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July 31, 2008

SearchCamp Launches with PodCamp Philly in Philadelphia!

By Li Evans

Search Camp Philly LogoI'm really excited and pleased to announce that here in Philadelphia we are launching a brand new online marketing conference called SearchCamp

After attending PodCamp Philly last year, Whitney Hoffman and Bill Rowland really inspired me.  I thought, why can't we do this for Online Marketing?  They thought it was a great idea too, so this year for the first time, PodCamp Philly and SearchCamp Philly are combining efforts to bring a total focus about online media and marketing to local Delaware Valley businesses.

The event is going to be held September 6th & 7th, at Temple University, for the mere cost of just $21!  That fee secures your spot, and helps defray the costs of the event, best of all it also is going to help Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy.  So if you are in the area, come on and spend the weekend learning about SEO, PPC, Podcasting, Vodcasting, Public Relations, Analytics, Social Media and everything online marketing!

We have some really great speakers lined up too, including Geoff Livingston, Debbie Weil, Kevin Ryan, Mike Grehan and a bunch of other great local marketers from Philly, Washington D.C. and the New York City area.  For just $21 how can you go wrong?

Special thanks goes out to the local Internet Marketers of the Delaware Valley, as well as PodCamp Philly - without all of you, we wouldn't be able to put this event on!

We're putting together some special promos, so keep your eye to the blogosphere, there's a contest attached to it.  For more information check out our press release about the online marketing conference, or the SearchCamp Philly site.

July 30, 2008

If Cuil Can't Find Itself, How's It Going to Kill Google?

By Li Evans

Cuil.com screenshot of a search for www.cuil.comSo like everyone else who has a blog and an email address in the search industry I got that press release about Cuil.com launching.  With all the fanfare and ballyhoo around it being started by ex-Google employees, one would think this search engine would kick some butt right?

My "non-search" friends all thought because it had an ex-Google in one of the driving seats, it certainly had to be a contender against Google.  I wasn't going to write anything, since it was covered by Simon, Danny and  a slew of other people, but then something my friend Dom said to me in an email really blew me away and felt I had to post about this.

Dom searched for "www.cuil.com" on Cuil, and guess what, it didn't even appear in its results!  How's that for relevance?!

Cuil.com search for 'liana evans'Lets not even talk about how slow it is, and poorly it performs with pulling up images with its listings.  I want to know where these images are coming from.  I did a search for "Liana Evans",  my lianaevans.com site comes up - great! right?  But who the heck is that dude in the picture listed with my site?  I have no clue, and that image is not on my site nor is it on ANY of the sites I'm affiliated with (SEM Clubhouse, Internet Marketers of the Delaware Valley or KeyRelevance).  This is just really bizarre!

Then I noticed that the same exact article appeared twice, but with different pictures attached to it.  I tripled checked this, but my eyes were not deceived, the same listing (same URL, same wording) and all was presented within my 11 results.  This is just really odd too!

Lastly I did a search for "keyrelevance", which is the company I work for.  When I first did the search when the new release came out, the logo for WAA came up with our listing, but I failed to get that screen shot. We are a member of the Web Analytics Association, but I just don't get why it chose that image to represent the company, when we have clearly tagged and marked what's KeyRelevance and what's not on the site.  All the other entries have bizarre images as well.

So until Cuil.com can find it'self relevant for a search on it's own domain name, and until it can pull images up for "liana evans" that are clearly marked "liana evans" I think I'm going to deem this search engine, non-relevant.  Folks, I'd use MSN before I use this, and that says a lot.  "Google killer", Cuil.com is not.

*postscript to this, I did this research when they first launched (7/28) and yesterday (7/29) after my conversations with Dom.  I wrote this very late last evening and put up the screenshots on flickr this afternoon (real work supercedes SMG writing!), it does seem as Dom comments, they fixed this issue (Cuil not ranking for www.cuil.com), and the image issue, but it's relevancy is still not "on".  I'm not really ready to give this a second try.... and I still don't believe this is a Google Killer.

July 29, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Local Search Optmization for Small Businesses

By Li Evans

This week's tips in online marketing video is all about Local Search for Small Businesses and how they can use local search even if they don't have a website.  Also covered is how to make sure your social media profiles on rating and review sites is correct, and adding location pages to your website.

