• Please Pass The Data
    We can debate in-house versus SEM agency, SEM nomenclature, the definition of strategy, and whether "to integrate or not to integrate," but the one point we can all agree on is the fact that approximately 50% of online ad spend is now dedicated to paid search. The empowering force behind this un-sexy, "hard to believe it's winning" media is data. Data is also what's driving high valuations in social media and at the heart of the battle of the big three engines and the greater media world.
  • Two Clicks Forward, Two Clicks Back -- What Happens When Opposites Attract?
    There is much debate in the search engine marketing industry over the implications of the Google/Yahoo deal. Arguments regarding the pros and cons have flooded industry publications, and it seems everyone has an opinion. In order to properly formulate an opinion, let's first consider the characteristics that make paid search so attractive to advertisers....
  • The Quest for Information
    The third in my series in looking at how we search and how it might impact our brand relationships. Today, I look at how the emergence of Web search marks a dramatic leap forward in our quest for information.
  • We're Not In Search-Land Anymore, Toto
    That's the conclusion I came to after the whirlwind that was Search Insider Summit Captiva Island plopped us back onto the mainland, crushing the Wicked Witch of the Silo. Now, we're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Integration. But will he be as elusive as the great Oz? Join me as I muster the brains, heart and courage to make the journey to Emerald City 2.0 -- a place where digital media reigns supreme and search is embedded into the platform, not a channel unto itself.
  • Digital Asset Optimization -- The Inevitable Evolution of SEO
    With the acronym DAO (digital asset optimization) floating around everywhere these days, it's easy to wonder if DAO is replacing search engine optimization (SEO). The answer is no; in fact, DAO can best be described as the evolution of SEO, which isn't dead but just rapidly changing.
  • The Great (And Completely Ridiculous) 'In-house vs. Outsourced SEM' Debate
    There's an old legal maxim that anyone who chooses to represent himself in court "has a fool for a client," and this saying exactly describes the plight of companies who choose to represent themselves in search using in-house teams. I frankly don't know why this silly debate goes on and on. I've been doing SEM for more than 10 years, and I've never, not once, seen a search campaign created by an in-house team outperform one crafted by a competent SEM agency. But because this issue, like some grotesque zombie from the Land of the Undead, refuses to go away …
  • Search Ad Buyers Don't Want A Monopoly, But Who Will Be The Sacrificial Lamb?
    A search monopoly is inevitable. Now, what are you going to do about it? The Laws of the Universe dictate that it is impossible to write a search column this week about anything other than the fall of Microhoo and the rise of Yahoogle.
  • The Semantics Of 'SEM Strategy'
    Lately, it seems that phrases like "search engine marketing" and "search strategy" are being used so liberally in conversations, news and blogs that it has become increasingly difficult to discern a point-of-view without first qualifying the person or writer's bias.
  • Why Do We Search?
    This is the second in a series exploring the question of how we interact with search pages and the impact on brand relationships. Today we look at why we search in the first place.Let's begin with perhaps the most fundamental question ever asked in this industry. Why do we search? I've been in this industry for over 12 years now, and I'm not sure I've ever heard an answer to it. Why do we seek information? Is this need cultural or inherited? Is how we seek information changing? The Roots of CuriosityWe search because we are curious. And …
  • You Say 'Tomato,' I Say, 'Whole Foods': Use Paid Search To Get Your Message Out!
    Being a Brit, the whole "you say tomato, I say tomahto" deal has always been a little bit of a running joke since I moved to the States. But now it's taken on a whole new meaning. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration called for a "tomato recall," as some tomatoes from some states are suspected carriers of salmonella. Since mid-April, there have been about 145 reported cases, including at least 23 hospitalizations, in approximately 17 states. Personally though, I don't have an affinity for a particular brand, type or producer of tomatoes, so when I hear the words …
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