SEO By Any Other Name...

SEO, DAO, DCO… what’s in an acronym?

Outrider’s Chris Copeland shared his POV (sorry, that’s the last one I’ll use for a while) on Friday, introducing the concept of Digital Asset Optimization as the next step in the evolution of Search Engine Optimization (ok, can I start acronymizing again? Typing these words out is getting cumbersome.)

As Chris observes, “It seems like the trend is shifting from optimizing for a slow, dumb engine, and is moving towards a more sophisticated integration of elements, be it image, video, consumer reviews, or social networks.”

While I couldn’t agree more, I do feel compelled to point out that shifting the focus away from SEO to a more holistic and inclusive process is something Resolution Media has been actively promoting in the marketplace since December of 2006, when we first launched the QueryMatrix.

Old QueryMatrix

Core to the QueryMatrix methodology were the principles of Consumer-Initiated Advertising and Digital Content Optimization. The former was our wide-lens view of the PPC landscape today and tomorrow. And the latter bears a strong resemblance to Copeland’s vision for DAO.

Our goal when we coined theses phrase (and their corresponding acronyms) was to get the search community talking about how the strategies and tactics we employed were part of the larger marketing ecosystem. We thought this would help CMOs understand that what we did went far beyond the SERP and were really just extensions of marketing principles they were familiar with and had been executing for years.

Guess what? We were wrong. The C-level suite was not ready for more geeky acronyms. It had taken them years just to understand SEM, SEO, and PPC. And they didn’t want to hear how we did what we did. Rather, they wanted to know how what we did would help them.

So we canned the acronyms and began talking less about the work we deliver to our clients and more about what the work will deliver for our clients’ brands. We also framed our expertise into the context of 2 basic platforms that everyone in marketing can relate to -- advertising and content. Our re-release of the QueryMatrix in July 2007 reflects this repositioning.

 NewQuery Matrix

7 months later, these subtle tweaks are making a big difference. More and more Omnicom clients have awoken to the power of paid and natural search. We’ve found that breaking down a complex marketing specialty into concepts CMOs can understand and outcomes they can expect has allowed them to embrace the channel on their terms. This has led to a willingness to take ownership and accountability for its implementation. And this has translated to increased commitment and, in turn, budget allocation.

Bottom line -- the key to driving success in search lies less in defining (and redefining) what we do and more in defining (and redefining) the results we can achieve.

Posted by: Aaron Goldman, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnerships


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