The future of search

Aug
31

Seems like every day I see another article talking about the “Future of Search”. In every article “Search” refers almost exclusively to the Reader (you and me) and how we use Search. Nearly everything anyone has to say about Search seems to always relate back to the reader:

  • What am I looking for?
  • Did I find it or not?
  • Was it presented to me in a unique and compelling way?
  • Is my location taken into account?
  • My social network taken into account?
  • Images? Video? Audio? Were they also available?
  • How about maps? Or discount coupons?
  • Did the Search learn from my prior searches or click behavior?
  • Is anything going to unseat Google as the dominant search engine?

The problem is that this Reader-centric equation is only half of what Search really is. In a literal sea of websites that are NOT Google, Bing, Yahoo!, eBay, or YouTube there is incredible value in Search that appeals to the Publishers of those millions of websites.

Think about it from a Publisher point of view. Search is a powerful insight into the intent of an audience of readers. In fact, site search on all of these millions of websites is largely an afterthought. That’s crazy when you think that a little search box on your site is the place where your readers assert direct and explicit intent against your content. Search is perhaps the most interactive and data-rich portion of your site and it’s also one of the most overlooked.

  • What are my Readers looking for?
  • What are they finding? What are they not finding?
  • Are they clicking on my site content, my Twitter content? My other sites?
  • Do they engage with intent on my site? Or simply read and exit?
  • Do they see and interact with results from my social media?
  • Do they gravitate to other media content like photos, videos, audio?
  • Do I show them related content from my network of sites? And if so, how often do they click through to those sites?

The points above illustrate incredible Publisher-centric information captured from the intent of your audience. The amazing part? Lijit is the only company tackling this Publisher-side value equation with Search. We do it for free, with easy customization, with no restrictive obligations, and no exclusive contracts. We focus 100% on Publisher-side value that helps these Publishers engage and better understand their audience of readers. We feed this data back to our Publishers through real-time actionable analytics. Oh… and if our Publishers want us to make them more money, we do that too; with no restrictive obligations, and no exclusive contracts. Does it get any better than that?

Lijit takes on Formula Drift and the Las Vegas heat

Aug
25

Ouch.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting sin city itself, Las Vegas, for the first time in my young life. However, I wasn’t there to blow through my life savings ala Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation,” or to tie the knot with the, uh, “exotic dancer” I met just hours prior. No, my intentions were elsewhere. My eyes and ear and rental car were pointed about 25 miles north of the Vegas strip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was there, among the gloriously desolated desert I was to witness a one-of-a-kind car racing event: After Dark – Round 5 of the Formula Drift series of competition.

What’s drifting, you ask? Well if you haven’t seen the second installment of the Fast and the Furious, here’s a little background direct from Wikipedia:

Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corne apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors. As a motor sport, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide.

Hope that clears things up. At any rate, my purpose was to watch these immensely beefed-up cars careen around cones at exponentially high speeds, shooting clouds of tire smoke into the 112 degree desert sky and showering spectators in bits of rubber. Aside from the tents of the various event sponsors, including MotorMavens.com, on of Lijit’s premier publishers, there was little I could do to escape the heat. Read: I was a sweaty mess close to 100% of the time. But what a perfect catalyst to help make said bits of tire stick to my skin, no?

So long, tires.

The event was anything but lackluster. I had the chance to meet the drivers, including Rhys Millen (of the Rod Millen family), Chris Forsberg, Tyler McQuarrie, who took home the gold, and the riotous, Mad Mike Whiddett driving the beastly Mazda RX-8 sponsored by Team Need For Speed and closely tied to a personal favorite site of mine, Speedhunters.com. Further than the drives, I had the pleasure to actually meet, face-to-face, with the heads of Team Need for Speed/Speedhunters and their acclaimed videographer, Will Roegge and photographer, Linhbergh. And isn’t it always better to put a face to a name? I got to do just that, too, when I shook the hand of Antonio, one of the masterminds behind the aforementioned, Motor Mavens.

