Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Is Facebook Losing it’s Luster?

reader poll

A recent report from Hitwise cited Facebook as having grown by 51% yet MySpace is still King of the online social networking world with 76% of US social network traffic. According to Nielsen Online, MySpace attracted 60.1 million visitors in December 2007 compared to 22.6 million visitors for Facebook.

While that growth news is all fine a good, from a personal observation standpoint, I’ve noticed I’m not logging into Facebook much anymore. Many of the updates I get are irrelevant to my interests as more and more people try to boost their friend counts and I mistakenly (in hindsight) accept those requests.

I posted a question to Twitter about not using Facebook lately and several others acknowledged the same trend which leads us to a Reader Poll question:

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Trends in Search Marketing for 2008

Lee Odden     Reader Polls

reader poll

In order to tap into the “wisdom of our crowd” and much appreciated readers, we run polls to find out what client and agency side marketers are thinking. Popular polls have included the rating of favorite resources like whether multiple search conferences can exist and succeed to the best keyword research tools.

It’s the end of the year and predictions will soon start to fill the search marketing blogosphere. In anticipation of what the next year will bring to the search marketing industry, I ask this question to stimulate some ideas and conversation:

What will be the big stories in search marketing in 2008?

  • "Real" Solutions to Click Fraud (20%, 26 Votes)
  • Mobile Search Explodes (14%, 18 Votes)

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Social Media Marketing Analytics Tools

reader poll

With our involvement in the PR, search and direct marketing industries through consulting and speaking at conferences, we’ve seen a huge boost in resources allocated to understanding and implementing various social media marketing tactics.

Despite that, the meaning of social media as a marketing/PR channel doesn’t seem to extend outside personal universes of interest. ie, search marketers often look at social media as using tools like Digg or StumbleUpon to drive web site traffic. PR practitioners often see social media as a branding tool using sites like YouTube & Facebook.

Regardless of the intent, social media marketing efforts are moot unless methods of measurement are in place. Which leads me to the Reader Poll Question:

What tools do you use to measure social media marketing efforts?

Lee Odden

Poll: Will OpenSocial “Maka-Maka” Facebook Obsolete?

The hot potato in social media this week is the OpenSocial web standards initiative (see screenshots here) promoted by Google involving numerous social applications, platforms and partners including: Ning, LinkedIn, Friendster, Oracle, Plaxo, Orkut, Salesforce, iLike, and Slide. Reported first on TechCrunch, “OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks”. That information includes: profiles, friends and activities.

A distinguishing feature of OpenSocial is that applications will be created with normal HTML and JavaScript. Facebook requires development using it’s own markup language making the apps unusable elsewhere. With the recent $240 million Microsoft investment in Facebook and a $15 billion valuation, the stakes are very high. Some say OpenSocial isn’t really opening any doors or isn’t a threat to Facebook. What say you?

Lee Odden

Best SEO Resources, Practices & Conferences : Reader Poll Roundup

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

reader poll

From time to time we run Reader Polls on a variety of topics ranging from “Biggest Concern Related to Search Marketing?” to the “Strongest Signals of Credibility for a Marketing Agency”. Some of the polls get quite a few votes and some get very few. For example, the “Favorite SEO Podcast” poll received over 500 votes whereas the recent poll about whether Minnesota needs a SEM organization received only 21.

Since so many people took the time to show their preferences, we wanted to share the results for each of the past 14 polls:

Does Minnesota Need a Regional Search Marketing Association? 21 Votes
Either this blog has minimal reach in Minnesota, which given how few organized search marketing events there are, may be the case OR Minnesota search marketers are quiet about the topic. Either way, those that sounded off predominantly fell on the side of wanting a locally structured organization in support of SEM.

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Getting Paid Based on Performance

About every 2 weeks we get calls from companies that feel their growth opportunities are so significant, outside marketing vendors are expected to be paid based only on performance. I know there are some search engine marketing consultants that take on pay for performance or marketing partnership deals, but very few agencies that do.

