Ten Search Marketing Hot Spots To Watch In 2011

As you shift your focus from frantically optimizing holiday campaigns to methodically (hah!) executing 2011 plans, here are ten areas worth thinking about: 1. Local. With all the buzz over Google's near-acquisition of Groupon, it's clear the Big G is ready to make a big move in the local space. While it may not be a pure SEM play, finding ways to customize offers to niche audiences and tap the long tail should be on every marketer's to-do list. 2. Social ads. As Facebook beefs up its Marketplace Ads offering and ads API, social advertising campaigns will begin to look an awful lot like [...]

Vurve Advances Trend Toward Online Marketing Automation For SMBs

This past Monday Vurve launched. The CEO is Amit Kumar, who built SearchMonkey at Yahoo and then was at Dapper, which was recently acquired by Yahoo. The company's tagline is "advertising on autopilot for your online store." Vurve is targeting small businesses (SMBs) with e-commerce stores that spend up to $10,000 per month. The minimum monthly spend is $200. Traditional "offline" SMBs (service businesses) aren't part of the program right now. The company says it can entirely automate online advertising across a range of media types including search. The platforms and media types Vurve a [...]

Of SEO And Spaghetti Sauce

I can virtually guarantee that you aren't satisfying at least one major segment of your customers. Did you know that it took until 1989 for chunky tomato pasta sauce to come out? A guy by the name of Howard Moskowitz cracked this code for the Prego brand while they were trying desperately to defeat Ragu, the champion of pasta sauce at the time. Until then, companies were looking for the "perfect" pasta sauce, much like we seek the "perfect" architecture, interface, product photography, shopping cart, landing page, etc. It was Howard who pointed out that they shouldn't be looking for the per [...]

Hard News Pays Publishers More Than Chasing Search Trends, Report Says

While many news organizations chase traffic by matching their news coverage to what's listed as "hot" on Google Trends, Twitter, and elsewhere, a new report says hard news coverage actually makes the most money for major news publishers. Perfect Market, a company that works with publishers to help them make more money from search engine visitors, has just released its Vault Index, a list of the most valuable online news topics. The bottom line? Hot topics (like Tiger Woods' troubles and other celebrity news) may bring in search traffic, but hard news brings in the most money. Below is a [...]

Adchemy Promises Better Search ROI Through Intent-Based Ad Copy And Landing Pages

Billing itself as one of the "best kept secrets in Silicon Valley," Adchemy is a technology provider that promises to help search marketers "dynamically" create more relevant ad copy and landing pages at scale. The company recently released its WordMap application, which is intended for very large campaigns with millions of keywords but where the ad copy and landing pages are more general and thus unable to reflect the variety and nuance of the more specific associated keywords. Adchemy says that it can "dynamically generate tens of thousands of paid-search ads directly related to intent [...]

SEO Is Here To Stay, It Will Never Die

Google's press conference about Google Instant hadn't even ended yesterday when the question of "is SEO dead" started coming up on Twitter, in blog posts and was even asked about formally during the event's Q&A (the answer was no, twice over, by the way). No, Google Instant isn't killing SEO. In fact, nothing's going to kill SEO. I know there are a lot of SEO haters out there who wish this were so, but that hate comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of what SEO is about. If you misunderstand something so much as to hate it, you surely have no understanding about its future. No, S [...]

Call Analytics Bring Sophisticated New Data, Insights to Search Marketing

Many search marketers have experimented with call tracking and measurement as a way to capture online-to-offline consumer activity and determine which ads and campaigns are generating calls. But there has also been debate about whether unique phone numbers required by call tracking harms SEO especially for local advertisers. Some new developments in the field make a compelling argument for call tracking and analytics, at the very least among enterprises or large advertisers trying to generate calls to call centers. Search marketing platform Kenshoo earlier this summer introduced what it cal [...]

Use All Your Data Insights To Improve Both Search & Customer Experience

Creating a compelling online experience is top of mind for most businesses. Many of us use numerous tools and technologies to ensure we can achieve this goal. Yet a survey we conducted of nearly 600 online businesses found that while companies are employing many different on-site technologies, the majority (68 percent) is unsure about whether or not they are effectively utilizing the important data gleaned through these applications to recruit new business and maintain customer loyalty. Additionally, only a little over half (55 percent) say they integrate these various applications—which [...]

Crowdsourced SEM “Marketplace” Trada Raises $5.75M From Google Ventures & Others

Trada announced a $5.75 million "C" round this morning. It was led by Google Ventures and early investor Foundry Group. Trada CEO Niel Robertson told me yesterday that the money will be used for to get into display (and eventually video and mobile), as well as to expand into non-US markets and develop new tools for agencies. What is Trada? you ask. Trada is a relatively new "crowdsourced search marketplace." It brings together freelance search marketers and advertiser campaigns and gets multiple people to work on those campaigns. In fact the company says that it has an average of 24 search [...]

U.S. Newspapers Start Selling SEO

Your local newspaper may soon offer SEO services. Heck, maybe it already is. Two of the three biggest newspaper publishers in the U.S. have recently announced that they're selling marketing services to small/local businesses ... and those services include things like SEO, local search marketing, and more. Gannett Newspapers is the latest to hop on the SEO bandwagon. The nation's number one publisher recently opened GannettLocal, a small business marketing division based in Phoenix. The independent Gannett Blog recently quoted a memo written by GannettLocal chief Brad Robertson, who expla [...]

