Monday, October 13, 2008

A few of my comments at the advertising conference

Brands are the solution, not the problem.  Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.

The Association of National Advertisers has claimed that Google's joining forces with Yahoo would increase advertiser prices, and decrease competition.   I reseponded with, if you're going to criticize us, criticize us correctly...We're guilty of many things, but that's not one of them.
"We don't actually want you to be successful," he said. The company's algorithms are trying to find the most relevant search results, after all, not the sites that best game the system. "The fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance," he added. 

As for print, I suggested that The evidence is not good; as the print business will eventually comprise a smaller piece of publishers' much larger online businesses.  On the other hand, working with news sources is a natural partnership.

The future of quality editorial is, moreover, hardly certain. It's a huge question in the world, particularly in the United States.

How can this be overcome?  Branding, may be an essential element that helps people navigate the world. Brand affinity is clearly hard wired.  It is so fundamental to human existence that it's not going away. It must have a genetic component.

You can also read the full article by AdAge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I perceive a couple problems with the cesspool/branding statements.

1. The internet may be a cesspool, but Google's job is to manage the sewer. In the world of free speech, you can't kill voices--you can only drown them out with better and more important voices. As an internet marketer, I commend your efforts; and I could suggest a few good tips to your algorithm to help drown out the noise.

2. Branding is something that works on a large scale, and even then, you can't trust brands either. A brand is merely a perception of trust, not actual reliability on the company promoting the brand.

Think of the numerous products and companies with a large brand that are pure crap. Or, go to Epinions/Amazon and look how many bad reviews there are for the big names, compared to the small names.

When all you do is promote branded websites, you help no one. We already know the top 10 largest car companies in the United States. I see this behavior already in your results sets. They are becoming useless in this regard. Search is about freshness, evolving content, and discovering the undiscovered.

Big brands are using the same techniques the cesspool sites are using to rank--what google might term "spam." Why are they any better? Because they have a cuter site? Unbranded, and lesser known sites (including spammy sites) can add real value missed by big brands.

To say that optimizing PPC ads is pure, while optimizing organic positions is evil, is evil. Organic is as much of a marketing tool as PPC is. Again, all the big brands do it, so admit it. I can post results if interested.

Get back to focusing on finding valuable content, and relevance, not brands. I know you want to make money and keep your high paying PPC advertisers happy, but don't take shortcuts and cop-outs.

What do you say to this Mr. Schmidt?