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Old 10-27-2004   #1
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Report: Three out of Four Search Marketers 'Unsophisticated'

http://www.mediapost.com/dtls_dsp_ne...?newsId=275605

Quote:
Report: Three out of Four Search Marketers 'Unsophisticated'
By Ross Fadner
Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Only one-quarter of active search marketers can be classified as sophisticated, according to JupiterResearch's second semiannual search engine marketing survey, unveiled today.

Read more . . .
What do you think?
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Old 10-27-2004   #2
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I think there is great opportunity out there in the search marketing world, favoring industry niches like mine for example (Hispanic market). It also tells me that there’s a tremendous amount of growth coming ahead in terms of results for the campaign owners as the unsophisticated become more advanced (sophisticated).
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Old 10-27-2004   #3
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"Most search marketers aren't doing their homework," said Nate Elliott, JupiterResearch analyst and author of the report. This means, Elliott said, that approximately 150,000 of the 200,000 marketers utilizing paid search are not bidding, tracking, measuring, or expanding their keyword lists effectively, if at all.
I can concur. I see this with SEO. After the initial optimization effort, many clients pay little attention to ongoing reporting whether that be in relation to positioning, traffic or ROI as well as ongoing modifications to site and/or strategy. If fact we had a fortune 500 company that after the initial optimization effort did not take heed or implement on suggestion we had regarding site modifications for better visibility or marketing strategy, even though they continues to pay us for such an effort. This went on for a year!

When this happens with small companies, I think they know they need to market but are just too busy to track progress. With bigger companies, I wonder if it is simply a situation where they have a budget and they need to spend it somewhere. Who cares about all the minor details of the results, just so long as the budget is spent!
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Old 10-27-2004   #4
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Well said David. As to the article IMHO I think that is a very narrow minded statement from Jupiter Research, since they still hold a view that banner ads still work and compete against SEM


2 cents

Cheers

Wc

Last edited by Incubator : 10-27-2004 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 10-27-2004   #5
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Here is another article in relationship to the first one:

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/4471.asp

Quote:
“There have been a lot of specialists firms made for search,” says David Karnsted, senior vice president and general manager of Direct Business. “This seems like a great opportunity for agencies to step up and integrate rather than outsource to a third party.”
Like I said, this is exactly my case and it works really great for them and for us.
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Old 10-27-2004   #6
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>What do you think?

I think they are way out, 99 out of 100 is nearer the mark, imho.
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Old 10-27-2004   #7
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>99 out of 100 is nearer the mark

It would have been nice if the report defined the so called "search marketer". This could be from the mom-and-pop.com shop that finally got around to that learn PPC exists and it works , all the way up to an above-expert like you (NFFC) who now dedicates more time to finding challanging new strategies.
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Old 10-27-2004   #8
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LOL, trust me I am one of the 99.
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Old 10-27-2004   #9
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I have been posting with a Professional SEO type over at SEO-Guy forum for a while trying to help him out a bit. He is about the worst case I have found that is really working in the industry.

He has so much work and is so busy working on sites he hardly has time to post back to me. Here are some of the things he believes and they are direct quotes. Oh yes he knows how to get you a PR5 with no backlinks but he is not telling how he is doing it : )

1. This takes time...while it may seem the bots are hitting your site everyday through your web stats, they are not indexing your site daily..It only indexes monthly..

2. The algorithm involves over 100 factors one of which is Page Rank if one of those factors is out of standard or missing this effects your web site and your PR may or may not drop.

3. For example if you do not have a robots.text file on your server Google will probably take a year to index a large site fully.

4. For example If you do not have a site map it will only index pages linked one level from your index page.

5. If your site has broken links..no indexing will occur:

6. For example in one week you add 300 back links to your site ...bye bye site...This is seen by the search engines as a warning of possible link fraud. Some might want to call this a "sandbox" I just call it banned.

7. For further reading and proof of my thought that back links have little value feel free to read my page on the subject from my web site.

8. If people are not visiting your site ...why would any search engine want to put you near the front ??

Ya I wondered if he was a troll also but he has been around now long enough for me to believe he is just misinformed.

Last edited by bobmutch : 10-27-2004 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 10-27-2004   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmutch
Ya I wondered if he was a troll also but he has been around now long enough for me to believe he is just misinformed.
That's exactly the biggest problem and how it affects "improving the reputation of the SEM industry". Because you get guys like these telling clients "yah, I know" and "you bet! I can get you up top" when their roots are not well covered. That's like sending my 4 yr. old son to school and starting him in the 4th grade. He might catch up to a few things, but believe me that he is going to come across trouble some day.
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Old 10-27-2004   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmutch
I have been posting with a Professional SEO type over at SEO-Guy forum for a while trying to help him out a bit. He is about the worst case I have found that is really working in the industry.

