Wednesday, December 22, 2004

US and Canadian Marketers to Spend $4 Billion on Search Engine Marketing

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) published a research paper, "The State of Search Engine Marketing 2004," which concludes that in the U.S. and Canadian market, advertisers will spend $4.087 billion dollars this year on search marketing programs. That figure comprises payments to search engines and search-related media companies, search engine marketing agencies as well as in- house expenditures in support of such programs, including "paid placement," "paid inclusion," "organic search engine optimization" and "search engine marketing technology platforms"
The final report breaks down advertiser spending for 2004 in several areas:

$3.058 billion to search media companies
$618 million on SEM-related in-house expenses within advertising corporations
$380 million to search engine marketing agencies
$30 million in SEM technology licensing fees
The report also estimated that marketers will spend (including both in-house and external media, service and licensing expenses)

$3.342 billion on paid placement campaigns
$492 million on organic search engine optimization
$182 million on paid inclusion
$72 million on SEM-related technology services

Notable findings in the study include the following:

Advertisers said on average they have witnessed bid prices rise 26% in the last 12 months for keywords they commonly buy but said they could stand on average another 33% increase in the price and still make a profitable transaction.
Only 41% of advertisers reported that SEM budgets were newly created funds for this purpose; the rest said SEM budgets were coming in whole or in part from shifts away from traditional or Internet marketing programs.
The biggest shift in terms of share of budget was transferred from paid listings on shopping directories, e-mail programs, web display advertising, and print magazine and newspaper ads.
Brand awareness was overall the #1 objective advertisers set for search marketing programs, just beating out sales and lead generation initiatives.
50% of advertiser respondents said that their senior executive staff considered the company's search marketing initiatives a "high priority" (although that figure dropped to 32% of companies with staff sizes larger than 500).
Advertisers expect to spend, on average, 39% more on all search marketing programs (organic SEO, paid placement, paid inclusion and SEM technology) in 2005 compared to 2004
Smaller firms projected 32% more while larger firms (larger than 500 employees) projected a 43% year-over-year increase.
SEM agencies optimistically projected budget overall gross revenue increases for 2005 of 79% on average.
52% of advertisers said they would manage 100% of their 2005 spending on both paid inclusion and organic SEO in-house;
On average, advertises said they would outsource 28% of their spending on paid placement and 29% of their organic SEO through agencies.
A summary copy of the research is publicly available on SEMPO's web site.

Research Brief from:

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Search Engine Marketing becoming the tool for 2005

Marketers, account execs and analysts have seen the value of branding and exposure in search. It will be used to support promotions, product launches and advertising campaigns. SEM strategists will increase their budgets to integrate associative terms for their client's target markets. Is that all...?

Paid Search, Pay for Performance, Pay for Placement, PPC Managment, Paid listings, CPC

So, they're all paid in their own rights. Instead of worrying about who's bidding ahead of me or I need to be #1 for "kangaroo pouch pillows", SEM's will be utilizing paid strategies to ensure the optimal branding exposure for their clients, supplement gaps in their organic positioning, support promotions, new products and in the costs higher. If your client isn't increasing their paid strategy budget, well they better be implementing a new organic SEO strategy, if they haven't already.

Local Search, Localized Search:

What's the big deal?
If you are an Uncle Larry's Drug Store in New Paltz, NY and you do not have a website, how are you measuring your investment? Does Uncle Larry actually need a website? It's Yellow Pages online, well you get a nice dot on a map. I'm not seeing the benefit to the little guys yet.

Pay per Call:

"Uhm, Hello, yeah I was just on your web site, and do they come in periwinkle?" Seems like this is still in BETA.

Mobile Search Advertising:

Well if you pay $59.99 a month for the privacy of your own line and the ability to use it on the go, well you should be interrupted with ads while psuhing that web browser button. Guess this is still in BETA as well.

Personalized Search:

Google came out with their desktop search tool, MSN did too and so did Ask Jeeves. This seems to be the most potential for a custom-user browsing experience. If they can base the content of your browser on what you do on a daily basis, eliminating those affiliate ads, "spamorganic" listings and endless hours of never finding what you need ... then I'm all for it. In a way this becomes a tool for SEM's looking to place ads that have been behavioral targeted based on your unique IP or a cookie. If you delete your cookies, then is it really behavioral or temporal? Or are they just more content-targeted ads like Adsense or Kanoodle's content targeted keywords? You want personalized search...give me a Corona, beach chair, laptop and a view of the ocean. Now that's personal.

Blog Marketing, Weblogs, Blogarama - Tell us how you feel...

Good source for fresh updated content supporting your organic SEO strategy. This new tactic allows companies to show thier customers a personal side of their product. Keep your customers updated on your research and development. These also get crawled on a daily basis due to their fresh nature. Blogging, it's not for everyone and it takes one person to keep this updated ona daily basis so it doesn't go stale overnight because the blogging community will let you know so. Inlcude links to your website to improve linking stratigies and make sure the design is similair to your actual site. Research it, analyze the benefits for you and if so, setting it up is easy.

XML feeds, Data feeds, RSS feeds, Content Syndication, Press Releases, Oh My!

Yes there seems to be a backdoor into the search engines these days. Content syndication has allowed marketers, pr firms and even Uncle Larry to distribute current news about a product, sale or promotion online to a vast amount of media outlets including Google News, Yahoo! News, Pr Web, EmediaWire and whoever else picks it up. Not only will this encourage potential customers to click away to your web site, but these feeds and releases are getting indexed in record time. So ask your local SEM buddy to set one up for you or do-it-yourself.

Podcasting...Will Search be coming to an iPod near you? Never know...

