Show archive of July 2010

    1. Oil, Old Spice and Analytics with Neil Patel

      July 28, 2010

      Tony Hayward, BP’s bumbling CEO, stepped down this week. It was one more public step the energy company took to manage its tarnished reputation. Jessica, Susan and Virginia consider whether BP is successfully tempering damage to the brand following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While hesitant to react early on, the company seems to have since become active in the many online channels where people are discussing the brand online. It remains to be seen if new executive management can turn such a black tide.

      Neil Patel

      Neil Patel, Web analytics expert, co-founder of companies Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and blogger at, then talks to Virginia about meaningful metrics and the BlueGlass LA conference. At the conference, Neil spoke about dangers of paying attention to misleading metrics and the importance of uncovering the real story behind the numbers. He also explains the close relationship between SEO, analytics and usability, and the value of testing and surveying users to improve a site. Neil also talks about the significance of attending conferences for networking opportunities, as well as the potential myth of success and passion.

      Then Daerick, Susan and Virginia examine the Old Spice social media campaign that took place this month to see if there’s a disconnect between the popularity of the campaign and product sales. According to sales data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for the brand’s body wash products rose 27 percent in the last 6 months, 55 percent in the last three months, and 107 percent in the last month. A couponing campaign taking place at the same time makes it harder to determine the exact cause of the sales lift, however it’s likely that the two efforts worked together to bring Old Spice impressive sales growth.

    2. Personalization and Passion: Getting Social at BlueGlass LA

      July 21, 2010

      In the midst of the networking and educational event, BlueGlass LA, Bruce, Susan and Virginia take a moment to discuss one of the social giants of the Internet, Facebook. There’s a growing intersection between search and social, and the hosts hone in specifically on ranking factors for Facebook’s internal search engine. A recent study by Internet marketing agency aimClear looked at the ranking factors for Facebook internal search, finding an environment that heavily favors a searcher’s current connections on the network, the overall popularity of pages/events/people, etc., and the inclusion of searched keywords in results.

      Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal

      Then Virginia talks to Loren Baker at the first BlueGlass LA conference. Loren is the SVP of online PR and a managing partner at BlueGlass, the marketing agency and publisher that presented the conference. During the final session of the two-day event, Loren expresses his thoughts on the future of the newly formed company, search as the core of a multi-faceted marketing strategy, and the importance of authenticity, transparency and passion in marketing, branding and life. As the founder and editor-in-chief of the search industry news blog Search Engine Journal, he also explains the goal of a conference with a “blogging feel” and gives tips for influencing a community through a blog. Many thanks to Loren and BlueGlass for an incredible time and learning opportunity in Marina del Rey!

      A personalized experience — whether online or at a conference — can make a big difference. Michael, Susan and Virginia round out the show with a look at how on-site behavioral targeting and segmentation can be implemented to give users a personal experience with the brand. Technical solutions range from complex on-site segmentation engines or CRM or analytics solutions to JavaScript code to geo-targeting. A 2009 survey of marketers doing behavioral targeting found that geography was the highest priority attribute for targeting, followed by unique user profiles, referral keywords, and explicit preferences as defined by the user.

      Tune into this episode of SEM Synergy on at 3 Eastern/12 Pacific, Wednesday, July 21.

    3. Google Caffeine vs. Mayday and E-Commerce Video SEO

      July 14, 2010

      Google CEO Eric Schmidt shared his vision of the future of the Internet in a keynote address for the Guardian’s Activate Summit in June. In agreement with Schmidt, Bruce, Susan and Virginia launch the show by looking at the role of mobile devices and personally targeted search and advertising and how these technologies are shaping the Web. They also dissect Schmidt’s point that personalization may narrow readers’ social views by shaping the news delivered to them and biasing their information input.

      Virginia then sits down with BCI senior SEO analyst Bradley Leese to talk about his research into the differences and correlations between Google’s algorithm update Mayday and infrastructure update Caffeine. As both hit the scene around the same time, the results of each are often considered together. Whatever recent indexing and ranking changes can be attributed to, the total effect is that performance, engagement and brand consistency across the Web are more important than ever before.

      As search has evolved, engagement has become an increasingly powerful factor in ranking and SERP placement. Video is a highly engaging medium that can afford brands real estate in blended SERPs. E-commerce businesses have much to gain from videos as they instill confidence and credibility in products. Video has become the second-highest priority behind social media tools for online retailers, with more than 42 percent of respondents to a survey reporting plans to add video to their site over the next 12 months.

    4. Mobile Tech and Advertising Options Grow

      July 7, 2010

      This summer has featured the release of the iPhone 4 and a wave of new Android phones. Bruce examines the mobile marketplace and mobile ad platforms including Google, Apple iAd, the upcoming Windows Phone 7 and the fierce mobile advertising battle likely to come.

      Michael Martin
      Mobile technology and marketing specialist Michael Martin then talks to Virginia about the changing mobile market, the options available to consumers and the opportunities opening up for marketers. The growing number of smartphone manufacturers is pushing mobile technology forward, giving strength to the marketplace. Advertisers are also able to benefit from the range of competitive ad solutions. And new technologies like location services are opening doors for advertisers to reach consumers in engaging ways.

      Jessica, Susan and Virginia then critique a number of popular services which have undergone redesigns recently. Flickr’s overhaul highlights a photo’s capture location, improves the navigation and helps tell a story. Google Voice is now available to everyone, but it’s important for businesses to remember that the free service has no support. And Bing’s full-featured Entertainment vertical raises the question of whether improving niche verticals is a good strategy for a search engine that wants to build general search market share.