And there's no music on this week's edition, we had a glitch in our editing and had to redo this edition, so music and credits were left off, but as the others were this one is sponsored by KeyRelevance and it's a Benday Production


Full transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Local Search Optmization for Small Businesses" »

July 28, 2008

Sentiment Analysis in Reputation Management

By Simon Heseltine

One of the primary determinants of a reputation management issue is the buzz about a company / product / person.  If the buzz in primarily positive, then the chances are that the online reputation is fine (although the negatives still have to be examined to determine whether they have the potential to overwhelm the positives in the future).  If the buzz is negative, well then, there's an issue or multiple issues that need to be resolved.

Continue reading "Sentiment Analysis in Reputation Management" »

July 23, 2008

Why BlogHer Was Different Than Other Search Conferences

By Li Evans

Blogher_icon I think Lisa Barone over at Bruce Clay did a wonderful job at surmizing a concise argument against Michael Gray's post that cast a negative light on the BlogHer Conference.  I wanted to add a few more thoughts from my perspective about BlogHer.  Since it was my first time at this event, and believe it or not, I traveled with a guy who attended this conference, as well as going to different sessions than Lisa.

Why is BlogHer different?  Well first, it's not a search centric or search focused conference, not in any way shape or form, it's about Blogging & Community.  Therefore, it's not setup like the type of conferences we are all use to in the search industry.  You know, the type of sessions where there is a moderator to introduce panel members, the audience is basically forced to sit in the audience and watch powerpoint presentation after powerpoint presentation on how great some company is.  After all that's said and done, THEN the audience gets to ask questions and the panel members answer.

BlogHer is not entirely like that.  A lot of sessions that you go to are "discussion based", meaning, the person listed as heading up the session, basically gets the ball rolling.  In the case of the sessions I attended, one in particularly, the woman who headed the sessions handed over the lead to a MAN (*gasp*) and he began discussing the opportunities for women who want to start tech companies.  He spoke for a decent amount of time - without a powerpoint presentation.  Then at another session I went to, another man spoke for a bit too.  Over all though, since this is a conference for women bloggers, put together by a women's online community, predominantly women lead the sessions.

At BlogHer, there is a lot more "Group Discussion" and women sharing their own experiences and giving tips, information, website URLs, email addresses, business cards and just about anything you can swap information wise.  You don't see that kind of information exchange at search conferences.  Not as freely as what happened at BlogHer.  Instead of information being swapped over a drink or dinner in tidbits, this information was freely exchanged in front of a lot of women, in rooms that were overflowing with attendees. 

BlogHer is a different type of community as well as a different type of conference.  Maybe to understand it, you might need to understand how men and women differ in the way they communicate, understanding that would likely give you insight into why things are different.  To understand BlogHer, instead of slamming it as an outsider, perhaps, joining the community and interacting with it, you can understand, men are not turned away at all, in fact they are welcomed, more so than if the situation was reversed.

BlogHer Conference PhotoI spoke to many men at this conference.  All of them remarked at how different it was.  From husbands who tagged along, to men from marketing companies who understood the importance of being there and grasping the whole idea of a conference specifically for women bloggers, not just for themselves, but for their audience. Each of them remarked how totally unlike any other conference it was, and this was in a positive manner.

I've been in session where the panel had no women presenters (I do have to say that each conference head is becoming significantly more aware of the need for balance), I've also noticed a lack of women writers in certain categories on the different tech & marketing news (not just search) sites.  Having a section of this blog that's dedicated for women marketers, I just don't get why the situations I just described are still happening?  I do see the recognition though, so the hope is, this too will change.   

Women like comfort, they love to communicate with each other and tell stories.  The discussion type sessions are perfect format for that.  It's not "business as usual" at BlogHer, it's adaptive to the way women best communicate and that's something that is really tough for a man to get.  Be honest guys, how many times have you remarked about your wife, girlfriend, sister or even you mom "I just don't get you women"?  If you did, there wouldn't be this griping about the "All Women Conference", you'd get that first it wasn't "all women", and 2nd maybe you would have gone yourself. :)

We'll be having some more interviews from BlogHer upcoming, Beau's got to recover from the trip back, and have his camera fixed.

July 22, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: What Does It Take To Start A Blog?

By Li Evans

A few weeks ago I did one of our Online Marketing Tips Videos about "Why You Shouldn't Blog".  This week I wanted to come back and circle around and cover some tips on "What It Take To Start A Blog".  These factors are somewhat similar in nature to why you shouldn't blog, however it's covering different factors to consider when you are deciding whether to take that plunge into the blogosphere.

