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Ryan DeShazer

Member since January 2009Contact Ryan

Ryan DeShazer is Senior Vice President, Digital Experience, at GSW Worldwide, an inVentiv Health Company. He is a frequent speaker at major industry conferences such as Ad:Tech and Search Engine Strategies, and is currently writing his first book, "Subject to Search," due for release in 2013.

Articles by Ryan All articles by Ryan

  • Addressing Evolution In The Search Marketing Industry  in Search & Performance Insider on 03/11/2014

    The Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) recently announced the list of nominees for its 2014 board of directors. I consider myself very fortunate to be among those nominated.As part of my nomination, I was asked to respond to a few questions regarding the state of the search industry. One question stood out. It's an obvious question to ask, but an interesting one to consider from the perspective of an organization like SEMPO: "The practice of search marketing continues to evolve and incorporates various elements of digital marketing. How do you suggest SEMPO address this evolution?"

  • The Stage Is Set For Data-Driven Content Marketing in Search & Performance Insider on 02/19/2014

    It seems to me there are two distinct, even divergent camps emerging among digital marketing futurists. On the one hand, there are a number of marketers who are now evangelizing the growing importance of content marketing. These are practitioners who have historically been labeled SEOs or social media marketers. As those channels evolved and became more crowded, the elite began to go go by swanky new titles like "content engineer" or "content strategist." This group believes that rich, content-driven experiences are the true path to consumer engagement, building trust and even affinity over time. I think they're right.

  • Can Microsoft Really 'Bing It On' Against Google Search? in Search & Performance Insider on 02/05/2014

    What seems like an eternity ago (last October), I was fortunate to join an elite group of digital marketers in Redmond, Wash. at Microsoft headquarters. We were hosted by the Bing Ads team, and shown previews of new advertising products including the Hero Ads format , which was recently introduced as part of Smart Search in Windows 8.1. The elephant in the room, was this: Can Bing compete with Google? I mean, REALLY compete?

  • Whatever Happened To The Web Analytics Industry? in Search & Performance Insider on 10/30/2013

    Late the other night I finished Google's new digital marketing analytics training program, Analytics Academy. It's intended to help beginners acclimate to marketing/web analytics broadly, and the Google Analytics platform specifically. I was relieved to find that most of the material was a refresher for me; the kid's still got it. After the final examination, as I basked in my moment of glory, I began to think about how it must feel for the newly indoctrinated. I have to imagine for most it looks like one dominated by Google, or at least one where innovation is occurring on top of a Google Analytics foundation. But where's everyone else? What happened to the rest of the Web analytics industry?

  • Looking Beyond Search & Retargeting: An SEM's Survival Guide in Search & Performance Insider on 10/11/2013

    This past week I was fortunate to be able to participate on a panel discussion titled "Moving Beyond Search & Retargeting: What's Missing from Your Performance Strategy?" The format of the panel was simple: an hour devoted to panelist presentations, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A time. And after I overcame my initial nervousness, I came away with a clear view of what challenges are before us in the near term and what many of us now struggle with daily.

  • SEO Life After Google Query Data in Search & Performance Insider on 09/26/2013

    I had hoped that I wouldn't have to write another column on this topic, but Monday's big news is forcing my hand. Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land first broke the news that Google is now directing all users to its encrypted search engine. Now, all Google-referred organic traffic will report search queries as "not provided," making the process of search engine optimization (SEO) decidedly more difficult.

  • The Case Against Link Building in Search & Performance Insider on 09/16/2013

    Here's a controversial admission for an SEO: I don't believe in link building. In fact, I haven't done any explicit link building for more than five years. One of the key currencies of web authority, inbound hyperlinks can make or break a site's visibility across the search engine results pages (SERPs). But I'm perfectly content with letting the chips fall where they may. I'm happy when you to link to my content, but you won't catch me begging. I say this for two reasons: 1) pre-existing authority; and 2) spam. Let me explain.

  • Big Ad Tech: Channels, Publishers, Partners, Or Competitive Threat? in Search & Performance Insider on 08/26/2013

    Much has already been written of the merger between advertising goliaths Omnicom and Publicis Groupe. Last month's announcement has been dissected from numerous perspectives: from general coverage, to views that it's largely a defensive move to combat emergent competition, and opinions that the underlying "big data play" may be misguided. It seems everyone has an opinion; I happen to have a few, too.

  • Revisiting Return On Rank: The Ultimate SEO KPI? in Metrics Insider on 08/07/2013

    Last August I wrote a column over on the Search Insider blog, "The Ultimate SEO KPI: Return On Rank," where I lamented that the uplift from SEO activities had become increasingly difficult to quantify. Keyword rank reporting, which identifies where a website "ranks" across major search engines for targeted keyword phrases, had lost its usefulness. What is needed is a replacement measure that would better equip the SEO to understand, and report on, the quantitative impact of their efforts. What is needed is a new KPI. I call it return on rank (ROR).

