Websourced Changes Names, and Maybe? Direction?

11 comments

Mike Grehan wrote an article stating that SEO is becoming more about traditional marketing, moving away from push toward pull.

Old-style SEO was about using certain technology tricks to push a client's Web site into the charts. But that doesn't work anymore like it used to. However, by using integrated marketing techniques to create awareness, build your brand, and create end-user demand, you can pull your clients into the search engine charts.

He also mentioned WebSourced is to change their name. Apparently the new name is MarketSmart Interactive.

The recent history at WebSourced has been less than stellar. I still get rumor PMs about WebSourced occasionally. Is it too late for that company to switch gears? Are they already irrelevant? Or can Mike move them from push to pull?

Comments

> Are they already

> Are they already irrelevant?

This is a silly question. ;-)

more spin

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It's rather like old-style SEO (define) versus marketing-led SEO. Old-style SEO was about using certain technology tricks to push a client's Web site into the charts. But that doesn't work anymore like it used to.

That's a 5 year old comparison. The easy way out; a way to say something without getting too much flack. His "old-style SEO" hasn't been mainstream SEO for many years.

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However, by using integrated marketing techniques to create awareness, build your brand, and create end-user demand, you can pull your clients into the search engine charts.

There's the pitch. Sounds remarkably like some of the Ad Agency people - the ones who call themselves Ad Holes (!?) - when they pitch my services to a client. Why? Because as an SEO I advise and guide them on the use of their existing tools (press releases, viral/link bait, marketing materials including brochures, post-cards, websites, etc) which should be optimized, towards search inclusion and SERP rank goals. And so does every SEO I know.

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Trying to push a client with a tiny marketing budget, compared to its competitors in a saturated market, is always going to be an uphill struggle. Something like more than 80 percent of all new consumer products in the U.S. fail. With that many failures in the offline marketing world, you can imagine we'd see similar results at a search engine, too.

Yawn. Wrong line. This is Results Oriented Optimization (with metrics). The line for "easy money/projects and soft-accountability" is over there.

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The mere thought of some pimply SEO geek sitting with a proper marketing organization trying to explain to the marketing VP what a sandbox is, is almost laughable, if it weren't so serious. There are dozens of reasons companies fail offline. And, believe me, the same applies online.

Ummm... sounds hostile, no? Resentful? I wonder what motivated this. Seems out of place. Personally, the only people I have seen spending energy trying to explain sandbox (or anything tech for that matter) to marketing VPs are newbies and the wannabe marketing VPs working for them. The vibrations I am sensing are frustration (?)

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Do a marketing audit before you take on a client and get a better understanding of what you're really up against. If the client offers you a paltry $50,000 to do some SEM work in a marketplace where competitors usually spend millions on TV, radio, press, and integrated online advertising, you may want to think twice.

Ahhhhh... seems clearer now. Maybe there is a client expectation problem. I suppose that can happen if you take "serious money" from a client who doesn't understand SEO. Taking serious money to provide something (top ranks) that TheAlmightyGoogle may taketh away sans a moment's notice, sans explanation. Sucks to be in that seat. I guess.

I just grabbed a few parts of Mr. Grehan's article because it motivated me to reply. I am sure, given his picture, he's not pimply-faced. I doubt he is a technical SEO. I always leave room for the spin factor, but taken at face value this is more a pitch for influencing big money away from SEO than a commentary on the SEO industry.

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We've long been asking larger companies to make SEM a budget line item. Now they're rapidly adopting that. It's no longer about whose site is better optimized. It's about who markets best.

The sales trained among you will recognize that as some part of the sales process. Referenced testimonial, follow the others, etc. I am ignorant of the academics of sales (obviously). But a solid company pitch follows:

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My own company, one of the largest in the sector, has learned many hard lessons in the push SEO arena. So this year we have a brand-new name (as of today) to reflect our new focus. We also have an entirely new approach as an interactive agency providing integrated online marketing communications strategy and services.

Press release in a Blog. Not a new concept... part of SEO for oh, about 4 years now. And I note marketers have taken up the practice in the past year or so.

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Is there a sandbox? Or are we an industry sector unable to operate at the same level of sophistication as the medium we promote?

Wow. Dangerous to insert a new idea here (one that begs for digression.... digression along a contrary vein relative to the prior text discoloring technical SEO and setting up a closing pitch for an advertising agency, no? I best leave the sales copy writing critique to the likes of Mr. Massa). Anyway, here's the closing statement meant to linger in the client's mind:

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The end user is in control at search engines. Not search optimizers.

By "end user" he must mean the web user (not the client). In that case, does he mean the one that uses SEARCH for just about everything these days? I guess(?)

Call me slow, but now I am understanding that they are quitting SEO and changing to full-service marketing, and looking for a bigger piece of the Advertising pie. Is that right?. Discredit technical SEO along the way, downplay pure-plays like sandbox extraction, and suggest that the smart money agrees with fervor. I haven't read much good about WebSourced on the SEO boards in the past, so is this important?

agreed

He certainly recharacterized that SEW thread creatively.

Once again, none of us seems to get it.

Not bad - they buy Mike's

Not bad - they buy Mike's company, but now Mike's company has its name on the door. :D

Oh great

He had to go mention me...

I just don't have the patience to try to explain the aging delay to him again...

Call me slow, but now I am

Call me slow, but now I am understanding that they are quitting SEO and changing to full-service marketing, and looking for a bigger piece of the Advertising pie. Is that right?. Discredit technical SEO along the way, downplay pure-plays like sandbox extraction, and suggest that the smart money agrees with fervor.

Others are less than impressed with that article's spin as well. Randfish posted a rant on it:

Mike, I know you work with a lot of big firms who launch new websites that NEVER get boxed, but the rest of us have other goals, other aspirations and other clients and your appraisal of our situation is, frankly, insulting

I responded to that

I responded to that emotionally when I should have remained cool. Bad post on my part and a poor showing of professionalism. Can't even take my own advice.

Apologies owed to Mike on that gaffe.

Yes, Mike, we know about marketing...

...but there's still an aging delay.

I didn't read your original rant, Rand, but what's up there now is right on the mark.

The most infuriating thing with Mike's article is that many of us do indeed discuss marketing, and we make sure our clients are doing that, and PR, and creating a buzz, and everything else that is necessary to get your site noticed today.

But that doesn't mean there's no aging delay. One doesn't preclude the other. Any SEO or SEM who has a client that will be launching a brand new site/domain -- no matter how large or how small -- who does NOT tell them about the sandbox (whether they are a pimply faced kid SEO, a mom at home SEO, or a corporate suit SEO) would be remiss in their duties to their client. Period.

I wish Mike the best of luck

I wish Mike the best of luck in his new endeavor.

Does Mike have a new

Does Mike have a new endeavor?

too funny.

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Does Mike have a new endeavor?

Message delivered, eh? Too funny.

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