Search engine marketing (SEM) is a rapidly changing field rife with opportunities, but it takes expertise and experience to run optimal interactive advertising campaigns. When engaging in digital advertising, such as paid search, display media, social media advertising and remarketing, it's extremely important that your efforts are backed by knowledge and strategy. Here, our SEM experts provide the tips and information you can use to improve your campaigns, and your ROI. To stay up to date on our search engine marketing blog, subscribe to our feed.
Keeping up-to-date with the latest technological developments is important in the Information Technology industry. When it comes to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Google always seems to be at the forefront of productivity and innovation. Yahoo’s new platform, however, seems to have a leg up on Google Adwords this time around.
Yahoo unleashed its new platform, code name Panama, on February 5th of this year. Advertisers have been eagerly anticipating a new interface to enhance a campaign’s effectiveness. Yahoo has done away with its archaic bidding system and has created a new ranking system that is easier to understand. The creation of this system will force advertisers to use solid copywriting and direct marketing principles in setting up ad campaigns.
Individuals who have upgraded to the new system can now gauge the quality of their ads by viewing the prominently displayed quality index within the new Yahoo Search Marketing interface.
The use of quality score grading measurements in each of the search engines can affect an ad campaign’s effectiveness. Utilizing quality score for optimizing campaigns and determining ad positions for sponsored ads has become a common practice in SEM.
Similar to Yahoo, Google Adwords uses a quality score for its ranking and is based on landing page quality, bid amounts and ad performance. Until recently however, the quality score data had not been visible to advertisers. The launch of Yahoo’s new interface prompted Google to allow access and the ability to its users to view an individual keyword’s quality score. The fact that Google is following Yahoo’s lead for a change is interesting because Google is usually at the forefront of new innovations. Within the Adwords program, Google’s quality score rating can now be displayed as an optional data metric. To read more on Google’s new quality score rating, click here.
Most of us have heard about Social Networks such as: MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and FaceBook. Another form of Social Media is creating a buzz and online marketers are paying attention. It’s Social Search. These sites typically use social bookmarks and user feedback to organize their content. Social Search communities rely on its users to play the role of traditional search engine algorithms and determine the relevance of results. Since the results are endorsed by a group of users, many people feel that “human judgment” allows for more accurate and trusted information. In addition, users are constantly providing feedback on these communities so the results tend to be more up to date than traditional search results. For these main reasons, there is a growing population of online users who prefer social search over other search methods.
Some of the leading Social Search/Social Bookmark communities include:
digg: Members submit and vote on content. The more “diggs” a story receives, the higher the ranking on the site.
Stumbleupon: Community that allows you to share and discover new content based on specific interests/themes.
reddit: Similar to digg. All content is submitted and voted on by users and personalized to your preferences.
del.icio.us: Store and share your bookmarks in one place online. View what others have bookmarked and discover new online content.
There are pros and cons to everything and social search is no exception. There is a risk of spamming, since the users have the ability to add their input directly to these social communities. Mislabeled content is another issue. These potential issues will need to be monitored closely. It will be interesting to see how Social Search evolves and how it ultimately will co-exist with Traditional Search.
Gone are the days when simply throwing up a website is sufficient to promote a product or service. In the beginning, some questioned whether having a website was even necessary to help their business thrive. Others who created sites may or may not have considered usability, style and form — think frames and multiple font sizes and styles on the same page. Some, however, were intuitive enough to realize that a company’s website was an extension of its business and that a well managed site was a critical component to its overall success.
As the use of websites continued to grow and evolve, so too did the need to properly index this massive array of information. ENTER: Search Engine technology. Just like its website counterpart, search engines, in terms of indexing information, have evolved from being somewhat simplistic in nature to what some may now consider downright confusing. Websites must continue to adapt to the changes of search engine technology. Maintaining a competitive edge online is becoming survival of the fittest. It’s now crucial to have a solid Search Engine Marketing (SEM) plan. Those who don’t, will find themselves left in the dust to their competitors. As search engine technology continues to evolve, who knows what the future holds?
In fact, in this month’s issue of OMMA (February 2007), Daisy Whitney writes in her article, Zooming in on Video Search, about the mad dash to find an effective indexing solution for video search. So far there are many contenders such as Truveo, Blinkx, ClipBlast and PureVideo. She also mentions looking out for CastTV which is scheduled to launch the first quarter of 2007. She writes that its technology is impressive because it has the ability to find specific pieces of video on originating sites, which few video search services have been able to offer.
With nearly 60% of all Internet users searching for video content per month, an efficient indexing solution is probably right around the corner. When this happens a floodgate of opportunity will open. What impact will this have on SEM? As it stands, blogging is a wonderful SEM tool. Web content is constantly fresh and updated — which spiders love. Web communities are often created as a result of blogs — which people love. Will adding video to your site and having it properly indexed be the next “blog” of the future to increase visibility for your site? Will advertising your company’s product or service on web videos become a crucial element of your SEM strategy?
One thing’s for certain, the only thing that remains constant in SEM is change. The question is: Are you ready?