Just got back from the Search Engine Strategies
Conference in Boston - THE search marketing
few notes to share with you.
Overture Buying AltaVista and Fast
It's been in the press for two months now, but
in case you haven't heard Yahoo is in the process
of buying the Inktomi search engine, a major
search engine that supplies results to many
others including MSN Search.
At the same time
Overture, the leading distributor of pay-per-click
ads supplying many of the majors including Yahoo,
is buying the AltaVista and Fast Search engines.
We'll have to wait and see how these acquisitions
affect the overall search engine field.
marketing reduces overall marketing costs for
Many companies are seeing a dramatic reduction
in their overall marketing cost by focusing
on search marketing.
can be expensive to market through search engines
effectively, but it's still far less expensive
than other forms of marketing such as print
In addition, many companies are finding that
search engine marketing is much more targeted
than other forms of marketing and this is resulting
in a lower cost to acquire a new customer.
ROI tools are maturing
It can be difficult and expensive to track visitors
to your web site all the way through to a sale.
The better we can track visitors the more accurately
we determine your Return on Investment for search
marketing as well as determine what search terms
(keyword phrases) and which search engines are
There are new tools available and we expect
to test some of these soon. This new family
of tracking tools doesn't have the problems
inherit in the first generation of tools we've
tried in the past.
The first generation tools (They are usually
called something like "click tracking")
pass your visitor through a click tracking server
before sending them on to your web site. This
can result in lost traffic if there's a problem
with the click tracking server.
Editorial listings will remain important
Search engine listings can be broken into two
categories, pay-for-placement (PPC) and Editorial
(also called Organic Listings). With pay-for-placement
listings you determine your place in the search
engine results (called Ranking) by the amount
you pay. Usually the more you pay the higher
you'll be placed in the listings (Such as with
Overture's pay-per-click listings). These listings
are usually highlighted in the search results
and refereed to by names such as "Sponsored
Many people believe that paying for placement
is the way of the future with search engines
and that Editorial listings are going the way
of the dinosaur.
Editorial listings are the traditional search
results. The search engines attempt to list
the results based on their ‘relevancy’
to the search. The results are ranked based
on many variables that we can affect through
Search Engine Optimization techniques such as
including important keywords in Page Titles
and within the visible text on the page, through
link building, etc.
Most companies reported that their clients get
far more traffic from their editorial listings
than their pay-per-placement ads. This is the
case with most of our clients too. There are
a many reasons why this is the case including
Many people will not click on sponsored listings.
They’ll only use the traditional editorial
results that they believe are more relevant
than the sponsored listings.
In addition, many small businesses just can't
afford to pay the often very high per-click
charges needed to stay at the top of the listings.
Finally many companies reported that placing
high in the both the Editorial listings and
the sponsored listings gave them the best results
as they receive a mixture of pay-per-click traffic
and 'free' editorial traffic.