Archives for May 2007

Are Search Engine Rankings Dead?

The phrases “search engine optimizaton” and “rankings” have gone hand in hand since the start of the search marketing industry. Agencies have gone so far as to use “rankings” as part of their name such as Jill Whalen’s High Rankings, David Wallace’s “Search Rank” and of course, our company “TopRank”.

With the advent of personalization and impending changes with the interface of search results, the notion of ranking seems to be on it’s way out. In the past 3-4 years, most SEO consulting firms have been focusing on traffic and especially the past 2-3 years on conversions. Standard search engine rankings as a proxy to sales will become irrelevant, especially as other channels of search have emerged in popularity.

Search Insider Summit Wrap Up

This week was my first MediaPost Search Insider Summit event and I was glad to have been able to participate. I’ve been a reader of MediaPost publications on and offline for several years and have been a big fan of the Search Insider, which is pretty much the only email format search marketing content that I’ll actually read outside of my ClickZ subscriptions.

To answer a question I had posted to Gord Hotchkiss in an interview last week, “What’s different about the Search Insider Summit conference from other search marketing related conferences?”, is that both the content and the conversations were weighted more towards the strategic side of search marketing. In fact, I overheard Gord at the end of the conference say he had more strategic discussions about the future of the search marketing industry this week than he’d had at any other conference.

Reader Poll: Best Search Marketing News Mashups

reader poll

Whenever I look at our huge list of search marketing blogs, I think several things, one of which is “so many blogs, so little time”. One way to cut through the clutter is to use a mashup or aggregator. There are many of these and I’d like to find out which of the search marketing mashups/aggregator sites below you like best.

What is your favorite search marketing news mashup?

  • SEOMash (27%, 6 Votes)
  • Web Analytics World (27%, 6 Votes)
  • BUMPzee SEO/SEM Community (23%, 5 Votes)
  • Search Brains (14%, 3 Votes)
  • News Now Search Engines (5%, 1 Votes)
  • Megite (5%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 22

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In case you’re not familiar, links to each of the aggregator/mashups is below:

Yahoo Contest Giving $25k Away in Advertising

Normally we don’t really cover a lot of industry news here at Online Marketing Blog.  We leave that to the experts at Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Marketing Pilgrim. However, when a search engine reaches out with a particularly interesting message, we can make exceptions.

For example, the new “Ultimate Connection” contest from Yahoo Search Marketing which involves Ivanka Trump. I had to read that twice and thought it an interesting choice of celebrity.    Whenever I hear about search marketing contests involving essays, I always think of Marketing Pilgrim’s Scholarship, but such methods of promotion have been around a lot longer than SEO blogs.

Competitive Intelligence – Search Insider Summit

Competitive Intelligence
Competitive Intelligence — One of the most powerful aspects of search engine marketing is the intelligence you can gain from it, both about your own brands and your competitors. Just how much can you find out about the competition? What tools and strategies should you use? Here you’ll learn how to gain or retain your competitive edge.

This session featured Patrick Lopez from iCrossing, Tom O’Grady from AdGooRoo, LeeAnn Prescott from Hitwise, Matt Roche from Offermatica and moderation duties were handled by Cam Balzer from DoubleClick Performics, who I interviewed early in the conference.

Overall, this session was a bit light, but it was great to get specific numbers from HitWise, as I would expect, and also both Tom O’Grady and Matt Roche did a great job explaining their products. Matt Roche offered an excellent strategic perspective on online competitive intelligence and he was a standout person on the panel.

Avoiding TypePad Duplicate Homepages

TypePad DuplicateI had a client recently ask me about a blog that was using TypePad’s domain mapping feature and it was causing duplicate homepage URLs for the blog. The first was to and the second was to They were concerted that their Technorati rank and linking efforts were being compromised. And, of course, they wanted a fix.

I did some digging around it and it turns out that it’s the way the domain mapping was setup in TypePad that was causing the issue. It can be fixed, but there are consequences.

In the client’s TypePad account there are actually two blogs, each with a unique URL.


