Show archive of April 2009
April 29, 2009
Trends are a useful gauge which help observant businesses adjust their strategies to the current times. Bruce, Robert and Virginia look at a report by Efficient Frontier that analyzed Q1 2009 for changes in consumer search behavior and the performance of key metrics, such as click-through-rates, cost-per-click and return on investment. While not disputing the underlying data, Bruce and Robert are suspicious that the analysis is based on a false assumption of cause and effect.
Another trend Internet marketers can’t ignore is the growth of social networks. Virginia talked to Tim Kendall, director of monetization at Facebook, about Facebook Advertising. Tim explains the benefits of a demand generation ad platform compared to the demand fulfillment model of search advertising. He also talks about Facebook’s ad serve algorithm, how the quality of ads mean both advertisers and users are winners, and how the company is working to scale the ad platform in the coming year.
We’d be remiss if no mention was made of the current economic trends and the effect they have on our industry. Consumers are paying close attention to the value they receive through their purchases and partnerships. It’s worth considering how you can add value to your services so that you stand apart from competition and keep customers happy. Be proactive in getting client feedback and consider additional services you may be able to provide that would add value to your relationship.
April 22, 2009
Social media and its link building power take center stage on today’s show. Susan, Scott and Virginia open the show by discussing a video in which Matt Cutts of the Google Web Spam team explains the relative value of social media links. In the video titled “Has Google changed the relevancy it awards to social media?” Matt says, “We tend not to think about, like, oh, just links from social media sites. […] We tend to think about links, whether they’re useful, whether they’re not useful, and so we use that as our litmus test. We try to give more credit or more trust to the links that we think are really valuable.”
Virginia talks to Michael Streko about a new tool he has helped launch called KnowEm.com. KnowEm? searches 120 social sites to see if your preferred username has been registered. If not, they offer a service to register the names for you. Monthly subscribers will have their username registered across new sites as they launch. As username squatting becomes more prevalent across the social media space, a tool like KnowEm? is very helpful for online brand and reputation management.
Scott, Susan and Virginia then consider when to avoid social media. In a recent article in BtoB Magazine, the author lists five scenarios where social media should not be used. The reasons are: if you’re a high-ticket business; if you fight with your employees; if management does not support it; if a strategy is absent; and if there are privacy or regulatory concerns. Scott, Susan and Virginia disagree with nearly every reason above, arguing that there are reasons to be cautious and strategic in your social media campaigns, however avoidance and lack of understanding is unwise.
April 15, 2009
The Internet Marketing Spring Break conference was held in Florida at the beginning of April. Susan and Christopher both attended the show, with Chris giving a presentation about crafting a successful digital business initiative during the third and final day of the conference. Susan and Chris tell listeners what benefits a small niche conference like IM Spring Break offers and illustrate the kind of learning environment a show like that provides.
Then Virginia talks to Danny Sullivan, Partner and Chief Content Officer of Third Door Media, the company behind the Search Marketing Expo conference series. Virginia and Danny talk about trends in search conference attendance and the increasing demand. Search industry conferences have seen a variety of manifestations. Danny demonstrates the utility of partnerships, like that between the broad interactive digital conference, ad:tech, and a more focused search marketing conference, SMX — which come together for the SMX @ ad:tech track being offered in San Francisco this month.
Scott, Susan and Virginia wrap up the show with a general examination of trends in search industry education. Based on a small informal poll on the Bruce Clay blog earlier this month, it appears that conference attendance may be on the chopping block during this period of spending cutbacks. However, Scott notes that in his experience he continues to see conference attendance rise as awareness of industries increase. Virtual conferences and smaller regional conferences are gaining momentum, but the conference giants of online marketing also remain strong.
April 8, 2009
Today on SEM Synergy we focus on branding and the Vince algorithm change. Bruce, Virginia and Christopher open the show by discussing how establishing trust, authority and quality is vital on the Web. Chris says that establishing a long-term value position of expertise among your market is the key to branding. Bruce says that a company doesn’t have to be a brand to be an expert in the field or to be relevant to a query. He thinks characteristics like longevity or fast servers could actually responsible for brands just naturally performing better.
Jayme Westervelt of Simply Optimized then talks to Virginia about ranking shifts she saw among her clients over the last few months. Jayme compares the changes among those sites with a strong branding focus and those that are more general in content. Among her clients, she always recommends a strategy that covers highly-targeted and more broad terms in order to cover the search spectrum and to please clients who refuse to give up on the very competitive terms.
Then Susan and Fernando debate their perceptions of the target goal of the update. Fernando proposes that changes to the algorithm may have included increasing the value of link age or decreasing the value of anchor text while raising the value of the page theme. Susan argues that trust and authority are the qualities of a brand. So even though Google said they didn’t boost brands, they did in fact boost qualities of brands.
April 1, 2009
Interest-based ads made a splash last month when Google announced beta testing in AdSense and on YouTube. Christopher, Bruce and Virginia start off the show by looking at how the development affects the marketing industry. Bruce points out that privacy concerns would likely be moot if interest-based ads followed an opt-in policy rather than the opt-out policy currently in place. However, the likelihood that users would opt-in is low considering the average user doesn’t know interest-based ads exist.
David Szetela is the host of PPC Rockstars and CEO of the PPC-only agency Clix Marketing. He talks to Virginia about his thoughts on interest-based search advertising. A veteran on the conference circuit, he also explains what he does during PPC site clinics and gives listeners a preview of his presentation on black hat PPC tactics at SES New York.
Then Fernando Chavez, a Bruce Clay, Inc. SEO analyst since 2005, makes his debut appearance on the show. Susan, Fernando and Virginia talk about what interest-based search would look like in organic listings. Fernando explains that he wouldn’t do anything differently to cater to personalized search. Susan argues that knowing what interest categories exist could be beneficial to an SEO looking to focus their efforts.