Just came back from the Google VIP party and I must say, it was great. After attending events like these, you start believe that Google is not a search engine – it’s really a relationship management platform. Matthew Dolan, the relationship manager for the National Agency Team, was eager to speak with myself and my co-workers before we even got there. As soon as I walked in and introduced myself to someone, they immediately said, “Matt was talking about you and, he’s looking forward to meeting you.” Now that is called building and maintaining a relationship. Great job Matthew and thanks to you and Google for hosting a great event.
The event was held at Sino in San Jose, a very nice restaurant with great food and drinks. Google really made everyone there feel like a VIP.
I met a lot of smart and interesting people and engaged in an interesting discussion with David Szetela, the owner and CEO of Clix Marketing, a PPC firm based in Kentucky. Of course, David believes that PPC is better than SEO, and he did make some valid points. PPC does have greater accountability and allows for the targeting of specific landing pages per keyword – if you use dynamic landing pages that is. His argument was that SEO IS PPC, but for natural search. This rings true to a certain extent.
While PPC is restricted to specifically search engine advertising, SEO can be applied across a wide spectrum of marketing channels, such as PDF’s, videos, blogs, etc. I believe a chasm exists between the different types of SEO, and I’m not talking about black hat vs white hat. There are SEO’s who seek to “game” the system. They believe in driving traffic and in ranking in that top coveted spot on search engines and see SEO as just a rankings tool. They are the ones who spam social media sites just to get some extra links, and these are the guys who stuff keywords in their title tags to try to rank for as many search terms as they can. This is not SEO. This is spam marketing.
On the other hand, we have SEOs who believe in SEO as a marketing tool. That is, instead of worrying about traffic, they focus on conversions and on targeting the people that matter. SEO spam is equivalent to t.v. advertising – a lot of money spent and not a lot of results delivered. SEO is about delivering a consistent marketing message via multiple channels to the people that care and to the people that matter. Why was the Youtube series “you suck at photoshop,” so popular? Why do millions of people watch the CEO of Blendtec blend random products in his blenders? It’s not because of spam and it’s not because of SEO. It’s because these guys targeted the right people, and those people did the rest of the marketing. I consider myself a marketer not a spammer.
I know you are waiting for me to say that SEO is better than PPC, but I am not going to. Instead of saying that either PPC or SEO is better I will say that they work well together and can share their learnings. In order to dominate search, you have to have a solid understanding of PPC and SEO, and you need to understand how they can work together to provide an overall integrated approach to search marketing.
Thanks for the great party Google, and thank you, David, for engaging me in this lively discussion of PPC vs SEO.