F5 Expo: Search Marketing in 2010 Session

Search Marketing in 2010 Panel

The Search Marketing in 2010 session included the following panelists (left to right):

  • Martin Stoddart, Senior Product Manager at Bing
  • Vanessa Wynn-Williams, Associate Marketing Manager at Yahoo! Canada
  • Ryan Kelly, Founder and CEO at Pear Analytics

The first question posed by the moderator, Rajan Sodhi, VP Marketing at Peer 1: “What is happening with Bing and Yahoo?”

Martin, from Bing, told us CPC results will be provided by Bing, but as implementation is just being started not much has happended yet. He also suggests we go to SearchAlliance.com to get the most up-to-date information.

Rajan moves on to the second question: What’s with all the acronyms? SEM, SEO, PPC?

Ryan ran down the list:

SEM: Search Engine Marketing (Paid + Organic)
SEO: Search Engine Optimization (Organic)
PPC: Pay Per Click (Paying a certain amount to a publisher based on per click)
SMO: Social Media Optimization (Social media activity with the intent of attracting unique visitors)

Vanessa told us Canadians search a total of five times per day on average.
Ryan then told us 80% of all purchases start from an online search.
Finally Martin added, 60% of people say they are using search to make bigger decisions in their life.

Third Question: Why is banner advertising going down in adaption and search is going up?

Vanessa responds that the nature of search is direct response, although she believes some banners can provide this as well.

Fourth Question: Where should SEO Start?

Ryan tells us to start by looking at if from a technical standpoint, to simply not hinder the bots. Then after that he suggests content development and suggests the WordPress theme Thesis for $100 because it has such great tools already implemented.

Fifth Question: Do major search engines crawl differently?

Vanessa tells us all search engines have their own “secret sauce” but generally speaking they are all looking for the same thing–the most relevant information. She tells us if you do SEO right it should help you with all engines.

Sixth Question: How does SMO effect SEO?

Ryan tells us  that by signing up for accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. they will make sure someone who steals your name doesn’t show up before you in Search Engines. As these sites rank very high with your branded name, you can rank high for your branded name.

Martin tells us that web of objects all become relevant in delivering results and that is why the results page for Bing is evolving. More visual content, social media content and this evolution will continue to happen. He tells us that though the algorithem is important it is just one part.

Seventh Question: PPC first or SEO?

Vanessa says,  SEO will be hard but it is good for the long term, while PPC is more of an add-on. She tells us a user is 24% more likely to click on your site if they see your listing on both the paid and organic results because it increases brand trust. She also tells us that while PPC does not increase your SEO the gained traffic from your PPC will.

Then they define other areas such as Black Hat, long tail keywords… blah blah blah nothing new.

Final Question: What is the future of search?

Martin tells us there will be a bluring of lines between banner and text in search results. Vanessa tells us Dynamic keyword insertion for very relevant PPC, but mostly find your key audience and talk to them.

All-in-all it was a good session; the moderator should have known his stuff a bit more, and Vanessa brought interesting stats to the conversation, and thus lead the topic with her excellent understanding.

On a side note, I have been to a number of search conferences and it seems the majority of the time Yahoo!’s representatives are female. Is this intentional, perhaps a way to deferentiate themselves from the boys over at Microsoft and Google?  I donno, but I like it!

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