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SMX West Day 1: One Search Marketer’s Adventure

Search 3.0, 4.0 and Beyond? At SMX West conference, Danny Sullivan’s keynote outlines thekeynote growth stages of search from 1.0 to 5.0. Here’s how he defines it:
1.0 – On-page keyword optimization. It was easier to gain rank in the olden days.
2.0 – Now we have evolved to off-page factors such as page rank, links, click throughs, and etc.
3.0 – Blended results/universal search and vertical search we see today.
4.0 – Personalized and social results such as iGoogle, Google bookmarks, search history (clicks), web history (visits).
5.0 – More human editors, wikis.

More human editors? I’m not getting this direction unless he’s referring more to social media sites. The content is still not very relevant. How can search sort through the clutter?

In session Decrypting Quality Scores, an examination of how quality scores can make a dramatic difference in a search marketing campaign. Personally I have seen bids go from $1 to $5 and $10 due to low quality scores. Presenters emphasized that the user experience is key and is a driving force in creating quality scores. A lot of of this is “stop the bad guy” motivated. Pay attention to the key quality score factors and you can’t fail:
1. CTR by position
2. Account history
3. Landing page

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for me, this day it was LUNCH. At SMX West they offered Lunch with a Google Engineer: “Join a Google search engineer for lunch and ask SEO-related questions plus share your thoughts on how Google deals with web sites”. I signed up right away and joined eight other people with Google engineer Matt Cutts. While my peers mock me because I am fan, I feel no shame to say it was totally cool. Totally.

I barely finished my delicious hot lunch when when we were summoned, wait– drawn to, a special session for Yahoo announcing “Search Monkey”, a set of open-source tools that allow users and publishers to annotate and enhance search results associated with specific websites. Yahoo has example of this open search platform that allows websites to “present their most engaging and relevant content to Yahoo searchers”. I’m very interested to learn more about the parameters surrounding the data you can submit.

Next, I attended Search Marketing and Persona Models. My new friend Jolina of TopRank Blog does a great job of explaining persona models and online marketing in her recent post.

Economics of Search gets my vote for most complicated mathematical equations by a presenter by Hal Varian, Chief Economist for Google. He said he was told to never teach an econ class after 4:00 pm. As an econ major I was fully awake and entranced in the microeconomics of search. Following this, for one short moment, I got a taste of what it would be like to be a Harvard Business School student after hearing Peter A Coles eloquently speak. My blog-mate Sarah will be happy to know that one of the speakers predicted display will become more relevant and better targeted, therefore more effective and poised to grow with search over the next few years.

The pitfalls outed in “Avoiding PPC Pitfalls” sounded like a day in the life of ME. I could relate, but had to look away. Picked up great advice on how to optimize content targeted campaigns that I can use right away.
search-bowlAfter a too brief tailgating gathering, it was on to Search Bowl. Experts competed game show style with buzzers to guess search trivia questions, many old school. I think a little Howie, metal cases, and one millian dollars would have kept me around, but we had to cut out early for a mexican fiesta and eventual siesta…

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Categories: online marketing, PPC, search, SEO

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