• A Search Tale: Good Quality Puppies At Reasonable Prices
    I recently found myself in need of a puppy. The last time I found myself in this situation it was 1997. Back then I started my search with Uncle Henry's Swap It or Sell It Guide, a free classifieds publication serving Maine and northern New England. Now, feeling like a relic, I turned to searching online for puppies to cheer me up. Here I beheld the great democracy of search engine marketing. For unlike other categories like finance or travel, there are no dominant entities in the online puppy market. Given my profession, I found myself equally interested in product …
  • Can Brands Keep Their Promise In A Digital World?
    o speculate on the future of brand advertising is certainly beyond the scope of this column, but I got myself into this mess. I opened the can of worms two weeks ago in the Search Insider by warning that we could be running the search funnel dry. Ryan DeShazer, from HSR, called me on it and asked me what will replace traditional brand building in our new digital environment. Last week, I began the journey by talking about two different types of brands: Brand Promises and Brand Religions. Today, I'd like to paint a hypothetical scenario of where awareness marketing …
  • Search Behavior Reveals Personal Impact Of U.S. Financial Crisis
    Yesterday, comScore released a survey that tracked an increase in searchers using terms related to the economic crisis in the major search engines. The premise of the research was that the current economic situation is impacting search behavior, and is a direct reflection of important issues to searchers. Overall, this research, along with data from Google Trends, makes a good case that the U.S. mindset really is changing.
  • The 10 Most Moving Search Engines
    Over the weekend, under the gaze of a painting of the Dalai Lama at Tibetan Kitchen, I savored my dessert of bhaktsa marku while thinking of all the search engines that helped get me to that place. And by "that place" I don't mean the Tibetan restaurant, but rather my new Manhattan neighborhood where my wife and I dined out for the first time as residents. Below are ten search engines that helped with the moving process.
  • Advertisers: Take Back Your Search Accounts!
    Rebuilding search campaigns from scratch has a lot of appeal, at least on paper. Using an analogy from real estate, it's often a lot cheaper to bulldoze an old house and build a completely new one than to try to restore an ancient structure. Figuring out why an old, complex search campaign isn't performing optimally, and applying the labor and analysis to the problem, can soak up a lot of time and effort. Why not scrap the whole creaky thing and start from scratch? Well, the problem with starting from scratch is that every search campaign has a history, and …
  • It's All About The Data
    I'm not opposed to tools. What I am opposed to is blindly following the recommendations that a lot of these tools spit out. I use a lot of tools. None of them, not a single one of them, make any recommendations to me. I use tools that gather data that I can use to make my own decisions. Data plus wisdom equals success in SEO.
  • Brand Promises Vs. Brand Religions
    What is effective brand building in the new digital world? What is the best way to prime the pump? As I started to think about that, I realized the answer depends on the nature of the brand to be built. And, as I was chewing that over, the Microsoft story hit my inbox and I realized that it captured the essence of two distinct characters of brand: promise and religion. These two characters of brand occupy two totally different places in our mindscape, and so have to be treated differently, no matter what branding channel you choose to use.
  • 10 Reasons Why SEM Agencies Don't Win New Biz
    I never thought this day would come, but I'm in complete agreement with Steve Baldwin for two consecutive columns. Indeed, as Steve points out, we need to move towards rationale SEM agency procurement because SEM is a service, not a product. Clearly, fixing the Client/Agency RFP process is no small task (nor small blog post) and my proposed overhaul of the system will take more time (and buy-in) than most of us can afford right now. So what can clients and agencies do differently within the confines of the current RFP system to better align expectations and create satisfactory outcomes …
  • Minor Miracles And Major Feats of First-Page Rankings
    Videos are more likely than text to get on the first page of Google's search results, according to Forrester Research's Nate Elliott. This is a huge story, but there's an even bigger angle: getting on the first page of Google's search results is really, really hard.
  • No Rest For The Not-Evil
    After ten years of hard work, during which you answer trillions and trillions of queries, in the process creating millions upon millions of happy customers and donating millions upon millions to worthy causes, ultimately generating well over $100 billion in market capitalization (even at today's deflated stock price), one would think that you'd earned a bit of a rest. Not so.
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