Traffic Power’s CEO Jailed Over Alleged Foreclosure Scams

SEO Company CEO Arrested, Jailed: Accused of Foreclosure Scam from Search Engine Watch reports Traffic Power's CEO, Matt Marlon, was jailed for allegedly committing foreclosure fraud. The news comes from Las Vegas's News 3 station, which reports Matt Marlon was arrested for allegedly conning homeowners faced with foreclosure to give the company their homes. Traffic Power is a popular name in the search engine marketing industry. Traffic Power sued Aaron Wall of SEO Book for defamation, but the SEM community stood behind Aaron to help the case get dismissed. In fact, the case brought out a [...]

Coming Soon To Walmart: Off The Shelf SEM Services?

Next time you're doing the aisles at Walmart-owned Sam's Club, perhaps you'll see a package for SEM services on the shelf next to 40 packs of razor blades and 12 cans of tuna. Karl points out that Sam's Club is now pitching "SEM" online, at least what seems to be a $100 per month PPC service. The email advertisement notes that the services are provided by Innuity, a Redmond, Washington-based search engine marketing company. It appears that Sam's Club and Innuity formed back in June 2004 (and reannounced in August 2005), so this is nothing new, just little known. Next time you stop off at a [...]

SEM Firm ReachLocal Closes Massive Funding Round

ReachLocal, an SEM firm offering simplified Internet and local search services directly and indirectly to the small business market, has closed a massive $55 million round of funding. This adds to previous rounds raised by the company. Reach is building out sales offices in cities across the U.S. and a local sales force to sell search marketing directly to small businesses. It's a challenging and audacious course, but one that could succeed if pursued intelligently and with discipline. I have a long discussion of the segment, the challenges, and the opportunity on my personal blog, Screenwer [...]

Vetting An Agency: Protecting The Family Jewels

One of the biggest realizations that hit many in-house search marketers is the simple fact that they cannot do it all themselves. Despite the best of intentions and the strongest work ethics, the fact remains—you are but one person and there are only so many hours in a day. If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated team of search experts working with you, your team can still easily hit a wall. Eventually something will come up, or time and circumstances will conspire to leave you staring at the calendar or out the window with one seemingly frightening through rattling around i [...]

When In House Should Work With Search Engine Marketing Agencies

While the ideal for in-house search marketing is to perform all tasks related to search marketing internally, the reality is that there are times when help is needed from outside sources. There are several reasons for this, but when it does happen, the prime motivator should be that the relationship between the company and the outside vendor be as beneficial as possible for everyone involved. Let's first look at why you may need to bring in an outside agency. Training. Expanding the knowledge of the team is a vital task, either in general terms, in a specific area, or for a specific tool [...]

Searcharazzi: False Starts; iCrossing’s $62M

It was about to be one spicy Friday, as Searcharazzi received a call on Thursday from a recruiter looking to replace a top editor in the search space. The conversation went something like this: Recruiter: "Our client is looking to replace the top spot at [name of publication]." Searcharazzi: "I thought that role was filled a month or so ago by [name of person]?" Recruiter: "Didn’t last 2 weeks." Searcharazzi: "Are you sure?" Recruiter: "Yes, I got this job req a few weeks back." As it turns out, our friend the recruiter had been wrong, very wrong, and frantically called back to clar [...]

Can Small Businesses Really Afford SEO?

Lately, around the Pole Position Marketing office, we've been discussing the cost involved in providing top quality search engine optimization. All too often we find value added services or strategic improvements that require more time than initially anticipated. How much additional value can we provide without increasing fees? While those questions continue to be bantered around, it got me thinking about the cost of SEO in general. As more and more avenues arise within the search marketing landscape, costs of total inclusive SEO services can be quite hefty. And that's not even conside [...]

