I did a session at SES San Jose last week about The New Socialism -- the impact of social media on Web marketing. During the presentation, I accused people who are only using Google as their source of traffic as "lazy."
In the context of the panel, I was referring to non-use of social media. But I want to extend the list to include the non-use of other search engines. Too many people stick to AdWords and forgo using Yahoo and Bing (or whatever the combined search effort will be renamed).
Google no doubt loves such advertisers. But given the long standing results I've experienced converting Yahoo, Bing, and other lesser engines at much lower CPAs, once again I think those people who ignore all but Google as lazy.
Like social media, different types of people use different search engines. Back in the day, when AOL was a subscription-based access point to the Web, its users were always prime targets for advertisers, as they were more likely than the average user to be buyers. AOL subscribers were a great audience to attract.
Successful social media marketers know you can develop great customer relationships and long-term repeat clients through Twitter and other social networking channels. But they will also tell you that it takes work.
Mike Grehan, the new SVP of content for Search Engine Watch, ClickZ, and Search Engine Strategies, agrees that we should think about more than just the search engines. We're Internet marketers and should keep in front of all methods of marketing online. Forget the fact we do a disservice to our clients by not using these methods, we risk being left behind as the Web changes.
Zappos.com has shown how successful Twitter can be used for building brand and strong customer relations. And for all those people who monitor their brand using Google Alerts -- there are Twitter Alert services, too. You can even set up responses that are tweeted automatically in response to any mention of your brand or any set of words.
Be smart and realize that Twitter names are now becoming as sought after as domains. Build a presence in social media before your competitors garner all the relevant keywords/names.
If this topic interests you and you'd like to see more tips, please post in the comments and watch for the launch of social media threads at SEW forums.
Don't use the lazy man's method -- get into the game.
Chris Boggs Fires Back
I was recently led by Fantomaster at Twitter to an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the "Google Monster" taking over Australia. In Australia, 90 percent of search traffic occurs at Google, plus with their oncoming control over display ads, it would be foolish for Australians to not be "lazy" and focus 90 percent of their efforts on Google.
Not everyone is in the same predicament as your countrymen, Frank, and your points are valid for the U.S. market, at least. From what I see, Europe appears to be headed the same way, though.
Andy Atkins-Krüger pointed out at Multilingual Search that the chart outside of the U.S. makes the choice of focus much easier. If it weren't for Yahoo's relative dominance in Japan and North Korea, and the U.S.'s seeming "give the little guy a chance" percentages, it certainly would be a "Google world," from a search engine market share perspective.
Moving beyond search engines (note that I agree with you, Frank, that U.S. and some other search marketers should focus on the Bings, Yahoos, and Asks), the term "lazy" may not be appropriate when discussing the adoption of social media. I would prefer to use the term "cautious." As far as I know, other than the occasional Zappos.com success stories, social media has yet to show nearly the business value that SEM has. That isn't to say social media is incapable, but that there's a way to go before marketers can really trust this as a viable solution, especially in some verticals.
Twitter is in the crosshairs of spammers throughout the world, pushing their "follows" around and expecting return and interest. Chances are they're seeing similar results from a lead-generation perspectives that early e-mail spammers considered acceptable. From my non-social media expert viewpoint, there's also a long way to go for this game you advocate to be a "sure thing." Never underestimate the value of being an early adopter though...