At at last, our golden boy...Organic SEO, Search Engine Optimization

The art and science of manipulating a web site to position higher in search engines. some say it's a black art some say it's white. Just depends if you're into your doorway pages, cloaking, "keyword enriched information pages", ALT spamming, META spamming, anchor text spamming, invisible spam, but it sure isn't edible SPAM!

You could just call it, SPAMORGANIC

Google seems to be trying to clean up its act these days, adjusting backlinks, Pagerank, weighting META, TITLES, inbound links, etc. Yahoo seems to do a better job of offering filtered results that actually relate to your search and MSN, well they just need to get their act together...come on Microsoft, with all that money and your BETA search flops on its first day of school. Continue your link building campaigns and providing the best content/topic specific's good spider food. mmm mm. Oganic positioning will be the long term goal for many SEM's in 2005 as paid search budgets increase or get left behind to the cost-effective solution that these natural listings provide. Make sure you have some way to measure all of this as well. Why invest your money if you can't even measure simple ROI or CPA? I lean towards Urchin, but some others include Web Trends, WebSideStory, Clicktracks, etc.

Well that seems to be the way 2005 is looking from 2004, but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

Feel free to post comments or email me here

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Search Engine Marketing: Looking Back into 2004

According to DMNews: A survey of search engine advertisers found that the No. 1 objective for their search marketing programs is building brand awareness, rather than generating sales. The rising price of keywords has not affected paid placement spending. Only 23 percent of marketers said they could not tolerate further increases. On average, advertisers said they could handle price increases of 33 percent while still maintaining positive return. Jupiter Research forecasts click prices will rise 31 percent in 2005. What's to happen in 2005...? Seems like a lot of big businesses are missing the boat on organic search or feel it may not be as measurable as paid. What do you think? Missing out on these "free", natural, organic listings?

Microsoft Corp. released its long-awaited desktop search technology yesterday, entering a crowded race to dominate information access on Windows-based PCs.

The new MSN Toolbar Suite includes an updated version of a toolbar plug-in for Internet Explorer, and new toolbars for the MSN Deskbar, Windows Explorer and Outlook. It can be downloaded at It is expected to be available globally next year.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Podvertising...New Medium for Offline Advertising...Coming to an iPod near you

Savvy online marketers have a whole new medium to exploit: It's called "podcasting." Could this be the next Discuss at WebProWorld.

Podcasting -- a play on the words broadcasting and Web-casting. A podcast is a time-shifted audio program that can be created using a simple microphone-equipped PC. It is distributed to subscribers via RSS. Users who subscribe to a program's feed receive new episodes on their Mac or PC as they are released. The audio file is then subsequently automatically synched to an iPod or equivalent MP3 digital music player, allowing the subscriber to listen to the time-shifted program at their convenience.

Will the ability to launch RSS feeds on ipods, spark a new avenue for search engine marketing tactics. The ability to receive newsworthy info on your ipod while walking down the street, carving down the slopes or burning calories on that elliptical; it's exciting! Another way to think outside the box and garner some of those Generation Y consumer dollars.

How to make an RSS feed

Friday, December 03, 2004

Well, it's Friday and it seems that I've got a possible new gig. I'm pulling together some research to write my first article for Digital Web's online mag.
I'm debating whether to cover something new like multimedia search or behavioral targeting, or something that is useful to small business owners like integrating your online stratigies with your offline advertising, buying cycles and seasonal buyers. More to come as I venture into the land of search engine marketing writer...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Excerpt from MediaPost Daily:

Readers responded enthusiastically last week after the Minute's request for ideas to name Microsoft's search engine something other than, well, MSN Search.

BJ Cook, a search engine marketing strategist at [company] suggested "SNurch," a send up of "Lurch" from the Adams Family, "Snetch," or "Snooch."

Matt Debes, a senior sales planner at AOL, took a more obvious route with "Microscope," "Peeping Bill," (which he says is like a "Windows Searcher"), and "Searchsoft."

Media Post Article

Whoa I got recognition next to the likes of AOL. I'm going global!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Unfortunately, I sold my Looksmart stock yesterday at $1.80/share instead of waiting today for $2.01/share! Very disappointed. SIRIUS seems to be doing well these days with the addition of the new CEO and Howard Stern. Keep on the lookout for them.

Back to SEM NEWS:

Seems as if the WebmasterWorld Conference was a hit, as I was tracking the updates in the Search Engine Roundtable site.

Faulty clustering in Yahoo!, hmm...?
Also, how does everyone feel about the new Google Certified Professional Search Engine Specialists Program? Seems like a revenue generating source for Google, is it worth it though?
Check out the Rich Media vs. SEM article over at

Until later in the week, signing off at Laundry Media

Friday, November 19, 2004

Beach Volleyball Clothing from FLUXX has been born. These guys seem to have the right business model. They are using viral marketing and some search engine marketing in order to achieve optimal placement within a niche market as well as position themselves brand-wise. I see they are donating a portion of their sale also to the American Cancer Society as well. Great Cause and could prove to be the driving force behind their existence.

Check out Fluxx Volleyball Clothing for more info!

The Fluxx has risen!

Friday, January 16, 2004

New Endeavour --

anyways, so I joined a new mailinglist for CSS. Love it. In fact, Eric Meyers is the "list chaperone." Check out his page, I just bought his new book, "CSS design for Web Pages." I've picked up CSS in the last two days and it is addictive! I love the control, the table-less designs, clean code and now I've redesigned our company's homepage, fully CSS design driven piece of work. I'm all for CSS, give it a go and check out some of these sites:
CSS Zen Garden, wow
and check out Owen's site (my first encounter with CSS, thanks) for great box model hacks, The Noodle Incident