Rand Fishkin

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Recently several key figures, who have made enormous contributions to the search industry, have either left (Matt Cutts) or stepped back from day-to-day activities in the companies they have helmed (Danny Sullivan and Rand Fishkin). It is a sign of the times — a generational shift in the industry. Not a generational shift determined by the age of the participants, but one determined by how the industry as a whole has aged and matured.

I’m sitting on my couch, with the TV on and my smartphone on social. A commercial comes on the TV with a woman looking at me and saying she knows I’m holding my phone. I should use it to check out her brand of underwear, she says. I don’t.

Facebook needs third-party oversight, says the Association of National Advertisers. This, because the social media network recently disclosed that its video view metrics have been vastly incorrect for more than two years. Facebook’s COO recently made a lengthy statement about the situation, emphasizing that advertisers never had to pay for video views and that the site does have third-party oversight.

Rand Fishkin’s statements about SEO are as bold as his fashion choices. Google+ is useless; 6.4 percent of Google search results contain Twitter data, so marketers should tweet; and machine learning and user engagement are Google’s future.

With all the buzz about content marketing and how wonderful a way it is to earn higher organic search rankings, it's easy to forget about all the other tools that good SEOs and marketers have at their disposal. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers six ways to improve your rankings without spending a dime on content creation and marketing.

Search engine marketing, both paid and natural varieties, is an ever-changing landscape. Not in the least, because as more people go online to search out solutions for their challenges, marketers are shifting ad dollars to better their products’ and services’ chances of being found and purchased. According to the 2007 State of the Market survey developed by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), spending on SEM in North America is projected to reach $25.2 billion by 2011; this follows a banner year in 2007, during which the North American SEM industry grew more than 20 percent to hit $12.2 billion in spending. Because

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