Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Jon Schepke Back in Business with SIM Partners

Former Proceed Interactive exec, Jon Schepke, is back in business for himself, after a brief gig with iCrossing. The lure of starting another internet marketing firm was just too much for Jon – I know how that feels – and so he’s brought together some former Proceed employees and launched Strategic Internet Marketing Partners.

Best of luck Jon!

Google Named Fortune’s Best Place to Work

Grab you morning coffee and settle down for a long, envy-inducing read as to how Google made it to the top of Fortune’s list of Best Companies to Work For.

Is it any wonder, with benefits like these?

At Google you can do your laundry; drop off your dry cleaning; get an oil change, then have your car washed; work out in the gym; attend subsidized exercise classes; get a massage; study Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, and French; and ask a personal concierge to arrange dinner reservations. Naturally you can get haircuts onsite. Want to buy a hybrid car? The company will give you $5,000 toward that environmentally friendly end. Care to refer a friend to work at Google? Google would like that too, and it’ll give you a $2,000 reward. Just have a new baby? Congratulations! Your employer will reimburse you for up to $500 in takeout food to ease your first four weeks at home. Looking to make new friends? Attend a weekly TGIF party, where there’s usually a band playing. Five onsite doctors are available to give you a checkup, free of charge.

New Court Ruling Favors Those Bidding on Trademarked Keywords

Eric Goldman breaks-down a recent court ruling that appears to allow the use of trademarked keywords in sponsored ads. Focusing mostly on using trademarks for keyword “bids” and not ad creative, the court ruled that merely bidding on a trademark term is not enough to confuse a consumer.

The court holds that, as a matter of law, the use of keyword-triggered ads and keyword metatags cannot confuse consumers if the resulting ads/search results don’t display the plaintiff’s trademarks. Given the inconsistencies of past rulings, I simply don’t believe that this case will be the final word on the matter. However, if other courts follow this conclusion, we would see a reduction in the quantity of silly litigation over keyword advertising and keyword metatags.

MarketSmart Interactive Closes Doors

It’s a sad day for all of us who helped grow KeywordRanking/WebSourced – now MarketSmart Interactive – as I’ve heard the company closed the doors on its Morrisville offices at exactly 2:30pm today.

Since I left the company in July of 2005, the company has been on a steady decline, seemingly laying off employees each month and steadily losing clients. It’s been sad to watch the events unfold from the sidelines, but even outside observers saw the writing on the wall. Maybe now the company has finally closed the doors, I’ll write up an obituary for what was once a great search marketing firm.

In the meantime, there’s going to be a lot of talented SEMs looking for work. A reliable source tells me that the parent company, Think Partnership, kept on just six employees and offered no severance to those fired (despite many having worked there for 5+ years).

Google Gives Gov’t Top Spot

Has anyone else seen this before:
Google SERP for flu symptoms

I actually checked a similar ‘symptom’ keyword for a potential client last night and noticed this change today. Here’s a close up of the change:

Google SERP for flu symptoms close up

Notice the result just under the paid listings: the NIH or National Institutes of Health. If the .gov didn’t give it away, this is an institution of the US government. I’m not sure how NIH got in above the one box type refinements Google’s had on SERPs for a while now–conspiracy theories welcome.

Google to Index the Stars

And no, I don’t mean Paris Hilton et al.

Google announced today that they’ve joined forces with the 19 universities, labs and other foundations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project.

The huge telescope, to be located in Chile, will scan the night sky for distant activity including supernovae and asteroids. Google will be providing the infrastructure and database for organizing, storing and making available in real time the vast amounts of information (30 terabytes, they say) generated by the heavens each night.

Google’s VP of engineering, William Coughran, explains Google’s interest in the project:

Google’s mission is to take the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The data from LSST will be an important part of the world’s information, and by being involved in the project we hope to make it easier for that data to become accessible and useful.

The Only List of Search Marketing Blogs You’ll Ever Need

If you’re too lazy to compile your own list of the best search marketing blogs out there, never fear. Lee Odden has compiled a list of over 250 blogs and is even kind enough to provide the OPML file.

Should keep you out of trouble for a while.