Commentary

Five Lessons From 272 Columns

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” I have no idea what this means, but Winston Churchill said it, so it must be sage — and seems a fitting way to begin the end of my run as a Search Insider.

Indeed, this will be my final column, as I’ve taken on a new role that has me as a search outsider and more of a social insider. So the good news is, I’ll be continuing my monthly contributions to MediaPost, just over in the Social Media Insider section. Hope you’ll join me there for future follies!

Meanwhile, here are five lessons learned from my 272 Search Insider columns:

1. You can compare search to anything. From boxing to horse racing to selfies to marathons to the Olympics to Hawaii to Bonnaroo to "Mad Men” to Billy Beane to Israel to Steve Jobs to sports, I’ve used more analogies for search than….. well, hmm, I can’t really think of an analogy for heavy analogy usage, so I’ll just drop the mic.

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2. You can rhyme search with anything. Speaking of mic droppin’, from lurch to church to the old Snoop trick of adding izzle to the end of everything, I’ve managed to crank out some ridiculous rhymes over the years, including covers of Nursery Rhymes, aka Searchery Rhymes —  2012 edition, 2008 edition, 2007 edition — some Search Haiku — 2013 edition, 2010 edition, 2009 edition, 2006 edition — covering tunes from Whitney Houston and Jay Z — the ultimate SEO PPC rap battle that did not end well for me on stage at the Search Insider Summit (SIS), and some solo SIS appearances that didfarebetter.

3. There’s no shortage of SEM buzzwords.  While we’re on the SIS tip, for eight years, I was a one-man buzz-o-meter, capturing the sentiment of the biannual conference through my own version of buzzword bingo. I will definitely miss all my “camp” friends and their crazy antics/lingo.

4. You can turn a few columns into a book. The 20 “Googley Lessons” I laid out over a series of three columns — part 1, part 2, part 3 — served as the outline for my book "Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google" (McGraw Hill, 2010). This column recaps how it all went down and updates the lessons based on what transpired in the years after publishing.

5. You’re nothing without your readers — and editors. From my very first column — "Is Google Scrambling?” — the support of faithful Search Insider readers has given me the strength to keep writing. Since I began my tenure as a MediaPost columnist nine years ago, I’ve had three kids, three jobs, and endless other distractions…. er, priorities, over the years that might have kept me from cranking out my word count. As much as reflecting and writing serves an almost cathartic purpose for me, it’s knowing that someone on the other end is actually interested in this stuff that keeps me honest — and on deadline. So thank you all for your readership and engagement.

Special thanks to Phyllis Fine, the editor who’s tolerated my eccentricities (and hyperlinks) over the years, and to Ken Fadner and the entire MediaPost team for giving me the opportunity to drop mics and knowledge at will… and Jon Whitfield.

I look forward to writing, rapping, and buzzing for many years to come as a Social Media Insider. See you there in July!

2 comments about "Five Lessons From 272 Columns".
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  1. Gordon Hotchkiss from Out of My Gord Consulting, June 3, 2015 at 11:52 a.m.

    Well done Aaron. Good luck on the social side of the house. I know first hand how the well can occassionally go dry on a week-by-week basis. 272 consistently insightful and entertaining columns is no small achievement!

  2. Aaron Goldman from 4C, June 3, 2015 at 2:44 p.m.

    Thx Gord, you've set the bar high!

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