• Pros And Cons Of A Fuel-Efficient Brain
    Your brain will only work as hard as it has to. And if it makes you feel any better, my brain is exactly the same. That's the way brains work. They conserve horsepower until it's absolutely needed. In the background, the brain is doing a constant calculation: "What do I want to achieve -- and based on everything I know, what is the easiest way to get there?" You could call it lazy, but I prefer the term "efficient."
  • Five Things Every Marketer Should Know About Google Tag Manager
    Even for the most passionate search marketers, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is low on the list of topics to get excited about. But I think you'll be glad you invested a few minutes on this topic. After all, GTM is a marketing-friendly tool that speeds up the marketing process, reduces the need for IT involvement and is an ideal way to implement Universal Analytics. What's not to like about a tool that helps make our lives easier?
  • When Are Crowds Not So Wise?
    Since James Surowiecki published his book "The Wisdom of Crowds," the common wisdom is that we are commonly wise. In other words, if we average the knowledge of many people, we'll be smarter than any of us would be individually. And that is true -- to an extent. But new research suggests that there are group decision dynamics at play where bigger (crowds) may not always be better.
  • Top SEO Black-Hat Tricks Still Being Used
    In search engine optimization, there are a slew of black-hat tricks that may be used, intentionally or not, in order to boost rankings. In some cases, these tricks are revered by "professionals" who promise the world to companies, such as Google's top ranking for their key words or phrases. It can work temporarily, but Google's algorithms always catch these tricksters and penalize them to such a degree that your URL might be worthless and unable to save. In other instances, newbie website designers engage in these tricks unaware that they're illegal and get the shock of their life when slapped ...
  • The Math Behind Hiring (Or Not Hiring) An SEM Agency
    SEM agencies can be pricey. The standard fee is based on the "percentage of spend" model, meaning the more you spend on SEM, the more the agency gets paid. So if your agency charges you 10% and you spend $300,000 a month, your monthly bill is $30,000. That's a lot of dough! So how do you decide whether that cost is worth it? I've tried to create a mathematical formula to help you solve this age-old question.
  • Have The Odds Caught Up With Apple?
    Google has just surpassed Apple as the most valuable brand in the world. In diving deeper into this news, there are several angles one could take. If you live at the intersection of brand and technology marketing, as I have for the last several years, this is noteworthy on many levels.
  • 10 Trends In Social That Mirror Search
    Search marketing and social media share many characteristics, from the way ads are bought and sold (on a pay-per-click auction basis) to the way they are managed (on a highly granular placement level). These two channels also boast quite a few differences, including the way ads are delivered (triggered by queries vs. targeted by segments) to the way they appear (first-party-served text vs. third-party-served images). At the end of the day, both the similarities and differences found in search and social make them highly compatible. To capitalize on this tangible synergy, many marketers are now managing these channels holistically and ...
  • The Underappreciated, Unrecognized Value Of Non-Brand Search Campaigns
    This fall I will watch a ton of football, which means I will see a ton of advertisements for trucks and beer. What if the success of those ads was measured on the number of visits to BudLight.com or the number of phone calls to a Ford dealer in the minutes following a commercial? This would clearly be a disaster for television ad executives. That's because employing such metrics would miss the whole point of a TV ad, which is to stoke consumer demand and influence brand perceptions. When it comes to search engine advertising, marketers tend to take the ...
  • The ADA's Effect On SEO
    Accessibility is set to have a big impact on website design in 2014. Among other market forces, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it plans to update the Americans Disability Act (ADA) to add Web accessibility standards. Those changes, expected in 2014, are going to propel search marketers in a new, improved, direction.
  • Be Prepared For Changes In Google Tools
    So the other shoe has finally dropped. Google recently announced that paid search has been made secure. Since marketers have also dealt with the move to secure organic search, this news might strike fear in their heart. And rightfully so; the disruption to SEO was a significant one. But let's all take a deep breath. The impacts on paid secure search are not nearly as significant. The primary reason is that while the query data is being removed from the referral URL, it is still available in AdWords. There are some results of this change, the most important of which ...
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