Hopping from tent to tent, checking out the latest products from leaders in the industry, pounding NOS energy drinks (probably downed close to 4 gallons in two days), handing out Lijit shirts, collecting loads of free swag, I didn’t stop moving from the times the gates opened at 4PM until they closed at around 1:30AM each of the two days. Although I only got to check out the casino in the Golden Nugget, the hotel I called home for the weekend, I am not a big gambler and that side of Vegas wasn’t alluring to me. I did pull the lever on one $1 slot machine. Then I called it a day.

The flags flying high at the Motor Mavens booth.

The flags flying high over the Motor Mavens booth.

A rollercoaster weekend of networking, burning rubber, 112 dry heat, over-air conditioned rooms, carnival-style food, meeting some of the best and brightest in the drifting world, rental car radio and my phone dying when I really, REALLY didn’t need it to saw me returning to Denver exhausted, slightly more broke, two lungs filled with tire smoke, and feeling accomplished. Will I be back next year? Heck yes! Will I be trying to attend more local Colorado-based automotive events? YOu better believe it. So, if you see me, feel free to say hey. I may even have a bag of shirts with me if you are lucky.

The BlogFrog Launches Their Frugal Living Community

Aug
9

We’re all about supporting local. We’ve worked with The BlogFrog before by featuring the online Boulder company that allows bloggers to create instant community on their blogs, by letting readers connect, interact and share content. BlogFrog is like attaching a social network to your blog.

Well, we’re featuring them again because they just launched their Frugal Living Community!

To get the community going, The BlogFrog launched The Dream Team (many of which, are also using Lijit’s custom search, stats and advertising – see the crossover?)

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Publisher Spotlight: wrapcandy.com and BabyAnimalz.com

Jul
28

Ryan Sawyer manages two main websites, wrapcandy.com and BabyAnimalz.com, in addition to a number of other sites like his personal site, ryansawyer.com. Wrapcandy sells software for creating personalized candy wrappers and party favors. There’s some really cool stuff you can do using wrapcandy so check them out if you’re looking to get a little creative! BabyAnimalz provides light-hearted photos and commentary on baby animals and there’s no better place to go for a little cheering up.

Lijit sat down with Ryan, Lijit publisher extraordinaire, to learn some of his tricks of the trade.

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New for publishers: Lijit auto payment processing

Jun
29

Beginning in August, Lijit will provide auto payment processing for all publishers earning advertising revenue. This change should streamline the payment process because publishers no longer need to request payment every month. To take advantage of auto payment, please set your payment details between July 19 and July 31 using the following instructions:

  1. Login to your account and select the “Account” section
  2. Select the “Earnings” tab, and click the “Edit Payment and Registration Info” button
  3. Fill in your Paypal payment details and tax information and select “Save Changes”

Additional auto payment transition details:

  • Request payment deadline for June revenue is July 19th. If you don’t request payment by the July deadline, your next payment will be processed as part of August’s auto payment.
  • To be paid for July revenue, all publishers must set auto payment details by July 31.
  • We have amended our publisher agreement to include auto payment updates.

Please visit us here for more information on Lijit’s publisher advertising services.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at feedback@lijit.com.

Scheduled service upgrade on Friday, June 25

Jun
24

Note: the following email was distributed to all Lijit publishers on June 23.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at:  feedback@lijit.com.

We would like to inform you of an upcoming service upgrade that we have scheduled for Friday, June 25th starting at 11:00 p.m. MST.  Here are the key points we want you to know in advance of Friday’s service upgrade:

 No action is required on your part.

  • Your Lijit search box will be temporarily unavailable to your readers while we conduct this service.
  • Your ad passback tags will work as configured.
  • The overall performance (i.e., page load times, etc.) of your site will not be effected during this service.

Lijit service windows are rare and this is the first time in three years that we have had to make back-end infrastructure improvements to better support our growing publisher base. We have chosen this day and time because it reflects low impact and low traffic times for our publishers.