Out of the two blogs above, #1 is set up as the ‘home blog’ meaning that it can be accessed via the main URL ( and the unique URL (

Search Insiders Tell All Video – Search Insider Summit

I went the lazy but entertaining route and took some video of the “Search Insiders Tell All” session yesterday afternoon that included David Berkowitz, Aaron Goldman, Bob Heyman and Gord Hotchkiss.

Here the “Search Insiders” about personalization, brand stewardship, Google DoubleClick and the disparity in standards applied to search marketing that are not applied to TV or direct response marketing.


Here is a discussion of video search, advertising and marketing.


Integrating Search with Other Marketing Channels

Integrating Search with Other Channels
Day two of the Search Insider Summit was full of great presentations and commentary, so be sure to read the frequently updated MediaPost Raw blog.

Since many of the attendees of the Summit are the kinds of companies, marketers and agencies that employ various types of marketing channels, both on and offline, the opportunity to present examples and case studies of integration with search was ideal.

Some of the high level takeaways from this session include the importance for company marketers to set expectations when enegaging in an integrated campaign as well as the importance of coordination. Larger agencies that are capable of managing multi channel programs including search may have an easier time than a situation where a company uses multiple agencies to manage their various marketing programs.

Search Insider Summit Videos

We are all about the social media on this blog and our coverage of conferences with interviews, photos and below a few videos.


Here is the programming chair of the conference, David Berkowitz talking about how this is the biggest Search Insider Summit yet as well as the kinds of topics that drove the programming ranging from innovative search technology to click fraud to mobile marketing.

I also caught up with Cam Balzer of GoogleClick Performics 🙂 oops, I mean DoubleClick Performics. As tempting as it was to ask Cam about Google’s acquisition of a company that provides natural and paid search marketing services, I kept it PC.

Cam moderated a competitive intelligence panel and he shares his insights about CI for ROI versus branding campaigns and does provide a well coached answer about Google/DoubleClick. You’ve got to love that media training.

Video Search Optimization – Search Insider Summit

Video Search Optimization
The first of the breakout sessions was a choice between click fraud and this session on video search optimization. This was an easy choice since video optimization is an important component of social media campaigns and we like the social media here at Online Marketing Blog.

The session was moderated by Matt Spiegel of Resolution Media and speakers included: Chase Norlin from Pixsy, Scott Rhodes of VeoTag, Christy Tanner of TV Guide and Dan Perry from

Matt Spiegel: Is online video search for entertainment or other purposes?

Christy Tanner: Increasingly people are watching TV online and not conforming to old models of “turning on the TV”. There are also science, news and technology applications for online video.

The Future of Search Engine Innovation

Ravi Raj Ron Belanger
From the conference session handbook: The Future of Search Engine Innovation – As search engines evolve, so must the methods of the marketers. We’re seeing the emergence of smart mashups, of visual search engines and personalized search. What does the future hold for search marketers and advertisers as they struggle to match speed of improvement being set by the engines themselves?

This session was moderated by David Berkowitz of 360i and included: Ron Belanger of Yahoo!, Paul Martino of Aggregate Knowledge, Chase Norlin of Pixsy filling in for Dr. Barney Pell of Powerset, and Ravi Raj from Kosmix.

First up is Ron Belanger who basically sums up three areas of focus for Yahoo in terms of search engine innovation. They include:
1. Getting search to mobile

Search Insider Summit Keynote Day One

Esther Dyson of Edventure Holdings and David Vise of and author of “The Google Story” took their seats on the stage as the first keynote for MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit here in sunny Florida. The schedule says Esther will be interviewed about the semantic web, but we get much more than that from this impromptu interview that includes some mystic channeling.

Q and A style presentations are, as you might imagine, a bit challenging to blog. So I’ve not captured everything exactly but my notes should give a good indication of the exchange. Keep in mind, some of the content below is verbatim and some is my characterization.

David: I’m Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. I turned down a huge offer from Microsoft. Did I make a smart decision?