Tag Archives: Search Engine Watch


Mystified by martech? Introducing the ClickZ Buyers Guide series

Search Engine Watch sister site ClickZ has just launched the first report in its new series of buyers guides, which aims to to disentangle and demystify the martech landscape for marketers.

The guide, which focuses on bid management tools, covers a range of market leading vendors and draws on months of research and more than 1,600 customer reviews.

This will be the first in a series of guides created using the collective knowledge of the ClickZ and Search Engine Watch communities to help our readers arrive at more informed technology decisions.

The modern martech landscape is complex and competitive, making it difficult for marketers to cut through the noise and select the right technology partners.

Our buyers guides are created with the objective of providing a clear view on the areas in which vendors excel, in order to allow our readers to establish successful relationships with the most suitable platforms.

What sets our guides apart is the use of a customer survey to hear directly from current clients of each software package. For the bid management tools guide, we received more than 1,600 survey responses, which has provided a wealth of valuable data across our six assessment categories.

 Graphs in the report are interactive to allow comparison.

The series of guides begins with bid management tools because of the importance these technologies hold in the modern martech stack. Along with deriving maximum value from the $92 billion spent annually on paid search worldwide, these platforms also help marketers manage their display advertising and social budgets, with some even providing support for programmatic TV buying.

This creates a varied landscape of vendors, with some focusing on the core channels of Google and Facebook, and others placing bets on the potential of the likes of Amazon to provide a real, third option for digital ad dollars.

Though the vendors we analyzed share much in common, there are subtle distinctions within each that make them suitable for different needs. A combination of customer surveys, vendor interviews, and expert opinion from industry veterans has helped us to draw out these nuances to create a transparent view of the current market.

Within the guide, you will gain access to:

  • Tips on building a business case for investing in a bid management platform
  • Questions to ask of potential bid management tool partners
  • Profiles of the six vendors we analyzed
  • The ClickZ and Search Engine Watch customer survey results

Follow this link to download the Bid Management Tools Buyers Guide on Search Engine Watch.


How well do you know Search Engine Watch? The SEW Friday quiz

How well do you know Search Engine Watch?

Following the success of our previous Easter trivia quiz, we decided to mix it up again this Friday with another quiz – this time testing how well you’ve been paying attention to the content we’ve been publishing on Search Engine Watch this week.

All of our questions (bar one, for fun!) are drawn from the past week’s worth of content, including last week’s search news roundup. So brush up and give it your best shot!

Test your knowledge! The Search Engine Watch Easter trivia quiz

Happy Easter, Search Engine Watch readers!

In honour of the season – and a bit of spring-like weather finally starting to creep into the air (well, at least here in the UK…) – we have put together a light-hearted search trivia quiz to test your knowledge.

What was the name of the project launched by Sergey Brin and Larry King at Stanford, which eventually became Google? What does the name of the Chinese search engine “Baidu” translate to in English? What year did mobile web traffic finally overtake desktop traffic globally – or hasn’t it yet?

Test your knowledge of all these questions and more in the Search Engine Watch Easter quiz. And don’t forget to share your score with us in the comments or on social media!



Happy holidays from Search Engine Watch!

As the year draws to a close and the Search Engine Watch team begin to sail perilously close to Health & Safety law by roasting chestnuts at their desks, all that’s left is to publish one final update?before racing to the post office to send our letters to Santa*.?

All of us would like to say a huge thank you to all of you. Whether you are a reader (hi Steve), a contributor, a commenter or a malicious hacker, hell-bent on accessing our database in order to find out the secrets of my unpublished opus “4 and a bit ways to make images load a little bit quicker”, we genuinely appreciate you taking the time and energy to get involved. What can we say – without you we’re nothing.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our content this year (and if you’re the kind of Grinch who hasn’t, then let us know, we want to keep getting better at this), and we’re looking forward to a 2017 full of challenges, learning and general SEO-related hi-jinx.

Have a fantastic holiday season, we’ll see you cats in in the new year!


*We know our editor has had his heart set on this “Screaming Vase” for a while now. Unfortunately he’s on the naughty list.?

Matt Owen manages global social media at Shell, and is a director at Atomise Marketing. He’s been talking about himself in the third person and filling in as editor for the far more handsome Christopher Ratcliff for the past week or two. Why not say hi on Twitter??


