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Thread: Why Search Is the Worst Form of Advertising?

  1. #1

    Why Search Is the Worst Form of Advertising?

    Search-engine marketing (SEM) is the worst form of advertising. Sure, it's able to get in front of the right audience, but who is really being persuaded by 130 characters of text split across four lines with no call to action? Giving SEM credit for being the form of advertising that drives billions of dollars in sales is like giving the checkout person at a supermarket credit for all the food sales annually. The checkout person does not persuade the shopper to buy Coke instead of Pepsi, and neither do text ads.

    I'm not saying SEM lacks value. Placing your text listings in search engines, comparison shopping engines and other places users seek out does remind your customers: "Oh, right, I remember them. They are who I was looking for." But, let's be clear, SEM is only part of the equation, as it is not persuading users to chose you over your competitors.
    So the big question is: If SEM presents to the right audience but lacks persuasion, is there a way to actually advertise to the right audience?
    Read the entire article: Why Search Is the Worst Form of Advertising | DigitalNext: A Blog on Emerging Media and Technology - Advertising Age

    Very interesting article, what are your thoughts?
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  2. #2
    I don't think the author has got it right.
    He says someone searches only 2% of the time and the other 98% on sites.
    And it is on sites that the searcher finds what he wants?
    Weird, the example he gave:
    Search for "Mercedes" but that is as far as the author goes, because he goes into that person saw an ad on CNN for mercedes and clicks on that?
    If someone is searching for anything, he will find it.
    Why else did he search?
    WHo searches and then leaves to go to CNN or another site and happens to luck out to see what he wants?

  3. #3
    It is possible that some users spend 2% of their time on search and 98% of their time on sites. However, the users would probably never get to the web sites without the search. When search is working right, it is the most targeted form of marketing and is very effective.

    What is the alternative? We know that banner advertising is typically not targeted very well and is only minimally effective. People rarely click on banner ads because they are tired of being taken to sites that do not have what they want. Most users have mentally blocked out banner ads.

    What is missing in the article is a viable alternative. If the author does not think that search is effective, what does he think works better? If he thinks it is banner ads, I would have to disagree. They are less targeted and less likely to get clicked on by someone who actually wants to buy that product.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    I think the SEM is killing the SERP, perhaps one reason among many others that people are going to social media.

    Have you ever thought why Yahoo and MSN are losing steam so Google? My theory on that is that people are saturated with excessive SEM.

    Is there an alternative to search engines? Well the first thing people are doing when they are looking for something specific is search.
    Do you remember how people searched before internet? The majority used the yellow pages.
    Do you remember how people bought products with catalogs from long distance before internet? The mail orders.
    Do you remember how people educated themselves before internet? Public Libraries

    Now all you have to do is own a computer and use an internet connection to have acces to all of that. The problem is people are getting tired of being sollicited every single second when they are surfing on the internet, even when they use a search engine to find something specific.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


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