Are you dedicating enough resources for your bloggers to interact with the community?  Are you considering letting your CEO blog?  What if your blog's main voice leaves for greener pastures?  That's all discussed in the video for today's episode.


Full Transcript After The Jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: What Does It Take To Start A Blog?" »

July 21, 2008

Don't Miss "Measuring Success in a 2.0 World" at SES San Jose

By Alex Cohen

by Alex Cohen, Digital Alex

Could your site perform better?  Don't your want your marketing tactics to be more measurable?  Where's the next frontier in search marketing measurement--and how do you beat your competition to it?

Chances are you answered "Yes!" to one of the above.  If so, then don't miss Jim Sterne and a stellar panel of experts for "Measuring Success in a 2.0 World" at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose (Day 2, 8/19, 11:00).

I caught up with Jim to pick his brain about his panel, his issues with the blogosphere and why having a 2 pizza rule is the secret to business success.

Alex Cohen:  Jim, what's new and exciting and different that people can expect to hear about at your session?

Jim Sterne: Video analytics - and how does that drive traffic. Not just how many people saw it and how viral it got, but where did people drop off in the middle of that video and how many people hit rewind.

Multiply that out for its virality and how well does that drive traffic? How well does people blogging about your viral thing drive search traffic? That's the holistic search ecosystem. It's how well you optimize what people say about you out there, so people will want to click through from the blog and impact your branding.

Alex Cohen: The description of your session promises that attendees will learn the the cutting edge techniques to measure success.  Where is the edge of web analytics today?

Jim Sterne: Social. How do you determine whether being talked about is improving your traffic or ranking? How do you measure the impact of social on your search efforts?

Nielsen Netratings, Comscore, Buzzmetrics and Island Data are all trying to lay claim to the industry.  [Some vendors are] looking at textual analysis: mentioned this many times, this many positive and negative

There are pockets of people doing great things, but in bad companies. Individual companies are giving it lip service. No one has mastered it. 

Alex Cohen: In addition to attending your "Measuring Success in a 2.0 World" session, how does a business get started in measuring the impact of social media on their business?

Jim Sterne: The 101 is all about the absolute basics. What are your business goals? Start there before you bother to talk about social media. If you start with a technology, you will always fail.

How are we going to use this? It's social media, it's a public discussion. My PR people should know what's going on out there... but they don't.

Go back to the beginnings of where your traffic is coming from and what they do. If they're coming from YouTube and Blogs - it's time to wake up and smell the traffic.

If visitors from video promotion on social media sites just come to my site, look at 3 things and leave, then it's not worth spending my money there.

Start by being aware of where your most valuable traffic is coming from. Where is the most profitable business coming from? Look at AOV, order size, etc.

Alex Cohen: Who are the thought leaders and notable bloggers in measuring social media?

Jim Sterne - It depends on the question.  Charlene Li can help you measure the value of a blog.  When I want to know "What is the impact of customer attitude?", I turn to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

The favorite subject of the blogosphere is the blogosphere.  A few people are talking very loudly to each other in a corner.  The application of those thoughts to business is where it gets rockier.  Every 3rd blog I read about social media has a nugget.

I demure on questions about the best tools and point people to Forrester, Gartner, and Jupiter.

Alex Cohen: What are your thoughts on the future of paid search analytics?

Jim Sterne: It's impossible to predict.  There are enough people out there who don't know why it can't be done and are willing to invest.  More money is going to be chasing [measuring paid search].  More money will move from television. 

The bigger tools will get more sophisticated.  Corporate America won't become more sophisticated at using the tools.There's still a huge amount to learn even on the tools that we have. 

More and more people will use the low end and free tools poorly. Well, what are you doing with it? We produce reports? We're distributing them. We don't know how there being used.

The adoption curve is being layered side by side with the "take advantage of" curve, the competitive advantage curve. 

It's corporate culture. It's creating data driven organizations. It's believing in the numbers rather than the good feel. It's asking the older people to leave the room for some minutes to let us actually get some work done.

As more money falls into the online people and we can show results, the more we'll change culture. The individual can help change by showing the little wins. Finding the people who are clued in at the organization to be their ambassadors. "Wow, that's really interesting." now we have a convert who can be an ambassador for data.

