Everything you need to know about search marketing. Browse our most recent search marketing news stories covering the latest trends in SEO – Search Engine Optimization, PPC – paid advertising and search marketing strategies. Refer to our library of How To Guides for marketers leveraging paid and organic search channels reach consumers online.

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How Google’s Enhanced Campaigns Affect Your Ad Scheduling Strategy

Before getting into ad scheduling strategies for Google's Enhanced Campaigns, let's review Paid Search Trends for March. CPCs remained relatively flat month-over-month with little movement. Retail CPCs showed a slight decline for Google, showing relative softness compared to last year. It remains to be seen whether this is a temporary dip or a long-term indicator. Finance CPCs nudged up as the tax deadline approaches. Overall, Google CPCs are 1% up year-on-year, while Yahoo!-Bing is flat. March 2013 Cost-per-Click (CPC) Update, US Search MoM Change YoY Change [...]


Google Shopping: New Revenue Stream Or More Of The Same?

The ad community loves free products, and if those products are effective at meeting goals, it’s only right to eventually pay for them. That was the thesis of my last column, which looked at the outcry over Google replacing organic shopping results with paid ad units. Now that marketers have concluded this is a worthwhile investment, they’re doling out the cash. At least, they’re supposed to be. While Google’s Q4 earnings beat Wall Street estimates, we haven’t seen a Google Shopping line item to see if this was a boost to the bottom line. Based on several conversations I’ve had [...]


Product Listing Ads Remain Strong – Paid Search Trends For February 2013

Cost-Per-Clicks (CPC) fell across the board month-over-month, as is typical for February, resulting in a 5% lower CPC for Google and 3% lower for Yahoo!-Bing, compared to January. Year-over-year (YoY), retail CPCs are stronger on Google, partially due to rising CPCs on Product Listing Ads (PLAs), ending at a 5% YoY gain for Google and a slight 1% loss for Bing. February 2013 CPC Update, US Search MoM Change YoY Change Google Retail -3% 7% Finance -10% 2% Overall -5% 5% Yahoo!-Bing Retail [...]


Half Of Google’s Search Traffic Comes From Partners

Nikesh Arora No question -- Google's the world's most popular search engine. But half of those billions of queries it handles comes from Google partners, rather than searches at Google directly. That tidbit came today from Nikesh Arora, senior vice president and chief business officer for Google, when he was talking with Liz Gannes of AllThingsD at the Dive Into Media conference. It's not a figure I recall seeing out there before. Perhaps it is, and I've missed it. But it's interesting nonetheless. Specifically, Arora said that of all the search queries that Google handles, about half of thos [...]


Google Launches AdWords Enhanced Campaigns To Reach More Mobile Users

google-adwords-square-logo Google announced a new way for advertisers to create campaigns within their AdWords network. Google is calling this AdWords Enhanced Campaigns. The goal is to make it easier for advertisers to target searchers on all sorts of devices. In short, too many advertisers only focus on desktop users but mobile search is growing. Google is trying to make it easier for advertisers to create ads and target those ads for mobile and desktop users. Google wants ads in more places, and by making it easier for advertisers to target these devices, Google hopes to achieve just that. You can learn more [...]


Why You Can’t Find The Official Fast & Furious 6 Web Site In Google & Bing

fast & furious 6 - Google Search The latest movie in the "Fast & Furious" franchise is coming, Fast & Furious 6. It's getting a lot of attention because of its Super Bowl ad on Sunday and the debut of its extended trailer today. But, if you're trying to find the official website, Fast & Furious will send you on a chase that leaves the search marketing basics behind and exposes some Google & Bing failures, as well. Missing: The Official Site The official site is nowhere to be found in Google's search results, as this screenshot I took yesterday shows: Of course, there are several ways you could search for [...]


To Pay Or Not To Pay, That Is The Power Shopping Question

Much hype, and many public relations wars, has been waged over the last couple of months centering on the physical dynamics of paying your way into shopping results. Most of the attention has been focused on Google, and as often happens in the search community, Big G’s motives have been dissected, reviewed and morally judged, before short-attention-spans took the angry masses off to gripe about something else. The much larger debate, the industry’s familiar old cold sore, is the “pay or no pay” argument. Every time there’s a case where a free product suddenly becomes a pay-for-pla [...]


Fox Movies Releases Google Logo Look-a-Like “The Internship” Teaser Movie Poster

Last week, the marketing team at Twentieth Century Fox gave Collider.com an exclusive teaser image of the official movie poster for "The Internship" - the film that features Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as interns working for Google. The official movie poster smartly plays off the recognizable Google logo and search function: [caption id="attachment_31325" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Internship, official movie poster, via Collider.com[/caption] Unfortunately, at press time, Google doesn't yet have a search easter egg for "Hiring them was a brilliant mistake." - perhaps that [...]


Chrome To Gain Search Encryption, Following Similar Moves By Firefox & Mobile Safari

google-chrome-privacy-featured The wave of browsers using Google SSL Search -- and thus blocking publishers from receiving search term data -- continues. Google's own Chrome browser is next up, with the latest Chrome 25 beta using encryption. Google shared the news on its Chromium blog today. Chrome follows in the footsteps of Firefox and mobile Safari, which added encryption last year. Our stories below have more background on that: Firefox 14 Now Encrypts Google Searches, But Search Terms Still Will “Leak” Out How An iOS 6 Change Makes It Seem Like Google Traffic From Safari Has Disappeared The Safari [...]


