Content Discovery: The New Peer In Search

Today we bring you another guest blogger, Adam Singolda. Adam is the CEO and Founder, Taboola, a video recommendation engine.

For far too long, Internet users have been tasked with being proactive in searching for content that is relevant to their wants and desires. While the concept of search has certainly improved over the past 10 years or so, the ease of creating, distributing and consuming content – as well as the overall user experience — have changed tremendously. This leaves us to ask is search the answer? Perhaps discovery is the new search?

While semantically search and discovery seems like very similar concepts, they are in fact completely different. Discovery means that users may find themselves with several minutes to spend on a site, but don’t know what to view or read next. At this point they need help in discovering content that is personalized and meets their needs.

From a publisher perspective, discovery means that they will have to equip themselves with the necessary tools to automatically provide personalized and recommended content that increases user engagement, enhances monetization efforts, and makes the web more compelling for individual users.

The area of online video is the ideal forum for leading this emerging trend. And, the key to content discovery actually is all about personalization and harnessing the power of “people actions and interactions”. From an online video perspective, this means that – based on viewing patterns, tastes and preferences – videos should be served up to users much like much like a custom-made piece of furniture or musical instrument: always providing a unique product.

The world of science plays a key role in content discovery. By using mathematical algorithms to scientifically analyze video viewing patterns — extending beyond just the type of content (i.e., watching home improvement videos) – web publishers can actually gain insight into video length preference, time spent on the site, day of week, Geo-location, how many videos viewed and tens to hundreds of other metrics that determine user-engagement. The intent of this scientific approach is to gain a true snapshot of each user’s needs, and provide more personalized videos to watch. Plus, in the true form of the word “discovery,” this allows users to find video content they never knew existed.

Pretty simple concept, huh? Well, the challenge is that only the most forward-thinking online video publishers are embracing this true discovery concept. In the next 12-24 months, we anticipate that this type of approach will bring content discovery into every web users’ world – from the early adopter Web 2.0 fans to the timid grand mother. All content will be served up on a personalized platter. It will actually have meaning to the user, and will provide a strong revenue stream for online publishers.

Search made information accessible. Discovery will connect the right content with the right user.
Everyone wins.