• Sailing to PPC Success
    Many search marketers have become overwhelmed by the flood of new tools -- or new functionalities within existing tools -- that have been popping up in the marketplace that promise to more effectively manage the bidding on pay-per-click campaigns. As a result, marketers are having trouble understanding the value of the various automated functions that these tools offer. But as you consider different PPC bidding tools and solutions, do not forget one of the golden rules of business today: Technology without human expertise is a waste of technology.
  • Taking the Credit
    Many years ago we realized that one of our company's key strategic goals was to find ways to convince prospects and clients that they should be moving some of their existing Web site marketing budget away from tactics like banner ads and TV and towards more effective contemporary marketing campaigns like search engine optimization and search engine advertising. We quickly found that case studies and industry statistics were not going to do it. Cold, hard facts specific to the company in question were the ticket. We also found that although clients were happy to accept impressions and brand …
  • Looking Forward to Looking Back
    One of my favorite t-shirts is a giveaway I received in high school from Jostens, a yearbook and memorabilia company, with its motto emblazoned across the chest: "Looking forward to looking back." With all of this forecasting and punditry of what will be the next big thing and which developments of today will mean something tomorrow, it's helpful to reflect on occasion. As this column marks over a year of Search Insider contributions, today we'll look back on some articles to see how they help us look forward. On a personal note, which I think I can extend …
  • Confessions of an Eye-Tracking Junkie
    You know how fires, the ocean, and computer progress bars are mesmerizing? You can sit for hours, watching the constant motion. Next thing you know, you wake up from the reverie and realize that everybody has abandoned you, assuming you've passed into a catatonic state. After looking at hundreds of eye tracking sessions for our most recent whitepaper, I can add eye tracking results to the list. For someone as obsessed with search user behavior as I am, this was a pure jolt of addiction-inducing visual stimuli. Why did they look there? Why didn't they click? Are they going …
  • Search Engine Ranking and Keyword Density
    Google has just updated their toolbar page rank. And, it appears the way they calculate backlinks has changed also. These updates typically get SEO professionals scrambling. The engines are continually changing their algorithms. Although, there is a constant in midst of change: It's the emphasis on relevant content. Content still is king. So, what determines the importance of content? Many things. But for now, let's focus on keyword density.
  • Keeping Up With... the Yellow Pages?
    Improbably, one of the best free and public resources on local search comes from the oft-neglected founders of the sector: the Yellow Pages. LocalSearchGuide.org includes articles from industry experts, profiles on Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) sites and search engines, vertical directories, and other resources. This content-rich site, regularly updated, is sponsored and run by the Yellow Pages Association (YPA). Since when did the YPA get so savvy about local search? There are many ways to answer that question, and Stephanie Hobbs, YPA vice president of marketing communications, offered a candid response in a phone interview.
  • Wondir Where To Find Answers?
    The utility of Internet search has reached unprecedented levels, but you know people still crave more sophistication and relevancy when there are sites like Can't Find On Google (www.cantfindongoogle.com), driven by people who just can't find answers to their more complex searches. The big search companies seem to agree, and some of their latest enhancements emphasize such qualities as community-based sharing, tagging, personalization, and new algorithms to go along.
  • SEO Success
    I see a lot of companies (including some large brands) that are doing a great job in paid search, but are doing a lousy job in natural search. Natural search is also known as search engine optimization (SEO), organic search, or algorithmic search. Let's see, how many more names can I call it to confuse you? Anyway, it all starts with the recognition that it's needed and usually by someone in the marketing department.
  • Jobs Hot, Vertical Search Hotter
    Even if you're not looking for a job, you should be looking at job sites, as they're collectively emerging as a petri dish for search innovation and a battleground for search market share. Yahoo! hogged the press limelight last week, but I think the media missed the boat on the more important development. Its searchable mobile text messages gained far more attention than HotJobs turning into a vertical search site, but I'll argue the former was inevitable while the latter was unprecedented.
  • The Serendipity in Search
    Hunting - searching, if you will - for takeout last night, I came upon Eden Wok on 34th and Park. It was food and it was Chinese, I inferred, as I bellied-up to the counter and ordered a large pork and vegetable to go. "Pork!?" the incredulous Eden Wok employee shrieked, just as I became aware of the yarmulkes and intense facial hair. "This is a 'kosher' Chinese restaurant!"
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