In my last column, I weighed in on the debate about whether or not the Internet economy has created a bubble that will burst like 2000/1. I felt compelled to respond to Mark Simon's column speculating that we're heading towards a "doomsday scenario" in which Google misses badly on earnings, leading to a stock sell-off and the ripple effect of advertisers pulling online ad budget.
On Facebook, the marketers can now search for the searchers. Facebook's Aditya Agarwal claimed in July that 600 million searches are performed on the site monthly. Compared to comScore numbers discussed in a previous column, that makes Facebook a more popular search engine than MySpace, Mapquest, AOL, and Ask.com. Facebook claims it's "the most used people search engine." That's great for consumers, but marketers can search for people in a different way.
Call it "Black Wednesday" for the SEO industry. Last week, just a day before wowing Wall Street with its earnings, Google adjusted its organic PageRank algorithm in a way that resulted in a major drop in rankings for many sites, both large (such as Forbes.com and WashingtonPost.com) and small. The algorithm shift wasn't exactly a surprise, but it was a major shock that prompted loud shrieks of protest from the SEO community after their clients' sites started disappearing from Google's SERPs.
In 1910, J.C. Hall, a young 18-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., began a revolution in communication. His business changed how we send wishes and recognize special days through the year. Hall's company now includes 6.4 billion pieces sent every year, and is credited with turning ordinary days into major events. But even he could not have foreseen the latest big event on the calendar: Cyber Monday.
ast April, James Lamberti from comScore, Randy Peterson from Procter and Gamble and I (representing SEMPO) grabbed a relatively quiet corner at the New York Hilton to talk about a potential research project. Here was our wish list: A study that tied together online activity to offline purchase behavior. A study that identified the impact of search in a category not typically one that would be identified with search marketing. A study that would attempt to quantify the leveraged impact of search with brand advocates.
Last week, the Dallas / Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association held its quarterly standing-room-only meet-up. We presented "51 Essential Tools for Search Engine Marketing." Check out our excerpt from the list using the best tool of all -- your brain -- to decide which best fits your needs and strategy.
There's a chance that you're a search engine optimization guru, even if you've never optimized a Web site. Maybe you didn't even realize what SEO stands for until now. The emergence and sudden widespread engine adoption of universal, blended, and modular search by the major engines has made SEO part of just about everyone's job description.
I've received a lot of e-mail from my Oct. 7th MediaPost column, "Is The Online Ad Industry Partying Like It's 1999?" Not everybody agrees with my assertion that the high-flying, online ad industry is headed for dangerous turbulence in the near future. I sincerely hope these optimists are right, but I remain convinced that the bubble is real and that a correction is in order. Let me explain more fully why the current situation is, in my view, clearly unsustainable.
To understand where SEO fits in the marketing mix, you first need to consider the behavior of the online consumer. When searching for a product, either hard goods or services, the first step is typically a very general search like "home theater" or "dresses." As searchers become more familiar with their options, they conduct more specific product searches.
With this highly inefficient, annoying and disconnected marketplace, there has to be a better way, right? Well, Marc Singer and John Hagel III think so. They call it the infomediary, a concept introduced in their 1999 book, "Net Worth." It's well worth the read. The one thing that struck me is that in the entire book, the word "Google" is not mentioned once. This is not really surprising, given the publication date, but for reasons that will soon become clear, the irony was not lost on me.