Kevin Polley has been involved with computers and the internet since 1997. Apart from being an accomplished ecommerce consultant he is also highly experienced in Organic Search Engine Optimization techniques.
According to Wikipedia the world population is approximately 6.8 billion people. According to the BBC financial bail out figures, in the US and UK the cost of the bail out is $1,575 Billion ($700 Bn in the US and £500 Bn in the UK) These figures do not include other countries. Said quickly, we know it’s a lot but it doesn’t really comprehend. However … if we divide the cost of the banking industry and money market bailouts by the world population (1575Bn / 6.8Bn) that means everyone on the planet could have been given $231Million. Now that can’t be right. So lets divide the world population by the cost of the bailout (6.8Bn/1575Bn) Hey that’s much better – everyone on the planet has could have been paid $0.004Bn (whoa – is that $4ook each?) Considering my bank has screwed me for unfair charges, fees and who knows what else for years (and got away with it so far) it makes me sick that now as a tax payer I (and probably my kids) are expected to be paying for the banks negligence. Personally I’d rather I was given my $0.004Bn – At least I know I can be trusted to spend it wisely and contribute to the economic growth of the planet. What about you?
Improving the effectiveness and profitability of online advertising looks set to become much easier and accurate thanks to semantic technology. Well established Italian software company Expert System yesterday announced the launch of a new contextual advertising solution with semantic intelligence called Cogito. In his post ‘Semantics in Advertising‘ for ZDNet, Paul Miller of Talis says “On the surface, a release phrased in that way might easily be dismissed as jumping on the ’semantic’ band-wagon, but there appears to be substance behind the sometimes over-hyped language.” and that will interest many. In Expert System’s release we read: The main issue limiting the online advertising market today is the disconnect between advertisement placement and the relevance of the copy. This is due to the reliance on keyword frequency without considering the meaning. Oftentimes, ads may appear on pages that have little significance to the assigned page or may produce counterproductive effects. For example, an ad for a Caribbean vacation package may inadvertently appear near an article about a massive hurricane that ripped through that region. I can’t remember where I saw it but the best example I’ve seen to date on negative or counter productive advertising was a news item about a cruise liner (or was it a ferry?) sinking and right next to the article was an advert for Caribbean cruises. What the ??. That’s like saying “Hey why not come on our cruise. If you don’t sink you’ll have a great time”. – Not quite what the advertiser wanted I’m sure but ongoing semantic research is starting to bring about change. Semantic technology does have the capability to make a huge impact in targeted advertising for all of us. While it’s not all of the way there yet, I can see that in the near future I’ll be able to say “I want my ads to appear only to website visitors who are Male, aged between 40 – 55, who live within 5 miles of X and are interested in Y” I hope to be able to add in more parameters and cover more than one ad network but for the time being I’ll have to live in the ‘here and now’ and keep an eye on the other emerging semantic research companies who are helping to shape the future of ecommerce on the web.
The semantic web is going to mean many things to each and every one of us and as the semantic layer, or framework integrates with the web we have currently, it will eventually affect every aspect of every business process. The good news seems to be that in general, business won’t need to change core processes because the technology uses it rather than the other way round. Put simply, the semantic web is the process of making everything readable by computers so they can find meaning. Once that’s all done then it gets really interesting. Once the web has readable data, all data can be used to make connections between people, documents, products, places, times, events. Anything and everything. Everything is linked in some way to something else. Once you start to think about ‘everything’ and absorb the enormity, it actually becomes quite easy to let your mind wander off and drift through the possibilities. At some point, you then begin to see how this raw, collaborative sharing power will open up real doors of opportunity for existing and new businesses. Once data can be read and is understood by the new web, the way you control your research, advertising, marketing, search and business in general will never be the same. Used in the right way and in the correct context we can genuinely expect
The way the web works is changing and the groundswell behind the introduction and implementation of semantic applications has already affected lots of businesses. We are starting to see it’s effects become more apparent in SEO and marketing practices as the industry gets a better understanding of what the semantic web is and its currently defined parameters. A very useful article Don’t get the Semantic Web? You will after this concludes “All the semantic web is trying to do, is make sure everything is structured in a consistent manner, with a consistent dictionary behind the content, so that a machine can draw connections.” In a nutshell – every thing is connected to something and it’s better to make sure your data is machine readable. That way it can be used, shared, linked or found easily. The chances are you are already using semantic technology and didn’t even know it. Semantic Search Engines Semantic search is IMO the way forward. From what I’ve seen so far from semantic search engine beta’s like Hakia (and a few others), the search results are a lot more focused as they are based on concept match rather than keyword match or popularity ranking. Its not a huge leap from there to see the potential of semantically delivered advertising. It’s also interesting reading Marissa Mayer’s interview talking about Google at 10 and 20. Marissa is the vice president of search product and user experience at Google and she says “I think there will be a continued focus on innovation, particularly in search. Search is an unsolved problem. We have a good 90 to 95% of the solution, but there is a lot to go in the remaining 10%.” Maybe she was referring to semantic search technologies being incorporated. I hope so. One of the common links to unlocking all of this potential in a business is