Five most important search marketing news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week, we’ve got key trends in content marketing for 2017; why social media is the preferred channel for product launches; and how to use an Exact Match Domain (EMD) without being penalised for spam by Google. And in probably unsurprising news, John Lewis’ annual heartwarming Christmas ad is this year’s best performing yet.

The eight most important content marketing trends in 2017

It’s December already, and you know what that means – every publication you follow will be winding down for the end of the year by reviewing the highlights of 2016, while simultaneously gearing up for next year by making predictions for 2017.

Tereza Litsa has given us an early start on Search Engine Watch’s sister site ClickZ with a round-up of the eight most important content marketing trends we’re likely to see in 2017. From personalisation to ephemeral content, VR and AI, she’s listed the key trends and practices that will make content marketing in 2017 easier and more effective. Follow the link to read more, and decide whether or not you agree!

Marketers are turning to social media for product launches

A new study by marketing communications firm Five by Five has found that nearly three-quarters of marketers (74%) consider social media to be the highest-priority medium for promoting new products.

The study polled over 700 marketers in the US, the UK and Australia to find which marketing channels they consider to be the most important for product launches. Behind social media, sales promotions and email were the second- and third-most popular promotional channels, respectively.

Al Roberts took a look at the study’s findings for Search Engine Watch and delved into why social is the top choice for marketers looking to promote a new product – and whether it’s enough to generate buzz.

Five most important search marketing news stories of the week

What is an Exact Match Domain (EMD), and how can you safely use one?

Exact Match Domains, or EMDs, can be a tempting way to try and boost your website to the top of search rankings. An EMD is a domain name which exactly matches a keyword or search term you’re hoping to target – such as “watchmoviesfreeonline.com“.

But EMDs, more often than not, tend to be employed by spammy websites, harming the quality of search results and running the risk of incurring a penalty by Google for their practices. As Christopher Ratcliff wrote for Search Engine Watch,

“EMDs have been long thought of as having an unfair advantage.

As opposed to websites that rise to the top of Google through quality content, solid architecture, trusted backlinks and assorted other white hat best practices, Exact Match Domains can just rise to the top by shoe-horning in a few tasty keywords.”

Is there a way to use an EMD safely, or is it another black hat technique that self-respecting SEOs should avoid? Christopher takes a look at the pros and cons of EMDs, and how EMD users can stay on the right side of Google.

Everything you need to know about changes to the local press

The regional press has come under enormous pressure in recent years from the twin challenges of falling advertising sales and the growth of online news. Yet local news outlets are still a highly trusted form of media, and attract the most effective response to adverts.

What this means for the world of marketing is that while PRs should never underestimate the importance of the regional press, the challenges mentioned above have given rise to drastic changes in the way the local papers now look and work.

Andrew Brookes has written a thorough breakdown for Search Engine Watch of how these titles have changed, how the changes affect your marketing efforts, and the best way to adapt to them in order to ensure a good response.

Five most important search marketing news stories of the week

Buster the Boxer tops the most shared ads of 2016

The annual John Lewis Christmas ad is an institution, managing every year to become one of the most memorable adverts on TV, and creating a formula that many other advertisers have sought to emulate.

This year’s ‘#BustertheBoxer’ ad is no exception – and has managed to beat even John Lewis’ own records. Christopher Ratcliff reported on Search Engine Watch’s sister site, ClickZ, that the ad has topped the list of Unruly’s Top 20 Global Video Ads to become the most shared ad of 2016, with close to 2 million shares. Since its launch on 9th November, #BustertheBoxer has become the 5th most shared Christmas ad of all time, and the most shared John Lewis ad ever.

In his article for ClickZ, Christopher runs down the other top charting ads this year, and takes a look at the methodology used in Unruly’s rankings. And if you haven’t seen #BustertheBoxer yet, give it a watch below – it’s a good’un.


Happy Thanksgiving from the Search Engine Watch & ClickZ team

To all of our readers and anyone else who has swung by accidentally thinking that this is an actual search engine (you’ll be surprised at how often this happens; you won’t be surprised at their most popular search terms), a very happy thanksgiving from us all!

We’ll publish a couple more things for Europe tomorrow morning if you do happen to swing by the site. We apologise in advance for the pyjamas and meat-sweats. In the meantime, have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving.


