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.

  • Yes (71%)
  • No (19%)
  • Maybe – see my comments (10%)

Do You Take on Pay for Performance SEO Projects? 35 Votes
Here the consensus was no pay for performance but many commenters pointed out that in order for it to work, efforts must be well coordinated and defined.

  • No (66%)
  • Yes (17%)
  • Partial – Explained in comments (17%)

Can SES, SIS, SMX, Pubcon and New SEM Conferences Coexist and Succeed? 94 Votes
The addition of SMX and revival of ClickZ events brought many more conference offerings this year. Readers provided lively commentary (25 comments) and felt the increase of regional events will better serve unique interests. At the time of the poll, I think most people were pretty optimistic. That may change once a few post-Danny SES events and more SMX conferences occur.

  • Yes (69%)
  • No (17%)
  • Maybe – see my explanation in the comments (14%)

What is the Strongest Signal of Credibility for a Marketing Agency? 55 Votes
This poll was actually an article with a survey at the end. The votes went for client testimonials but the comments were definitely in favor of case studies.

  • Client Testimonials (25%)
  • Word on the Street – Buzz – Word of Mouth (15%)
  • Case Studies (13%)
  • Being Quoted by the Press, Blogs (11%)
  • Client List (7%)

How Many Conferences Does Your Employer Pay for You to Attend Each Year? 52 Votes
Before I started my own company, my employers didn’t send us to any conferences. We had to take vacation time and pay our own way. It’s great to see that 87% of respondents were sent to at least one conference per year on the employer’s dime. Considering the variety of conferences and workshops plus travel and accommodations, sending employees to events is expensive. Just checking hotels for ad:tech in November is showing a staggering $600 minimum per night rate at area hotels.

  • 1-2 (54%)
  • 3-5 (23%)
  • None (13%)
  • 6-8 (8%)
  • 9+ (2%)

What is Your Top Online Communication and Networking Tool? 55 Votes
Tried and true, email is holding it’s own right alongside the up and coming social networking tools. With Twitter’s popularity, I would think this poll might turn out slightly differently if run again. One interesting observation is that many of these tools are used together, so it’s not exactly a mutually exclusive situation, which makes voting on one not that practical. We live and we learn.

  • Email (31%)
  • Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace) (27%)
  • Blogs (15%)
  • Instant Messaging (9%)
  • Social Apps (Digg, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube) (7%)

What Industries Are Most Search Marketing Savvy? 133 Votes
This one was a screw up as we omitted travel and kept internet, which is a given. Regardless, it was interesting feedback on the other industries voted on.

  • Internet (26%)
  • Real Estate (14%)
  • Computer Hardware/Software (14%)
  • Financial Services (8%)
  • Insurance (5%)

What Kind of Posts Do You Prefer On This Blog? 22 Votes
The people have spoken and a mix of content types as the winner with practical and informational posts a close second. I was surprised that conference coverage didn’t rate higher since we put out so much of it.

  • A mixture, keep it like it is (27%)
  • How to’s and tips (23%)
  • Rants (18%)
  • Interviews (9%)
  • Search marketing blog updates (9%)

What is Your Favorite U.S. City for Conferences? 106 Votes
It was surprising not to see San Jose make the top five since the largest SES conference is held there, but then again, there’s a difference between the conference and the city it’s held in.

  • Las Vegas (18%)
  • New York (16%)
  • San Francisco (15%)
  • Chicago (10%)
  • Seattle (9%)

What is Your Favorite Keyword Research Tool? 154 Votes
A tie! I’m looking forward to running this one again with a few more tools. Keyword Discovery made great progress in the past year against WordTracker, but no tool is perfect and I think the services need to realize that customer service might be their biggest differentiation point for retaining clients. Otherwise, a talented up and comer could steal this market share.

  • Keyword Discovery (18%)
  • Wordtracker (18%)
  • WordZe (15%)
  • Google Keyword Tool (14%)
  • SeoDigger (12%)

What is Your Biggest Current Concern Related to Search Marketing? 66 Votes
We’ve had a bit of disinformation and SEO blogging blunders this year as well as conference presenters giving flat out incorrect information in a few under-promoted situations. Let’s skip the gossipy, schoolyard silliness and grow this industry through happy clients and profitable consulting practices. Anyone with me on that?

  • Disinformation, Rumors, Divisions, That Sort of Thing (26%)
  • Google Getting Too Big (15%)
  • Click Fraud (11%)
  • Staying Current With Search Marketing (11%)
  • How to Leverage Social Media (9%)

What is Your Favorite Search Marketing Email Newsletter? 139 Votes
Search Engine Land was the clear winner on this one which is a great coup for Danny Sullivan as SEL was fairly new at the time of this poll.

  • Search Engine Land – Search Cap (45%)
  • WebProNews (30%)
  • SEW Search Day (6%)
  • High Rankings Advisor (6%)
  • ClickZ Search Engine Marketing (3%)

What is Your Favorite Search Marketing Podcast? 512 Votes
David Brown did a great job promoting this poll and subsequently contributing to the record number of votes to this poll. Overall, WebmasterRadio.FM took the ady with 3 of the top five shows.

  • Beginning SEO Podcast – David Brown & Brian Mark (14%)
  • Daily Search Cast – Danny Sullivan (13%)
  • RSS Ray – Brian Offenberger (13%)
  • Strike Point – Dave Naylor (13%)
  • SEO Radio – Bryan Azorsky (10%)

Reader Poll: Best Search Marketing News Mashups? 22 Votes
A light turnout on this one. I used to spend a lot more time on SEOMash but then Sphinn came along. The interaction options and variety of stories on Sphinn make it an interesting place to consume a variety of SEO/SEM topics.

  • SEOMash (27%)
  • Web Analytics World (27%)
  • BUMPzee SEO/SEM Community (23%)
  • Search Brains (14%)
  • News Now Search Engines (5%)

We have a new monster sized survey (TopRank’s Reader’s Choice Awards for Search Marketing) coming up focusing on search marketing resources ranging from online training programs to SEO tools to social media platforms. We’ll be posting a call for entries the first week of November and running the actual survey for 3 weeks. Results will be tabulated and published the first week of December.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. here’s some chatter in favor of a minnesota search association. i think the 21 count indicates a lot of minnesota search people are on the quiet side.

  2. Thanks Chris 🙂

  3. A mixture, keep it like it is (27%).wow thats interesting.I thought niche websites supposedly is to be everyone’s preference