• Effective SEM Strategies For Online Retailers
    The economic impact of high fuel prices is affecting the shopping behavior of consumers, and will eventually affect the cost of the goods they are buying. While this means trouble for many industries, it presents online retailers a unique opportunity to maximize their paid and organic search marketing efforts. After all, consumers who shop online are saving on gas. The challenge is to ensure that your message conveys the convenience of shopping online, and that your on-site checkout process is seamless.
  • How Much Would You Pay For This Unclicked Search Ad?
    There's a distinct divide between the impact realized from interaction with the search results page and interaction after the click-through, on the Web site. And the difference lies in how the interactions get loaded into our brains. When the spotlight of attention is turned on, things go directly into the executive function mode of our brains, which is commonly called working memory. This is like a white board, where we gather the details needed to make decisions and store them. There are two limiting factors to working memory, capacity and duration. We can only load so much on this whiteboard, …
  • Search Insider Summit Buzz-o-Meter
    Another successful Search Insider Summit is in the books. For a complete recap of SIS Captiva Island, check out the coverage in the MediaPost Raw blog. For those of you who just want to cut to the chase and put a finger on the pulse of the search world, allow me to present the first installment of my biannual SIS Buzz-o-Meter.
  • You Call That A Bribe?
    Microsoft's new Live Search Cashback program has been routinely called a bribe by journalists and pundits. Microsoft and others have tried to bribe users before, but calling Cashback a form of "bribery" diminishes the meaning of the word.
  • The Sweet Spot At The Intersection Of What And Why
    We spend a lot of time trying to figure out why people do things. Why don't they shop on social networks? Why do they use Google for vertical searches? Why did we get 30% clickthrough on the last email campaign, but only 3% on this one? We ask these questions in the hope that a "true" answer will shine a light on the path we must take. It will clear the way for conversion and engagement, and reveal the secret to marketing success. Unfortunately, there is no "true" answer here. Most people have no idea why they behave the way …
  • Great Summit -- But What Will We Call It Next Time?
    Less than 24 hours ago, my fellow columnists were sitting on a stage on Captiva Island, Fla., recapping the events of the three-day Search Insider Summit. It was Insider Aaron Goldman that first noticed the dilemma. "You know," he mused, as he looked at his famous Summit Buzz Index list (more on this in Aaron's next column), "I don't see the word search in here." We realized, together with the attendees, that in three days of earnest, thoughtful, engaged and even passionate discussion, we had talked about a lot of things: marketing, branding, conversations, engagement, intent, convergence, communities, mobile and …
  • Search Island
    I'm writing from the conference room on Captiva Island, Fla., after the second day of sessions at Search Insider Summit. The show is literally being held on a narrow barrier island on the Florida Gulf coast, complete with manatees, dolphins, and alligators (oh my!). My highlights and observations....
  • Dreaming Of A Super Model
    Does search need a new business model? ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni suggested as much in his opening day keynote at MediaPost's Search Insider Summit this week. He stressed that marketers are realizing so much more value from search than they're paying for, and that means there's money being left on the table.
  • Will Search Ever Get Its Fair Share Of Spend?
    While macroeconomists fritter over whether the U.S. economy is in a genuine recession or just passing over a rough patch, it's clear that online marketers are reacting to these tighter times by reallocating spend towards more targeted media, with SEM appearing to be the main beneficiary. Recent earnings reports from Google record no diminution of spend or deflation of keyword prices, but a new report by ad network broker Pubmatic tracked a dramatic 23% month-to-month decline in effective CPM for Web sites across the board.
  • The Common Thread Of Consumer Intent
    Search marketers have spent more time on the proverbial island than the cast of "Lost." All of the adages about "playing at the kids' table" to "functioning in a silo" have been appropriate at various times over the past decade. This practice of "siloed" work has been perpetuated by marketing departments that have seen search as an IT function or a "Web" thing. Marketing agencies have seen it as a boutique offering that can be acquired or developed using a handful of people with varying talents, and surprisingly, it has been perpetuated by the search engines themselves.
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