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Tagged with: mike moran

Moran_3E_COVER-230x300 Search keeps changing--and social is a big reason whyBill Hunt and Mike Moran are launching the third edition of our best-selling book Search Engine Marketing, Inc. today, and so much has changed since the first edition came out in 2005. Back then, it was a revelation to folks that search marketing might be more about marketing than search–and that return on investment might be more important than optimizing a <title> tag.

Since then, just about everyone has grown to realize that search gives you a way to reach customers that nothing else can–they raise their hand and say “market to me” at their moment of need. And as search has become more and more important in the scheme of things, some people have constantly said that “SEO is dead” just because optimizing title tags doesn’t give you a #1 result anymore.

What’s really happening is that, over time, search engines have become adept at recognizing real quality in content–not just in their organic search results, but in paid results, too. In Mike’s speaking engagements, he loves to ask for a show of hands on how many people never click on paid search results. About half the room usually raise their hands, which is hard to believe, given that about one-quarter of all search clicks are on paid results. What’s happening is that paid search results are becoming so good that people no longer recognize that they are paid–they assume that if it was relevant, that it just couldn’t be an ad.

Organic search results are of much higher quality now too, because the ranking algorithm is not so easily gamed. In addition to the importance of attracting links to your content, you also must pass muster with social communities who share the “good stuff” and with secret panels of human raters who judge your content’s quality. And social media content itself is such a huge part of what people expect to see–we no longer get a sea of blue links on the search results page, the way we did only a few years ago.

Search and social have both combined into larger movements of content marketing and influence marketing, where working across search and social is the only way to succeed. And that makes sense. Yes, you must be found when people are looking for you, but you must always have ways of reaching out with quality content to those who don’t yet know to look.

As he looks back on almost 10 years since Search Engine Marketing, Inc. first debuted, Mike never would have been able to predict the developments that we have seen. Social media consisted of nothing more than blogs, and it often took a month for a change to a web page to show up in the search engines. What we could predict, and did, is that search marketing would always revolve around strategic satisfaction of your customers, not tactical tricks to rank #1. Instead of stuffing your content with keywords, think of it as using your customer’s language. Instead of buying links, try creating and promoting quality content to attract links and social sharing. Instead of chasing the search algorithm, instead focus on your competitive differentiation and provide content that attracts the customers with the problems you can help solve the best.

Yes, many things about search have changed–that’s why we have needed to write two more editions–but some things stay the same. If you focus on helping your customers to solve their problems, your content will attract them and enough of them will stick around to buy from you. That is what search marketing has always been, and always will be.


Friday, Mike Moran will be speaking at the 2009 Search Insider Summit. At this event Mike will be sharing his knowledge and insights on ‘How to Sell Search to the C-suite.’ His advice will help fellow search advocates develop build buy-in with the upper echelon, prepare their organization for success and understand what it takes to create an enterprise search solution.

Mike will be speaking a 9:00 a.m. on Friday, if your attending the Summit we hope you’ll stop by and say hello

Also, be on the look out for Mike’s tweets from conference.

Categories: Uncategorized

Last Wednesday, Mike Moran our Chief Strategist hosted a WOMMA Webinar on Listening 2.0.  The webinar featured presentations from Mark Kovscek, Senior Vice President of the VivaKi Nerve Center and Pauline Ores, Pricipal Analyst, Social Engagement Strategy of IBM.

If you missed it, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.  Below you’ll find  a the Cliff’s Notes version of the webinar, an audio recording of the session and the program slides.

Major Themes:

  • What marks a good Listening 2.0 solution?
  • How companies should use Listening 2.0?
  • Where is the future of listening technology?

What marks a solution as Listening 2.0?

What the technology and service should provide:

  • The ability analyze sentiment, particularly complex commentary such as sarcasm
  • The ability to note complex and multiple mentions of a brand within a consumer conversation
  • The ability to identify key topics and subtopics for your brand’s conversations
  • The ability to demonstrate how topics and conversations are connected to each other and to the brand
  • The ability to integrate multiple data types and imaging to create new more holistic views of the world
  • The ability to create a global and scalable methodology

How companies use should use Listening 2.0

  • Listening should be done at an enterprise level. To be effective it needs to cross over the silos of business units and lead to shared solutions
  • Commit to “being in sync” with the market – be willing to reconsider marketing approach, content development and offerings, it can be about joining and taking their lead
  • Be ready to take action, whether that is internal change or external engagement. To find ROI brands must be ready to take consumer comments to heart

Where is the future of listening technology?

  • Technological improvements in computer translations
  • Advanced tracking of message consumption and how it relates to purchase behavior
  • Predictive modeling of  conversations and conversions

Resources: Twitter commentary , Audio Download, Slide Share