Friday, February 23, 2007

Wikipedia and Relevant Search Results

I recently read Bruce Clay's blog entry on why he is frustrated (to say the least) about Wikipedia's strong showings in search results. I have opinions too but they are honestly coloured by my goal to have clients ranked under high converting keyphrases. Searches for those keyphrases are turning up Wikipedia results - ahead of my client's. So I posted this comment on Bruce's blog totally aware of my bias.

Gossip and Rumour - those are the two reasons Wikipedia is not a good resource for primarily three subject matters (and many others I expect): politics, social concerns and corporations. I will address the third.

As a Search Engine Marketer responsible for the online reputation, in search results, of large public companies, I care about what content is in the wikipedia article on that company. Much of the content for corporations is excellent but for every disenfranchised employee or stockholder this is THE place to post. Currently, there is very inaccurate and damaging material in brand name results. Attempts to remove it are reversed. Legal action is very difficult.

Now, should Wikipedia results be dominant for less controversial subjects in search results on Google and Yahoo (yes Yahoo has jumped on the bandwagon)? I don't think so, if only because it becomes tedious and over time will be ignored. Remember when Amazon showed up in every organic result? Google changed that. Wikipedia will lose the #1 spot in the limelight soon enough but don't expect it to go away, there is some awesome research information there. Time to go edit a Wikipedia page...

posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 12:51 PM     Permanent Link

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

SEMPO Canada is LIVE!

As a Canadian it always vexes me when Canada gets lumped in with the US. But Search Engine Marketing is well represented in Canada and the gang there noticed an opportunity to unlumb. SEMPO.ca has recently launched. Way to go, eh?

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 3:48 PM     Permanent Link

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The STATE of Search Engine Marketing from SEMPO

Each year SEMPO conducts a survey of agencies, individuals and advertisers to trend and predict the future of the Search Engine Marketing industry. This survey, which now has 3 years of data under its belt, has 4 goals, to:

§1. Understand the size of the industry in order to help promote its growth
§2. Understand where marketer spending is going, among different recipients (search engine media companies, SEM agencies, in-house) and towards what types of SEM programs (paid placement, paid inclusion, organic SEO, SEM technology)
§3. Identify key industry trends
§4. Identify key industry issues SEMPO should address

These is the first of many blog posts on the significance of the data gleamed from the SEMPO survey results. For those that want view the highlights I have posted the executive summary in PowerPoint format and in Word. Feel free to view and share as long as you credit SEMPO.

First Highlight - Spending on Search Engine Marketing (Paid, organic and inclusion) increased 62% from 2005 to 2006. If you aren't maxing out your spend on SEM what are you doing? Everyone else seems to be figuring it out.

Second Highlight - Why is SEM a big part of advertisers' and agencies' strategic marketing plans? A majority say for BRANDING! I have long promoted search marketing for brand purposes. I say 'if you want to own the category, then you better own the top search results'. Do you want to be the #1 player in the used cars market? Then you better be above the fold in the paid and organic results on Page 1 of all 3 search engines.

"Branding and direct sales are the top objectives of paid placement programs. One shift from previous years is that direct sales is now as compelling an objective for SEM spending as brand awareness. Respondents could give multiple responses to their spending motivation and in 2006, direct sales was the top choice, at 58 percent, followed by brand awareness as the next most prevalent objective, at 57 percent."

I would like to take this moment in blog time to congratulate the SEMPO Board and Members on continuing the strong programs and expanding into new areas. In December 2002, I helped found the SEMPO industry association along with a few others who saw the need for raising SEM to the next level through education, industry reporting and communication amongst the members of our industry community. We made the decision to 'do' SEMPO in March 2003. The organization has fulfilled and continues to fulfill many of the goals set out in the early days like broad education - see SEMPO Institute. Well done gang! All my best to the new Board of Directors who will be announced shortly.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 1:28 PM     Permanent Link