The future of advertising is mobile

The days of desktop dominance are over.

This sharp and concise statement, which came from a 2014 comScore report, sums up the modern ad environment perfectly.

The report found that smartphones and tablets accounted for a full 60% of time spent on digital media in the US, with apps driving a lot of this growth.

While that report came out two years ago, mobile has continued to grow to become a veritable behemoth of an industry, dominating the marketing strategy of businesses around the world.

BI Intelligence predicts that US mobile ad spend will reach around $42 billion in 2018. For a more traditional marketer, mobile advertising might seem like a risky bet compared to conventional options.

But if you look a little closer, it’s clear that mobile ads are indeed a powerful way to reach consumers – and arguably more effective than other choices when done correctly.

Know who you’re trying to reach

One of the most important steps in developing a mobile ad strategy is to define a target audience.

Mobile advertising is extremely flexible. It allows for sophisticated and granular targeting options that can narrow in on precisely the type of people who will convert at a higher rate, and bring you a better ROI without wasting ad spend on the wrong audience.

This means the difficultly is in determining who your ideal audience is.

Consider age, gender, geography, device type and users’ interests/habits. Once you’ve figured out that aspect, serving ads to them is a relatively painless process.

A good ad platform can provide extremely precise targeting based on classification tags collected through big data analysis.

No matter who your target audience is, you’ll almost certainly find them on their smartphone.

The Pew Research Center found that in 2015 nearly 70% of the US population owned a smartphone. While the data at that time showed smartphone usage was more popular among younger, more affluent and highly educated people, industry trends now point to the majority of the U.S. population switching from feature phones to smartphones.

Meet the ads

The next step for brands venturing into the world of mobile advertising – or those who want to take their ad campaigns to the next level – is to understand the different ad options that are out there.

Currently, in-app and web-based ads are the two most popular formats of mobile ads (more on this later, as these two formats are subdivided into different categories).

The future of advertising is mobile

Text messaging (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging (MMS) are more “traditional” mobile ad formats that are still in use today. With MMS, advertisers can send messages with graphics, photos, AV and text. However, MMS is not universally supported by all operators, which can be limiting.

Looking at the overall trends, in-app ads are now extremely popular due to their ability to deliver a solid ROI – better than that of in-browser ads.

According to Medialets, in-app click-through rates averaged 0.56% globally, compared to only 0.23% for mobile web ads during the first half of this year.

Dive in deeper with in-app ads

It is important to remember that not all in-app ads are created equal – there are a few different formats that dictate how an ad is displayed within an app. Each has its own unique strengths. Here are three of the most commonly used formats:

  • Native ads: As defined by the MMA Mobile Native Advertising Committee, native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience. In other words, when done correctly, native ads will match the design and feel of the app experience in a non-obtrusive way.
  • Interstitial ads: In this case, the name of the ad is trickier than the actual ad format. This type of ad fills up a large portion of the screen – typically the entire screen or half of the screen – and is displayed for a set amount of time before it disappears and the user is able to return to what they were previously doing.
  • Offer walls: This option is particularly popular for mobile games because they can carry the game experience into an advertisement. In some cases, this will take the form of a page within an app that offers incentives for completing a task – typically it’s a simple activity like viewing an ad. In return, the user earns a prize (e.g., extra lives, upgrades) that will help them in the game they’re playing.

Again and again, the data shows that in-app mobile ads perform better than mobile web ads, most likely due to their flexible formats and ability to connect with users more intimately.

As smartphone usage continues to skyrocket, it’s expected that mobile ad spending will keep rising at a similar pace.

Josh Fenn is senior marketing manager of Baidu, Inc.’s Global Business Unit and a contributor to Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Strategies, Industries First Conference Shuts Down

Sad news for the industry broke yesterday, although there is no official word from the owners of Search Engine Strategies. The conference program founded by Danny Sullivan back in November 18, 1999 in San Francisco under the Search Engine Watch brand…

Competition time: win tickets to Connect, our two day search event

Search Engine Watch has launched a brand new search event, Connect, taking place on the beach during 4-5 February 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami.

The power of evergreen content for SEO

In this post I’ll explain what evergreen content is, look at some examples and stats from Search Engine Watch, and demonstrate how the creation of evergreen content can reward the extra effort required.