What The Internet Can’t Replicate From TV

internet-advertisment-on-tvInternet advertising is quickly becoming the method of choice to market your business and products. The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported in March that Internet advertising grew by 10% over the past year, making it the third largest ad media category behind TV and newspapers. The tough economy caused a slight drop in ad revenues, but Internet ad revenue was still $10.9 Billion for the first half of 2009. Internet advertising is without a doubt the most measurable form of advertisement to date. However, I still don’t believe it can elicit the same emotional ties to a product or company that TV advertisement can. Why isn’t Internet advertising and TV advertising being combined more often to garner the best results possible?

To start, lets do an exercise by listening to a song and describing the emotions it evokes. We will use the theme of Peter from Peter and the Wolf.


What emotions does this music evoke for you? How about when we combine the music with a product? Yes, Coca-Cola took the same music from one of my favorite childhood movies and used it in one of their Superbowl TV commercials this past year.

Banner ads, image ads, and SEO cannot replicate what Coca-Cola did on TV. They may help a searcher find Coca-Cola’s website easier, but they don’t have the ability to cause the same degree of emotional reaction that TV dose.

I think logical smart people can all agree on these points. My question to these same people is then why isn’t Google TV ads, Rich Media, or Digital Video online advertisement going through the roof?

FH 2009
FH 2008
47% ($5,148)
44% ($5,064)
Display Related:
34% ($3,759)
    -Banner Ads
    -Rich Media
7% ($704)
    -Digital Video
2% ($184)
2% ($230)
10% ($1,116)
14% ($1,611)
Referrals/Lead Generation
7% ($728)
7% ($806)
1% ($149)
2% ($230)

Source: www.iab.net

How can it be that online classified advertisement has seen the greatest source of growth over the past year out of all the different formats of online advertisement? I’m not an expert on media buying, but I do understand that the more interactive the advertisement the more costly it is. A black and white print ad is cheaper than a color print ad, and a text link is cheaper than an image link. That being said, why aren’t more people taking Google up on its offer to have video media displayed on various networks?

Cost will always be a deciding factor for how to market or advertise your products. That’s why large companies like Anheuser-Busch will dominate the TV waves while your local boutique shops can only afford an optimized website. ROI has always been challenging to prove for Radio, TV, and Print, but with the tools Google offers you don’t have that excuse anymore.

So what are the reasons Google TV or video advertisement haven’t blow up yet? When will we see emotionally ladened advertisement combine it’s powers and flex its power on the TV waves through Internet advertisement? If the Interactive Advertising Bureau numbers are any indication, it may be further out than many people think.

Google Caffeine Coming To An Engine Near You

google-caffineMashable initially reported in August about Google’s secret new search project called Google Caffeine. Reports are now showing that Google has completed their testing period and will be releasing the project in the immediate future. Of course, like any Google project, it will be in beta and will be released incrementally to the public. So what does that mean for the average user of the Internet? Quite frankly, nothing that you’ll be able to notice.

Google Caffeine will not replace Google or force the company to change its logo. This is simply an advancement on the back-end of the search engine. The speed and relevancy of the search results will change drastically. Google is moving towards more real time search and making tweaks to its search algorithm. This means your search results will rely more heavily on the keywords you use.  A greater index size will be another result of the changes Google is making. In layman’s terms that means there will be more results for every search which will hopefully lead to more accurate and relevant search results. I also predict that Google’s Social Search will eventually be integrated into the Google Caffeine algorithm in attempt to give users as much power and control over their results as possible.

These changes will have a profound effect on how SEO professionals go about trying to optimize their client’s websites. They will have to find new ways to exploit Google and its algorithm just like  they had to do when MSN Live moved over to Bing. In the end, Google Caffeine will move closer to Google’s ultimate goal of providing the best search results possible for any and every user.

UPDATE: Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, has reported the full Google Caffeine will roll out after the holidays.

Google: Can You Tell Me How to Get To Sesame Street?

big-bird-googleFor 40 years Sesame Street has brought learning and joy to children around the world. Google, the king of search land, has taken this week to pay their homage to Sesame Street dedicating their logo to the 40th year anniversary. It’s obvious that someone at Google has the same fond childhood memories of the PBS show as a kid.


That’s right, I’m old enough to say I remember Cookie Monster when he actually ate cookies. While I applaud PBS for taking a stand and attempting to sway the toddlers of America to be active, I can’t see the correlation between Cookie Monster eating cookies or sugar snap peas. Veggie monster should have to go hang out on Veggie Tales.  Then we’ll all see how cheery and happy that tomato and cucumber really are.  I’m just thankful that Google’s logo, displayed below, isn’t filled with carrot and celery sticks.