The “Anyone Know” Search: How Twitter Is Good For More Than Brand Monitoring

Many marketers understand Twitter search is a powerful way to monitor brand mentions and reach out to customers. But I think few realize what a powerful platform it provides to reach out on non-branded generic mentions. To better illustrate this, let me introduce the "Anyone Know" Twitter search. Actually, I'll explain "Anyone Know" toward the end of this article. To provide the right context for it, I first need to cover the brand monitoring that's already so well known. Brand Monitoring On Twitter Comcast is the classic brand monitoring story, covered over and over again. Comcast wa [...]

Publisher Hearst Ready To Buy iCrossing

Venerable search marketing firm iCrossing is about to be acquired by publisher Hearst, according to the Wall Street Journal: Under the deal, which is in the final stages of negotiations, iCrossing, one of the nation's biggest independent digital-marketing shops, is likely to fetch about $375 million, plus bonus payments if it reaches certain targets, these people said. The article goes on to discuss how publishers may be trying to take digital marketing in-house rather than relying as much on traditional agencies. And it says the deal could still fall apart. A few years ago a number of [...]

Internet Ad Revenue Hit Record High In Q4 2009

Recession? Economic slowdown? Financial gloom-and-doom? Not online, and not as far as Internet advertising is concerned. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) says that U.S. online ad revenue hit an all-time high of $6.3 billion in Q4 of 2009, a 2.6% increase over the fourth quarter of 2008 and a 14% increase over Q3 of 2009. My overdramatic opening sentence aside, the economic downturn obviously did impact online advertising last year: The IAB says U.S. ad revenues for all of 2009 dropped 3.4% from 2008 to $22.7 billion. Search and display ads continue to be the strongest ad formats, [...]

Search + Social: Three Search Platforms Incorporate Facebook Ads API

Yesterday there were three press releases from three search platforms, two aimed partly or substantially at the local market, that are incorporating the Facebook Ads API into their platform capabilities: Marin Software, Clickable and Kenshoo. Here are excerpts from the three releases: Marin Software: Marin Search Marketer will provide marketers with the tools necessary to manage large-scale advertising programs through Facebook Ads. By marrying impression, click, and cost data with conversion and revenue data, Marin Search Marketer will provide a complete view of campaign ROI and effec [...]

Magnetic Brings Search Re-Targeting To The Masses

Yahoo was the first of the major search engines to use search query data to inform and influence subsequent display ad serving. However, as Magnetic CEO Josh Shatkin-Margolis pointed out to me, that only works within the Yahoo network, not across the broader internet. He would know, having worked as a Director of Engineering at Yahoo, and before that at DoubleClick and Performics. What his company Magnetic (previously known as Domdex) is doing is seeking to make search re-targeting available to potentially any publisher, ad network or ad exchange that wants to buy the query data. The compa [...]

Fortune 500 Still Clueless About SEO, Study Says

Despite spending millions of dollars on paid search, Fortune 500 companies continue to fail when it comes to natural search visibility. That's the conclusion of "Natural Search Trends of the Fortune 500: Q4/2009," the latest study released today by Conductor, a New York-based SEO services/technology firm. Some key takeaways from Conductor's survey of Fortune 500 search marketing efforts include: Only 15% of Fortune 500 companies have "mid to strong presence" in natural search results for the same keywords on which they advertise the most. 53% have "no natural search visibility for the [...]

Amazon Slaps UK Affiliates Using Search Marketing Techniques

Like Amazon did several months ago to U.S. affiliates, Amazon sent an email to their UK affiliates basically preventing them from using certain paid search techniques and free search techniques to drive sales to Amazon. The message sent to their UK affiliates yesterday read: After careful review of our Associates programme, we have made the decision that as of February 1, 2010, we will no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.co.uk, http://astore.amazon.co.uk or www.javari.co.uk through keyword bidding or other paid search on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or any other [...]

The Big List: 2010 Marketing Predictions & Resolutions

Here we are, starting the second full week of 2010. Chances are good that you've already made your own marketing resolutions for the new year, or perhaps penned your own set of predictions for what 2010 will mean to online marketers. If so, you're not alone; there's been a lot of thinking about the new year amongst internet marketers. Just like last year, I've been collecting links to as many articles as I could find that offer predictions and resolutions for 2010 to create the following big list. And you're welcome to let me know what I missed down in the comments. SEO Search Engine [...]

Five Search Marketing Predictions For 2010

Staring into a crystal ball is a dangerous undertaking, especially when you’re attempting to predict the future of a market as dynamic as paid search. Leading analysts continue to project that paid search marketing spend in the U.S. will grow from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014. But how this growth will happen remains unclear. One thing is certain, as more dollars flow into paid search, the number of tactics, targeting options and channels available for search marketers will need to grow to ensure that search campaigns can deliver ever-increasing ROI. Here are five pr [...]

Is SEO Dead? 1997 Prediction, Meet 2009 Reality

I shouldn't take the bait -- Robert Scoble's latest missive that SEO isn't important. But sometimes I can't help myself for wanting to provide some perspective. I've covered the space going on 14 years now. I've heard the SEO is dead spiel over and over and over again. I feel like a revisit to the first major prediction of this back in 1997 is in order. Somehow, it has survived since then. In that year, the Online Advertising Discussion List was one of the primary ways that internet marketers communicated with each other about trends and tactics. We didn't have forums. We didn't have [...]

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