He has so much work and is so busy working on sites he hardly has time to post back to me.
Hey with a good sales pitch, a person can sell anything to anybody. Doesn't mean the product or service is good. This has been going on since man dawned the Earth I imagine.

I pick up new clients all the time who had previously had mis-informed SEOs as well as answer questions from existing clients that heard such and such that is completely wrong. Goes along with an industry still in its infancy I guess.
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Old 10-27-2004   #12
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Well this comes down to have a certification process. A good hard certification like the RHCE or CCIE which both command respect and require hands on.
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Old 10-27-2004   #13
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Good point Bob. With that "150,000/200,000 marketers" figure and the need to help marketers get things right (perhaps certification), here are a few options where to start for those 75% that might read this post:

1) Get informed with the right/best practices (here is one place to start: Search Engine Marketing 101).
2) Go to the best events of the industry, like Search Engine Strategies among others.
3) Perhaps take a good course through Search Engine College or others that are similar and approved or enforced somehow by the SEM liders of our industry.

Because knowing a few tips and tricks will never be enough.
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Old 10-28-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wallace
I pick up new clients all the time who had previously had mis-informed SEOs as well as answer questions from existing clients that heard such and such that is completely wrong. Goes along with an industry still in its infancy I guess.
I must be the opposite in some instances then! I get people who don't listen to me, listen to all these unprofessional know all types, fail, then come back to me and still complain about the overall cost to do it the right way.
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Old 10-28-2004   #15
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I've been supplying a reseller with keywords and adcopy for PPC campaigns. They have a third party tracking software that documents the click through rates, but they stop there.

They are no metrics on what percentages are going from the landing pages to the client site.

We've tweaked the ads and keywords to a respectable 5%-12% CTR, but I keep telling them that we have no measurement on how effective the landing pages are performing.

Last edited by yellowwing : 10-28-2004 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 10-28-2004   #16
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SEO consultant quality

I guess it's like anything else. The guy who gets the customers wins -- he can always attempt to bolt quality on later if he starts making money. Just ask Steve Case about that type of strategy in the context of a much bigger business -- AOL's trick was not to create a great service, but to get customers! Once they got enough money in the bank, they grudgingly made it better.

Of course that doesn't work forever but it does explain how so many SEM clients get so confused. Some of the most well-known consulting firms in the business started out with the sales pitch, and then figured out how to actually achieve results as an afterthought once the money was already in the bank. I suppose if you talked with many of the "big names" in the business, they might tell you something like "I haven't optimized a site in months." Or years.

On a more heartening note, though, the level of SEM sophistication amongst average marketers from mom and pop to big companies has risen rapidly. You see this playing out at the conferences -- many attendees know more than the speakers. However, the number of newbies attending *some* sessions is always a shock.

All this means, I suppose, is the job of carrying the torch for intelligent SEM will be a long-term one. The Jupiter study does describe the current state of affairs very well.
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Old 10-28-2004   #17
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Hey! I ain't unsof.. unsofic... unsfosikted!

I was jest out on mah back 40 shooten at some grub on the run anna city-feller come over an' tells me my new hoity-toity laptop looked pretty fancy.

So I'm, thinken "jeez! I don't want this feller to think I'm a hick, but I don't even know how to turn dis thing on! I jest won it at bingo last month!"

But then I member'd it was useful for finding that engine block I been look'n for all year. It was all growed over in weeds and I couldn't find it anywhar, so I started tossin the laptop into every bush I could see until, shore 'nuf, I hear'd me a clunk and there it was! My laptop sitting right on toppa mah engine block! Gowllllee! That was neat!

So den I went down to the local farmers market an' started helpin' out alla mah friends and kin. I'm the most famous guy around for finding engines in the weeds.

Maybe I could impress the city feller with that story.

So I sez, "Yup! I use dat alla time searching for engines down at the market!"

An' then he got all excited like. He said "you do search engine marketing?!"

An' I said "Yep! I'm the best around, dontcha know!"

Then this feller got all happy and then changed the subject. He started talkin about his webs and stuff. I figure he's got a spider problem. Nasty critters. But my missus makes me kill them alla time, so I'm purty good at it. I put out bait an' make them think I'm friendly-like, and den stomp on them when they come out.

So I tells him, "I kin help y'all with that spiderin' issue yew have, if you like. I know how to get dem to like me"

Then the feller gets all happy and asks me how much it would cost him for my services every month! Now, I figger they guy is crazy, ya know? Who pays someone to stomp on spiders alla time? Must have a lot of em....

