Created by Industrial Quick Search (IQS®), IQS Directory is a FREE, comprehensive listing of manufacturers and suppliers serving major segments of the OEM industrial manufacturing marketplace across the United States and Canada. Industrial engineers and buyers rely on IQS Directory to specify products within a series of categories and buy products directly from manufacturers.
IQS Directory offers numerous distinct advantages over Google, Bing, and other general search engines: very targeted search results powered by five technology patents; detailed manufacturer descriptions including contact details, website links, RFQs, and customer reviews; visual supplier previews available directly within search results; and searching by targeted geographic region.
For advertisers, IQS Directory drives qualified buyers to manufacturers' websites--enabling lasting business partnerships and sales leads. With a patented preview ad system and comprehensive company profiles, buyers can preview useful information about a product and pre-qualify purchases before choosing to contact manufacturers directly. IQS Directory brings companies qualified site traffic for a flat annual fee by executing directory listings, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and website optimization strategies.
Founded in the year 2000, IQS Directory became known as a leading ‚ "search engine aggregator" --aimed at both optimizing the content of manufacturers' website content for indexing purposes and buying keywords to drive premium search engine results. The company founders have extensive experience at MacRAE's Blue Book, U.S. Industrial Directory, and Thomas Register. IQS also holds multiple technology and concept patents to support its unique business model.
February 19/2004 - Start-up styles itself a "search engine aggregator"
Mike Meiresonne has been selling advertising into industrial directories since 1975: first at MacRAE’S Blue Book, then at U.S. Industrial Directory, and finally moving to Thomas Register in 1981 where he rose to become a senior sales contractor and was awarded one of the company’s top ten sales franchises. Having reached this coveted position, with $6 million in sales revenue and 22 junior sales reps working for him, it is indeed remarkable – some might say crazy – that Meiresonne walked away from all this in early 2002. With one of his sales managers, Janet Pratt, he went to work full time at Industrial Quick Search (IQS), a company he had started on a part-time basis in 2000, and for a while had sold as a complement to Thomas Register advertising programs. Meiresonne’s epiphany: that search engines were going to run right over traditional buying guide publishers who weren’t adapting themselves quickly enough to the rising importance of search engines.
Meiresonne describes IQS not as an online buying guide or a search engine, but rather as a “search engine aggregator.” He then does everything he can to get optimal search engine exposure for these sites by both optimizing the content of the sites for indexing purposes and by buying keywords. While the idea of vertical product sites is not particularly new, most vertical product sites have ambitions to develop a direct flow of traffic, in addition to search engine referrals. In the case of IQS, “we get close to 100% of our users from search engines,” according to Meiresonne. IQS currently has filed two patent applications covering some of its business model.
Every participating company has a text block next to it, describing the company’s products in detail. Each one is reviewed (and in many cases written) by IQS staff to insure accuracy. In addition, placing a mouse over a company name immediately displays the company’s advertisement (or a snapshot of its home page) right on the same page. This focus on the user experience is in direct response to what IQS sees as often slow, contorted and un-intuitive searching at many online buying guides. According to Meiresonne, “the bottom line for us is that users come first.”
To Meiresonne, search engines provide “a user-controlled search environment,” one that lets them type in free-form queries and quickly get to relevant results. Key to Meiresonne’s strategy is that he believes that users want to be able to enter search phrases such as “55 gallon stainless steel drum” and quickly get to qualified vendors since statistics show that 45% of searches include three or more words. He contrasts this with the taxonomies of buying guides, many of which lack that level of granularity and are often designed more by advertiser than user concerns. He acknowledges that there is a place for parametric searching (where users can search on highly specific criteria), but he feels the need for such searching is specialized and limited.
“Most users want to search for supplier companies first,” he notes. And while keywords may be simple for users, they present complex challenges to advertisers. “We’ve seen Web sites that users have found using over 1,000 keyword variations…2-3 to 5-6 word search strings. This fact shows the diversity of users on the Internet and how it is the users who rule when searching. The sites that have the greatest reach based on content will be the ones that are most successful in bringing users to suppliers,” say Meiresonne.
Meiresonne acknowledges that his relationship with the major search engines is awkward, “kind of like being married,” as he puts it, though he insists they are not competitors. According to Meiresonne, his IQS sites offer three things that search engines do not: visual company previews (either a display ad or a home page image with no clicking required), detailed company descriptions, and searching by geographic region (though Google is devoting much energy to trying to add a geographic filtering capability). For advertisers, Meiresonne is selling quality prospects. He is quick to state his belief that “80% or more of all clicks are lookers and sellers, not buyers” on the Internet. By contrast, anyone IQS refers to an advertiser has not only done a highly specific keyword search on a search engine, but has previewed the company on IQS before clicking through to its site.
The IQS sales pitch is simple and compelling: IQS will bring the advertiser qualified site traffic for a flat annual fee, with IQS managing keyword optimization and paid key word programs on behalf of its advertisers, allowing them to avoid this complex, demanding task. Even better, IQS can demonstrate to prospects that it’s almost always cheaper to buy traffic through IQS than buy it directly from the search engines, since each site is “focused on a major product group with related keywords to bring users into one set of results,” according to Meiresonne. “Add to this our flexibility to add or change keywords based on our ongoing research, and the ability of users to easily compare potential suppliers without having to go back and forth between Web sites and you see why we are so effective,” he said.