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Yes Seth, There’s a Search Engine “Industry”, but There is a Lot of BS in Internet Marketing

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 16 years and 159 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Okay, so I don’t normally make a habit of posting e-mail messages, because it is somewhat rude, but I think the situation merits it since the majority of the dialogue is my own, and I would very much like to continue the discussion. Let me start by saying that I’m a big Seth Godin fan, he’s written some brilliant stuff that I apply to my daily work life. That being said, I’m not real excited about when he bashes the search industry (this isn’t the first time). Traditional marketing principles DO apply to Internet marketing, the rules have just shifted a little to aid the small, creative, and quick-on-the-draw. So here’s what Seth had to say about the emerging search industry. Not to long ago,Seth also took a small swing at the SEO community, which SEO folks weren’t all that happy about.

Now I have to say, that I think it’s pretty cool that Mr. Godin actually takes the time to respond to e-mails, as I’m sure he’s a busy guy, and has quite a bit of feedback on the things he writes. I also thing he is missing out on a great opportunity by misunderstanding some of the best tools in internet marketing. I tell clients all the time that there is a TON of BS in the “industry” (Yes Seth, there *IS* an industry and it’s beenn thriving for sometime now)…THIS is the problem in our industry that is offputting to a lot of people. There are still companies selling search engine submission services and meta tag optimization. I guess it would be tough to give up good revenue streams, but these companies are hurting their credibility in the long run to maintain those search fallacies. Both of these services have been basically worthless for quite some time now. The reason there are so many internet marketing consultants, is that companies NEED someone to cut through this BS and stay up to date on what is working TODAY, and more importantly, what will be working TOMORROW. The best consultants know more about Google, Yahoo, and MSN than the bottom half of their employees do. Start reading some of the good resources Seth, and find out who to pay attention to…block out the BS. (tips: Threadwatch, Webmasterworld, SEW, SEOBook, SERoundtable, MarketingVox, and a Host of personal blogs, and other forums by the best in the internet marketing business.)

Those of us in the SEO community know that it’s only a matter of time before the traditional marketing moguls catch on and jump all over the power of the web. We’re hoping to get far enough up the mountain before that happends. The fact that someone as technically savvy and intelligent as Mr. Godin doesn’t quite understand what we do is a testimonial to the fact that we need to improve how we communicate our ideas and services to the traditional marketing community. They need the SEO geeks, and we won’t mind the money.

> Hey Seth,
> SEARCH IS HUGE. This is the second dotcom goldrush, and it is going
> on right under everyone’s nose. This is the age of performance
> marketing, and JUSTIFYING spend rather blowing huge wads of cash on
> the “branding” during a super bowl ad. Traditional media is catching
> on that there is something to this (Hey, tivo doesn’t sell “no-ad”
> television anymore…they sell ad effectiveness information!
) Have
> you checked out the VOLUME of any large search phrases lately? How
> bout the monetary value of keywords? Did you know that advertisers
> many times pay upwards of $10/ click for the keywords “web hosting”,
> “data recovery” and many, many others…and that they pay up to $100
> sometimes for a “personal injury lawyer” click? Imagine targeting
> your customer on what they are THINKING!
> I am a huge fan of your work. You have certainly helped me with some
> outstanding business principles, and I would be honored to return a
> small bit of that favor. Big Red Fez and Permission marketing are two
> of very few books I’ve read repeatedly, and I pass on “Really Bad
> Powerpoint” to CEO’s and those who horrify me with bullet points all
> the time. I’d love to help you understand “the industry” a bit better
> if you’d like some help. Did you know Yahoo buys text link ads to
> boost their PageRank? Check out the text links on the side of any of
> the large network pages…these are the folks that “get it” and will
> be representing the large corporate clients for hundreds of millions
> of dollars in the next few years.
> I’m not sure if your intention *IS* to rile up the SEO/SEM (search
> engine optimization/ search engine marketing) community, but I think
> you are definitely going to do so. You also have the ability to
> bridge the gap between us SEO geeks and corporate America (who is
> losing market share on a daily basis). There are volumes of
> information out there for the one-man operations who can disseminate
> the BS from what is really going to work in SEO/SEM. Lots of SMALL
> operations are taking advantage of this and kicking the butts of
> larger organizations. The people ranking for top high dollar phrases
> are often working out of tiny offices or even apartments.
> This industry has been around for almost 10 years now, but is now
> getting attention that will only continue to grow. New millionaires
> are being made from those who can apply traditional business and
> marketing principles to this new medium and use creative techniques
> for new and profitable business models.
> I won’t continue my rant about how great this industry is, but I
> really do love it. It’s provided me with a host of opportunities that
> I wouldn’t have been so lucky to have otherwise. If you’d like to
> talk about the industry feel free to fire off a question (or entire
> mess of questions) at any time. I would be happy to familiarize you
> with the fact that links are king and meta tags are dead (amongst many
> other things).
> Highest Regards,
> Todd D. Malicoat

Seth Responded:

thanks, Todd

I’ll try to be more clear as I write on this

Seth Godin
Author, speaker

click on my head to read my blog.

Are you just trying to market virally among search bloggers Seth?…maybe a book plan in the works? :)

Added…great response that is posted on Seth’s site by Danny Sullivan.

Is there a “search engine industry”? |

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