When To Bring Search Marketing In-House

As with many other areas of the business, the decision to 'make or buy' applies to the search engine marketing function. Whether you decide to go with an outside agency, or develop and train a dedicated in-house team depends on whether search is considered a core component of your business. The SEMPO State of Search Marketing report for 2006 (published Jan 2007) showed that the trend for 2007 is that more and more companies will be pulling the search marketing function in-house: "Over half of advertiser respondents said they plan to manage all of their 2007 paid placement spending in-hou [...]

Microsoft After 24/7; Another Search Engine To Own SEM Firm?

Yahoo said it would acquire an ad network yesterday, in reaction to Google's plans to expand its own ad network by acquiring DoubleClick. Now in One Giant Leap, the New York Post reports rumors that Microsoft might want to buy ad management company 24/7 Real Media. What's wrong with this picture? The same thing wrong with Google's planned purchase of DoubleClick -- that the move also puts a search engine into the search marketing game. Performics: "Business As Usual," Despite Google's Planned Purchase covers how Google will need to dispose of the Performics division of DoubleClic [...]

Ad Agencies Partnering with Search Marketing Firms (or Not)

At the recent Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York, agency executives spoke candidly about their experiences working with search engine marketing (SEM) firms. What's working? What's not? And most importantly, how can agencies and search marketers work together to better serve clients? Here's a re-cap of "Outsourcing Anonymous: Why To Admit You Hired An SEM Firm (Or Not)," one of the many interesting and compelling sessions that went down at SES: Agency Transparency Sara Holoubek, a free-agent consultant, moderated the session. She asked the agency panelists to comment [...]

Search Marketing Agency Pricing Models

Pricing structures and rates aren’t secret in established service industries. Real estate agents get 3% to 6% of the house’s price; recruiters get 1/3 of total first year comp; trial lawyers take 33% of the settlement; list brokers charge 20%. While specifics vary, each industry has conventional pricing arrangements. Not so in paid search management. Not yet. Not only are rates kept under wraps, as an industry we’ve not even yet converged on the most appropriate structure for those fees. You might ask, "Why does the pricing structure matter? If client and agency deem the fe [...]

Performics: “Business As Usual,” Despite Google’s Planned Purchase

Many have wondered if it's a conflict for Google to keep the search marketing-focused Performics division of DoubleClick as part of Google's planned DoubleClick acquisition, since it would seem odd for Google to own a firm with an interest in helping people rank well on Google. Kris Jones of Pepperjam has the latest statement from Performics on the issue. Stuart Frankel, president of Performics, says there are no plans to change the business. The key part of his statement: We have consistently and repeatedly communicated to our clients, publishers and employees that it is business as usual [...]

Fifty Questions You Need Answered Before Starting Your SEO Campaign

An online business owner basically has two choices when it comes to their website marketing efforts. They can outsource it or they can do it in-house. Both of these options bring a number of secondary options to choose from and its up to the business owner to do what is best for his or her situation. Here is a rundown of the possible choices: Questions I need answered if I insource my search marketing: Do I do it myself? Do I have the time? What is my time worth? Do I have the knowledge and skills? Do I have the time to get the knowledge and skills? Is this [...]

The 5 Secrets PPC Agencies Don’t Want You to Know

Nearly three-fourths of companies that outsource their pay-per-click search marketing to agencies are dissatisfied with their results, and only 21 percent are completely satisfied, according to a Jupiter Research published late last year. What causes this dissatisfaction, especially for B2B marketers? There are five factors at work: Most agencies specialize in consumer search marketing and their services are inappropriate for your unique needs as a B2B company. The agency business model skews in favor of the largest spenders and under-serves the majority of B2B advertisers. [...]

Bigmouth Media Merges With Global Media

Brand Republic reports that Bigmouth Media has merged with a German based SEM company named Global Media creating one of the largest, if not the largest, SEM companies in the world. The company is now reportedly worth £150m, which is about $300m US Dollars (I believe). The deal, set up by private equity firm Carlyle, makes it the largest independent search marketing company, with over 300 customers, including Hilton, British Airways, AOL and Barclays. Some more details at [...]

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