinterest are pondering as they look to break Google’s hegemonic hold on the market. This has seen both companies launch paid search products, but something significant has to give if consumers are to switch from the well-worn habit of reaching out to Google first.

Intriguingly, recent moves suggest Amazon and Pinterest are prepared to use Google’s own Chrome platform to loosen the search giant’s iron grip on ad revenues, with what are at times aggressive tactics.

Although some commonalities exist across both challengers, there is much to distinguish them too. We’ll begin with Amazon’s Chrome extension before moving on to Pinterest’s recently-upgraded offering.

Amazon Assistant for Chrome

Amazon’s Assistant tracks users as they browse other sites and locates opportunities to alert them of better deals on the same product over at Amazon.com.

This feature looks something like this in action:

Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

No doubt, this is an overbearing approach designed to have the maximum disruptive impact on a consumer’s experience, diverting their path to purchase towards the comfort of Amazon’s one-click purchases and free deliveries. And all at a lower price, too.

There are reports of some websites blocking the extension and, in the pettiest of cases, ensuring that low quality images of products are used when a consumer adds them to their Amazon wish list, in the hope of dissuading them from finishing the purchase there.

However, the damage may well be done by that stage. Digital consumers vote with their fingers, and people tend to follow where the best deals are.

Where this gets particularly fascinating for those of us in the search industry is when we apply this Chrome extension to Google search results pages.

With the extension downloaded (I am based in the US), a clearly commercial query like [laptops] returns the following results:

Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

Indeed, those are Amazon results at the very top of the page.

This very assertive approach sees Amazon encroach directly on Google’s owned space, in fact relegating them to a lower position.

Even a much less commercial query returns this option to purchase from Amazon:

Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

It is noteworthy that while no advertisers are bidding on the term [john berger and our faces my heart brief as photos] via Google, Amazon’s search engine has a match for the query and, therefore, it shows an ad above the Google results.

I have seen this occur for about a month now (on other, less obscure queries) and, even if Google moves to shut this down in future, it is a clear and overt statement of intent from Amazon.

A look at the terms and conditions for the Amazon Assistant reveals how this is happening.

The list of information gathered by Amazon is extensive (to the extent of being troubling) and includes the following statement:

“We will collect and store information such as the name and price of the product, the webpage on which the item is sold, your Amazon account, your search query, and other information.”

Nested in there is the operative phrase “your search query”. By capturing a search query, Amazon can cross-reference its own inventory to see whether there is a match and dynamically serve the available options.

The aim, evidently, is to create an ‘all roads lead to Amazon’ approach within e-commerce, and the only way to do that right now is to take market share directly from Google and other retailers.

Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

Strategically, this makes a lot of sense. Each of the main players would love to have a self-enclosed ecosystem that houses billions of users and all of their accompanying data.

Only Facebook can lay even tenuous claim to such a lofty ambition, so for the likes of Pinterest and Amazon there is no other option than to reach beyond their own platforms and observe, ready for the opportune moment to communicate with consumers.

Amazon, therefore, has adopted the assumption that consumers will swallow any level of intrusion into their data and their online experience if they ultimately end up with a better deal on products.

Pinterest has a rather different market position, user base, and approach to search. So how do these take shape within their revamped Chrome extension?

Pinterest save button

We have written about the advances in visual search taking place on Pinterest recently, but use of that technology is of course dependent on people visiting their site initially to conduct a search.

What the browser extension can now become is a vehicle to carry that technology to a much wider arena, to any site Pinterest users (or ‘Pinners’) visit.

In their blog post announcing the launch, Pinterest stated that the latest iteration of their Chrome extension will allow consumers to conduct a visual search using any image or webpage they visit.

The screenshot below is an example of this in action, with a user selecting the sunglasses within the image and Pinterest suggesting a variety of similar products to browse:

Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

This provides access to Pinterest’s vast database of images and its industry-leading image recognition software, without even having to visit the Pinterest site. All of this occurs while the user stays on the original web page, only moving them to Pinterest if they click on one of the suggested images.

Another striking aspect of the blog post comes in this statement:

“Now anything you see on Pinterest, or capture with the camera in your Pinterest app, can kick off a search for great ideas—all without typing a single character.”

The business strategy here is not to tackle Google head on à la Amazon, but rather to engage users before they even know what they want to type. As such, the aim is to offer a different experience altogether, driven uniquely by images.

When we think of search, we think of Google, paid ads, and ten blue links. But by stepping into an area that pre-dates those steps in a consumer’s mind, Pinterest may find a niche that Google has not yet managed to tap into just yet.

Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?

The language used in the announcement is notable too, if we compare Amazon and Pinterest; in place of ‘products’, read ‘ideas’, for example. This is a subtle but telling distinction, with Pinterest looking to claim the more aspirational ground within the e-commerce search market.

Pinterest’s new visual search functionality will extend to other browser extensions “soon” and will allow brands to opt out, but Pinterest is of course hoping that the mutual benefits will outweigh the inconveniences for retailers. As is the case with Amazon, the force of consumer demand will ultimately drive (or halt) the extension’s adoption and acceptance.

What should marketers make of this?

Competition breeds innovation and search has been close to a monopoly for too long, in that sense. Google evolves and new products are rolled out constantly, but these are often tantamount to slightly bigger versions of the PPC ads we had yesterday, or an increasingly inconspicuous ‘Ad’ label.

Competition also increases scarcity, of course, and scarcity drives up prices. We have seen this with Google CPC prices and more recently on Facebook, so the diversification of options for advertisers could help to stem that tide.

Pinterest’s global head of partnerships, Jon Kaplan, has even been quoted recently saying, “You might see a pretty steep discount”, when comparing their inventory prices to Facebook or Google.

The possibility of another major player in this arena, be it Amazon, Pinterest, or both, should therefore be welcomed by consumers and advertisers alike. By everyone except Google and Facebook, in fact.