It's not one tool or one report, except that how it happens. You should A report to SOME person and then they become an enthusiast. Showing how what you're pointing at in the report to business goals. You don't say "isn't it interesting that... "because we spent an extra $20K on this project, we got a 50% boost in profitability"

The problem is all predicated on the fact that organizations are too big. There is a perfect sized organization. If you're too small, you don't have enough resources. When you're too big, you're spending too much time communicating to each other that you're spending time in meetings and deleting email. Theres' this magic size company that has just enough resources, consistent vision and can really get things done.

[Amazon has a rule that] if a project gets too big that it takes more than 2 pizzas to feed them lunch, you have to break it up into smaller units.

Division of labor is often killer for issues. YOU ALL have to see the big picture. You ALL have to pull in the same direction. The best way to affect that is to impact the compensation of people. If you tie that monetary motivation to business goals directly, that gets people to focus.

Alex Cohen: In your own words, why is your session so important to SES attendees?

Jim Sterne: How to do search marketing is terrific. What matters is "Can you measure the results? Do you know what your success is?" It's great that you've learned how to do whatever, but it's how well you do something. If you don't know how to measure it, you can't improve.

Jim Sterne helped found the Web Analytics Association and produce eMetrics, the premier marketing optimization and web analytics conference.  Jim will be speaking with a panel of web measurement experts at Search Engine Strategies San Jose at the session "Measuring Success in a 2.0 World".  You can follow more of Jim's thoughts by reading the eMetrics blog and subscribing to Sterne Measures.

July 20, 2008

BlogHer '08: Elisa Camahort Page Interview, BlogHer CoFounder

By Li Evans

For the past view days I've been in San Francisco at BlogHer '08.  It's been a spectacular time, and it's really amazing to meet so many, intelligent, super charged up women bloggers.

Over the course of a few months I've gotten to know the founders of the BlogHer community.  These women are just spectacular.  Smart, savvy women who care about bringing knowledge and community together.  Never more apparent was that, than at the community keynote.

Elisa Camahort Page, one of the BlogHer Co-Founders, agreed to do an interview with me.  She speaks about one of the major highlights of the event being the Community Keynote, as well as the new BlogHer Reach Out Tour (this I'm really excited about!).


We'll be adding more videos throughout the week to the SMG YouTube channel, so subscribe to get the latest videos there, as well as checking back to SMG for the interviews as we post them.

Full Video Interview Transcript After the Jump....

Continue reading "BlogHer '08: Elisa Camahort Page Interview, BlogHer CoFounder" »

July 18, 2008

Fun Photo Fridays: Lorna Harris, Shannon Hall & Lisa Barone, the Newbies at BlogHer 2008

By Li Evans

Last night a "Newbie Mixer" kicked off BlogHer 2008 at the top of the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA.  There was a lot of newbies in the room, and for the first time in a long time, I hardly new a soul in the room, what an overwhelming feeling.  I did get to meet a few new people introducing myself, since this time - I'm the newbie, and can't expect people to just come up to me.  I had forgotten just how overwhelming that can be.

Then Lisa Barone appeared and it was like "Wow, someone I know, yeah!"  It made me feel a bit more at ease.  Then Lorna Harris of Boudica.com joined our little group.  She totally rocks, btw, and she's the one who gave me the goods on "Danny's New Pimpin' Ride." So here's the Search Engine Industry representing at BlogHer 2008!

Fun Photo Fridays: Lorna Harris, Shannon Hall & Lisa Barone, the Newbies at BlogHer 2008

If you like this photo of Lorna Harris, Shannon Hall & Lisa Barone, the Newbies at BlogHer 2008, feel free to comment and favorite it on Flickr, Sphinn or Fetch this photo as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at BlogHer 2008 Conference, there's only a few photos to view, right now, more to come!.

Danny Sullivan Worshipped by Cold Play Fans for His Pimpin' Ride

By Li Evans

I'm here in San Francisco for the BlogHer Conference.  Tonight was the "Newbie Mixer".  I got to meet a few new people.  I also got to catch up with a few search industry folks.

Want to know what the topic of conversation was?

Danny Sullivan's new pimped out, tricked out ride. 


HA!  Gotcha! ;)

But I have it from a very good source Danny's got this new black Mini decked out with all the new gizmos and gadgets there are available for that car.  Apparently all the fans at the ColdPlay concert he went to, were oogling it too.

Hey Danny, glad you are back here in the states, I just hope you can avoid those speeding cameras with that new fancy ride of yours! ;)

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