• The Persuasive Power Of Face To Face
    Think of the most persuasive person you know. The salesperson you can't say no to, your mother (guilt always works), your spouse or your six-year-old child. Now, imagine if you had never met the person in person and they were trying to persuade you over the phone, or by email. Would they be as persuasive? No. Persuasion just don't work as well if you're not face to face.
  • Which Way Will The Captiva Buzz Blow?
    Typically my first column following a Search Insider Summit recaps the top buzzwords from the show. And I usually start that column off by recapping the buzz from previous summits. Now that I've been doing this for five conferences running, though, the recap portion of the column eats up half the space. So, rather than use up precious word count in my post-show Buzz-o-meter, I'll do the recap here as a preview to next week's SIS and, while I'm at it, see if I can't predict what the hot topics will be when the Search Insiders assemble in Captiva Island.
  • The Cycle Of Connection, And What It Means For Search
    I was introduced to Twitter by my friend Steve, who has 76 followers. Hardly Ashton Kutcher volume, but don't let it fool you: Steve's been ahead of me on the social media curve every step of the way. A few years ago, he started pestering me about Facebook. "It's awesome. Like, last night, I was having Marmite on toast, and I was able to update my status and let people know." Right. Marmite on toast. Fascinating.
  • Our Little Baby Has Grown Up
    It's funny; my Mom still buys me dried apricots. I haven't eaten them since I was fifteen. It's hard to see your baby grow up -- they are always the baby you knew when they were young and developing. I feel as though some of us in search act the same way about our business.
  • Starting Over
    Over the last few months we have watched our clients make some dramatic cuts in their paid search marketing programs. Some of them have even pulled back to 2003-2004 levels of spending and scale. In cases like these, it's fair to say we're starting over, and our job over the next year will be to build these campaigns back up to the state where they capture the full opportunity.
  • Measuring Success After The Click
    It always amazes me that search marketers spend huge amounts of time tweaking everything to do with the search page and very little time worrying about what happens downstream from it. It's symptomatic of the siloed nature of search, a marketing practice that sits apart from other channels and the online user experience itself. Yet, what's the point of a good search campaign if we end up dumping all those leads onto a poor Web site?
  • Are Shortened URL Services Sustainable For SEO And Social Traffic?
    With a number of different services popping up to meet the need for dissemination of links through various networks, shortened URL redirects have become a basic utility in social networking channels, and Web marketing as a whole. But as the use of short URLs has become mainstream, and will not likely be going away any time soon, marketers should be asking themselves if services based on a third-party domain offer a sustainable long-term approach for driving traffic through social networks, reaping search benefits filtering through to their own domains. Here are some issues marketers should be aware of when programmatically …
  • Search, 224; Social Media, 0
    It's time for a short trip five years in the making. This is the 224th Search Insider I've written for MediaPost, and most likely my last. As of next week, I'll be switching over to the Social Media Insider. The process required taking a broad view of search, and much of that focus turned to social media. It's only fitting that I visited MediaPost.com's search engine to review all of the Search Insider columns I've written to dig up just how much social media came up in my search coverage. Here's a snapshot.
  • Uncharted Territory
    The phrase "uncharted territory" came up several time during Google's earnings call last week. In the context of the call, the phrase referred to the fact that no one really knows whether conversion rates, CPC prices, or consumer confidence will return to normal anytime soon. But the phrase has resonances beyond these narrow concerns, because Google's challenges extend beyond the first quarter of '09. As the year progresses, the company may find itself exposed to a number of unmapped hazards.
  • Are You Measuring Real Success?
    I've been doing SEO for 10 years now. I was there to witness the passing of Infoseek (RIP), Black Monday at AltaVista and the unstoppable rise of Google. In all that time and through all that change there is one thing that has remained constant and generally never ceases to amaze me: People still have very little idea how to measure success online.
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