So I go along with joke, an' say "a hunnerd grand a month!" and then get ready to laugh with the guy.

He jest nodded his head, pulled out his fancy suitcase-thing, and wrote a check right there ona spot!

So I packed my mah car, and moved to Bevery....Hills, that is.

And that's how I got into dis business. I figure anyone who can git someone to give them a hunnerd grand just for dealin wit der spiders is pretty sofis.. sofic.. sofistikated. After all, I got money for it. Means I'm a professional, hey?

An' dats how I became a professional search engine marketer and spider problem fixer.

Ian
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Old 10-29-2004   #18
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the funny thing about seo and internet marketing is that we are all somewhat full of hot air. manipulation and control are personality traits of marketers and thus draws those individuals to this space.

truth is, we are all 100% in the wild wild west. some geeks may have the time to read more than others and thus regurgitate their photographic memories of words and concepts, but a majority of us are dug deep in the trenches experimenting, learning, sharing and testing every possible idea or unique concept.

quite honestly, the industry space is too new to posses too many "professionals". There were almost zero internet marketers five years ago and seo wasn't even a "coined phrase" ...it's pretty tough to be considered a "top-of-your-game" professional in less than five years. ...especially with so much functional volatility.

so we keep on keeping on. some people are just smarter than others and hopefully we can all stay objective regarding everyone's "opinions" and "ideas" and continue to learn, experiment and improve.

ONE LAST NOTE, i'd rather hire some young kid who is deep in the trenches of web development and who has a passion for seo and internet marketing as opposed to some over-educated "book learner" who must attach "professional" to their title to pay off graduate school loans.

christian.

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Old 10-29-2004   #19
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great post sebastian
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Old 10-30-2004   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
the funny thing about seo and internet marketing is that we are all somewhat full of hot air. manipulation and control are personality traits of marketers and thus draws those individuals to this space.

truth is, we are all 100% in the wild wild west. some geeks may have the time to read more than others and thus regurgitate their photographic memories of words and concepts, but a majority of us are dug deep in the trenches experimenting, learning, sharing and testing every possible idea or unique concept.

quite honestly, the industry space is too new to posses too many "professionals". There were almost zero internet marketers five years ago and seo wasn't even a "coined phrase" ...it's pretty tough to be considered a "top-of-your-game" professional in less than five years. ...especially with so much functional volatility.

so we keep on keeping on. some people are just smarter than others and hopefully we can all stay objective regarding everyone's "opinions" and "ideas" and continue to learn, experiment and improve.

ONE LAST NOTE, i'd rather hire some young kid who is deep in the trenches of web development and who has a passion for seo and internet marketing as opposed to some over-educated "book learner" who must attach "professional" to their title to pay off graduate school loans.

christian.

The last couple of posts seem to completely misinterpret what the study found or was trying to suggest.

The unsophisticated word was just the headline. That word had a more specific meaning in the context of the study. It was not value-loaded as some seem to be suggesting. I think Nate is actually trying to be helpful, believe it or not!

Shouldn't you be at least professional enough to understand it when an analyst like Elliott is trying to accomplish when he constructs a simple breakdown between classes of industry participants by attempting to measure what they do in their jobs? What else do you propose someone with his training do? Measure marketers by how much he likes their choice of beer or the cut of their jib?

Now we have folks pretending to be all hurt because Nate might have called them "unsophisticated," which he didn't, really. All he was saying is that many small business marketers, and some marketing managers at larger companies, are not up to speed on current search marketing trends and techniques. KEY AMONGST THOSE TECHNIQUES IS TRACKING RESULTS BASED ON SUCCESS METRICS LIKE COST PER ORDER OR COST PER ACQUISITION, BECAUSE THIS BUSINESS IS CLIENT-FOCUSED.

Hardly controversial. It's good to see that Elliott is pushing people to do better.

"Professionalism" isn't something we should feel uncomfortable about. If trying to understand what that term means makes you squeamish, then your "100% wild west" approach is bound to make clients squeamish as well. I defy you to sell your services to your next SEM prospect in these terms: "let's face it, we're all 100% Wild West."

Sorry, I don't share your belief. 100% Wild West? I'd like to believe there's some growth here in this industry, however you define it. And a little book learning, while not a sufficient condition for success, never hurt anybody. Grad school, even, serves a useful social function. Without it, we'd never have Jon Kleinberg. This guy's not only a frickin' genius, he's an applied genius. Maybe there are a few companies out there that are too top-heavy with MBA's, but the whole economy can't run on instinct, surely.
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