  • Is SEO Dead -- Or Decentralized? in Search & Performance Insider on 07/23/2013

    At the risk of stating the obvious, SEO has become much more difficult to quantify in recent months. Many observers, myself included, have lamented Google's introduction of keyword (not provided), which restricts the flow of organic keyword search terms to analytics tools when users are logged in to Google services. More recently, Google issued warning lettersto many vendors who scraped search results in order to report on SEO keyword rank position. Google is making life as an SEO professional more challenging by the day -- a shift that hasn't gone unnoticed by those who cut checks for SEO services.

Comments by Ryan All comments by Ryan

  • What's This 'Online' You Speak Of? by Gord Hotchkiss (Search & Performance Insider on 09/12/2013)

    Gord - ignore the detractors. I'll take technically off-topic but thought provoking all day long. And ironically, I think human understanding and empathy are key components to search marketing. Well done here, as usual.

  • Revisiting Return On Rank: The Ultimate SEO KPI? by Ryan DeShazer (Metrics Insider on 08/07/2013)

    Tom - thanks for the thoughts. Read my response to Han above; I mention that multichannel attribution was kept out of this discussion to keep things as focused and clean as possible. But you do raise a good point. Two solutions emerge: 1) look only at the organic search channel (through an independent application) that would eliminate other channels from the conversion noise; 2) introduce this methodology into an organization's existing attribution technology (like a ClearSaleing). I'm happy to show you what we're building, btw. Multichannel attribution is most definitely a key consideration.

  • Revisiting Return On Rank: The Ultimate SEO KPI? by Ryan DeShazer (Metrics Insider on 08/07/2013)

    Han - thanks very much for the comment. I'm inviting people to call BS on this one if it won't fly! But to unpack my thinking a bit more: 1) revenue from SEO should be easy enough to identify (especially in ecommerce environments), but cost is a bit trickier compared to paid search or other paid media channels; 2) cost is crucial to calculate, and standardize in some way when assessing SEO's impact relative to multichannel investments; 3) the predictive components to the calculation help prioritize opportunities and next actions, both within SEO as a single channel and as a channel among many. For those of us on the agency side, or overseeing a brand's marketing investment overall (including SEO), this can be powerful. It would put SEO "ROI" on an even playing field to other marketing channels. It would also be helpful to be able to distinguish between SEO wins versus organic search "gimmes" (brand term referrals, perhaps). And I deliberately chose not to broach the subject of multichannel attribution in order to keep it simple, but that would need hefty consideration too.

  • Is SEO Dead -- Or Decentralized? by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 07/23/2013)

    Tom - Thanks and awesome adds, as usual. :) Dan - Thanks very much. In an earlier draft I was toying with the idea that perhaps SEOs were being disingenuous in the early days when we wished everyone "got" SEO. Now that so many others are doing their part, it cuts into our core set of activities. It was just a thought though. ;-)

  • Navigating The Nuances Of Customer Segmentation And Searcher Personas by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 11/26/2012)

    Michalis - thanks for the additional thought. What I'm advocating for, and the model we employ, re-sorts the order you describe. We utilize the persona to bring a degree of humanity to our segmentation schemas, complete with specific goals by persona archetype. So our "customer needs" piece is a consideration throughout, and included in a more tangible way than is possible by thinking of the needs of the abstract prospective customer up front.

  • What The (Not Provided) Can SEOs Do About Google Keyword (Not Provided)? by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 10/29/2012)

    Chris - thanks much for the great adds. We're working on similar insights, working in tandem with our technology partners.

  • What The (Not Provided) Can SEOs Do About Google Keyword (Not Provided)? by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 10/29/2012)

    Reg - this isn't a Google Analytics issue, it's a Google decision that impacts all web analytics tools. It may be called something else by other tools, or perhaps excluded by the tool altogether, but it impacts everyone.

  • Google's Keyword (Not Provided), One Year Later by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 10/22/2012)

    Looks like I was beaten to the punch on this topic by Danny Sullivan at Marketing Land on Friday. I missed it, but it's a great read:

  • Digital Marketers, Embrace Your Inner Publisher by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 10/15/2012)

    There's a good back and forth conversation on this over at Twitter between myself and Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing. I have a lot of respect for Lee, and though he disagrees with my inclusion of "Tech SEO" above, it's an exchange you should check out as well:

  • Three Reasons Why Responsive Web Design Is Responsible Web Design by Ryan DeShazer (Search & Performance Insider on 10/01/2012)

    Kyle - the piece is really written for agency or in-house search/digital marketers, primarily. I'm not trying to tell big time publishers to do something because Google says to. That detail is highly relevant to SEOs, though. True that point number one could have been expressed a bit tighter, but many of us are still in the mode of convincing clients/bosses that mobile-specific experiences are now requisite. The "everyone is doing it" argument is there to help reinforce that effort -- and acknowledge that RWD may be the best approach because it's become familiar to designers and developers.

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