Results for August 2008
  • Notes From SES San Jose
    I had the opportunity to speak at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose last week. The grandfather of all search marketing conferences, these days SES faces new competition from other search-focused shows, and digital marketing events with a heavy search focus. This year's San Jose conference felt stale, as if we were rehashing the same topics we've discussed for the last three years. Over the last week I've been reflecting on this history of SES, and where it is today. There is certainly a place in the search marketing community for a conference of record, but SES will need to ...
  • For Coke, Brand Love Is Blind
    In 2003, Read Montague had a "why" question that was nagging at him. If Pepsi was chosen by the majority of people in a blind taste test, why did Coke have the lion's share of the cola market? It didn't make sense. If Pepsi tasted better, why wasn't it the market leader?
  • Thoughts On Demographic Search Engines
    On Friday, fellow Search Insider columnist Janel Landis started a discussion around the viability of demographic based search engines. This is in the wake of recent publicity around IAC's RushmoreDrive, which themes its algorithm as a "search engine for the black community," and is based on Ask.com search history, geographic research (also referred to as "geo-biasing") and focus group research. After a few days of reviewing the results, it appears to me that demographically targeted engines may have a strong shot at developing a user base, and that IAC may have a shot at regaining some lost credibility as a ...
  • The Emotionally Abusive Relationship Between Google And Its SEOs
    A girlfriend was telling me about her erratic beau the other day. On Monday, he says that if she wants him to love her, she has to wear red. On Tuesday, he tells her that he hates women who wear red and that the real trick to gaining his affection is eating one orange every day at 10:30 in the morning. On Wednesday, he says the orange is still okay, but only if she also reads aloud from John Battelle's "The Search" before bedtime. OK, you've guessed it. She doesn't exist. But read a few SEO blogs, and you'll see ...
  • Shifting Paradigms In The SEM Agency Business
    In speaking to friends from other agencies who spent the last week out at SES in San Jose, I heard many of the same comments I've heard before: "it was really tactical," and "there wasn't that much forward thinking." Of course, anyone who tells you that the critical elements of search aren't extremely tactical is lying. Whether it's SEM, SEO, or forms of media that are cousins of search (contextual, social, integrated media buys, etc.) the path to success lies primarily in the successful execution of tactics. But the widespread feelings primarily from agency folks about the state of our ...
  • Insert-Personality-Here.com: The Pros and Cons of Demographic Search Engines
    There has been much hype over the last few years about vertical search engines and how they will change search marketing; however, in addition to the fact that most have failed to attract sizeable user bases, most vertical search engines do not have paid inventory available or are filling the space with Google or Yahoo ads. In light of this, there is an intriguing new trend emerging in niche search engines. A few months ago, Ask.com announced it was focusing on the female searcher, attempting to position itself as a demographic search engine. After all, as search marketers, we love ...
  • Emotion And The Formation Of Brand Memories
    In my last column, I looked at how beliefs can affix labels to brands, which forever after form our first brand impression. Beliefs are a heuristic shortcut we use to reduce the amount of sheer thinking we have to do to come to quick and efficient decisions. Today, I'd like to focus on emotions and their part in the forming of memories.
  • If I Were Running Microsoft...
    After going gangbusters as the Google godfather, I'd like to continue my delusions of grandeur by assuming the role ruling the Redmond roost. Once again, my M.O. is that money doesn't matter.
  • Paris Hilton Is Hot: Using The Immediacy Of Paid Search To Take Advantage Of Spikes in Search Traffic
    The self-proclaimed Heiress of Hotness has definitely been hot in terms of search volume over the last few weeks. Search volumes for the term "Pairs Hilton" have been consistent, but on Aug. 5 the term began to spike, peaking with a five-fold increase over the average volume on Aug. 8....
  • Why Do All SEM Agencies 'Sound The Same'?
    True story: my colleague Kevin Lee happened to run into a former prospect at a trade show. This prospect had chosen another SEM agency. Kevin asked the prospect how his search campaign was now faring. "Terrible!" answered the former prospect, followed by a litany of complaints about how the SEM agency he picked had almost "run him out of business." "So who's running your PPC campaigns now?" asked Kevin. "We're doing it in-house and we're managing it manually," was the answer. At this point, Kevin asked the former prospect why he didn't simply choose a more competent SEM agency, at ...
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