• What Your Client Really Wants, But Is Afraid To Ask For
    Search is a highly technical enterprise. If I haven't won the banality award with that last statement, I certainly will by adding that SEM is also highly competitive. Unfortunately, for many clients of search marketers this ends up translating to hyperbole on the one extreme as they hear multiple pitches by competing "experts," to techno-babble at the other end of the spectrum. Even when there is high value in the work that a marketer does for a client (or boss for that matter), very often this ends up getting missed by an inadequate reporting and communication strategy.
  • A 'Page' From Google's PR Book
    Somehow, I've gotten myself squarely in the middle of Bing and Google again. Sometimes I should just keep my big mouth shut. The latest brouhaha is Google calling Microsoft a bunch of "cheaters" for copying search results. I called it "silly."And it is. Pretty much everyone in the search universe (outside Mountain View) agrees that this is much more about Google trying to give Bing a black eye in the media than any serious threat to intellectual property. But somehow, as Google was swinging, it's the one that ended up with the shiner.
  • If I Were Google CEO
    Two weeks ago, I revisited a column written in 2008 outlining what I'd do if I were running Google. Now, with nearly three years of hindsight and 300+ pages of Googley Lessons under my belt, here are five things I'd do in the hot seat, er, top seat at Google.
  • Measuring SEO: Beyond The Rankings
    Organic search measurement needs to go beyond just mere rankings. Especially when you're an in-house SEO, you need to know which keywords to focus most of your efforts on. Which words are your "money" keywords -- the ones that generate the most revenue? Many companies think they know, but they've never measured the right metrics to find out. Here are my suggestions on some metrics that can lead you to understand your most valuable keywords.
  • Why Not Be The CMO Of Everyone?
    While most marketing leaders get the idea that they must commit to being producers of their own content -- blog posts or newsletters or videos or Facebook Page programming or Twitter feeds -- they're consistently bedeviled by how best to get it done given constrained resources. As a way of getting over such hurdles, I often coach CMOs at larger brands about the need to think of every single person in an extended enterprise as a member of their department. The truth is, most people in most companies are already on Facebook; most have LinkedIn profiles and networks; a subset …
  • Search vs. The Yellow Pages: Battle Practicality
    The last couple of years I have used one of my first columns of the year to wax on about the dying print Yellow Pages business. Two years ago, I wrote about how search as an industry was maturing in an article titled "Our Little Baby Has Grown Up." Reader feedback was largely in defense of the yellow pages and that, combined with the piles of unused books in my foyer got me to pinch a line from a reader and write last year's "The Planet of Right Here." The theme was that the printed yellow pages were a dying …
  • Why Can't I Argue With Google (Or Malcolm Gladwell)?
    This week I was in San Francisco for Big Think's Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box. I took copious notes but there was one comment in particular I found intriguing. Luc Barthelet, from Wolfram|Alpha said that the company's goal is not just to provide an answer, but show the route taken to arrive at the answer. Then we're free to question the validity of the answer. "I want to argue with a search engine. I want to be able to challenge its logic." This was the first time I had ever heard this, but it immediately struck a chord. Why …
  • There's A Difference Between Content Farming And Publishing
    With all of the hype going on now about content being king, (remember the '90s?) and with many enterprises beginning to embrace the concept of their brands as publishers in a new networked world, it's worth spelling out a few of the key differences between being a low quality producer, and being a robust, authoritative publisher.
  • Content Farms: What Are They -- And Why Won't They Just Go Away?
    For some time now, there's been a lot of conversation about content farms, which many believe are making Google's Web search results less relevant. The discussion is becoming so mainstream that The Washington Post even featured two articles about content farms and Google in this past Sunday's paper.
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