• The Planet Of Right Here
    For anyone who remembers one of my early articles from last year, titled "Our Little Baby has Grown Up," this article's title should have better context. It was from Paula Lynn (thanks for the title) and was in response to my thoughts on the evolution of local search and Yellow Pages. She was defending the Yellow Pages in relation to my question "When was the last time you picked up that giant yellow book you use as a door stop?" OK, so I provoked the responses. It seems many keep on using printed local directories, but total use is still …
  • Undecided About Bing, The Decision Engine
    OK, I admit it. Bing is starting to show some glimmering signs of promise. But I still have concerns -- big ones. The team at Redmond seems to be beginning to relish the challenge that comes from playing David to Google's Goliath. My quibble, however -- and it's not an insignificant one -- is that Bing needs to step up its differentiation.
  • What Rishad Tobaccowala Learned From Google
    Rishad Tobaccowala is a management board member of VivaKi, Publicis' digital marketing shared services and incubation group. Rishad is a true pioneer in the space. So what lessons did the man who's constantly reinventing learn from Google?
  • Sometimes A Search Engine Just Won't Do
    Without feelings and emotions, all we can ever do is pattern match. The only reason we consider one piece of music superior to another is because of the emotions it generates in us, but a computer can never experience that kind of subjectivity. Nor will it ever understand why we react differently to stories about earthquakes in Haiti than we do to stories about vacations in Haiti -- and sometimes we need those emotions understood for our questions to be properly answered.
  • Six Unfortunate Landing Page Errors (And How to Prevent Them)
    Directing searchers who click on paid search listings to custom landing pages is among the oldest and most established tactics in paid search marketing. And yet it's clear that too many marketers (and/or their agencies) continue to fail to get this basic task right.
  • A Frog in Boiling Water: Are Fortune 500 Clients All They're Cracked Up To Be?
    In search, we love to deal with marquee clients. We love to put the brag badges on our Web site, the list of logos showing the Fortune 500s we all deal with. But The Fortune 50 in 1955 only had an 18% survival rate. I suspect the toll will get even greater as the digital landscape accelerates the pace of online marketing evolution dramatically. This means that dinosaurs will be dropping right and left. And as the lumbering behemoths keel over and crash to the primordial forest floor, might we SEMs be caught under them?
  • More About Search In The Web Design Process
    In my last column, I detailed a laundry list of considerations for marketers, agencies, consultants and IT groups in an enterprise site design or redesign. Today, I'm going to get into more detail about two points from that column: 1) Using search to inform personas; and 2) the difference between a relational versus a "top-down" approach to site architecture, as it relates to user orientation from search to site experience.
  • Google, China And Zappos: How Integrity Colors Our Online World
    Just under a year ago, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, wrote a blog post describing how Twitter has made him a better (and happier) person. In it, he poses the following question: "What would you do differently if there were a permanent public record of what you do or say?" Fact is, there is a permanent public record of what you do or say -- online, at least. And, thanks to deals between the major social platforms and the major search engines, that permanent public record is pretty well accessible to anyone. And what it's meant is a greater …
  • Haiti On My Mind
    It's hard to watch the compelling and heart-wrenching images from Haiti, coming as we do from our particular professional perspective, without thinking about search in radically different terms. In the first hours and days following those few seconds of intense shaking, people almost immediately began searching for loved ones.
  • Great Search Expectations
    With my first column of 2010 I would like to address expectations for the year. There is a laundry list of industry-specific items that are long overdue for change -- from expanded broad match to client/agency relationships. Which ones will change, and which remain status quo?
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