Search marketing’s gone social. I’m not just talking about the consumer-driven, new layer of social engineering. Like the you-rate-it brand of Yahoo! Local or Judy’s Book that translates user reviews and up to 5 stars of love into higher local rankings. Nor do I mean Google’s new Co-Op that invites searchers to contribute or follow expert LinkTrails known as Subscribed Links. Or even Google or Yahoo! Answers where instant fame and microfortunes await those who answer user queries personally. The kind of celebrity I refer to puts a new sheen on Webmastery. And it’s hotter than voting for the coolest blog posts on Digg or Del.icio.us.
The Search Marketing industry itself is becoming a glittering media showcase of daily streamed talk shows and podcasts filling up the pipes from online cybercasters like WebmasterRadio.fm, among other beacons, that have created a new genre of SEM Radio and even Search TV.
Just as Seattle was tuning up for Folk Life Festival, the traveling search folksonomy and road show known as “Search Engine Watch Live” rolled into town with a stellar line-up that has captured an enormous worldwide audience for its daily dose of insights and search acumen.
Led by Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch founder and permanent host of the half-hour Daily Search Cast, the panelists have each achieved a kind of Web stardom for their online marketing prowess not seen before in such a syndicated, media-centric fashion. Danny, a journalist who has covered the search industry from its infancy with equal parts humor, disection, opinion and irreverence usually does the show live from his home office outside of London where he telecommutes from the UK to the major search capitols. As MC of the Search Engine Strategies conferences, he can be spotted each quarter at events in New York, Chicago, Toronto and San Jose. The SearchEngineWatch blog is required reading for anyone involved in Web marketing. <http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/>
Jen Slegg, also known as Jen Starr, has taken over as the anchorwoman of Contextual PPC Advertising with her Click This! streaming radio show. Jensense.com is top-of-the-charts and Blog Roll for those interested in contextual advertising from Google AdSense to Yahoo’s Publishing Network (YPN) and beyond.
The two SEO Rockstars, aka Todd Friesen (The Oilman from Vancouver Island) and Greg Boser (WebGuerrilla) are the bad boys of search, bending the rules just far enough to avoid breaking out a Black Hat for dark-side search tactics. “Spammin’ and Jammin'” is Boser’s favorite expression and the duo dispense plenty of advice that borders, if not crosses, the line between cloaking, scraping or stuffing your Website for fun and profit.
Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz.org, Heather Lloyd Thomas of SuccessWorks and Larry Sivitz, your author, have also appeared on “The Circuit” covering topics from multivariate copy testing to organic page tuning to the wisdom and SEO karma of blogging.
Those in attendance at Seattle’s Search Engine Watch LIVE were recognized as the most sophisticated audience of the national cognoscenti. There were no simple questions like ‘What is vertical search?” Instead, local SEO’s and SEM’s fired away at the panelists with questions about Google Sitemaps, just where is MSN (and now Google) getting their demographic data about searchers, why are the numbers of Found Results so deceiving, and why do sites fall into and out of the updates or “dances” of each search engine’s gyration?
If you didn’t make the road show, you should make plans now to attend the Summer SES show in San Jose this August (and visit the fabulous GooglePlex). Or you can tune into WebMasterRadio.fm each week for the Daily SearchCast. It’s the next best thing to a search query! [24×7]
Amazon offers demand printing
Amazon.com, the world’s biggest online retailer, has started a program with publishers that allows out-of-print titles and lower-volume books to be printed and shipped on demand when consumers place orders.
Amazon.com’s BookSurge LLC unit introduced the program that will enable books to be published as they are ordered, the Seattle-based retailer said Friday in a statement.
Amazon.com is helping publishers cut costs by eliminating the need for inventory. The Internet retailer acquired BookSurge in April 2005 to enter the print-on-demand book business. BookSurge has more than 10,000 titles, many of them out of print. Amazon.com is investing in companies to boost profit, which has fallen for five straight quarters. [24×7]
aQuantive buys Franchise Gator for $21.5M
Digital marketing company aQuantive Inc. has bought Franchise Gator LLC for $21.5 million in cash.
Atlanta-based Franchise Gator is an Internet-based franchise pay-for-performance marketing service with 10 employees. “(Franchise Gator’s) full-service franchise marketing platform, coupled with aQuantive’s core digital marketing capabilities, will serve as the ‘must-have’ platform for franchisors in the U.S. and abroad,” said Mike Galgon, chief strategy officer of aQuantive, in a statement. Net revenue for Franchise Gator in 2006 is expected to be $7.5 million to $8 million. [24×7]
John L. Scott Launches High-Definition Home Search
Seattle-based John L. Scott Real Estate has launched a High-Definition Home Search tool that uses Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform.
High-Definition Home Search allows visitors to view bird’s eye imagery with a 45-degree view of every home for sale in the greater Seattle area. This imagery can be adjusted to view the property from different angles, and empowers homebuyers to gain a detailed perspective of a specific property and its surroundings by allowing for greater visibility than satellite mapping.
“The creation of High-Definition Home Search will revolutionize the real estate industry and how consumers look for homes,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “By utilizing Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform, visitors to www.JohnLScott.com will have the ability to immerse themselves in a simulated 3-D environment through the use of high-resolution imagery.” [24×7]