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Low Hanging Fruit: These Super Bowl Advertisers Are Getting Found For “Super Bowl Ads”

google-bing-football As Super Bowl advertisers rev up the heat on their promotional campaigns ahead of the big game, a handful are turning to paid search on both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network. Thousands of consumers are searching for "super bowl ads" according to Google. The advertisers showing up and paid search show they wisely have a plan in place to compete for this traffic. And, many of the Super Bowl advertisers running paid search ads are using creative tactics to extend the digital impact of their Super Bowl expenditures. For the rundown of 5 trends we're seeing in the paid search ads for Super Bowl [...]


Yahoo Makes Secure Search The Default

yahoo-new-logo-featured Yahoo has now joined Google in making all searches people do automatically go through a secure server, to help prevent eavesdropping by outsiders. Unlike Google, however, Yahoo has failed to make an important change to how "referrer" data is passed along, which will result in people thinking Yahoo Search has suddenly dropped in popularity. Yahoo.com Goes Secure The switch only seems to be happening on Yahoo.com, not on other Yahoo properties I've checked like Yahoo UK, Yahoo Germany, Yahoo France or Yahoo Japan. Yahoo did confirm to us that the switch happened but didn't clarify on exact [...]


Say No To Commercial Creep In Search Results

search_Marketers You've read all the guidelines. You've hired experts to determine the morally correct and righteous path. You've watched the endless hours of Matt Cutts videos on YouTube. You pay experts thousands of dollars a month to make sure your search efforts are optimized safely and accurately. You work within the confines of the assumed moral high ground of the company that doesn't do evil. You've spent countless hours analyzing content for trends in interest to make sure your information matches searcher intent. You have invested heavily in technology to help monitor positions, have spent what see [...]


Growth Hacking Is Bull

2014-01-04_1230 Doing SEO, SEM or social media marketing isn't "growth hacking." It's just marketing. Problem is some marketers & start-ups don't get that. — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 4, 2014 The phrase "growth hacking" upsets me more than I should let it. Why? Because it takes me back to 2007, when I was about to graduate from college and start my career in online marketing -- the same year Jason Calacanis started his highly-publicized crusade against the online marketing industry and, in particular, against professionals specializing in SEO and social media. The whole thing was no [...]


5 Social Media Trends To Kill In 2014

new-year The beauty of a brand new year is the fresh start it provides -- the idea that you can shake off all the past mistakes, assumptions and misunderstandings and start with a clean slate. It's also a great time to get rid of a bad habit, like smoking or swearing. We could stand a little of that out-with-the-old feeling in social media marketing. With an eye to the past year's news and themes, here are 5 social media trends that (with any luck) will expire in 2014. 1. Making Everything "Viral" Last year: Perhaps the biggest trend of 2013 was the "viralization" of... well, everything. Publis [...]


KPMG Says It’s Leaving .Com For .KPMG Domain, Wrongly Cites SEO As A Reason

kpmg-logo KPMG, the multinational professional services agency that was born in 1870, says it will abandon its .com domain and switch to its own .kpmg top-level domain (TLD). And one of the reasons the company gives is an expectation that the new domain will help the company's search engine optimization. David Green, KPMG's chief of digital marketing, revealed the company's plans in a recent interview with World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR). "We won’t immediately drop .com; there will be a phased migration," Green said. In making the switch, KPMG is set to become one of the first -- pe [...]


All I Want For Christmas…Is Bing Ads?

bing-2013-logo-featured As of November, Google garners just under 67% of the market for search. One would expect the distribution of budgets within a PPC portfolio would be in line with market share. The reality is quite the contrary: more often than not, AdWords represents closer to 85-90% of the budget and gets 95% of the internal resources, leaving Bing Ads as an afterthought. I can certainly understand why AdWords deserves the lion’s share of resources; however, 30% is quite the spicy meatball to push under the rug. Think about where your resources are going -- one of the biggest opportunities in your PPC [...]


Kraft Crushes All Other CPG Brands In Paid Search [Study]

kraft logo In a ranking of the top 50 consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers in paid search by ad impressions, Kraft Foods Group overwhelmed the field with more than 20 percent of total CPG ad impressions on Google AdWords with its sites KraftRecipes.com and KraftBrands.com. With Kraft sites as the bellwether, the list of top 10 CPG advertisers in paid search was dominated by sites offering recipes and meal planning ideas. In all, Kraft Foods Group racked up more than 462 million impressions during the study period between August 2012 and July 2103. The study also found that within particul [...]


Not Who, But What, Is Driving Google?

google-building-featured With the depth of attention given to Google's broken promises lately, the natural-language-processing, sometimes-sponsored-content-identifying engine clearly has some 'splaining to do. For those of you who haven't read Danny Sullivan's excellent piece from a few weeks ago, let me elaborate on those broken promises. Google at one time decried paid inclusion -- but then, in 2012, it turned its once-organic shopping search engine into a pay-to-play ad product. More recently, in 2013, it went back on a promise to never display banner ads on search results pages, delivering giant images on b [...]


How To Use Paid Search To Aid Your SEO

shutterstock_77883016-test A lot has changed in the world of search marketing over the last year. From Enhanced Campaigns to Hummingbird and not provided, search marketers have had to rethink and re-calibrate their strategies significantly. Some changes caused more uproar than others; but, one thing has become increasingly clear: the art and science of both SEO and paid search, respectively, are on a crash course, and a consolidated strategy is required to get the most out of both channels. At my agency, we've been working on ways to get more creative with our PPC campaigns in order to directly benefit our SEO effort [...]


