News for Smarketers?

By Brooke Nichols

I was reading a white paper from Omniture today that referred to professionals engaged in Search Marketing as ‘Smarketers’. While I’m not going to use the term on a regular basis, the similarity in sound to my favorite society from childhood, the Smurfs, does have a slight appeal. That said, I hope you'll enjoy some smarkety articles below!

Innovation Vs. Execution
Much of the press coverage focusing on the possible Microsoft-Yahoo buyout has cast the story as a kind of fable in which a fading, mature technology company uses its raw financial power to scoop up a scrappy, but besieged innovator. According to this narrative, the real thing that’s at stake here is innovation itself, and if Microsoft wins, we all lose, because there will be less innovation, fewer choices, and less competition. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that innovation, while important, isn’t really the make-or-break factor that determines success in the technology business: a view that’s supported by even a cursory look at the history of the major players in interactive marketing.

Sitemaps Play Nice Across All Engines Now
The Sitemaps protocol has been upgraded to allow Webmasters to use one Sitemap (a file that contains URL info and meta-data for all the pages on a Web site) to support multiple sites on different hosts--and submit all the data on a single platform. Before, Sitemaps had been required to be on the same host and path as the URLs they contained--now, they can exist where the site owner chooses to host them, making them much easier to manage. Webmasters will need to add a line to their robots.txt file to direct crawlers to the differently-hosted sitemap--but that's about it.

Google AdWords Launches Limited Beta Test Named "Automatic Matching"
Automatic Matching is a way for Google to help the advertiser utilize their full budget towards keywords that they may have not been targeting. So if they have used only 50% of their ad budget, Google can detect that, and expand the advertiser’s keyword list based on their current keyword list and past history.

There has been a lot of heated debate about this beta product. Many feel Google doesn't have the right to automatically expand one's keyword list just to deplete an advertiser's budget. But it can be a useful and profitable feature for many advertisers who don't have the time or talent to expand their own list.

Increasing conversion rates for b-to-b search marketing
Ask business-to-business marketers their top marketing challenges and you'll hear "generating leads" and "improving lead quality." One way marketers generate leads online is by running pay-per-click ad campaigns that link searchers to landing pages with registration forms.

Search In Pictures: SMX Bowl, Google Jeans, Bart's Chalk BoardIn this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.


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