There’s been several attempts to create the same magic and replicate the cultural phenomenon that  Sesame Street has become. My personal favorite is Avenue Q, the Tony award winning musical. The adult themed parody transposes Sesame Street’s  Bert & Ernie (Rod & Nicky) and Cookie Monster (Trekkie Monster) into their twenties and thirties facing adult problems. The use of profanity on topics such as sex and drugs gives these lovable creatures a side to them you only daydreamed about. Singing songs like, ‘Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist‘, presents topics with charm and a smile. Like every Sesame Street show the Broadway show has the central theme of trying to find your purpose.

In the end, nothing can replace the original charm and magic Sesame Street has brought for generations. When Google spruces up their logo, you know it’s an event worth celebrating! So make up the letter and number of the day to count and rhyme your way back to yesterday.

Value of SEO

E-marketer.com reported a few months ago that it expects Internet marketers to spend at least $26 million on SEO. Those who are unfamiliar with the benefits or skill set needed to perform SEO services may feel this number is severely inflated. Small businesses are engaging in annual contracts worth thousands of dollars in attempt to tap into the wave Google and searchers have created. Thinking about ways to shave some money off of your budget? After a thorough examination, of what it would take to bring SEO in house for your small business, I believe you’ll understand why a outsourcing your SEO is worth the money.

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Local Search: The Future Is Now

In the world of Internet Marketing, algorithm’s dictate what the changes and trends will be. Though it’s not new, unique, or groundbreaking Local Search is the search of tomorrow. In Portland, OR we have a Local Search legend by the name of David Mimh who has served me the Local Search ‘Koolaid’ for over a year. I’m happy to say I’ve never turned down a glass and I’m glad I didn’t waste a drop because Local is becoming mainstream.

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3 Languages All Marketers Should Be Familiar With

As an Internet Marketer, and hopes of becoming a Web Strategist, it’s vital for me to be able to break down code to properly implement search engine optimization and social media marketing. An understanding of a websites code allows me to determine what strengths and weaknesses they have. In addition, being able to read basic scripts, forms, and databases allows me to troubleshoot my website in case something isn’t working properly. Here are 3 languages all marketers should be familiar with to compete in the current market.


In the words of Dylan Boyd, “my two year old can write HTML.” Which means you should be able to also. Understanding and being able to write HTML isn’t geeky anymore. In fact, it’s imperative if you want to understand the basics of website construction, and HTML, to implement search engine optimization.


HTML and CSS go hand in hand. Without CSS your website will look like garbage. At the same time, CSS can be used to speed up the load time of your website, and create a professional and creative look without the use of flash. If you understand CSS you have the ability to replicate the look and feel of any website utilizing this language.


I had to really think of the usefulness a marketer would gain from understanding this language. Personally, I don’t know enough PHP to write an application, but I do know enough to read and understand what a simple script, or line of code is trying to accomplish. Learning php is not as easy or simplistic as HTML or CSS, but it allows you to troubleshoot the back end of websites. PHP is an actual programming language that has variables and arrays involved. My suggestion would be to analyze current scripts, functions, and programs to try and understand the language prior to diving head first.

Have any languages you think marketers should know? Add them to the list in a comment below.

Spammy Linkbuilding Should STILL Be Intelligent

I receive on a daily basis five to ten spam comments on my blog. What I don’t understand is why bloggers, that are building out get rich quick blogs, continue to leave irrelevant comments on my social media and search marketing blog. If you’re going to tell me about penis pumps at least make the comment on a health niche blog! Blog commenting is an effective way to expand your link building efforts, but their are certain procedures you should follow.

Darren Rowse, of Problogger.net, has a great post with 11 tips on blog commenting that I highly recommend reading before engaging in any serious blog commenting link building strategy.

Once you’re finished with Darren’s post I’d make sure you add in these four ‘must have’s’ prior to commenting:

    You Must Have… Actually Read The Blog Post You’re Commenting On

– Yes I know this seems like a stretch, but how are you suppose to provide value and actually get people to visit your site if you can’t relate your comment to the post? Even if you copy and paste a line or quote specifically from the post, you can respond briefly prior to adding in your initiative.

    You Must Have… Previously Commented On At Least Two Other Posts

– Everyone has some kind of rational self interest when commenting on a blog. If you’re going to put a link in your comment pointing back to an article you wrote it should be somewhat related to the blog topic. If it’s a little off centered, and you’re a regular contributor, you’re less likely to get denied.

    You Must Have… Spell Checked & Grammatically Phrased Your Comment

– I’m a self proclaimed terrible speller and writer. I’d much rather give a speech face to face than write something on paper. Nothing screams spam like a misspelled, or English as a Second Language sounding comment. If you do make a blunder go back, delete your comment, and repost with the correct information. Jennifer Leggio wrote a great post on typos that talks about the importance of your writing.

