Show archive of October 2009

    1. Bruce Clay’s Search Forecast

      October 28, 2009

      At SMX East this month, one of the keynotes was called What’s Next in Search: the Bigwig Crystal Ball Panel. Moderator Chris Sherman asked a panel of search experts for their insights into a series of forward-looking questions. Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza add their two cents to the conversation, answering questions like: Where’s the search industry today? Does “traditional” marketing still exist? And what’s the place of social media going forward?

      fortune teller
      CC BY 2.0
      Then Bruce and Susan consider the rest of the questions asked of the SMX East panel, including: With Internet users expressing disapproval of behavioral ad targeting, are marekters able to take advantage of these sophisticated technologies? If Bing and Yahoo! search merge, how will having two players instead of three change the space? And, what will the search marketing industry be buzzing about in five years? Bruce and the team are interested in your answers, too. We’re hoping you’ll join the discussion and add your comments to the blog.

      The hosts take the conversation back to the present by discussing a potential challenge facing Internet marketers — making sure client expectations are in line with the different goals and opportunities of PPC and SEO. Bruce Clay, Inc. account manager Dærick Gröss wrote about how marketers can appropriately set SEO and PPC expectations in his article SEO Success Means Letting Go of PPC Expectations.

    2. Battleground Search

      October 21, 2009

      Information services company Experian Hitwise released a study this month reporting that long-tail searches and Google’s market share both rose in September. The shifting search market was further shaken up by news that Yahoo! would be discontinuing its paid inclusion program, Search Submit, at the end of the year. Bruce Clay, Susan Esparza and Virginia Nussey discuss the implications of increasing long-tail queries and potential strategies of Yahoo! following these announcements.

      Gregg Poulin head shot
      Gregg Poulin, general manager at, then talks to Virginia about data coming out of the online research company. The Web intelligence gleaned by Compete’s 2 million + opt-in Internet users reveal trends in searcher behavior — a valuable resource for marketers trying to reach their audience online. This data is available through the competitive Web intelligence of freshly upgraded Compete PRO. Gregg tells Virginia about Compete’s findings regarding users’ paid search and natural search preferences as well as predictions for the e-commerce holiday season based on both early indicators and last year’s performance.

      League of Awesome Optimizers by David Harry on
      With all the time and resources required of marketers to understand the changing technologies and guidelines of the engines, wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to freeze time, be in two places at once, or decipher vague search engine announcements? Maybe something long the lines of super powers? Search marketer, industry reporter and research evangelist David Harry (alter ego: The Gypsy) introduced an incredible new team to the search marketing community, the League of Awesome Optimizers! The League welcomes the superheroes of the SEO community to join forces and fight the evils of the Web. SEM Synergy hosts Susan, Michael Terry and Dærick Gröss pick their own SEO superhero powers in hopes of joining the righteous crew.

    3. SEO Copywriting & On-Page Content

      October 14, 2009

      It’s been another week of fast news and big buzz. Bruce Clay, Michael Terry and Virginia Nussey start the show by giving their takes on some of the headlines. First, Google announced that by the end of the year the canonical tag would include cross-sub-domain support. Furthermore, Google proposed a new standard that could make AJAX spiderable and indexable by search engines. However, both Bruce and Michael have some misgivings about the proposed system, adding that perhaps existing accessibility technologies could work just as well without the barrier of user adoption.

      Virginia then talks to Heather Lloyd-Martin, president and CEO of Success Works, specializing in content marketing and SEO copywriting. Heather talks to Virginia about how psychology of a target audience should be considered when creating persuasive copy. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can help marketers and writers pinpoint the needs that on-page content should speak to. If the goal is to sell home insurance, the need for safety can be addressed. If the goal is to sell a vacation home, the needs of esteem and self-actualization can be leveraged. Heather has recently launched a robust SEO copywriting training program and a new edition of her book Successful SEO Copywriting, a low-cost, hands-on option to learn the methods and tactics employed by Success Works.

      Bruce and Michael add their two cents to the SEO copywriting discussion, considering how on-page content is the lifeblood of a Web site. They also raise questions about Yahoo!’s recent announcement that the search engine hasn’t used the Meta Keywords tag in months. While Google, Yahoo! and Bing may not factor the Meta Keywords tag into rankings, the Meta data contained therein is valuable. The Meta Keywords tag is a useful place to include keyword misspellings and it serves a project management purpose as a reliable list of the keywords targeted on a page.

    4. Interviews from SMX East 2009

      October 7, 2009

      At SMX East 2009, Bruce Clay and Virginia Nussey report on the highlights of the conference. From individual sessions like Ask the SEOs to the vibe in the exhibit hall to what was for lunch, they describe the multi-faceted event in detail. They also noticed some innovative new features of the show, such as the one-session-free passes given to attendees with an expo-only pass. If the number of paid attendees at the conference was lower than in years past, a ticket to attend one session for free may have given these attendees a taste for the high-quality information that left them wanting more. Full liveblog coverage of the sessions Virginia attended can be found on the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog.

      Then Craig Danuloff, president of paid search management firm and platform ClickEquations, talks to Virginia about a query-centric approach to pay per click marketing. Thinking in terms of keywords for SEO makes sense because the query is often focused around keywords, but with PPC, focusing on keywords can be ineffective because it’s the search engine, not the searcher or the advertiser, that decides what ads to display for the query — and the latitude search engines have taken often proves to be quite broad. Instead, the data is more actionable and the view is higher resolution when a PPC marketer looks at the query and not the keywords.

      Later in the show, Mike McDonald of e-commerce news site WebProNews talks to Virginia about how to maximize interviews and make connections at conferences like SMX East. Mike has been interviewing speakers at conferences since 2002, so he has some useful tips on how to optimize an interview — including when to interview and whom to interview. This interview was also recorded as a video by WebProNews, so if that video becomes available, we will include a link to it here.