Google’s Broken Promises & Who’s Running The Search Engine?

google-promises-featured For two years in a row now, Google has gone back on major promises it made about search. The about-faces are easy fodder for anyone who wants to poke fun at Google for not keeping to its word. However, the bigger picture is that as Google has entered its fifteenth year, it faces new challenges on how to deliver search products that are radically different from when it started. In the past, Google might have explained such shifts in an attempt to maintain user trust. Now, Google either assumes it has so much user trust that explanations aren't necessary. Or, the lack of accountability might [...]


The Ultimate Holiday Prep List: 28 Things Every Marketer Should Do For Holiday

holidays-christmas-featured All right, so maybe that title is a little arrogant. After all, there are a million holiday list articles this time of year, ranging from "Top 10" lists to "Survival Guides" and everything in between. So, why read this one? Well, this one is different (read: hopefully interesting and helpful). This article doesn't take the "execute this strategy" approach, and it doesn't take the "I bet you forgot to do x” approach, either. We all know Holiday is an insane time of year, so the last thing anyone needs is an article reminding you of things you should be doing but aren't. Instead, this is [...]


3 Paid Search Tips For A Successful Holiday Season

holiday stockings With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, it is high time search marketers got their paid search program ready to scale up efficiently. Here are three tips you might want to consider in order to get the most from the holidays in paid search. 1. Analyze Top Holiday Search Queries & Build Seasonal Campaigns The first piece of the puzzle for a successful holiday-season strategy is to first focus on the editorial strategy. Here are a couple of thoughts: In AdWords, you can begin with a search query report from 2012 and identify those top queries around Black Friday/Cyber [...]


The Brain Pick: Marketing Geniuses, Don’t Give It Away For Free!

brain_glasses Ever get those emails asking to "pick your brain" for some ideas? The good-hearted person in you says, "I can do that!"  But favors like that have consequences and costs that may not have occurred to you or the person asking for them. For a myriad of reasons, search marketing seems to get more than its fair share of "brain pick" requests. I've gotten a few of these over the years, and of course, the good Samaritan in me wants to help. For people I'm very close to, I can hit the highlights with a brain pick to provide some clarity to the occasional situation. Heaven knows I've asked for [...]


Search. Browse. Abandon? How Automation Converts Browsers Into Buyers

Click to enlarge [caption id="attachment_53446" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] Any marketer (at least one who hasn't been living in a cave without Wi-Fi) knows the potential of search traffic in regard to driving sales. But exactly how much use can really be made of the potential customers driven to a site through search engines? Sometimes the details are a bit hazy with direct attribution hard to pin down. Marketers can drastically increase the rate at which they convert those few words in a search box to the holy grail of end results -- a valuable sale -- by correctly [...]


Giant Banner Ads Being Tested In Google’s Search Results

Google Branded Search Query Ad Banner Google is running what it calls a "small experiment" in the US to show giant banner ads for specific branded search queries. The screenshot below posted by @SynrgyHQ shows a sponsored ad for Southwest Airlines on the branded search query [southwest airlines]. It doesn't appear easy to replicate this test, but Google has confirmed that it is occurring.  The ad takes up a substantial portion of the page, and no other ads appear on the page. Here's a screenshot from today of a search results page for the query [southwest airlines]. Notice the non-brand, standard AdWords text ads from C [...]


The Questions Google Refuses To Answer About Search Privacy

google-logo-glow-featured Last month, Google made one of the biggest changes in search privacy ever, by routing all searches through its Google Secure Search service. Why did it make the change? Why didn't it close some loopholes that leave some search data vulnerable? Google -- which is demanding more transparency from the US government over privacy issues -- is preferring not to be transparent about its own moves. What's The TL;DR? The too long; didn't read is that more people should read stuff that they deem too long. The world would be a better place. But OK: Google claims it has improved search privacy but [...]


The Growing Divide Between Paid Search & Marketing

Search Like most people, I hate being wrong. Let me correct myself: I hate being wrong. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling when you realize whatever it was you were defending so vehemently is just flat wrong. At that point, you only have two options: 1) hold onto your point, stick your head in the sand and admit nothing, or 2) swallow your pride, take your medicine and admit you were wrong.  I like to think I am not wrong all that often, and despite what my fiancée might say, when I am, I like to think I am one who swallows my pride and admits it. With that, I am taking a huge g [...]


Operation Greener Grass: Why Aren’t SEOs Up In Arms?

reputation_sstk Once again, SEO is in the news. Once again, the media (along with an elected official or two -- shocker!) clearly doesn't understand how the industry works. While it seems New York's elected (and appointed) officials could give a rodent's posterior about protecting the interests of anyone except Big Corporate, "so called SEO companies" are the new babies being sent out with the bath water. [caption id="attachment_60122" align="alignright" width="240"] Reputation Management[/caption] Enter, Operation Cleaner Turf; a yogurt shop sting with a sensational press release sub-headline on the of [...]


Google Debuts AdWords Cross-Device Conversion Estimates, Phone and In-Store Conversions Coming

google-adwords-square-logo In its first step in capturing the complete conversion impact of AdWords campaigns, Google launched a new conversion type today called estimated cross-device conversion. Cross-device conversion estimates are calculated by using Google account holders who are logged in to multiple devices as a proxy for the greater population. The company says phone calls and in-store activity will soon be included in the new Estimated Total Conversions column that is rolling out to AdWords accounts over the next few weeks. Because the proxy activities relies on logged-in users, estimated cross-device con [...]


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