It’s one thing for a consultant with low or no overhead to be able to spend the time it takes to build momentum on such a project but another thing entirely for an agency with capital expenses, salaries, etc to pay while the PFP program gets off the ground. While those issues can be overcome as part of the cost of the venture or risk, not having full control over web site functionality and design, after the sale actions and content can be problematic.

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Can SES, SMX and Pubcon Coexist?

SES New York Audience

A lot has changed in the search marketing conference industry in the past year. The biggest news being the addition of Kevin Ryan to oversee Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies along with the departure of Danny Sullivan from SES to start his own venture, Third Door Media and the Search Marketing Expo or SMX series of conferences.

Additional news includes the success of new conferences like MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit, programmed by David Berkowitz as well as the reduction in conference dates for Brett Tabke’s WebmasterWorld’s Pubcon down to one (albeit, temporarily) in Las Vegas. With the number of new and niche conferences popping up it begs the question as to whether the market demand can support so many events?

reader poll

Lee Odden

25 Ways Marketing Agencies Market Themselves

signal-tower.jpg
With so much uncertainty due to inflated promises, bad press and a fast changing industry, what “signals” of credibility do companies look for in trusted internet marketing partners and resources? Our gift to you today is an annotated list of 25. In one way or another, TopRank is involved with all of the following marketing and PR tactics either for ourselves or for our marketing and public relations clients.

But I’m also curious what Online Marketing Blog Readers have to say on this topic. Let’s have a little vote shall we? After the list there is a poll so you can vote for your favorite.

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: How Many Conferences Does The Boss Send You To?

Keynote - Marissa Mayer

Demand for talented search marketers is high and the number of educational opportunities has increased proportionately. We have a reader poll this week to get an idea of our reader’s conference involvement. See below.

Some prefer a structured training program like SEMPO Institute, DMA SEM Certification or Bruce Clay’s training program. Others prefer to compliment those programs or augment on the job training with industry seminars such as Search Engine Strategies and ClickZ Events, WebmasterWorld Pubcon, SMX, Search Insider Summit and the variety of vertical, regional and industry specific conferences that are now including search marketing in their programming.

Are you one of the thousands of people who attend these conferences?

Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Tools for Networking Online

reader poll
Some of the best advice I ever received starting out in the business world concerned the value of networking. Online communication tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter as well as mainstays like IM and email make it easier than ever (sometimes too easy) to network with other like-minded individuals.

Search marketers tend to be a tech savvy lot so I suspect many Online Marketing Blog readers are likely users of these online communications and networking tools. But which ones? Which are most productive? That leads us to this weeks Reader Poll question:

What is your top online communication and networking tool?

  • Email (31%, 17 Votes)
  • Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace) (27%, 15 Votes)
  • Blogs (15%, 8 Votes)
  • Instant Messaging (9%, 5 Votes)
Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Most SEO Friendly Industries

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

reader poll

A participant of the DMA Search Engine Marketing Certification program emailed me with some feedback about the program (very positive) and also posed a question about what industries need the least amount of education about search marketing. What industries are hiring in particular? Which I thought was a great question.

Many search marketing and interactive marketing agencies focus on certain vertical categories, so I don’t think you’d get too many consistent answers. However, if a hundred more different agencies, in-house marketers and consultants participated in such a survey, I think we’d get some pretty interesting data. And that leads me to this week’s reader poll:

What industries are most search marketing savvy?

  • Internet (26%, 34 Votes)
  • Real Estate (14%, 19 Votes)
  • Computer Hardware/Software (14%, 18 Votes)
Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Best Blog Content

reader poll

If you’re a regular reader of Online Marketing Blog, you’ll know we like to tweak things on a pretty regular basis. I send such refinement requests to Thomas, my blogmaster, just about every day. “Make this bigger, make that smaller, add xyz plug-in or check on something with our host VISI”. I’m sure it’s annoying but it’s what he gets paid for. 🙂

Like many bloggers I look at stats pretty often and since we started using the most recent version of Google Analytics, I’ve been able to get a better handle on what kind of content generates the most interest (and inquiries) as well as traffic sources, etc. In fact, I just checked this morning and see for April to June 28, 2007 the 5 most popular resource pages (in terms of traffic) were: