Our lives as we know them could not exist without trust. We trust that our employers will pay us when promised. We trust that our money will be available for withdrawal from the bank, whenever we want it. The bedrock of our media -- and its most precious asset -- is our ability to trust in its accuracy. The most compelling online success stories are those that have a built-in trust mechanism, helping individuals separate the wheat from the chaff. Feedback Scores. Word IQ. Number of Diggs. And, of course, PageRank. Google arrived at the forefront of our Internet experience ...
Up to now in this series on search and branding, I've been looking exclusively at how and why we use search engines. But the idea of the series is to show how branding and search can work together. So in this column, I'd like to start from the opposite end of the spectrum: our brand relationships, from a memory retrieval perspective.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project released its latest survey on search engine usage last week. The study does not focus so much on actual daily search engine usage, but is more of a snapshot of a "typical day" in the online life activities of the sample group, with search and email being the most popular activities. As it states in the report, "these figures propel search further out of the pack, well ahead of other popular internet activities."
Large-scale search engine optimization projects are often perceived as the golden egg for many SEO agencies, with their big budgets and shiny, well-known brand names. Unfortunately, search engine marketers may quickly realize that the golden egg came from a large, slow-moving tortoise. Successful enterprise SEO projects require a unique combination of mechanical SEO expertise, as well as large company political savvy.
A consensus seems to be emerging that social media's real power lies in its ability to function as a recommendation engine in which real people praise or pillory products. This phenomenon hasn't escaped the attention of SEO types, who have attempted to reinvent themselves as SMO (social media optimization) specialists. Nor has it gone unnoticed by corporate America, whose efforts to "manage" conversations have occasionally resulted in spectacular PR fiascos. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that marketers can do to make better use of the growing body of opinion-based information that don't have any risk associated with them.
Starting tonight, the Five Ring Circus comes to town, and we will all get the protracted opportunity to see big sponsor dollars and sports compete for Olympic eyeballs. Whether they are official or unofficial sponsors, there is revenue for the taking.
In the last few weeks, I've looked at how we gather information, depending on how complete the information is we already have. But it's not just information that colors the search interaction. Like all human interactions, we are governed by our desires, our objectives and our beliefs, and this is certainly true in search.
My last installment of Searchery Rhymes had me wishing Sergey Pagerhoffer Schmidt were my name too. Over the last couple weeks, I've been living out that fantasy -- strictly in my head, of course -- and came up with a Top 10 list of things I'd do if I were running Google.
There's a marketing debate that just won't go away. And I wish it would. It's the direct response versus branding debate. Personally, I am holding the first-ever promotional coupon accountable for its inception -- yet the Internet propelled the debate into a different stratosphere. With the advent of the Web, the distinction between direct response and branding went beyond merely being a call to action in the creative message of an advert. When www was born, so was a direct-response media metric -- performance-based pricing.
In search engine marketing, "great" is completely relative and open to interpretation and opinions. However, this doesn't stop any of us from consistently striving for great results, opportunities, situations, and elements in this medium whether we're on the client side, at an SEM agency, or a global agency focused on media or traditional marketing.