Archives for December 2007

List of Regional Search and Interactive Marketing Associations

With increasing demands in opportunity, budget and training with search marketing, the benefits of networking and advocacy have correspondingly increased. Informal networks are prevalent within the SEO business connected by IM, email, private forums etc.

However, as more formal SEM budgets and cost centers are created within organizations looking to expand their search marketing effectiveness, the platform for harvesting collective wisdom and resources often comes in the form of an Association.

SEMPO and IAB are great examples of national organizations (U.S. based) that have had a significant impact. The eMarketing Association has also been around quite a while.

Search Insider Wrap Up – Utah 2007

Welcome to Search Insider Summit
This weekend completed a successful wrap up of MediaPost’s second Search Insider Summit show for 2007. TopRank’s participation with the event involved both speaking (moderating actually) and serving as a media sponsor.

Stein Eriksen Lodge
The Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah was an excellent location for a winter event, especially for those that participated in the snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling activities. Next year the two SIS event will be held in May (down South maybe?) and another Winter event in December. Below is a wrap up of blog posts, images, video and even a few PowerPoint presentations.

Blog Posts and Live Coverage:

BIGLIST Search Marketing Blogs Update 121407

 SEO Blogs

There’s a first time for everything dear readers and today is the first time we do not have new BIGLIST SEO/SEM blog reviews and feeds to be added to the already bloated RSS reader of your choice. That’s not to say we don’t have several in queue, but they’re too new or there are other reasons it’s not time yet. It might also have to do with the fact I’ve been on the road the past week+ and haven’t had as much time to explore new SEM blogs.

Alternatively, I’ll use this post as a reminder of what it is we look for to be included in the BIGLIST.

  • At least 80% on search, social media marketing or web marketing.

SIS Session: Microsoft New Keyword Services Platform

Microsoft adCenter

The sponsored lunch today at Search Insider Summit comes from Microsoft adCenter which included a demo of their new Keyword Services Platform and add-in to Excel 2007.

Stacy Harris from Microsoft adCenter

Stacy Harris:
Feedback from marketers is that traffic is good, but they want more of it. Marketers also want AdCenter to be easier to use.

Natala Menezes Microsoft adCenter

Natala Menezes is up next and promptly announces Stacy was engaged last night!

Key points for current and future development of adCenter: Quality, Transparency and Simplicity.

What does this mean to keyword research, optimization and analysis? Access to real data, not just graphs including demographic and geographic information. It also means easy to use tools including keyword libraries and an adCenter add-in for Excel 2007 which focuses Keyword research, forecasting and monetization data.

Search Insider Summit Day 1 Photos

Intermission Hall

As has become the practice for me while blogging conferences, I take a lot of photos. Not as many as Tamar Weinberg, Barry Schwartz or even David Berkowitz, but quite a few. Out of those photos there are daily favorites that give a visual of what the conference day was like.

Sun Rising Over Mountains

Day one of Search Insider Summit here in Park City Utah was fast paced and information rich. The opening VIP breakfast warmed things up while snow started to fall out side.

Gord Hotchkiss

Sessions covered included Gord Hotchkiss’ opening remarks and keynote debate with Mike Margolin.

Managing Search in an Uncertain Economy

Those lively presentations were followed by Managing Search in an Uncertain Economy and a breakout, Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis.

SIS Audience

SIS Session: Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis

Aaron Goldman

10:45am: Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis with:
Moderator: Aaron Goldman, VP, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships
Marc Barach, CMO, Ingenio
Mike Margolin, VP, Interactive Marketing Director, RPA
Christopher Knoch, Principle Consultant, Omniture Consulting Group, Omniture, Inc.

Aaron excitedly shows slides/stats from eMarketer supporting that budgets are going to local, “local is here”. 20% of all queries are local based but over half of all queries are for local info but do not include geographic terms in the query (according to SEMPO)

Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis

Local campaigns
Chris describes the importance of having locations of all offices your company operates in as well as having a store locator. Don’t overuse brands and use geo phrases in ads.

Aaron: What are some best practices for online-only retailers?

SIS Session: Managing Search in an Uncertain Economy

Managing Search in an Uncertain Economy

9:45am: Managing Search in an Uncertain Economy with:
LeeAnn Prescott, Director, Research & Communications, Efficient Frontier
Roger Barnette, President, SearchIgnite
Joe Charlson, CMO, EDMC
Moderator, Cam Balzer from DoubleClick Performics

Cam: “What uncertain economy?”. Panel will offer two perspectives: Agency (LeeAnn and Roger) and a client side marketer or CMO perspective (Joe).

