• Browser Optimization Means Search 101
    Everything you need to know about the future of search engine marketing you learned in the 1990s. That's an overstatement, of course, but the basics of SEO and SEM -- the very first things you probably learned -- now are more important than they've been in years for bringing people back to your Web site. It's all thanks to the new browser wars among Firefox 3, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, all of which are generally evolving in the same direction.
  • Is Search An 'Ugly Cousin' With a Rusty Collecting Pan?
    I spent some time at the MIXX Conference & Expo in New York this week. It was one of those trade shows that -- like the whole advertising business to which it caters -- isn't really geared toward search at all. In fact, if the only information you had came from exhibitors and attendees, you'd walk out of the show with the bizarre impression that Google, search, and the whole industry we call SEM didn't even exist. A couple of days later, I had to laugh when TNS Media Intelligence's Jon Swallen, presiding over a gloomy report on ad spending, …
  • Measuring Value
    A few weeks ago, I was asked to describe the single biggest mistake that search marketers continue to make. When advertisers do not measure search campaign value correctly, no amount of tactical expertise can make up for this shortfall. Budgets are misallocated, keywords are optimized incorrectly, and entire segments of query opportunity are ignored or passed over because their worth is not effectively captured. Here are three fundamentals for correctly assessing the impact of search marketing campaigns that every search marketer should consider.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Buzz
    What makes up buzz? And what determines how fast it travels? Last week, I talked about how important the opinions of others are in shaping our brand beliefs. Today, I want to look at one category of word of mouth, the juicy tidbit, recently christened "buzz," and see what makes it leap from person to person.
  • Despite What Google Says, Flash, Dupe Content And URLs Are Still Major SEO Issues
    Recently, the Google Webmaster Central blog has featured several posts that de-emphasize the risks and impact of various well-known and accepted search obstacles. Among them, they say that Flash is now fully search-engine friendly. Google has said that there is no "penalty" for duplicate content. And yesterday, the company recommended that Webmasters should not rewrite dynamic URLs, suggesting that it might not be a legitimate tactic. I want to apply a bit of critical thinking to help those who may tend to just scan the headlines, and are being led to believe that all of the above statements are totally …
  • Blog Search Stuck In Beta
    Whenever I'm talking to marketers about how to listen to their brands, blog search engines always come up as a good starting point. I've been having the same conversations for years, and with minor exceptions, I'd do fine using the same slides I've used since I started. Here are some examples of the blog search engine landscape....
  • Crisis of Confidence Threatens Everyone In SEM
    Because this column is entitled "Search Insider," I always try abide by its primary mission: to offer information from the perspective of somebody in the trenches of the SEM industry. And right now, friends, the view I see from my foxhole isn't very pretty: in fact, one could say it's damn near apocaplyptic. And the saddest thing of all is that we in the industry have brought this mess on ourselves.
  • Seize The Search Trend
    There have been numerous articles commenting on the search efforts of major advertisers like the presidential candidates, and sponsors of blockbuster events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl. It is almost too easy to pick apart the efforts of others, so today I would like to commend those search marketers who have taken advantage of major spending in television and media hype and applied some innovative strategies to their own SEM campaigns.
  • Branding By Word of Mouth
    We are social creatures. One of the reasons humans have flourished on earth is because we take advantage of the power of groups. We have built extremely sophisticated heuristic rules to help us know when to trust and when to be wary. In our past, human survival depended on the passing of information from those we trusted and ignoring information from less trustworthy sources. While the survival value of word of mouth might not be as critical to us now (unless knowing a good Chinese restaurant or mechanic is a matter of life and death) those evolutionary mechanisms are still …
  • An OMMA Journey: Search Past and Present
    With the OMMA NY Global Conference & Expo kicking off tomorrow, I thought it'd be interesting to compare the agendas of the past 2 shows to this one and see what insights can be gleaned regarding the state of search. To be sure, this is an exercise I performed not only as fodder for this column but as part of my duties as the programming chair for the Search Insider track at the cnference
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