Friday’s one-day “SEW Live” workshop in Seattle was a good day overall, from the information presented during the day, to meeting all kinds of people I’ve seen and spoken with on the forums and blogs, and even getting the chance to enjoy dinner with some dear friends I don’t see nearly enough.
As far as the SEM material is concerned, the event began with presentations and Q&A related to….
MSN AdCenter and Google AdWords spoke, while Yahoo only had a rep in attendance — she wasn’t cleared by the PR folks to present.
I haven’t paid much attention yet to AdCenter, mainly because I’m a Mac user and the AdCenter site / system doesn’t work on a Mac. (D’oh!) At the first break, I spoke with MSN’s Brian Burdick, who told me it should be about six weeks before they have Mac compatibility. So that’s good news. AdCenter sounds interesting, at least in the technology. It’s the first PPC program to offer real “dayparting” — the ability to target ads and bids based on the time of day.
Lexa Pope of Google promised that AdWords would soon roll out its own dayparting tool, though it had a different, Google-esque name. Google Ad Scheduling or something like that. Odd to see Google playing catch-up to MSN….
Pope also shared the the three factors that make up an AdWords’ ad’s “Quality Score”:
- Historical click-thru rate
- Relevance of keywords to ad text
- Quality of the landing page
That last one is a relatively recent addition to the mix. Pope explained that Google wants to ensure a quality user experience for searchers, and that includes rewarding advertisers with good landing pages.
After the PPC session, various SEO/SEM speakers covered a variety of different topics related to SEM — too many speakers and topics to mention, actually. I was nodding my head quite a bit when Cameron Ferroni of Marchex was talking about opportunities in Local Search — something I think is an important part of small business SEM. (Just a day earlier, I’d met with a new client who has no web site and whose main goal is to “stop spending so much money on the yellow pages.”)
A very good Q&A session ended the day (at least for me).
The workshop was well worth the $75 cost, though I was told by a “highly-placed source” that the price is gonna go up for future one-day workshops. The source also promised they’d come back to Seattle again for more SEW Live workshops — the audience questions were the best he’s ever heard at one of these events. Well done, Seattle.