Search Marketing is the process of acquiring traffic or customers via search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.

Search marketing generally involves two disciplines: SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing).

The former focuses on acquiring customers via visibility in natural/organic search results, and the latter focuses on acquiring customers by placing paid ads on search result pages.

Marketing Land covers major search marketing news and strategic advice in the area. Our sister-site, Search Engine Land provides in-depth news coverage, analysis and lots of tips and tactics.

Former iProspect Leader Rob Murray Appointed Skyword President

Rob Murray [caption id="attachment_46692" align="alignright" width="196"] Skyword's new president, Rob Murrary[/caption] Content marketing and production solution provider Skyword has appointed veteran search marketer Rob Murray as their new president. Before joining Skyword, Murray held various leadership roles for digital marketing company iProspect, serving as the company's global president since 2009. According to a release on Skyword's site, Murray will be charged with expanding Skyword on a global level. "Rob brings extensive digital marketing leadership experience to his new role at Skyword [...]


SEOMoz Undergoes Major Rebrand – Changes Name To Moz & Launches New Analytics Software

Moz Roger Search engine and social optimization software provider SEOMoz announced today they are undergoing a major rebranding initiative and changing their name to Moz, in addition to launching their newest software solution Moz Analytics. According to Moz CEO Rand Fishkin, the company has evolved beyond an SEO software company, now offering a more broad set of marketing tools. "While SEO remains a key part of our product," says Fishkin in a release announcing the company's name change, "It's no longer transparent or authentic to say we're purely an SEO software company.” Not only is SEOmoz no [...]


New Tools Bring Major Changes To Mobile SEO

adwords device filter rip I know I said I would have mobile SEO case studies this month, but I’m postponing that a  month so I can discuss two tools that will soon turn the mobile SEO world on its head: Google Keyword Planner and Bright Edge Mobile SEO. Google Keyword Planner I’ve spent a lot of time in this column talking about how mobility changes search behavior and how marketers can do mobile keyword research to take advantage of the differences (when they exist, and they don’t always) between keywords entered on mobile devices and those entered on desktops and laptops. Since early 2009, the Google Keywor [...]


An Open Letter On “Super Firm” Failure And Composure

Disclaimer:  All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real businesses, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Failure is a key part of success, or at least an important step on the road to becoming successful. When the still-young search industry witnesses a failure of any kind, it seems to revel in exploiting the collapse for personal gain, personal indulgence and the ability to say, "I told you so." Without getting into names and details that will only initiate more drama and, dare I say, schadenfreude, I've noticed an overabundance of loony behavi [...]


5 Surprising Facts On Quality Score Change

In the paid search world, ad rank and average cost per click (CPC) are determined by three factors: your own bid (max CPC), your competitors’ bids, and a numeric representation of ad relevance known as quality score. This quality score acts as a modifier, making it possible for an ad with higher “quality” to outrank a competitor’s ad at a lower bid. While the relationship between bids is straightforward to understand, quality score is much more opaque, being affected by many factors such as click-through rate (CTR), keyword and ad copy relevance, quality of landing page, etc. Man [...]


Google Glass Isn’t A Segway, It’s Gordon Gekko’s Cell Phone

Gordon Gecko's phone Now that Google Glass devices are making it out into the real world through Glass Explorers, the debate has started. Are these things just an expensive joke? A device like a Segway that seemed cool but never took off as some expected? I'd say no, and I'll draw from the TV series "Arrested Development" and movie "Wall Street" to help explain why. It's The Next Segway! If Mike Butcher of TechCrunch didn't originate the Segway comparison, he's sure had one of the best summaries of how Google Glass might go that way. Based on his limited experience in wearing them, he wrote: So Google Glass [...]


Key Learnings On The PLA Marketplace

Google's switch to an all-paid shopping search experience, featuring Product Listing Ads (PLAs), was the single largest change to the retail paid search landscape last year, and the offering continues to evolve as the official release of PLAs on smartphones was announced last month. PLAs are not only a new ad format but also a new marketplace, with auctions running independently of traditional text ads although they're often being served alongside them on search result pages. Now that the new market has had time to mature, we can take the opportunity to step back and review what we have lea [...]


