Searching Beyond the Paid

Monday, June 09, 2008

PPC Is The Red-Headed Stepchild of SEM

Now that I've been back from SMX Advanced for a few days, I wanted to catch up on the sessions I wasn't able to attend. I stuck to the PPC track, but am interested in a recap of the SEO sessions too. So, naturally I turned to the links on Search Engine Land to the liveblogged session notes.

I'm glad I attended the PPC sessions and am looking for the SEO session notes, and not the other way around. It appears that the SEO sessions had heavier blog coverage than the PPC sessions. I noticed that in many of the PPC sessions, the only blogger in the audience was Barry Schwartz or Tamar Weinberg or Lisa Barone. Furthermore, I noticed that most of the "rockstars" of the SEM industry were hanging out at the SEO sessions, even those who are "SEM-neutral" - for instance, I didn't see Danny Sullivan in *any* of the PPC sessions. I guess we PPC pros are the red-headed stepchildren of SEM.

To be fair, we did have rockstars present: Chris Sherman moderated a couple of PPC sessions, as did Matt Van Wagner. Kevin Lee and Mona Elesseily spoke, and there were several first-time speakers (at least first-time for me) that were very good, too. But I didn't see a lot of the A-list bloggers or writers anywhere in the room.

Before I get lambasted by the blogosphere, let me point out that I have numbers to back up my claim. Search Engine Land lists 18 links to posts for Day 1 of SMX Advanced, and 28 links for Day 2, for a total of 46 posts. They break down this way:

13 SEO
2 SEM Business (Day 1 only)
4 Developer (Day 2 only)
18 Other (keynotes, parties, etc.)

It makes sense that the keynotes would have more posts, since (theoretically) everyone attended those. And all the PPC sessions have at least one post. But SEO has 45% more posts than PPC.

Should we PPC pros step up the blogging action? Or are we just too busy with implementation of good tactics for blogging? Or both? Hey, I guess I look good in red hair.



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