A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Danny Sullivan Keynote Address

November 16th, 2006

Thursday morning started with Danny Sullivan’s keynote address.  Danny is probably the most knowledgeable person regarding search engines and the state of the industry in general.  He is a recognized expert in this field by the media, the courts, and the search engine experts.

I listen to Danny’s podcast on a regular basis and always enjoy his entertaining take on what is happening on the industry of search engines.  To be honest, I planned on just relaxing and not taking any notes on this session, but his comments were very revealing.  So here goes…

His basic point was that search is a fundamental marketing medium.  It is an essential part of the marketing mix.  (The marketing industry as a whole is just starting to realize this in my opinion.  But it is oh so true.)  He added that brand marketing money is just starting to flow into search.  It will increase.

For some basic stats, NetRatings has revealed that search volume is up 55% from December 2004 to December 2005.

What is Search Advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?  (It seems like alphabet soup to most.)

All of them involve putting messages in front of people who overtly and explicitly express a desire.  This is usually via keywords for a particular product, service, or information.

  • SEO is the act of doing this by trying to influence unpaid listings – usually crawler based ones.
  • Search Advertising is the act of doing this through direct paid methods.
  • SEM is search marketing .  It is the combination of both.

Search is a reverse broadcast medium… 

  • Broadcast advertising is all about trying to broadcast and build desire among millions of people most of whom aren’t interested.
  • Search marketing is about listening to the millions broadcasting their immediate desires on search engines.  It is supremely efficient.  There’s nothing like it, except perhaps yellow pages – they are basically pure commercial offline search engines.

What do Search Engine Marketers do?

  1. They identify key desire broadcasting stations, search engines, and important niche players.
  2. They understand how to feed and optimize messages shown on these stations.
  3. They scout the location, write the dialog, and deliver a customized commercial message.

Here is the evolution of search marketing.
Of which, we are starting the third generation.

  • 1st generation search – words on the page
  • 2nd generation – link analysis
  • 3rd generation – Vertical and personalized

In this 3rd generation, Links are not abandoned.  Trusted links are still used and effective.  But they are supplemented with other data.

What does the 3rd generation of search marketing mean?

  • VERTICAL – Info, News, Health, Shopping, Music, Video, Cars
  • PERSONALIZED – What you do, what others do, or what everyone in aggregate does.

In order to succeed in the 3rd generation:

  • Watch the verticals, focus on key ones in your industry.
  • Have great content
  • Have great titles and descriptions

Search marketing is very different than contextual marketing!

  • This is very important.  Just because you can buy a type of advertising on Google, does not make it search advertising.  (Nice point, Danny!)
  • Google and Yahoo do not break out earnings in contextual vs. search, but they need to.  The two things are very different.
  • Search engines are looking beyond search.  More contextual, more print, radio, video considered, etc.  It’s not search!

Some search marketers are also metric marketers. 

All marketing mediums will continue to shift toward accountability through solid metrics.  Most search marketers are mastering metrics.  Not all. 

Some outsource metric marketing.

Search is here to stay. 

  • BusinessWeek called search a “defining media behavior”. 
  • “When I search for “recipes”, I don’t get Martha Stewart.com.” was recently quoted on Apprentice in front of millions of watchers.
  • Pontiac sent people to Google in their commercials.
  • CNN is showing Google Earth

Search will be a part of an overall ad/PR campaign.

Search will pull money from other mediums and force those to be more accountable.

Brand awareness can be built by diverting searchers.  Interesting point.

Search is getting more complicated.  Demographics, dayparting, more options, more decisions, etc.

Danny’s New Site!

Danny is starting an new website called www.Searchengineland.com.  Chris Sherman and Barry Schwartz will be covering search there with him.  (Very cool!)