I recently went to a Software & Information Industry Association
(SIIA) meeting in NY. The SIIA content
division explored the topic of creating successful deals with Google and Yahoo.

The panel included Andrew
Madden (Strategic
Partner Development
, Google, Inc.), Tanya Singer (Director of Product
Management, Yahoo! Finance), Stephen
Baker (CEO RB
– Reed Business), and Jane Seagrave (VP, New Media Markets, Associated Press). The moderator was Steve Sieck
(VP and Senior Consultant for Outsell,

Members of the SIIA can
view the video here 

Some of my key takeaways:

As a content provider,
Google or Yahoo! search might direct someone to your site, but how do you help
them find precisely what they need (and might potentially pay for) once they’re

Having robust vertical
search, a more focused search related to a specific industry or type of
content, is critical to successfully transforming a Google “hit” into a
satisfied searcher (potential customer). As Stephen Baker said “Search has to read your mind.”

While Google has created
many online resources for companies and individuals to optimize use of Google
services, it’s not enough. One thing
that was clear in the meeting was that a more consultative process could help
content companies learn how to optimize search and interactions with Google in

Historically, part of the
difficulty for content companies to work through deals with search engines
(most notably Google) was the language and culture gap between “publishers” and

What I found very
encouraging was that Google has created a group focused on strategic partners
that include people like Andrew, with deep content experience.

And companies like Reed
Business have people like Stephen (search expert and content expert) working
with Google to help bridge the gap. 

What everyone seemed to
agree upon was that the opportunities presented by the marriage of search,
social networking, and content have barely been scratched.