• Contemporary Search Phrase Research
    There have been many developments in search-phrase research over the years and if I had been writing this article when I started my career in search engine optimisation (SEO), it would have basically described a process of hunting around for a few relevant sources of data and a lot of brainstorming (making it up!). The first really useful tool was a feature of Goto.com (Now Yahoo! Search Marketing) -- the keyword popularity tool "Suggested Search Terms." Then, in 1999, Wordtracker.com launched a more advanced suite of research tools, which fast became essential for search engine optimization professionals.
  • Google Talk Pays For Itself
    Sorry, dear marketer, media buyer, or Google shareholder. Google Talk is entirely non-commercial. It's merely an extension of an older, purer vision for the Internet; one focused entirely on communication. It's all talk, no revenue-generating action. And if you buy that, I've got a few billion Pets.com options I'd like to sell you. Google Talk is merely a few steps removed from the current revenue opportunities. You just have to look a little harder to see what they are. The heart of it is registered users. Google wants a body count in a hurry.
  • Paid Search: Who Really Is On First?
    I was speaking with someone the other day regarding managing a paid search campaign and I was shocked to hear him refer to managing a paid search campaign as "easy." "Easy?" I said. He replied, "How hard can it be? I go to the Google or Yahoo! Web site, create an account, plunk down a credit card, select 100 keywords or so and change bids when necessary."
  • 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 awareness …
  • A Day in the Evolution of Search Media
    At the rate search industry headlines are appearing lately, Google News and Yahoo! News would overflow with content if they only had news about Yahoo! and Google. In light of this, analyzing a single day's search news can tell you volumes about the industry. On Thursday, the Aug 18 Online Media Daily headlines spanned search engine user demographics, local search, mobile search, and shopping. Let's extract what's most important as we try to stay on top of the business while still getting our jobs done.
  • Deep Thoughts From the Googleplex
    It was one year ago that I wrote my first Search Insider column. I remember that by the fact that I wrote about the San Jose Search Engine Strategies Show and now here I am, back in San Jose, going for my semi-regular search marketing total body immersion. Thank goodness this only happens occasionally. It can do strange things to one's perspective to spend four days with thousands of people who live, breathe, and eat search. Compare this to my other life, where my wife is still not exactly sure what I do for a living. For those of …
  • How Motley Crue Saved Search
    I'm not sure it was the best of strategies, but I arrived at my panel at last week, the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, with more questions than answers for the audience. The topic: creating compelling ads. That sounds easy enough, right? Client service teams at the paid search vendors readily give advice: Use a call to action Drop users as close to the bottom of funnel as possible Show prices Sweeten the deal with promotional language Most of these will in fact help increase click-through rate (CTR), the metric on which most marketers rely …
  • SEO and Effective Web Design
    How many times have you been approached to perform search engine optimization (SEO) magic on a Web site? It would seem that a lil' dab of content density adjustments, a dash of linking strategy, and an H1 tag make-over is all that is needed to give a Web site that spark. Sales will certainly follow, right? I need SEO! When I hear this, my first instinct is to take a step back and review the person's Web site. Often it is apparent that the answer to that question is, well, no. It will take more than SEO to bring on …
  • What If Everyone Was a Blogger?
    The New York Times caught my eye last week with its short August 5 editorial, "Measuring the Blogosphere." Pegged to Technorati's recent "State of the Blogosphere" report - which said 80,000 new blogs are created every day, with some 14.2 million in existence already -- the editorial essentially conceded the arrival of blogging. While the old Gray Lady's editorial revelation is rather late in the game, there was a passage I think worth noting: "If the blogosphere continues to expand at this rate, every person who has Internet access will be a blogger before long, if not an …
  • The Symbiotic Relationship Between SEO and PPC
    Somebody please help me. For the life of me I can't understand why so many search marketers are missing the boat on what seems to be a no-brainer. For some reason, a lot of companies are managing their pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization campaigns separately--using different vendors or agencies, with different goals, with little or no communication between the two, and absolutely no integration. But why? Given the power that can be generated by the effective integration of paid and natural search, I just don't get it.
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