Searcharazzi, Feb. 16, 2007: SEMPO Elections, The US Elections & SEO-PPC Warfare

Dave Pasternack MousepadWelcome to the first edition of Searcharazzi, Search Engine Land’s gab sheet about movers, shakers, rumors and more. As we said in our initial announcement, Searcharazzi (the name suggested by reader CK Chung) is meant to be a fun, good-spirited column full of tidbits to brighten your day and perhaps enlighten your mind about industry moves. Just what you need on a Friday, when it will be appearing every two weeks.

Got goss? Use our contact form to tell us or this special contact form to send information anonymously. Now for this edition’s fun.

SEMPO Elections

Hard to believe that SEMPO is already four years old. After scandal rocked the 2004 self-nominated board of directors, formal elections were put into place in 2005, with 29 candidates in the running. In 2006 there were 24 candidates, though the majority of the new board were incumbents.

2007 marks a new era, with 37 candidates are vying for the 13 spots. Not only is the list longer, but it is more diverse, including representatives from large agencies, technology firms, and in-house SEM marketers.

Campaign tactics appear to be more aggressive than in the past. A West Coast CEO formally reached out to the electorate on behalf of one of his employees last week. Unwittingly, some of the recipients — also in the running — happened to be in the same room when the email simultaneously hit their Blackberries, causing laughter all around. Others are opting for discrete "handshake" emails to those within the circle.

Who will make the final 13? Details to come soon. Voting commenced on February 6 and will close today.

Oh, And That Other Election

The topic du jour seems to be who has scored work from the potential presidential candidate pool. With at least a couple dozen candidates in the running, that’s a lot of search work. While an East Coast shop confirmed that it has successfully won a candidate’s search budget, rumor has it that a respected SEO guru has indeed turned down work from two candidates based on political affiliation.

A New York SEM shop relayed that it would take on any candidate, regardless of political affiliation, and yet others have made no secret that they are desperate to get an "in" with the Giuliani camp.

Partisan Politics

Since we are on the topic of bitter rivalries, perhaps the industry should elect a secretary of state to mediate the bloody conflict between the SEO and PPC factions, in which Did-It’s Dave Pasternack has been a primary figure.

As if the recent contest were not enough, some have decided to fight fire with fire by pulling out the PPC guns. A few of Searcharazzi’s favorites from a recent Google search for dave pasternack:

Dave Pasternack Ads

Did you spot the t-shirt one? That was the idea of a Did-it Marketing Manager, came up with the idea to hock t-shirts with Dave’s face on Google:

Dave Pasternack T-Shirt

How about a mousepad?

Dave Pasternack Mousepad

But that’s not all, folks. Searcharazzi has gotten word that there has been some internal strife at Did-It. It is rumored that CEO Bill Wise has left or is leaving the company soon.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Searcharazzi


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • David

    Start growing that beard man – you’ll be a good mall Santa at Christmas

  • Brokerblogger

    It would be interesting to see if Searcharazzi can come up with advanced inside info (before “late Feb.”) on whether or not the SEMPO Board elections were affected in any way by the “SEO is NOT Rocket Science” baiting thing. I also hope SEMPO discloses how many of the 500 plus members voted.

    Here is my comment from ThreadWatch on “the baiting thing”:

    “SEMPO Board Member Needs “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy”
    The main “smoke” in this “baiting” thing is the fact that most search marketing buyers who read all this stuff don’t know that Kevin, his partner, and their SEM company are associated with SEMPO. SEMPO’s mission statement says “Our purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research, and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing.”

    Kevin and his partner need to be cognitive of the fact that their behavior needs therapy (Ironically, Kevin’s wife provides this professional service). PPC vs. SEO is not “building stronger relationships”, “fostering (positive) awareness, providing (100% accurate) education, promoting the (entire Paid and Organic Search) industry, generating (consturctive) research, and creating a better (clear and easily comprehendable) understanding of search and its (proper and true) role in marketing.”


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