• Diversification Or Di-worse-ification?
    There is a school of thought in the SEM world that believes the cure for all evils is simple: Do more! More keywords, more ad text, more landing pages, more targeting! Sometimes doing "more" is necessary and valuable; often, however, the result is "diworsification," where "a business that diversifies too widely, risks destroying their original business, because management time, energy and resources are diverted from the original investment."
  • #AlexfromTarget: An Unexpected Consequence Of Technology
    Yes, I'm belatedly jumping on the #AlexfromTarget bandwagon, but it's in service of a greater truth that I'm trying to illustrate. Last column, I spoke about the "Unintended Consequences of Technology." I think this qualifies.
  • Five Ways Amazon Echo Will Change The Face (Er, Voice) Of Marketing
    A few weeks ago, Amazon announced its latest product, Echo, a smart-speaker that's controlled through voice recognition. Simply say the wake word (not to be confused with safe word) and the device takes your commands -- anything from weather queries to alarm reminders to grocery list additions. This video highlights the range of potential use cases. While the device is available by invitation only and has not yet begun to ship, it's getting good reviews, with some even hailing it as "the computer of the future." So what are the implications for marketers?
  • Search And The Booming World Of Online-To-Offline Conversions
    Marketers everywhere are looking at their 2015 budgets and asking the same collective question: How am I going to get more customers for less money in search? Higher prices are a headwind for the simple reason of supply and demand: Advertisers are increasing their spending on search ($38 billion estimated in 2017) faster than the rate of searches is increasing. So where should marketers turn for a better return on search spend?
  • Who Really Owns Internet Content?
    While we've spent years becoming sophisticated content producers, we've been beaten to the punch by Google. Google appears to own the entire Internet's content. Now the company has dramatically changed the way that content is displayed, as part of the Knowledge Graph (KG) effort. From a user standpoint, there's no doubt that the search experience is improving. There are fewer improperly engineered results, and it takes fewer clicks to find what you need. Searchers are presented with answers, not links. However, what's better for users has come at the expense of content producers and search marketers. Why is that?
  • The Unintended Consequences Of Technology
    In last Friday's Online Spin column, Kaila Colbin asks a common question about the noise surrounding the latest digital technologies: Who cares? Kalia rightly points out that we tend to ascribe unearned importance to whatever digital technology we're focused on at any given time. This is called, aptly enough, the focusing illusion in the words of Daniel Kahneman, who coined the term, noting, "Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it."
  • The Virtuous Cycle And The End Of Arm's-Length Marketing
    Last week I wrote what should have been an open and shut column, looking at why SEO never really lived up to the potential of its business opportunity. Then my friend Scott Brinker had to respond with this comment:
  • 10 Tips To Get Ready For Holiday SEM Craziness
    While many people look forward to the holidays as a time to unwind, open presents, and take family vacations, life is far from bucolic for many SEM pros between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 'Tis the season for wild fluctuations in bids (upwards) and make-or-break ad buys. As an early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus gift, here are 10 tips to maximize your holiday SEM.
  • Why SEO Never Lived Up To Its Potential
    IAB Canada President Chris Williams asked me a great question last week. We had just finished presenting the results of the new eye tracking study I told you about in my last three columns. I had also polled the audience of some 400-plus Internet marketers about how many were doing some type of organic optimization. A smattering of hands (which, in case you're wondering, is somewhere south of a dozen, or about 3% of the audience) went up. Williams picked up on the disconnect right away. "We have a multibillion-dollar interactive advertising industry here in Canada, and you're telling me ...
  • The 10 Effective Habits Of Proactive Marketers
    To execute effective multichannel, multi-screen, multipurpose marketing, you must transform your organization into a proactive machine. Proactive marketing is all about looking ahead and seizing future opportunity in real time. It's the antithesis of reactive marketing, which is the practice of looking back to see what worked and then creating plans based on historical data. Proactive marketing is something search marketers are well-positioned to embrace. After all, there's no more proactive consumer than the one typing a keyword into a search engine.
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