The keywords and links that we use as proxies for intent are the currency of the web. Search has shown how truly valuable they are but intent does not begin and end in Search. People don’t go to Google and figure out what their intent is – they arrive there with it. Often driven from content and increasingly social channels.
It begs the question – all that intent that leaves Google, where does it go? It doesn’t disappear post-click from Google. In fact, I’d argue this intent becomes even more valuable when it’s in a publisher’s domain where it’s surrounded by context and can be made even more intelligent by appending click-stream data. It’s also the place post-Search where intent can become socialized. Whether Pubs know it or not, this intent is being networked. One only has to look at the Facebook Like button to understand this. If pages themselves have become networked then so too is the intent arriving, existing and created on them.
There are orders of magnitude more intent that can be captured on the web. Search has never been a beginning or an endpoint for intent but a middle. Since networks most valuable assets are at the edges that is exactly where the fight for the future of intent, thus web monetizaton, will be – and it’s exactly where Yieldbot is playing.