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Professor Eric Clemons: Time for Some New Senior Vice Presidents?

Danny Sullivan made a great reply to this Eric Clemons’ previous post on TechCrunch today. As you know, I’ve been pretty quiet here on my blog lately. I’ve been busy on the phone, organizing speaking, planning a book and talking to people about really changing the world either as an executive and/or as a consultant while quietly executing some search projects.

In the “cage match” post, there is one phrase that got me out of my silence because the ignorance was too much for me to hold my tongue… Eric Clemons said:

“Mr. Sullivan argues that in all his years thinking through and working through issues in internet advertising he has never heard any company or any individual complain about paid search. In contrast, I have been hearing this complaint from senior vice presidents in travel companies for years, and this year the chorus has been joined by retailers and manufacturers”

Dear Mr. Clemons,

Continue reading Professor Eric Clemons: Time for Some New Senior Vice Presidents?

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Barney Harford Now Orbitz CEO – Welcome to Chicago

For the past few years, I thought that there might be a new entrant to Chicago’s Internet scene. It was exciting to me because Chicago could certainly use some geographic diversity in it’s leadership. For a long time, it looked like that person would be Mark Cuban, but it now appears that he will not be the high bidder for the Chicago Cubs. That is kind of a bummer as it would have probably made Wrigley Field a playground for the who’s who of the Internet people like Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis, Gabe Rivera and many venture capitalists. BTW, you are still welcome guests irregardless.

They say that when one door closes another one opens and apparently Barney Harford is the gentleman that was actually meant to darken the doorway. He’s had extensive experiences in Asia and elsewhere for Expedia and more recently as an advisor to and eLong. As mentioned in the article linked to above, I strongly believe that geographical diversity is important to high performing corporate cultures and I praise the Board of Directors for this choice. It is my hope that this will effect Chicago’s landscape in a positive way far beyond Orbitz. Time will tell.

Continue reading Barney Harford Now Orbitz CEO – Welcome to Chicago

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Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008: The Convergence Combo: Advertisers, Agencies, Automation… Oh My!

Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR

Craig Macdonald, VP of Marketing & Product Development, Covario Inc.
Ellen Watson, Relationship Marketing Manager for Child Care Brands, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

This is a live session blog from Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008, please excuse any typos and/or fragments. Thank you!

Ellen Watson – Kimberly Clark:

Paid search strategy requires balance:
Budget, Volume and Traffic Quality

2007 Strategy at Kimberly Clark was like this:
Fixed Budget
Max CPC set
Campaigns optimized for conversions

Impression share
Average position
Branded terms vulnerable

2008 Strategy now looks like this:
Maximize impressions share
Compete aggressively for top terms
Maintained good conversion

Increased budget
Regular monitoring

Agency partner priorities:
Forecast annual budget
Managed bids daily
Changed reporting to include new metrics
Adjusted match type, ad copy, landing pages to maintain performace

Global Search Lessons Learned:
US engines sufficient for North American campaigns
Server location is a big issue for international and localized sites – ip address of the site should be in the same country as the address of the server, but local may require a large investment in IT infrastructure

Craig McDonald, Covario:

The New (economic) Reality:
PPC growth at 5-10% level (down from 35%+ growth)
Need to get more from SEO
NO headcount increases in foreseeable future
Squeeze 15% cost improvements out of programs
3 month payback periods, max

The Role of Technology
Paid Search – campaign management automation
Natural Search – automation of audits and tracking and performance
Comprehensive Search Management – SEO/ content convergence, Automation PPC program impact on natural search results

There was then a lively question and answer session on spending in organizations.

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Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008: Universal & Blended Search Engine Conversation

Kevin Ryan, SES Advisory Board Chair & CEO, Motivity Marketing

Dr. Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo! Search
Mike Grehan, Global KDM Officer, Acronym Media
Chris Blakely, Director, Client Services, comScore, Inc.
Todd Schwartz, Group Product Manager, Live Search, Microsoft Corporation
Jack Menzel, Senior Product Manager, Google

This is a live session blog from Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008, please excuse any typos and/or fragments. Thank you!

Mike Grehan:

You need to think differently.

Vertical creep is pushing organic results down the page.

Eye Tracking shows that people are not scrolling the way that they used to.

This creates a problem, you need to be at the top of the listings.

Local business center creates opportunities for local businesses.

New paid search results like paid results.

Chris Blakely – comScore:

Leverage comScore search data shows traction of universal search efforts.

Feature sets of search expanding. 48% of searchers are seeing different types of blended search results from their queries.

Lower clicks on sponsored links with the exception of ecommerce and travel.

Organic search strategies need to evolve from that standpoint.

Jack Menzel – Google Product Manager Universal Search:

Universal search has the following elements:
Comprehensiveness – Images, Maps, News, Products, Video, Books and more
Relevance – Run every query against every index, decide what to show only after we collect all of the data
Presentation – Summarize the content in the most efficient way possible.

Recently, there have been made into search results pages.

Better Ranking – Universal search is just a subset of ranking.