Microsoft Study: Multi-Screen Behavior And What It Means For Marketers

mobile-devices-screens-featured We all know the day of multi-device and cross-screen usage is here. The challenge for marketers is to understand how to communicate effectively with consumers as they engage with multiple devices simultaneously and sequentially throughout the day. A new study commissioned by Microsoft, titled Cross-Screen Engagement, aims to help marketers learn how users are engaging with multiple screens and to find opportunities to reach consumers "in their moment". In the two-phase study, Flamingo Research and Ipsos OTX interviewed consumers in five markets—Australia, Brazil, Canada, the UK and t [...]


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 [...]


Book Review: “Content Strategy For Mobile” by Karen McGrane

I recently began teaching a class in mobile content marketing for MarketingProfs University, taking over for the user experience expert and content strategy pioneer Karen McGrane.  At the time, her book, Content Strategy for Mobile, had not yet been released, so I relied on other resources when putting together material for the class. First I gathered what I knew about adaptive content from her online writings and presentations. Then I added some information gleaned from my own experience with content marketing to mobile users. My goal was to present a well-rounded overview of solutions t [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Accomplishments, Complaints & Predictions: The Ultimate 2012 Year-End List

shutterstock_108204866-NewYearClock Well, it’s that time of year again: time to squeeze in every little bit of revenue before the 2012 books close; time to take every last day of vacation before they magically disappear at the stroke of midnight on December 31st; and, perhaps most importantly, it’s that time of year when a whole host of year-end roundup articles ranging from the "Top 10 Things We Learned" to articles detailing every well-intentioned, but rarely kept, resolution ever made. I never thought I would write a “Things We Learned” type article because of a dreadful fear that I only recently learned somethin [...]


B2B Marketers Can’t Ignore Mobile Any Longer

Many times after I’ve spoken on mobile search or mobile marketing, I’m approached by someone in B2B who is wondering if mobile search is just a B2C phenomenon, or if it’s something that B2B organizations can benefit from as well. My answer, always, is: yes, mobile search and mobile marketing are just as relevant to B2B marketers, if not more so. This is not intuitive, as mobile search is associated more with a need-it-now or local mindset, as Jon Miller explained a few years ago on Search Engine Land. However, when you consider the evidence, you might agree that mobile search a [...]


Dark Google: One Year Since Search Terms Went “Not Provided”

google-clouds-dark-featured A year ago, Google began going dark. Dark in terms of no longer sharing with publishers, in some cases, how people searched for and found those publishers through Google's search engine. The "single digit" percentage of withholding that Google predicted at the time has turned into more than 50%, in some cases. If Google's withholding were an eclipse, more than half the sun is being covered. "Dark Google" is upon us, and it will only grow darker. I'm drawing the term "Dark Google" as a play off the "Dark Social" concept that Alexis Madrigal wrote about recently in The Atlantic. Dark Socia [...]


Forget Holiday, It’s Budget Season!

shutterstock_101420989-trendline In all of my schooling, I only ever failed one class: Intro to Mathematics. As I write that sentence, a wave of embarrassment washes over me. Failing Math 101 is pretty hard to do (I mean it was an 8 a.m. class my freshman year in college, so perhaps that had something to do with it, but I digress).  Yes, it was disappointing to my parents, but was it surprising? No. I have never been good with numbers. My brain simply does not work that way and never has. I am a right-brained, creative type that prefers coming up with the ideas rather than figuring out the economics behind them. Tha [...]


Can Facebook Build A Better Search? Should It?

The road to Facebook's mid-term success is paved with search goodness, many believe. When the stock starts tanking, the top execs apparently believe a good thing to do at a shareholder's meeting is make an opaque reference to building a better search engine. "Build a better search" is an anthem many of us in the search business have been hearing for well in excess of a decade. Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned (among other things) plans to create a better way to connect intent with social subject matter in a way that can be sold to the highest bidder. At least, that's what [...]


Will Search Engines One Day Be Overcome With Display Ads?

Last month, Google’s famously streamlined white homepage was plastered with something different: an animated banner ad. Since Google has been credited as an ad-free (or, at least, display-ad-free) search engine, the animated banner ad for the Nexus 7 Android tablet came as a bit of a shock to both Google users and the wider industry. While this wasn’t the first time Google used its homepage to showcase products, was it a smart move by Google? In today’s shareholder-value-centric paradigm, companies are principally run by profitability. Whenever a company says that it will never d [...]


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