It Just Comes Naturally

In less than a year, we’ve seen the winds of fancy swing far and wide in the world of search.

We just got back from the SES conference in Chicago and as usual, conversations were interesting and enlightening.

Back in March, at SES New York, paid search was a hot topic. Seemed that most of the folks we talked to there wanted to know what we could do for them when it came to PPC. Summer came, SES landed in San Jose, and PPC was still a big, big issue for a lots of our visitors.

SES Chicago had a different feel to it though. PPC wasn’t nearly so hot this time around. Everyone wanted to talk about natural search. Almost like we’re back to the basics.

Realistically there’s probably a number of reasons we had these conversations. We’ve always focused on natural search optimization. It may be that people are getting to know us a little better and just want to have that conversation with us. I suspect there is something more to it though. You could almost hear pain in people’s voices when they were talking about how much they had budgeted for PPC.

There’s a lot of talk lately about the diminishing ROI on paid search. Makes sense too. With such low barriers to entry, the market gets more and more crowded everyday. And with so many novices in the game, bid prices sky rocket as they just keep throwing money towards the number one position.

All in all though, it’s very encouraging. It’s my hope that search marketing is finally maturing to the point that we’ll start to see good balance in strategy. A strong natural campaign will set the foundation for long term results that can be complimented by an aggressive, flexible, targeted paid campaign.