Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The importance of "bloggers" for search companies

Jeremy Zawodny is one of the most active "search" bloggers out there. New Job (Again).

That blog, he notes in explaining his new position, has had much to do with his move into the new role of improving search products, communication about search, gathering feedback and recruiting people for Yahoo.

What I find most significant is that the move positions him as the first notable blogvangelist employed by a major search company.

Sure, Google has its own blog, launched in May. Yahoo has one as well, launched in August. It's more active than Google's, completely focused on search and frankly often times more interesting. But both remain corporate blogs. They don't reflect the unfiltered views of an individual.

Microsoft has had this type of blogger personality in the form of Robert Scoble. He's someone who works from Microsoft, is vocal about things there but doesn't necessarily follow the party line. He was also instrumental in pulling together Microsoft's recent Search Champs initiative.

Meanwhile, will Google and others feel compelled to find their own search personalities to speak to the blogosphere? Google actually has the longest standing unofficial spokesperson around, in
the form of GoogleGuy. However, GoogleGuy has to date only participated in the forumsphere.

Search blogs have been a key public relations front for all the search engines, given how bloggers will dissect any move and report on the latest findings through them. Now blogs seem to be opening up as a new PR front to compete in.

A recent Google Blog entry did see GoogleGuy edge into the blog world for the first time. However, he remains anonymous. Lifting the lid on his identity (an open secret among many involved in search marketing) might give Google a search personality of its own.