Google’s CPC Drop Bottoms Out? — Paid Search Trends For January 2013

Click Share by Device This is the first installment of a regular column following cost-per-click (CPC) trends in search marketing. We will focus primarily on the US market, but we'll also take a regular look at international markets, as well as providing additional insights into segments that appear to be significant short-term trend drivers. Google’s CPC drop has finally bottomed out in January, our analysis finds, supported in part by increasing CPCs and click share on tablet devices.   January 2013 CPC Update, US Search MoM Change YoY Change Google Retail [...]


Why People Hate SEO

seo-code-schema-featured Every few months, someone seems to attack search engine optimization. SEOs are often quick to rise in defense of their profession. I've done that plenty myself, in the past. But a barrage of recent cold-call SEO pitches in my inbox even has me hating SEO. Of course, I don't really hate SEO. That's because I know the difference between: SEO and search engine spam SEO and snake-oil promises SEO remains the act of gaining free traffic from search engines, and also to me, gaining that traffic in ways that don't put you at risk of being banned or penalized by those search engines. I [...]


Google Glass Launch: Will Have An API, Won’t Have Ads

google-glass Though an exact date is still unknown, Google Glass is still in progress toward a developer launch in the first half of this year. Babak Parviz, who founded Project Glass at Google, opened up a bit about what developers can expect with the first version of Google's wearable computing device in recent interview with IEEE Spectrum. Here are some highlights: Google Glass will launch with an API allowing developers to build additional services onto the product. Parviz says Google is working on including phone functionality into Glass, and also mentions e-mail and calendar features. Goog [...]


Looking Back Over 2012 Through Tweets

2012. Wow, what a year. The world didn’t end, yet. For me, this year was quite different from those in the recent past. I experienced several personal milestones, enjoyed a lovely editorial year (my first with Marketing Land) and my agency continued to grow in spite of my absence for part of the year. Here’s a look back at 2012 via the wide angle lens that is my Twitter feed.  Some of my tweets were related to our industry, while others chronicled brand failures or just the total nonsense our social media culture encompasses at times. I’ve grouped my chronologically-ordered sel [...]


Santa Tracking Explained: Why NORAD & Google Show Different Locations & Gifts Delivered

norad google Formerly partners, both Google and NORAD are going head-to-head this year in Santa tracking. Already, people are wondering. Why are they showing Santa in different locations at the same time? What's up with Google showing fewer presents delivered than NORAD displays. Relax kids (or parents of kids). I have answers. I don't have official answers. I'm trying to obtain these, really. But the Google press office is closed. Over at NORAD, the press office is understandably in meltdown. Emails to the official PR address are bouncing, and the press telephone number goes to voice mail, which is [...]


The Great Exaggeration: Optimization

shutterstock_83838865-optimization One of the so-called standard operating procedures we digital marketers espouse most vehemently is "optimization." We believe we've got this practice nailed. Search practitioners coined the term and drove the movement from the earliest days -- wielding a love for data, crude original campaign management systems, Excel-based testing matrices and a belief that optimization was the birthright of search marketers, and by extension, all digital marketers. Therefore, it's long been a constant for anyone in the business. But, unfortunately, the industry started to take this capability for grant [...]


5 Ways To Know How To Say No (To Potential Clients Or Agencies)

shutterstock_86388316-Stop We need a new agency. We are thinking of hiring an agency. We’d like to hear more about your agency. Do you do search? We’d like some SEM help. Can you conduct a review of our current program? How many times have you been asked any of the above questions? How far would you go to prove yourself worthy of providing the answers? There is no greater cost to an agency than the cost of acquiring new business. The race to build business in an industry experiencing unparalleled growth has led to agencies rarely stopping to ask if they should be answering those questions and in what context. [...]


Are Search Agencies Becoming Dinosaurs?

shutterstock_114519181-dinosaur I can’t remember every detail of my first client meeting nearly 15 years ago (I was a newbie working for a search agency), but I can remember a few things:  I remember nearly our entire company going to the meeting (there were only four of us, and three attended the meeting). I remember the client VP sitting at the table alongside their traditional agency. I remember how proud I was of the new grey sport coat I was wearing and had bought just for this meeting. But perhaps the thing I remember most is walking away from that meeting thinking “How could they not get it?”  How c [...]


The Silos That Dog Us — Putting Them Out To Pasture

shutterstock_114118168-silos Silos, while they might be pleasing to the eye in a pastoral setting, are a known negative in the world of business and marketing. We should not organize, manage workflow or report in silos. Nor should we plan and execute in silos. And, never should analysis and optimization of our efforts be done in silos. Yet, the default position is the silo. In many ways, transcending the silo is an unnatural act. It takes curiosity, thought, delving and collaborative instincts to set the course for cross-pollination and collaboration to make those things happen. You've got to have a silo busting [...]


The Rise Of The Search Butler

butler-globe-platter-featured Let me start this month with the following disclaimer: I despise humble bragging in all its forms. I find the whole process nauseating -- so much so that I have taken to parodying my own tweets that even remotely smell like a humble brag. That stated with the utmost sincerity, I can tell you I recently went through a life change when my car lease came up. I was hell bent on getting something practical, efficient and just downright not another Orange County me-too car. Yet, with all my resistance to trendy and all my good intentions, busy schedules and other priorities got in the way. So [...]


How Google’s New Search App For The iPhone Might Steal Searchers Away From Siri

Zooey Deschanel iPhone 4S Google's new Google Search app for iOS is now out, bringing with it a Siri-like quality of speaking to get answers and having them read back. The app is cool, but it can't do all the "assistant" things that Siri can. Then again, for many searches, the Google Search app can be much faster than Siri. That's something which might make Google, rather than Siri, the first choice for iPhone, iPad and other iOS searchers. The Zooey Deschanel Test The Google Search app and Siri are not the same in capabilities. Google is designed to help with searching; Siri can help with searching as well as d [...]


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