What’s next?
Keep improving relevance
Help users explore
Improved results summary

What does this mean for web masters?
– Publish the best and high quality content that you have.
– Take advantage of prominent new verticals

Todd Schwartz – Group Product Manager – Microsoft Live Search:

Evolution of Search:
Search – Directories, Keyword Trends, Rich Semantics, User Experience
Market – Immature, Closed Trends, Open Item????
Consumer – Search, Keyword Trends, Actions

Deliver, Simplify, Implement

Showed Samsung lcd tv model – showed elements of a shopping review, rating and engine – an interesting change

Showed weather and Barack Obama examples

More engagement
Better reach
Higher ROI
Update Product and Business Info

Larry Cornett – Yahoo! Search:

Transformed from a static experience to a complete information in one search

Showed several Blended examples using Yahoo! Search:
Kyle Orton – Chicago Bears fantasy sports
Movies – including times and local listings
Beyonce – music videos on the search page
Sushi in San Jose
Barack Obama

Richer, more relevant links…

Searchmonkey – publishers collaborate, meaning behind the link, richer experience, relevant and personal, etc.

Yelp is a Searchmonkey partner. (How does this affect Yahoo! Local?)

The infobar – Steve Jobs example

Share structured data: Publishers > Searchmonkey > Tell your users

Why is blended search important?
Unmatched opportunities and control for publishers
Key step for building a smarter search engine with structured data

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Lee Odden’s Top Ten Online Marketing Tactics for 2008 Survey

Lee Odden has posted the results of his online marketing survey. The blog result is likely directionally correct, but is likely skewed on the high side a bit due to the survey being on a blog. Go figure. 🙂

  • Blogging (25%)
  • Search engine optimization (14%)
  • Email marketing (12%)
  • Pay per click (8%)
  • Blogger relations (6%)
  • Online public relations (5%)
  • Viral marketing (5%)
  • Corporate web site (4%)
  • Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) (4%)
  • Webinars/Teleconference (3%)

Continue reading Lee Odden’s Top Ten Online Marketing Tactics for 2008 Survey

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Some Outstanding Blog Posts…

Andrew Shotland has a nice post on Google Trends Works for SEO…I think hot trends might even be better in certain cases 🙂 , it’s certainly a thought provoking post that caught my attention and worth some experimentation – it might even prove successful at your next tea party!

Rich Skrenta is doing some interesting blogging lately. Be sure to check out his post Pagerank Wrecked the Web.

Bill Slawski, published an extensive Google patent from 2003, entitled Google Patent on Anchor Text and Different Crawling Rates.

Michael Gray wants Matt Cutts to talk.

And finally Shoemoney wants to know why Yahoo! is asking him to check credit card numbers for validity

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SES Chicago 2007 – Digital Shelf – The Search Marketing Opportunity for Packaged Goods (CPG)

Kevin Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch
Marketing Speakers:
Matt Wilburn, Senior Category Director, CPG, Yahoo!
James Lamberti, Senior Vice President, Search and Media, comScore, Inc
Dana Todd, Board of Directors, SEMPO
Randy Peterson, Search Marketing Innovation Manager, Procter and Gamble


Everyone on this panel clearly put a lot of long, hard work into the concepts, thought and research into this panel and this blog post won’t do the great conversation the justice it deserves. It’s bleeding edge, this is fun and interesting stuff that will eventually transform the way consumers chose products and discover need brands that specifically meet their needs.


Does search help CPG? Comscore and Yahoo! provided the data for the SEMPO study.

James Lamberti, Comscore

The search marketing opportunity…100 million unique visitors in food alone, and babies

Who are these searchers? Average income, dramatically higher, 80% female

They enjoy cooking and entertaining.

Allergy sufferers are a prime underserved demographic. The opportunity to build brands via presences made through educational experiences.

Matt Wilburn, Yahoo!

Order of importance to searchers

– Information & Help

– Purchase Decision

– Promotion

– Company Website

Content matters more than a direct navigation. (I see a pattern developing here)

Consumers expect a digital shelf to be similar to a store shelf.

Out of stock, hard to find are issues.

Are you visible in paid and organic? Are you creating a nice impression?

Dana Todd, Sitelab

This is a compelling proposition. We believe in the promise of search for branding issues.

We need to think outside ROI. Back away from the spreadsheet. You need to get people thinking outside direct acquisition.

The first brand for cheese is on page three of the Google organic listings. Why?

Chinese toothpaste issue was a counter reaction to the ingredients article in Wired.

Develop problem and solution content.

If searchers are special, treat them as such!!!

End of session comments…

67% of searchers found a brand they weren’t aware of… (Kevin Ryan)

The term PPC is useless outdated and should be changed – Digital Point of Purchase? (Dana Todd).

Question by me in Chicago: Dana brought up the cheese in PPC and no brand organic terms, to use the Liz Strauss conversational blogging element, there are actually 10 posts on toilet paper on Technorati today, shouldn’t brand managers be engaging this, not only for the SEO benefits, but the innovation road map as well?

(all panel heads nod in agreement) Using the data during the planning process is the next frontier after this issue (which is still in the early days)…

This is certainly an area where the conversation will continue and evolve, it’s a challenging area due to the issues of massive change.