• Measuring Natural Search Marketing Success
    Although I'm a big proponent of search as a channel for branding budgets, there is no question that 2009 is going to be the year that search gets even more serious as a direct response medium, and SEMs will be asked to show ROI at every move. Naturally, it is not possible to make such a direct scientific connection on every tactic, or strategy, especially as many parts of a campaign are required to ensure the health of a holistic program. But search marketers should be ready to show the money and value whenever possible. With this in mind, here …
  • Just One Opportunity for 2009
    In this, my last Search Insider column for 2008, I am tempted, as many before me, to conclude this year's contributions with a list of either a) the top 10 events in the search industry in the year just past, or b) the top 10 predictions for the search industry in the year to come. Resisting that temptation, however, at great mental expense (there is no easier column to write than a top-10 list), I instead focus on one, and only one, opportunity that I believe will be tantamount to search marketers' success in 2009 and beyond. The opportunity of …
  • The Ultimate Google Killer
    A while back, fellow Search Insider Aaron Goldman wrote a series on Google killers. The series concluded that the most viable Google killer would be Google itself. Since the question comes up far too often, I feel it is necessary to once again revisit it. Will Google kill Google?
  • Bid Management May Not Be A Commodity -- But It's Not A Differentiator
    I was planning on using this column to weigh in with predictions for 2009, but fellow Search Insider Steve Baldwin called me out, so I feel compelled to respond -- lest my POV (to paraphrase reader Steve Plunkett) be branded as the bid management version of "SEO is not rocket science." Lord knows I don't want anyone making a contest out of me.
  • Search Trends To Watch In 2009
    Between the economy affecting stock prices and the potential mergers and acquisitions discussed among several of the major search engines, there is a lot of uncertainty as we head into 2009. Yet we can anticipate several shifts in search based on what we've seen over the past decade and other signs in the media ecosystem. Here are some major changes to anticipate.
  • Small Businesses To PPC Search: Drop Dead
    Microsoft got a lot of press last week when it released a survey of attitudes toward PPC search among small-business owners. Seventy percent of these owners memorably said that they'd rather do their own taxes -- a task that for many is less enjoyable than a root canal -- than launch a PPC campaign.
  • Search's Andy Warhol Moment: How LinkedIn, Twitter and Social Networks May Change Search for the Better
    According to Yahoo, the average search session lasts 15 minutes. That includes the back and forth between clicks and all queries in a given session. This led me to ask the question: If you were willing to spend 15 minutes searching for something, is the current model of back and forth and refinement the best bet for the future? My personal sense is no, but then, the question becomes: What is?
  • Fear, Greed And The Google Parallax View
    Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Canadian businessman Stephen Jarislowsky. Jarislowsky is one of Canada's richest men, our version of Warren Buffet. And he said something simple but profoundly important in the interview: Greed is strong, but fear is stronger.
  • Search Engine Marketer's Journal: 2008 Column Recap
    Building on a column I wrote late last year ("2007 Column Recap"), I thought I'd give it another spin for 2008, and offer some fresh perspective on a number of columns I wrote over the last year. Happy holidays to all.
  • Ten Reasons To Run Google Ads On The IPhone
    IPhone users love to search almost as much as they love their iFart apps. Earlier this year, Google noted the iPhone drives 50 times the search queries of other mobile handsets. One wonders, then, what took Google so long in offering iPhone targeting through AdWords. Now targeting is live, with a great overview on the Google Mobile Blog. Can't figure out why you'd try it? There are 10 ideas below.
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