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 semantic web is here and it’s growing all the time. Following on from my last post I thought it would be useful for seo, sem, social marketers and anyone else interested in discovering how the semantic web will affect online business to hear what it should be from the man who invented the world wide web – Sir Tim Berners Lee. Tim is a true modern visionary and in this video his genius, compassion and desire to make things better shines like a glowing beacon on hope for all. How can this video help marketers? I think all marketers and SEO‘s need to remember that the semantic web has a much higher goal than just selling goods and products. We need to remember that in many respects marketers have hijacked new technologies for their own ends since the web took form and gained popularity. Software has been developed to artificially improve search positions and while it’s not a bad thing it’s effects have helped to speed up change to deal with the growing flood of useless content that chokes the net. The semantic web can and is helping business online. I’m also sure that even now there are software developers who are coding the next ‘must have’ tool on behalf of marketers to help beat the system. And therein lies part of the problem as I see it. Why would you want to beat a system that is being developed to provide and deliver more accurate information to the people who are looking for it? Search as we have known it is changing and the semantic web infrastructure has the power to render current search practices almost obsolete. So lets look at what the original aim of the semantic web was from the eyes of the man who knows. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Improve it and roll with it. . What do you think?