Hotel Search Upgrade: Google Licenses Room 77 Platform

Room 77 Despite its controversial $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA several years ago and the launch of Google's Hotel Finder site, Google has yet to emerge as a force in online travel. That may all be about to change. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Google "is licensing hotel-booking software from Room 77 Inc." The news site also reported that "Room 77 co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Calvin Yang and many of its engineers are joining Google." Room 77 is a travel metasearch site like Kayak, only better in my experience. It only focuses on lodging however. The Bl [...]


The Intersection Of Search & Social

search-social-featured Search and social are increasingly being used in the same sentence. There are two major trends involving search and social: Social media is being integrated into search results, and people are searching on social networks. What do these trends mean for marketers? At the Social Meets Search: Where Are We Now; Where Are We Going? session at SMX West 2014 moderator Danny Sullivan was joined by Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager, Bing and Ruslan Belkin, VP of Engineering, Twitter, to talk about this integration and what online marketers need to know. Social Signals Help Define Authorit [...]


Up-Close @ SMX West: Time To Think About Life Beyond Google

With algorithm updates happening more frequently than ever and Google continuously working to keep searchers on the result page, companies need to make a conscious effort to broaden their marketing efforts and move beyond Google. In the “Life Beyond Google: Diversifying Your Efforts” session at SMX West 2014, the speakers showed us how to do just that. While there were a ton of great tips, three main themes stood out: Focus on the Customer Our customers are consuming content in a variety of ways that don’t include search engines and it’s up to us as marketers to give them [...]


Live @ SMX West: Meet The Search Engines

smx west14_spotlight Both Google and Bing are generous when it comes to offering advice to SEOs and search marketers. Google's Webmaster Tools section offers tons of helpful information, such as how to create Google-friendly sites, how to utilize Rich snippets (microdata, microformats, and RDFa) - even a Webmaster Academy. Microsoft also offers a plethora of great advice in their Bing Webmaster Tools toolbox, including Webmaster Help & How-To Guides, a Webmaster Discussion Forum and more. But sometimes you just want to go face-to-face with one of the key people who run search at the companies, to ask the [...]


Live @ SMX West: Small Company, Big Results

smx west14_spotlight Small businesses have always faced unique challenges when it comes to online success. That’s even truer today, when the marketing landscape often seems to be friendlier to big brands. But creative small enterprises use agility to create opportunities leveraging search marketing, social media, email marketing and other disciplines. At the Small Company, Big Results session at SMX West, you’ll hear about the strategies and tactics that small companies have used to find big success online. For example: How a commercial B2B manufacturing company wanted to advertise varying product lines [...]


Live @ SMX West: Creating, Testing And Optimizing Paid Search Ads

smx west14_spotlight Think you know everything about Google AdWords or Bing Ads? Have all the best practices nailed, are a master of match types, and have encyclopedic knowledge about gaining the upper hand when sparring with the quirky idiosyncrasies of bidding, scheduling and conversion optimization? Think again. As kung fu masters remind us, “the wise always remain humble, grasshopper.” You'll get plenty of unique insight, shared experiences and practical hands-on tips during the Creating, Testing And Optimizing Paid Search Ads at SMX West. This session focuses on the process of designing, implementin [...]


Welcome Martin Beck, Who Joins Third Door Media From The Los Angeles Times

Martin Beck We've grown again! Third Door Media, the company that produces Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, is excited to welcome Martin Beck to our editorial team. He joins the team as our new Social Media Correspondent, and his first day will be Monday, March 3rd. Martin has spent nearly 25 years in a variety of roles at the Los Angeles Times, most recently serving as the paper's social media and reader engagement editor. With us, he'll be providing daily news coverage and in-depth reporting on all things related to social media marketing. For more on Martin's background, please see our a [...]


Live @ SMX West: Measuring The Mobile Lead

smx west14_spotlight According to research from Morgan Stanley, 2014 will be the year that mobile usage surpasses desktop usage of the internet. Another recent study from InMobi found that outside the US and UK, mobile media time spent now exceeds TV. So clearly, obviously, mobile is the place to be for advertisers and marketers. Or is it? Yet another study from mobile ad network xAd found that in the retail category, 77 percent of smartphone-influenced purchases happened offline. Another 13 percent of transactions happened later on a PC. Only 7 percent took place on a smartphone. Just because people are [...]


Live @ SMX West: Making Sense Of The Local Landscape

smx west14_spotlight If the changes going on in local search are giving you a headache, you’re not alone. Google Places is still transitioning to Google+ Local, and there are several types of local listings being created in the process. Google Maps and Apple Maps are both vying for consumer attention on mobile devices. To complicate things, Yahoo recently fired a shot across Google's bow, announcing a wide-ranging partnership with Yelp, which is certain to intensify the competition between the companies. And what about those all-too-frequent algorithm updates that can evict you from your cozy spot in top sear [...]


Wanted: Session Ideas For SMX Advanced

SMX Advanced We're looking for great session ideas for SMX Advanced. This time, we're looking for two types of suggestions: Session ideas for regular SMX sessions. Most sessions at SMX conferences are 60-90 minutes in length, and feature 2 to 4 speakers. We're not looking for solo presentations; rather, your idea should be a topic where multiple speakers can each weigh in with their own point of view, opinion and suggested tactics. You can let us know if you're interested in speaking on a suggestion you suggest, or would just like to see the session considered without nominating yourself to speak. S [...]


