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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 [...]


Google Unveils New “Hummingbird” Search Algorithm For “Precise & Fast” Results

hummingbird Big news in the search world yesterday. Google announced that it is using a new search algorithm called "Hummingbird" to sort through its millions of facts and billions of web pages. The system takes its name from the more "precise and fast" results that it is intended to deliver. Panicked about a sudden loss of traffic that Hummingbird might cause to your site? Or excited you might get a new gain if Hummingbird reshuffles the SEO traffic in your favor? Well, relax. Hummingbird actually went into effect about a month ago. Any changes should already have long happened. To learn more ab [...]


Remarketing For Search: Approaching The Promise Of Digital Marketing

Day Parts help to identify when ads are most effectively served. Good fishermen know where the fish are… so why is it that good marketers don't always know where the best consumers are? Despite massive advancements in targeting, tracking and user insights, John Wannamaker's adage -- "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half" -- may still be true. Even in the hyper-targeted and over-analyzed online marketing space, there are still many unknowns, but there's light at the end of the tunnel -- and it's bright! The best advertising is relevant, in the moment, and served to an individual who has interest in a [...]


No Data For You: SEO Experts Offer Opinions On Google’s Move To Withhold Even More Search Term Data

google-privacy-200 Google quietly confirmed earlier this week that it would be encrypting all search data, regardless of whether a user was signed in or not. The company offered the following statement to clarify their sudden decision to withhold the data: We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We're now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in. Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan wrote about Google's move to encrypt all non-paid searches, explaining, "The change makes it very likely that in th [...]


Here Comes “100% Not Provided,” As Google Begins Encrypting All Non-Paid Searches

google-privacy-200 Ever since Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users two years ago, publishers have wondered if when we'd get to a "100% Not Provided" world, where all search terms are withheld by Google. It looks like that day may soon arrive, thanks to a new change at Google. Google has confirmed that it has begun work to encrypted all searches, even for those who aren't logged into Google. Our story on our sister-site Search Engine Land has more about this: Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks The change makes it very likely that [...]


When Media Capabilities & Possibilities Outreach Day-to-Day Reality

Creating a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Website - Strategy Whether you are on the buy, sell or third-party supplier side, we all recognize that we are operating in an elevated state of potential. The infrastructure, media and creative options, tools and available science all mean that we could and should get beyond the transactional state of yesteryear. We now can predict, execute and optimize at a higher level than ever before. This extends to modeling new target audiences, venturing into new platforms, playing across media types and at every turn getting better at achieving and exceeding expectations and metrics. But, if you listen closely, de [...]


Google Puts A Price On Privacy — Again

google-privacy-200 Almost two years ago, Google began withholding search "referrer" data from publishers, in the name of protecting user privacy. However, it left a loophole open for passing this data to its advertisers. Some viewed that as an attempt by Google to boost its ad sales. This impression was reinforced by the latest change Google made last month, which maintains the loophole and provides a new incentive for publishers to make use of its ad system. What's Search Term Referrer Data? Referrer data allows publishers to understand the exact terms used by people who search at Google and then click throug [...]


Google AdWords’ Breakthrough Feature Makes Offline Conversion Optimization A Reality

google-adwords-square-logo Yesterday, Google announced a new offline conversion tracking feature that will likely change the way lead generation campaigns are tracked, measured and optimized. Companies that run lead generation campaigns on Google AdWords have long been challenged by the fact that optimization signals stopped at the lead capture. Up to now, it was impossible to optimize campaigns based on the actual quality and close-rate of those leads. Google's new feature allows companies to integrate Google AdWords with any number of CRM and marketing automation platforms, including Salesforce, SugarCRM and Mar [...]


HomeAdvisor.com Rebrand Efforts Include Switching More Than 10 Million URLs

Branding After thoroughly researching the strength of its brand, home improvement company HomeAdvisor.com rebranded itself last year after 13 years as ServiceMagic. Narrowing the brand's focus on home improvement, repair and maintenance, the rebranding effort was a massive undertaking that included a broad set of corporate measures along with the decision to switch the company's URL to its new name. "We had 13 years of SEO equity in the ServiceMagic domain and ranked highly for organic search," said HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill. But Terrill and his CTO Brandon Ridenour understood that the str [...]


5 Ways To Turn Number Vomit Reporting Into Valuable Business Action

Sample Report Number vomit. Ugh. It wastes more of my time than anything else during the work week. (With the recent exception of Candy Crush. I mean, are you kidding me with that game?) It appears in many different forms: weekly search reporting, dashboards created to make C-level folks feel like they know what is going on, even in those five-year business projections the Board of Directors seemingly has you do every month. It comes in Excel sheets, PowerPoints, and even PDFs if you can believe. Sometimes, it's called a "search report" and other times, it's a "business update." But, no matter what fo [...]


Google Says Vendor Was Responsible For AdWords Account Manager’s Shocking Voice Mail

google-adwords-square-logo This week, a voice mail in which a Google AdWords account manager can be heard complaining about having to pitch AdWords products and saying he doesn't care that a client is using bridge pages even though they violate Google's advertising policy was released by Martin MacDonald. We received a response from Google in which they claim it was an outside vendor, not a Google employee, who left the unintended message. We have written about it on Search Engine Land,  Google Responds To #GoogleGate: AdWords Account Manager’s Accidental Voice Mail Recording. Many have chimed in on the state of a [...]


Questions On Google Authorship? Google Shares Some Answers

google-g-logo-2012 Trying to figure out how Google Authorship works? Google has a new post out today answering a few tricky questions such as how to deal with mascots (sorry, they don't get authorship) and what types of pages can have authorship appear in Google's search listings. Read more in Google's post and also see our longer recap on Search Engine Land: Google Provides FAQ About Authorship, From Blocking To No Mascots. Also, to learn more about authorship, check out our The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup article and some of these related stories, as well: Author Rank, Authors [...]


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