    You Must Have… Allowed Another Blogger The Same Opportunity

– You’re more likely to have your comment accepted if you return the favor, regardless of how spammy it may look. The karma god of blogs will be out to get you if you’re always commenting with links and you never extend the same opportunity. The old saying, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” goes a long ways in link building.

Unfortunately spammers don’t take the time to think through the basic concepts I’ve laid out. Imagine how much more effective, and sustainable, they’d be if they followed these procedures.

XML Sitemaps Are Value Added

Search Engine Land came out with an article today describing a Google study on sitemaps.

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.

A sitemap is one of the building blocks for your website. It’s especially important to update and keep your sitemap fresh if you’re a blog or news site. As the Search Engine Land article described, 78% of URLs were seen by Sitemaps first meaning the search engines are crawling and initially discovering new content via a sitemap rather than organically.

The power of submitting a fresh sitemap has actually produced several knock off businesses claiming to get you indexed in ‘blank number of hours”. Essentially what these businesses do to ‘ensure you’re indexed quickly’ is submit an XML sitemap, produce fresh content, and link your site to rapidly changing high page ranked sites.

By producing a new blog post everyday, submitting and updating my XML sitemap via Google webmaster tools, and getting a few blogs to link to me I was indexed within Google’s system in 5 days. It is not rocket science and does not take very much effort on your part to maintain your sitemap.

I highly recommend using the free XML sitemap creator. After creating your XML sitemap download the compressed version and upload the sitemap file to your root directory on your server. If you have any questions about the submitting process visit the Google Webmasters Help Page.

By submitting and keeping you XML sitemap fresh you ensure that the search engine spiders will crawl you pages more often. This will allow modifications to appear in the the search engines more rapidly. Having these changes appear more rapidly ensures your showing up for your primary keywords which can lead to more relevant traffic. Taking care of your XML sitemap is a small piece of the puzzle, but it is highly beneficial to your websites success.

Pandora: Sharing The Station Love

I pride myself on having an extensive taste for music and nothing helps curve that hunger than using Pandora. In a previous post, I compared social media music players and I’ve continued to use primarily Pandora because of their innovation. One of those innovating features is the ability to directly share and create stations with your social network.

I may be slow to the Pandora party, but as long as my friends share their stations with me everything is great. Pandora offers the unique ability to create a custom made radio station and then share it with your friends.


Refining your station, by giving songs a thumbs up or down, also refines a station your friend uses. It’s one of my favorite ways to learn about new artists and songs. What better way then to learn about a new genera then to have your ‘expert’ friend create a station for you?

Do you remember making a mix-tape for for your girlfriend or boyfriend? Now you can make an enhanced digital mix-tape. As your love grows and matures so will your station. Pandora has one of the coolest ways to put a modern spin on your mix-tape. Creating a custom Pandora station.


Pandora allows you to choose five artists or songs, create a skin, and then create a custom name for your station. Once complete Pandora lets you send your custom station to any and everyone with an attached message.

Maybe your a Pandora station genius who’s created the all-time best TI station? If you are, you can share it with the entire Pandora community. All you have to do is write a little description about the station and Pandora will make it accessible to the entire music community. If you’re curious what’s transformed a station you found into a powerhouse you can see all of the song the station creator approved and disapproved.

Pandora has made the music experience more social because of their station sharing ability. I’m excited to see what else they have in store for us down the road. If you have a great station you wish to share come find me on Pandora, Jesse Liebman, and we’ll see if we can create the ultimate, modernized, enhanced, mix-tape.

The New Web Design: WordPress Themes

Web design has changed in recent years from slaving away at your computer for a month to potentially completing your web site in a weekend. What’s enabled this change is the use and implementation of WordPress. When making the decision to utilize WordPress for web design you have two options for completing your web site design: buy or find a free WordPress theme or create your own WordPress theme.

I like having the control to completely customize my website therefore I’m a big fan of creating WordPress themes from scratch. In order to do this you’ll need to know and understand HTML, CSS, PHP, and WordPress. Here are some great resources you can use to teach yourself how to make a WordPress theme from scratch.

Web Design Languages

Using the W3Schools you can learn virtually and web based language needed. They have a great easy to understand set-up along with interactive examples. Use W3Schools to Learn HTML, Learn CSS, andLearn PHP.

WordPress Standards

Make sure before diving into creating a WordPress template that you visit the WordPress Theme Development page. This will give you several resources and guidelines for making a compliant theme.

WordPress Theme Development

Everyone needs a little help and ThemeTation’s article on Creating WordPress Themes. Between TehemTation and WP Designer’s How-To Guide for WordPress Themes you won’t leave any stone uncovered.

Have a personal example or site you really like that’s used a self created WordPress theme? Leave a link in a comment to share the love with everyone.