Live @ SMX West: Earning Links, Not Building Links

smx west14_spotlight Links were the first major "off the page" ranking factor used by search engines. Google wasn’t the first search engine to count links as "votes," but it was the first search engine to rely heavily on link analysis (or the Link Graph) as a way to improve relevancy. Today, of course, links are absolutely crucial ranking signals for search engines. A site without links pointing to it is effectively invisible to search engines. But the process of garnering authoritative and valuable links to your sites has changed over time. Publishers and content owners, wary of potential penalties for linki [...]


The Importance Of User Experience: 4 Things Every Marketer Should Know

The term "user experience" gets tossed around a lot in the online marketing world these days. We use it as a justification for many choices, especially with regards to design, development, site architecture, and content strategy. User experience is definitely here to stay, but how well do marketers really understand it? We may claim that we're making changes to a website for the purpose of improving user experience, but are we actually basing these choices on any data? In my column on Marketing Land today, I discuss several important things that online marketers ought to know about user [...]


Live @ SMX West: Extreme Excel Excellence

smx west14_spotlight SMX West. To manage complexity, search marketers turn to tools to manage keywords, understand traffic trends, calculate bids and ROI targets... there's no end of crucial tasks that tools help with. Paradoxically, this also means there's seemingly no end of tools to choose from, sometimes leading to "tool overload" when it comes to doing the daily tasks of search marketing. Excel to the rescue. Though Excel at its heart is just a "simple" spreadsheet program, it's also been referred to as the "Swiss army knife" of software thanks to its flexibility and the huge range of tasks you can perf [...]


Want To Speak @ SMX London? Here’s How

smx-cutts-sullivan The agenda is live, and we’re now accepting submissions to speak at Search Marketing Expo – SMX London 2014. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to have read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure that your pitch is on target to the show’s audience and the session. Please also be very specific about what you intend to cover. Also, if you do not see a particular session listed, this is because there are no openings for that session. Use this form to submit your request. As you might guess, interest is high in speaking at SMX conferences. We literally sif [...]


Live @ SMX West: Social Meets Search – Where Are We Now, Where Are We Going?

smx west14_spotlight All savvy marketers know that social media is now hugely important to the success of online marketing campaigns. But how exactly do search marketing and social media efforts interact and impact each other? Some studies of search engine ranking factors, such as the Searchmetrics 2013 SEO Ranking Factors and the Moz 2013 Search Ranking Factors Survey suggest that social factors are very significant. But then you have Google’s Matt Cutts going on record saying we don’t use Twitter or Facebook social signals to rank pages. Contradictory advice? Perhaps - or perhaps not. Admittedly, these [...]


Live @ SMX West: Big Company/Big Brand Success Case Studies

smx west14_spotlight Big companies and brands have big advantages, e.g., large budgets, staffs and data resources. They also have big challenges, like coordinating the assets of big departments with ownership of various marketing disciplines. Consider these findings that emerged from the most recent SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report: While more than eight out of ten marketers identify mobile as significant, just 3% of marketing budget goes to this area Less than half of marketers (47%) think that Google+ has had a significant impact on the world of SEO Nearly half of digital marketing budget is spent [...]


Live @ SMX West: What Is Hummingbird & The Entity Search Revolution

smx west14_spotlight Google's Director Of Research Peter Norvig once told me, "Search should be like HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It should understand what people say - hopefully without killing anybody." Google has made huge strides toward achieving that goal, most recently and notably through its Hummingbird algorithm update. Many observers believe that this may be the most significant change that Google has made in years—and it's a change no serious search marketer can afford to ignore or overlook. What is Hummingbird? In short, it's Google's new approach to move beyond keywords and understan [...]


Live @ SMX West: Best Practices For Mobile SEO

smx west14_spotlight For years, debates raged about what constituted "best practices" when it came to mobile SEO. Early on, the discussion focused on whether it was important to have a separate site optimized for mobile devices. That proved to be a major challenge, as it required detecting and optimizing for hundreds if not thousands of different devices, each with its own unique requirements. In some cases, it also meant creating mobile-specific websites, that had to be maintained separately, leading to logistical and resource nightmares. Rather than worrying about a relatively small amount of mobile traffic, [...]


Live @ SMX West: Top Social Tactics For The Search Marketer

smx west14_spotlight Are you a search marketer who's been tasked with taking on social media marketing for your firm or client? You've probably noticed that the chops and tactics you've developed for organic optimization or paid search campaigns are radically different from the techniques that social media marketers are using to engage with their communities, make content go viral, and otherwise succeed in the high-touch world of social media. Obviously, good interpersonal skills and a willingness to spend a lot of time on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social channels is hugely important. But just as b [...]


Live @ SMX West: Breathing New Life Into A Tired Paid Search Campaign

smx west14_spotlight If you've been doing paid search for a while, you've undoubtedly run into a situation where you're working on a campaign that's been moderately successful, but has essentially been on autopilot and isn't taking advantage of any new features that could enhance its performance. Or perhaps you've inherited a campaign from another team or agency that's been neglected and is in serious need of a revamp. In either case, it's a good idea to evaluate your campaign for opportunities as well as how to prioritize what needs to be done. The speakers on the Breathing New Life Into A Tired Paid Search Ca [...]


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