Advertising Services:  We will not have the ability to serve any Lijit ads during the upgrade.  As stated above, passback tags will still be available for publishers using them as part of their Lijit configuration. Please see our advertiser FAQ for additional information on passback tags: http://www.lijit.com/help/pub-ad-faq#_Toc_passback.  

For more information on our advertising services, please see http://www.lijit.com/publishers/commercial-publishers.

We appreciate your understanding and apologize in advance for any inconvenience this service interruption may cause.

What’s The Difference Between an Advertising Network and Lijit?

Jun
7

Note: The following is a post from Todd Vernon, Lijit’s fearless leader and CEO.

Since the beginning of the year Lijit has been aggressively talking with Ad Agency’s and Brands about leveraging our publisher base to reach targeted audiences in the mid and long tail of publishers.  Our position has always been that audiences in the mid and long tail are much more engaged than the glossy publications at the head of the publisher chain.  Delivering search technology and data to our publisher base allows us to see what consumers are interested in which is valuable to our agency partners.
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Publisher Spotlight: Qwotebook

Jun
2

Do you and your friends have a special book where you place all the brilliant (or ridiculous) quotes everyone has come up with over the years? What about a document or book you keep on file of your favorite quotations from prolific or famous people?

Qwotebook, a web quotation sharing project does just that – it lets users compile quotes (such as your favorite quote from a friend or famous person) and also discover and share quotes from others. The brains behind Qwotebook, Drew Olanoff has helped Qwotetbook gain traction across the web with a larger user base and through reviews by some of the top technology publications.

Qwotebook is all about “Making Quotes More Social.”

With that being said, we’re excited to announce the Lijit is the custom search provider for Qwotebook, helping readers and users discover the quotable qwote goodness.

Drew and the Qwotebook team blogged about the recent partnership this past weekend titled, “The Search for Truth.” Great title, right?

I’ve included an excerpt of his vision for search and equal excitement in working with Lijit:

One of the most important things when it comes to Qwotes (and Quotes of course), is search.

It’s something the team was very interested in 3 years ago when I brought Qwotebook to them.

“We have to do it right.”

I agreed.  So we held out.

In Audrey’s awesome ReadWriteWeb piece, she mentioned search as a desired feature for her Qwotebook.

:)

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve added search to Qwotebook with our new partner Lijit.

Here’s a quote from them….er wait, here’s a link to their Qwote about our partnership.

We love supporting other startups and the team at Qwotebook is no exception to the rule. Head on over to www.Qwotebook.com and sign up. Just like Twitter is your “brain dump” (Drew’s own words) Qwotebook is where you can dump any and all of your favorite quotations, (even the ones you find on Twitter) and share!

Happy National Hamburger Day!

May
28

Lijit likes hamburgers and BBQ gatherings. See, we’ve even blogged about it before with one of our favorite publishers, I Can Has Cheezburger and the rest of the epic sites in their Cheezburger network.

With that being said, you can imagine our surprise when we discovered May 28th is National Hamburger Day. That’s right, a day to celebrate the juicy goodness of a hamburger.

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Important Announcement: Malicious Site Mimicking Lijit.com

May
24

ANNOUNCEMENT: Recently, it came to our attention there has been a malicious site that may be attempting to mimic Lijit.com and collect publisher login information.

We have contacted the Domain Registrars as well as the appropriate authorities as a precautionary measure. We will be sending this update to each of our publishers via e-mail and once the issue has been resolved, we will post an update.

These screenshots are from the malicious site – this site is NOT www.Lijit.com – Please do NOT give this site your username or password.

We want everyone to be assured, there is no action needed on your part – this is just a precautionary note to keep you informed as we believe in transparency and taking care of our publisher network.

If you have any questions or see suspicious activity, please send us an email at feedback@lijit.com.

Regards,

The Lijit Team