Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, March 13, 2009

3 Must-Read Search Engine Industry Blogs

Years ago, people started their day with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. Later, it was coffee and the TV news. Now, many of us start the day with Starbucks and the internet. (My Starbucks is home-brewed, but still.)

Part of my morning routine is catching the latest news on SEM blogs. Here are my top 3 must-read feeds:

1. Search Engine Land. Their Daily SearchCap is an absolute must - great summary of what's happening in search.

2. Search Engine Roundtable. Barry Schwartz is the hardest working man in SEM, and keeps us all informed throughout the day with news posts. I don't think anyone gets an earlier start than Barry!

3. Search Engine Watch. SEW has breaking SEM news, but one of my favorite features is the expert articles. Written by some of the biggest names in SEM, the Search Engine Watch Experts feed is a deep dive into all the key details of SEM.

There are tons more great blogs out there, but these are my go-to feeds every day. What are your can't-miss SEM feeds?


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How To Fail At Online Execution of Offline Promotion

I've been a working mom for 12 years, and one of my favorite magazines is Working Mother. Last night I was reading Working Mother Media CEO Carol Evans' column in the latest issue, where she talked about FMLA. In her column, Evans urges readers to "...make our voices loudly heard in the tumult of change. Please go to and vote in our FMLA Support Poll. We will use the poll results to call attention to this important matter."

I was inspired. Expanding FMLA is an issue near and dear to my heart. 12 years ago today, I was 8 days away from giving birth to twins. I'd been on bed rest since the end of January. To make a long story short, my maternity leave before & after the twins were born lasted 16 weeks - all of them unpaid. It took us nearly 2 years to pay off the debts we incurred from the unpaid leave. Needless to say I've been a vocal advocate for better parental leave ever since.

So, I went right over to to vote in the poll. Problem was, I couldn't find it. I expected to see the poll, or at least a link to the poll, right on the homepage. No such luck. I clicked on "current issue," thinking I'd find it there. No such luck. I conducted a site search for "FMLA support poll" - the exact words from Carol Evans' column. No such luck.

3 strikes and you're out - after nearly 15 minutes of fruitless searching, I gave up. This is yet another frustrating example of offline marketing failing online. If Working Mother Magazine really thinks this poll is such a big issue, maybe they shouldn't hide it so well on their site.