LeeAnn from Efficient Frontier, manages 300-400 million in paid search management. EFF has seen an increase in spend of 35% over the past year.

Roger from SearchIgnite explains their technology platform and says they haven’t had that much fluctuation.

Joe from EDMC gives a client perspective. EDMC is a parent company, direct response. 70& of students from marketing, lead gen. Sees search spend rates to continue. In the past took a leap of faith and spent more without the data tracking and now that they have that, they’ll continue.

SIS Session: Will Big Agencies Ever “Get” Search?

Gord Hotchkiss Mike Margolin

9:00am: Keynote address – FaceOff: Will Agencies Ever “Get” Search? with:
Gord Hotchkiss, CEO & President, Enquiro
Mike Margolin, VP, Interactive Marketing Director, RPA

To present his point about whether agencies “get” search or not, Gord started things out by telling a story. He brings up John from MediaPost to be a human map of Ontario, points out some factual information about Ontario.

Gord asks the audience, “Based on that, would you want to visit?”  Not really. To find out more about Ontario, what would you do? Search.

Using broad topics and search phrases, what sorts of sites would you expect to find? Official Tourism board. Unfortunately, that site isn’t going to get found. What the OTB bid via paid search was all long tail phrases and only from April – July. Doing so misses out on all the investigative search and off season search from people planning vacations.

SIS Opening Remarks Gord Hotchkiss

Gord Hotchkiss

Opening remarks: Gord Hotchkiss, CEO & President, Enquiro —Emcee of the Search Insider Summit

Where is search at? This year was the first time seeing a major change to what users see via universal or combined search, as well as the beginning of personalization and search term suggestions or query refinement.

Gord recently talked to usability people at the major search engines via a webinar which can be found at

The “holy grail” of search is disambiguation, i.e. understanding user intent.

Four things that came out of the webinar.

Personalization holds promise, but in 2008 it’s not going to impact user experience that much. Engines like Google will continue to play with personalization in the coming year, but don’t expect much.

Search Insider Summit Day 1

View from Stein Eriksen Lodge

Despite the snowy, blowy mountains outside it’s going to be hot inside at the Search Insider Summit conference with the following sessions on my plate for attending and some for blogging:

VIP Breakfast: Compete, Inc. – “Carving Up the Market in Park City – Your guide to segmenting the marketplace for better ad targeting”

8:45 am:
Opening remarks: Gord Hotchkiss, CEO & President, Enquiro —Emcee of the Search Insider Summit

Keynote address – FaceOff: Will Agencies Ever “Get” Search? with Gord Hotchkiss, CEO & President, Enquiro and Mike Margolin, VP, Interactive Marketing Director, RPA

Managing Search in an Uncertain Economy with:
LeeAnn Prescott, Director, Research & Communications, Efficient Frontier
Roger Barnette, President, SearchIgnite
Brian Boland, Director, Microsoft adCenter
Joe Charlson, CMO, EDMC

Search Insider Summit Day .05 Photos

Welcome to Search Insider Summit

You know those stories you hear once in a while about people who “blog in the nude”? Well, that will never be me but I am in a plush robe courtesy of Stein Eriksen Lodge, the place where Mediapost’s Search Insider Summit is being held the rest of this week and on Saturday. I just returned from the opening reception where hours’dourves and drinks were served along with smart conversation.

Aaron Goldman

Familiar faces included Aaron Goldman from Resolution Media, Gord Hotchkiss from Enquiro, David Berkowitz from 360i, Natala Menezes from Microsoft and Paul Bruemmer from Red Door Interactive. What’s nice about SIS events is that I DON’T know that many people yet and get to meet really interesting people from interesting companies like Carel Hearon from eLuxury, Carrie Coffee from Medio, Kendall Fargo from Intuit and John Hart from a particularly interesting technology company out of New Zealand called vortexDNA.

Link It Up – Fun Links from the Inbox

We get lots of links recommendations daily from friends, industry peers, PR interns who have absolutely no idea what they’re doing and way too many mindless bots. In a moment of weakness as I wait for the opening reception for SIS to start, I thought I’d share a few worthy links from others and a few of our own.

Stairway to Google Heaven – Mel Carson from Microsoft was inspired by the Fishkins Rand and Gillian to write this blog post ode to what search marketing can do for good causes.

he finer points of top rankings – podcast interview with small business marketing legend, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing and myself on leveraging social media and networking channels such as Twitter, MyBlogLog and StumbleUpon. mp3