• The Overlooked Strategy For Reputation Management
    There is an opportunity screaming at companies that is supported in great degree by search, traffic and consumer behavior data: using search for reputation management.
  • No Search Is An Island
    Today I am plagued by ambiguity. I'm happy and scared. Relieved and cautious. Excited and apprehensive. And it all has to do with search and how we use it. On one hand, I'm relieved that search seems to be the sole marketing channel that's actually benefiting from the crushing economic pressure. On the other hand, I'm worried that we may be short-sighted in grabbing onto search as a life preserver in raging marketing waters.
  • One Keyword, 909 Advertisers
    There have been many search marketers (including myself), who have long been saying that the search space is going to get very crowded in terms of competition in both paid and natural results. As evidence that this trend has hit - and maybe even passed - the tipping point in certain competitive keyword spaces, I typed "coats" into Google and checked out "view more advertisers." The result? There were "about" 909 advertisers for the term "coats" alone.
  • Is There A Personal CPM For Search?
    Can a bounty for search engine users translate to a personal CPM? This question follows MediaPost's OMMA Social event, where a panel discussed the concept of the personal CPM, when brands put a value on consumers who spread marketing messages. In social media, the concept works perfectly. With search, it's different. Your search activities are not broadcast to all your friends, and if they are, you probably want to switch search engines. Yet there are a number of examples of bounties for searchers that indicate the personal CPM can apply. We'll look at four today: Live Search Cashback, Yahoo Canada's …
  • SEM Is A Service, Not A Product
    Fellow Search Insider columnist Aaron Goldman and I have been batting at the RFP pinata for the past few weeks, because our view is that using RFPs to select SEM agencies clearly doesn't work very well, either on the client or the agency side. Unfortunately, I am doubtful that our modest reforms to the procurement process will be widely embraced, because of a particularly widespread misperception about what SEM agencies do. This misperception is that SEM agencies are suppliers of a product, not a service. This distinction isn't just an academic one: let me explain why I believe why it's …
  • When is Enough, Enough?
    It is difficult to position what I want to write about this week without it coming off as a complete rant. The thing is, I have become completely astounded by what I hear lately from our new business prospects, as well as what I hear about prospecting from other search marketing agencies.
  • Tweets From The Edge
    Through the phenomenon of synchronicity, it now seems that everywhere I turn I see signs of Twitter. One of the recent one's was Kaila Colbin's Search Insider column about Twitter's monetization strategy, or lack of same. Twitter is not unique; virtually every social network struggles with this issue. I would like to add two observations from my perspective.
  • The REAL Problem With The Client/Agency RFP Process
    I had a notion to pick up the thread Gord Hotchkiss started about emerging applications of search but, once again, Steve Baldwin, derailed, er... inspired me. In his last column, Steve discussed the issues he sees with the current SEM agency procurement process -- namely, that it's comprised of tactical responses to long questionnaires created and evaluated by client in-house search personnel. But I don't think the answer lies in asking different questions in the RFP or reassigning responsibility for SEM agency selection. The problem with the process right now is the process itself.
  • This Google May Harm Your Computer
    Where were you the day Google turned against its users? If you were lucky, you were sleeping in. It happened Saturday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 a.m. in Mountain View, Calif., 9:30 a.m. in New York, 4:30 p.m. in Jerusalem, 8 p.m. in Delhi, and 10:30 p.m. in Beijing. Checking my own Google Web History, I entered my first query of the morning at 10:27 a.m. EST (looking up driving directions for a wedding that night), two minutes after the last of Google's users encountered a problem.
  • Twitter's Choices: Sell To Google Or Go It Alone
    My friend Melissa forwarded me the TechCrunch note about Twitter's new funding round, along with the observation that "a business model helps." I replied simply: "Google will buy them." I'll back up my declaration here, and amend it slightly: either Google will buy them, or they will unseat Google.
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