• The Race Is Not To The Algorithm, Nor The Battle To The Snippet
    The news in search last week: Google rolled out two improvements to its search result pages. The first, the ability to better understand associations and concepts, is being called "semantic" by everyone from Reuters to the Motley Fool -- by everyone, that is, except Google. The second is longer snippets for longer queries.
  • A Short Proposal For A Better Branded Buy
    The vexing issue of branded keyword price spikes is frequent and increasing. I could turn this column into a rant about CPC juicing and more, but I will refrain. Rather, I would like to propose a fair and practical solution to the issue of branded keyword CPC volatility that satisfies brand owners and still allow search engines to monetize branded keyword traffic.
  • The Confluences Of Spring Break
    It's funny. Given three disparate ideas and enough time out of the office, I can somehow manage to tie it all together into a Search Insider theme. The ingredients for this column? The two books I chose to pack to read on my Spring Break vacation, and a bit of history from Southern Portugal, where I've spent the past week.
  • Day One, SES NYC 2009
    Whether planned or not, I always seem to end up at SES NYC, making my annual 1,500-mile trek from the Midwest (this was my fifth SES show in NYC). Here is another installment of what has become my ritual report, following other SES NYC columns from 2007 and 2008.
  • You Can Still Handle These SEO Truths
    Last week, author Rebecca Lieb managed to distill her new book "The Truth about Search Engine Optimization," from 51 chapters into a single truth. How can she top that? In the continuation of the interview, she first addresses what truth means in this context. Then she tackles the biggest SEO myth. She closes with answering a couple questions submitted via Twitter, but I didn't limit her response to 140 characters.
  • Lost Buzzwords Of SES!
    SES NY is upon us this week, and it's time to celebrate with a look backward.Backward? Yes, because the search marketing industry, like the tech sector of which it is a part, is far too forward-looking. While it's great that our eyes are so much on the future, there's a lot you can find out studying what's gone before. Past is prologue, after all, and in this spirit I spent several hours looking through old SES NY agendas. My aim was to discover topics that -- in their day -- were hot enough to warrant SES panel discussions, but have …
  • I Did It All For The Whuffie
    Whuffie? Honestly, I hate the word -- but the concept intrigues me. Whuffie = the currency of social capital. his past week I was privileged to speak at SXSW Interactive, where I had a chance to sit down with Tara Hunt. Tara is the de facto queen of whuffie. In fact, she quite literally wrote the book on it: You can buy "The Whuffie Factor" in April. According to Tara, SEO undermines whuffie because SEO artificially inflates the value of a Web site and results in impure search results in the search engines.
  • Looking For The Future? Look For Chaos, Not Stability
    This week, someone asked me about sustainable business models in the Internet. Earlier the same day, another person asked me about defensible models. Both questions left me perplexed. I wasn't trying to avoid them. I just didn't know how to answer. So, some 48 hours later, I offer this column as a somewhat belated response. It isn't an answer, as I'm still just as perplexed. But now at least I know why.
  • What's the Point Of Search?
    I've tackled some heady questions over the years as a Search Insider -- "Why Can't Everything Be Searchable?" "Will Search Personalization Create Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?" "Should We Fear Ambient Findability?" "Is MyLifeBits the Future of Personalized Search?" And who could forget, "Is Search Rocket Science?" Today, I'll go for the jugular: What's the point of search?
  • You CAN Handle These SEO Truths
    If you're looking to make sure you're covering all bases with search engine optimization, a good place to start is Rebecca Lieb's new book, "The Truth about Search Engine Optimization." You'll find 51 truths in this book, covering everything from link development to video optimization. They're bite-sized chunks, and if you feel well-versed in some areas but want some help with others, it's easy to flip around and read it in the order that matters most to you.
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