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I meet a surprising number of prospective clients who confess to having thoroughly disliked their previous SEO agency.
Many of them have simply run into the charlatans our sector unfortunately attracts, but I have encountered quite a few companies which have had decent optimisation work done on their behalf.
The whole world of digital marketing is maturing but it’s still hugely dynamic, particularly in the world of search marketing.
This makes it an exciting time to be involved in the sector but does mean more and more agencies and practitioners are being left behind, clinging to what used to work and sticking with habits even if they aren’t doing anyone any favours.
But how can you spot one of these search marketing laggards, who have fallen so far behind?
Google will make some important changes to their legal terms and agreements with agencies next year. It will force extra transparency and it is a good thing.
Let's speculate who they're going after...
Last week, I wrote about popular user-generated news site Reddit, which, despite being owned by Conde Nast, finds itself having money problems.
To solve them, at least temporarily, it asked for donations. And it got plenty of them -- approximately 6,000. Calling the fundraising campaign a "triumph," a member of Reddit's team also wrote, "It's given everyone involved with reddit a good kick in the pants right when we needed it."
Media buyers are increasingly moving more and more dollars to digital, but as far as percentages go, digital advertising still has a lot of upside potential. The companies that stand to realize that potential, of course, are advertising powerhouses like Google.
Google isn't idly standing by waiting for media buyers to shift budgets. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Google has struck a deal with giant agency holding company Omnicom that will see Omnicom spend hundreds of millions of dollars on display ads through Google's ad exchange over the next two years.
I've been asking iCrossing UK CEO Paul Doleman about the deal...
No longer is brand marketing likely to remain the prerogative of conventional brand marketing organisations.
Whilst these organisations have great strengths in creativity, planning and campaign delivery, they exhibit fewer strengths online where a host of brand association, experience and conversation takes place.
There are others who are better placed to engage and create influence by blog, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter already thrive online. And they are the digital agencies...
There was a big hoo-ha last week as eMarketer’s recent research concluded that portals remain effective ad platforms. This came as Yahoo! was all over the press for attributing their financial recovery to a revival in online advertising spend.
Display advertising on Yahoo! has grown by 20% this quarter and the four big portals – Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL – all took in a total of $191,707 million in the US in advertising revenue between 2008 and 2011.
Google announced yesterday that it is "retiring" its Google Advertising Professionals program and that a new one, the Google AdWords Certification program, will be taking its place.
The good news: the previous $1,000 minimum 90-day ad spend required has been eliminated for individuals who would like to participate, and the minimum 90-day ad spend for agencies has been reduced to $10,000 from $100,000. That means that more individuals and agencies will have the opportunity to participate.
Competition is always tough amongst ad agencies. And soon it may get even tougher. That's because media companies are moving in on agency territory.
In an article discussing Conde Nast's new creative services offering, AdAge's Brian Steinberg points out that "no one can really say they corner the market on how to make things work in paid search, social media, or mobile marketing." So some media companies are likely to follow Conde Nast's lead in taking advantage of their unique positions to expand their relationships with marketers, and, they hope, their bottom lines.
Look on any marketing or web design company’s website and the chances are they’ll claim they do SEO. While some may do great work, some are just chancers.
Even amongst the specialist agencies, some businesses are much more effective at what they do than others. But how can you tell the difference between the well-qualified and snake oil merchants?
A few well placed questions should do the trick:
Every three years or so, advertisers decide to put all their media and marketing into a single agency network. Three years later, once they’ve seen their performance in the different marketing channels eroded, they head once more for the specialists.
It has been going on since the 80s, and it would be nice to see the cycle broken...