Searching Beyond the Paid

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Eddie Van Halen Hot For Teacher Guitar Track

This isn't search related, and if you're not a Van Halen fan, you can stop reading. ;)

Just stumbled across the isolated guitar track from Hot For Teacher, one of the best tunes from Van Halen's 1984 album. As a lifelong VH fan, this find made my day. There is just no better guitar player than Eddie, and hearing this track in isolation makes that plain. Nobody rocks like Eddie! Ed-die! Ed-die!

Plus, if you're a total VH fan like me, you can sing along. Ha!

Rock out this holiday season - best to all of you in 2009!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PPC Comes Through In Holiday Shopping Crunch

This year, my husband and I decided to go simple on holiday gifts. The plan was to get a Nintendo Wii, plus a couple games, for the immediate family for Christmas - and that's it. Great plan, that is, until we realized just how popular the Wii is this year. My husband went to three stores last night (in the course of shopping for other extended-family gifts) and came home with Rock Band II, but no Wii.

I said, no problem, I'll just check Amazon - I'm sure they'll have it. Ha. Well, they do - but only via third-party vendors, who seem to be in a bidding war for Amazon customers. Prices were at least $100 more than advertised in-store prices. Sorry, no go.

Enter PPC. Determined not to end up a Scrooge, I went to Google and searched for "nintendo wii." Jackpot! Of course, there were ads from the shopping search engines and eBay, but I bypassed those for Walmart's ad. I'm not normally a Walmart shopper - I have issues with some of their business practices - but amongst all the PPC ads on the page, they were the most trustworthy of the bunch. And they had the Wii in stock, at the same price I saw in all the sale flyers, ready to ship by Christmas.

This is one instance where PPC fits the bill much better than SEO. Nintendo topped the organic results for "nintendo wii," complete with sitelinks and such. Which they should, no argument there. But I want to *buy* the Wii, not learn about it from the manufacturer. PPC, with its on-target messaging, hit the spot here.

I know this isn't a big surprise to anyone, but it's just fun to be able to find what I'm looking for without ever leaving the house, thanks to PPC.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

SES Chicago - SEM In The Snow

Day 2 of SES Chicago has come to a close - well, I know they're still going strong down at the hotel bar, but the "official" day is over. It's been a great conference so far - I've learned a lot of new things on a variety of topics, and of course the networking can't be beat. I've been lucky enough to converse with David Szetela, Kevin Newcomb, Matt Van Wagner, Carrie Hill, Jim Hedger, and others; plus a lot of great vendors like Acquisio and Marin Software. In fact, it's been hard to catch up with everyone I'd like to chat with!

Hard to believe the conference is more than half over already. While December is a busy month, it's always worth it to take time out for a quality search conference.

If you're here and I haven't seen you yet, find me and say hi!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

What's The Busiest Month for SEMs?

I know - silly question, because the answer is "It depends:" on whether you're an agency or in-house SEM, whether you're an e-commerce retailer or a B to B organization, and pretty much a bunch of other variables too numerous to list. All that said, it's interesting to look at the variations.

For me, it seems like the busiest months are August and December. August is when summer travel season meets the back-to-school frenzy. Our travel & tourism clients are trying to squeeze every bit of ROI out of their campaigns, and many e-retailers are just getting geared up after a quiet summer. It's a challenging time personally, as well - it seems like my family ends up taking our vacation in August every year, despite saying every year that we need to do it earlier; and of course my kids are getting ready to head back to school. I've said for years that someday, I'm going to take the entire month of August off, just so I can get everything done and enjoy some of the summer. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm optimistic. (grin)

December, of course, is when the holiday craziness reaches its peak. In the e-commerce world, you have Cyber Monday and Christmas Eve and all the other big December online sales days. But even if you're not an e-commerce business, December is busy - you're doing end-of-year budget wrap-up and finishing next year's budget; and in general evaluating what you've done and what you want to do. As an agency, this means we're really busy with meetings, budget reviews, planning and strategy sessions, and the like - not only for our business, but for our clients as well.

On top of that, we have SES Chicago in December. I've only missed one SES Chicago since I first attended in 2003, and it's a must-attend for SEMs in the Midwest. However, the timing is terrible - it's a crazy-busy time of year, both personally and professionally. At the show, I find myself getting up super early to check email and do a little "real work" in my hotel room before the sessions get going for the day, and I don't get to bed all that early at night due to all the great networking at SES and all the fun Chicago has to offer. And it's not easy to enjoy Chicago when it's 20 degrees and snowing out - although being a Michigander, I'm used to that! Then I get back from the show, and I'm thrust into the holiday nuts at home - parties to attend (and host), gifts to buy, food to fix, decorations to put up.... oh my.

I suppose if I were a 20-something single, August and December might not be as frenetic. But almost everyone celebrates some kind of holiday in December, and year-end planning isn't holiday-related, so it's still a crazy month across the board.

What's your busiest month as an SEM?