The day kicks off with announcements from Microsoft regarding the search product lineup. The products and licensing models will be simplified and separated into 3 flavors: stand-alone FAST Search for Internet, the heavily emphasized FAST Search for Sharepoint version, and the free version of Search Server Express which has over 100,000 downloads to this day.
We continue on the Internet Business track hoping to bring home golden nuggets of information that we can act on. Panels are formed with representatives from the American Bank, News International, Hearst Magazines and more.
Focus goes to vertical search strategies, and how to go about carving out your niche online. Tying specific keywords with focused landing pages is key to attracting referral traffic, a strategy that blends well with established SEO practices. Internal content should be combined with external data (like wiki, pictures, etc) and user engagement features, in order to create a richer user experience. Internal content doesn’t have to be heavily emphasized over external sources: credibility is important for retaining long lasting user relations, as the net is flooded with low quality or commercially skewed information.
When asked about the business models, the panelists reported no change. Online advertisement is still key. Although the economic climate is though, it is equally difficult to implement subscription models with success in these times.
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