Friday, August 20, 2010

How to monetize "smart" traffic

In the past, I've talked about how most internet marketers and search engines go after "noob" traffic.  Noobs are not savvy internet users who just go to the internet to buy movie tickets or to see the possible side effects of medications.  Noobs are the golden traffic ticket because they don't spend a lot of time searching for facts.  A fool and his money are soon parted but a genius and his money you have to pry from his cold dead fingers.

So, what do you do with this genius traffic who advertisers don't want?  Now, it's hard to get money from savvy individuals but you can still get value from individuals.  Capital is more than just money; it's relationships, knowledge, etc.  The most common value listed that you can get from smart traffic is back links.  Smart traffic know how to build a website.  If it's mutually advantageous for you to work out some sort of link exchange or link for content exchange it'll work out.

We'll call this benefit:  Trade.  In economics, trade increases the production possibilities curve for both nations.  By advertising to smart traffic you open up these trade possibilities.  You can also meet up with smart traffic on forums but you'd also want a good website to put your best foot forward.

The next value you can get from smart traffic(that you can turn into money) is partnerships.  Obvious partnerships are starting a website together.  Or for a non-IM niche, you can take the partnership offline.  Let's say you both run blogs that discuss acne cures.  You can start an acne fighting business by combining resources!

The other benefit is content.  Smart traffic posts comments that are intelligent and have good keywords resulting in more noob traffic.  Smart traffic also gives you new content ideas either through email or via the comments section.  They might even chew you a new one in the comments section resulting in traffic entertained by your rivalry.

Targeting smart traffic is a lot harder to monetize but it is a lot more powerful.  Wallets and credit cards can't change the world.

How do you target "smart" traffic?  Keywords.  Instead of weight loss, use keywords like fat loss or how to reduce levels of adipose tissue.  Use the scientific terms.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A search engine that could compete with Google

We've all seen the publicity for Bing.  I've seen a lot of product placements for it in movies and TV shows.  Remember, search engines make most of their money from inexperienced searchers.  Inexperienced searchers will go for what's cool rather than what's the best.  Bing may be worse than Google, but as long as they target noobs who spend a lot more money than internet savvy people and are a lot less demanding they will be okay in the long run.  If Google has 99% of the market share but Bing has the 1% that spends all the money then Bing will be better off.  The 1% that can be influenced by seeing celebrities use Bing in their favorite movies and TV shows.

If Bing winds up being the favorite search engine for noobs, then why not have a search engine targeted for the intelligent?  Lord knows that people are sick of seeing all the wikipedia results on page one.

The search engine results for noobs and the elite should be totally different.  When noobs type in weight loss they really want info on fat loss.  They want info on fat loss right now and don't want to click on:  Did you mean to search for fat loss?  They don't want scientific journals.  They don't want articles about all the possibilities of losing weight like cutting your own limbs off or slicing off your skin(both of which are valid answers to "weight loss").  They just want straight up fat loss info.

An internet savvy individual searching for fat loss would want info from medical journals and possibly forums(where mavens tend to congregate).  An internet savvy individual would know not to use the search term weight loss unless they already had a saw out.

The ideal search engine results for savvy individuals and noobs don't intersect so if a search engine wants to compete they need to target the savvy individuals(who unfortunately to companies don't spend money like noobs).  Internet savvy individuals don't want dumbed down wikipedia information and noobs don't want to see anything that's not on Oprah.

How to build a search engine that targets the savvy audience?  The search engine doesn't have to be as hard as google is to game as savvy people don't spend money and the potential isn't there.  The search engine would have to make it's money based on an impression based advertising system.  Although the search engine could make money on things like selling homework help or experts.  Students doing a report need to use search engines to find info and they could use one to filter through the crap.  Let's call our search engine "Find What You're Looking For".  Student goes to looking for information on his report on the dating rituals of the Mayan Empire, and over to the side he sees an ad for a professor on all things Mayan who's willing to answer questions about the Mayan Empire on his 1-800-number.  Click!  The professor makes a profit.  The search engine makes a profit.  And the student writes a good paper because no search engine can beat the human mind.

What algorithim should this search engine use?  Don't know.