Searching Beyond the Paid

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Busy Week In The PPC World

It's been a busy 7 days in PPC land, at least for me. One of the things that's kept me busy is the Adwords Professional exam. My certification was set to expire at the end of this month, so I needed to re-take the exam. I've been using Google Adwords since its inception in 2002, so the exam wasn't difficult, but it did take time. (By the way, I passed with 97%!)

Speaking of the Adwords exam, I wrote about why you should become a Google Adwords Certified Professional at Search Engine Watch last week. If you're not certified, check it out.

Also keeping me busy this week is reading about the approval of the Microsoft-Yahoo Search Alliance. While nothing's changed yet, the alliance could prove to be interesting over the next 12 months. I for one am looking forward to saving time and effort managing campaigns in the two very different interfaces.

For more on the merger, take a look at John Lee's post on the Clix Marketing Blog. He pretty much took the words out of my mouth with that post. It's great stuff!

And with that, I'm off to the rat race!

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Michigan State Spartans Logo - Social Media Fail?

If you're a college sports fan, you've probably heard about the controversy over the leaked news that Michigan State was considering a new logo. Apparently, a fan found out about the possible change when the university filed with the US Trademark Office - and that's when the proverbial poop hit the fan.

Spartan faithful took to social media channels, including Facebook, to voice their displeasure with the new logo. The fan page "The Old Spartan Logo" amassed over 60,000 fans, all protesting the change.

Late last week, the university caved to the pressure and announced they'd be keeping the existing logo.

I like the existing logo, and thought the proposed new one was ugly. But that's not the point. The online marketer in me wonders whether the university could have handled this better.

Social media and crowdsourcing are powerful forces indeed. Many claim that Barack Obama won the US Presidential election on the back of social media, and that's probably true, at least to some extent. But many also claim that John McCain lost the election due to his campaign's failure to mobilize social media. Could Michigan State have experienced a similar social media fail?

I think they did. These days, news leaks like the new MSU logo are commonplace, and organizations need to be prepared. Instead of joining the conversation, MSU tried to ignore the problem, perhaps in hopes it would go away.

But, like a nasty virus, it didn't. The university's attempts to brush off the controversy by saying it was "too early" snowballed into MSU men's basketball coach Tom Izzo going off on a 6 minute tirade on why fans should, in a word, shut the heck up.

Don't get me wrong - I love Tom Izzo, and he's done a boatload of good for the university's image. But was he really the guy to speak up about the new logo? No. MSU's official spokespeople should have joined the social media conversation and played up the potential change, explaining the reasons behind it. In brushing it under the rug, they broke one of the cardinal rules of social media: Don't close your eyes to what's going on around you. Join the conversation. Embrace it. As Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media says, "at the end of the day, it is he who is smart enough to act (and act quickly) that reaps the biggest reward."

MSU neither was smart enough to act, nor acted quickly. In the end, they caved to fan pressure and decided to keep the new logo. But instead of getting involved and getting fans into the game, they chose to first ignore, and then condemn them.

And that, my friends, is a social media fail.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Yahoo Search Marketing Bulk Uploads - Now Easier Than Ever

One of the most popular posts on this blog is a post I wrote 2 1/2 years ago, entitled Yahoo Search Marketing Bulk Uploads In 10 Easy Steps. One could argue that the title is an oxymoron - anything with 10 steps is, by definition, not easy. True, but I still think the process I outlined in that post was the best way to upload campaigns from other search engines into Yahoo.

Until now. A couple weeks ago, Yahoo made several improvements to their online interface, including simplifying the bulk upload process. Finally, the 10-step process has been condensed into one step! Campaigns can now be uploaded literally at the click of a button.

This is a huge step in the right direction for Yahoo, and in my opinion one they should have taken years ago. With the Microsoft deal looming on the horizon, the improvements may seem better late than never. But for now, advertisers need to work with the YSM interface if they want their ads to run on Yahoo, so the latest improvements are more than welcome.

What do you think of the YSM upgrades?