When a plane crashed in Manhattan last week, some feared a terrorist attack--while others were completely confounded until it was discovered that New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor were flying the plane. Searches for the pitcher predictably skyrocketed, as he reached number 20 on the Yahoo Buzz Index. A tour of the search engines provided some examples of what to do and what not to do when a news story like this strikes.
YouTube is a 65-employee startup that hasn't yet turned a profit, that's in an unproven industry, and that faces enormous legal problems. Which is why last week's Google purchase of the video-sharing site?for $1.6 billion--was a huge mistake.
I've never been a fan of Web site toolbars that have to be downloaded and incorporated into the Web browser window--that is, until Google's 4.0 Toolbar came along.
Last week, I presented the first five rules for making B2B search more successful. This week, I wrap up with the last five rules.
Most seasoned, professional SEM practitioners agree that a truly balanced search marketing campaign contains both paid and natural elements. But some marketers still hold on to the notion that search is divided into two distinctly separate categories, and that each should be managed by separate agencies or departments. In the next two columns I will discuss how paid and natural can become inadvertently split between agencies and departments, the benefits of co-managed search, and why people are imperative to maintaining the balance.
I recently heard that a friend looking for help in optimizing her independent online publication received a quote from a search optimization specialist for $100,000 for the initial consultation, plus a monthly retainer. My friend told me if she had that kind of cash, she'd hire someone to work in-house. The quote seemed even funnier since I'd just returned from EyeForTravel's Travel Distribution Summit in Chicago, where a panelist from AOL described search engine optimization as "the poor man's SEM."
Last week Allurent, a rich media provider for e-commerce, came out with a study finding that 83 percent of Web users would purchase more online, if online retailers just "added more interactive and interesting ways to display and purchase products." In other words, it's not enough to just drive customers to your site. If you want them to buy, you have to give customers the right experience once they've arrived, and to continue providing that excellent experience all the way to the point of conversion.
In case you missed it, Microsoft Live Search finally came out of beta testing and officially launched as a search platform. And while the folks in Redmond certainly have more they can do to improve upon it, their first pass is pretty darn good. Simply put, Live Search is not your parent's MSN.
The business-to-business marketplace is infinitely more complex, and therefore, more challenging, than most of the business-to-consumer verticals. It can be a daunting task, which is why there are not many search marketing providers that have hung their shingles in the B2B marketplace.
YouTube is poised to bring the key attributes of search marketing to a more traditional environment. If it succeeds, it will not only reap significant advertising revenue for itself, it will set the model for an entire media sector scrambling to find a way to replenish eroding marketer dollars and consumer engagement.