Search Marketing Standard – Welcomed Paper in a Paperless World

Today I would like to do a quick review of the print, yes print, magazine called Search Marketing Standard. I recently received the Spring 2008 edition in my snail mailbox. Mailbox? Yes, you know that box out by the street that has no spam filter. Not to insinuate that Search Marketing Standard is spam; quite the opposite. I welcome the magazine.

This is my third review of Search Marketing Standard in as many years. Read my 2006 and 2007 reviews here:

New Search Engine Marketing Magazine Just Misses Target (2006)

Search Marketing Standard – A Useful Tool (2007)

At about 58 pages the current issue is almost twice the size of that first issue from 2006. I only found two bull’s-eye logos in the ads within this issue, while there were at least half a dozen back in ’06. I had picked on them a bit for this then.

I don’t recall the 2006 or 2007 versions I reviewed mentioning anything about social media. This issue has at least two articles dedicated to this new channel, and several of the other articles at least mention social media marketing. I appreciated these social media articles. One makes a point that there are as many spammers in the social media space as there are spammers in the SEO world. The other article points out that UK business are slow to embrace social media marketing. Probably because they aren’t really sure what it is. Both articles admit it is a bit hard to put your finger on exactly what social marketing is, and what to expect from it.

In my 2007 blog post, I offered that Search Marketing Standard is a nice way to keep up with a fast moving industry. It is a worthy tool to keep around. Please excuse the irony of this comment as you read it on screen, but I give the magazine credit for giving us industry folks something we can read off screen.

Ultimately any paper magazine is limited in what it can really say or teach. You sort of chuckle to yourself when you see a link embedded in a print publication. I wonder how many people will take the time to type an 80 character URL into a browser address bar.

Many of the contributors/authors are familiar and respected names in the search and online marketing industry. In most cases the articles are short teasers. You are prompted to learn more by contacting these experts and/or their firms. I don’t see this as a bad thing. In my experience there is almost nothing in the search or online marketing industry that is simple enough to learn by reading a few articles. Experts exist for a reason.

Like virtuoso musicians these experts make it look or sound “easy”. Unfortunately it isn’t.

For now I still recommend Search Marketing Standard to experienced online marketers as one of the many ways to keep up. For newbies there’s enough to make you dangerous, but please don’t go and be dangerous. Contact an expert and do things right from the start.