Hiring SEM Specialists

It seems like this topic has been a bit of a bandwagon as of late, and I’ll give it a shot, jump on, and throw my $0.02 in.

This has always been something that’s proven difficult in the more than four years that I’ve been in this industry. In my history hiring and training SEMers, I’ve personally interviewed and hired over 30 search engine marketing specialists, and trained well over 100 people (between sales, service, and search marketing specialists). With whatever credibility that lends, I can honestly say that finding and hiring experienced search marketing specialists is the most difficult.

The reasons are obvious: This is a new industry, those with knowledge and experience are mostly self-taught (and often independent consultants), it is not a glamourous industry (if it were, there would be a greater interest), and the combination of marketing and technical aptitude to truly become an expert is quite unique.

Google to Target Classifieds

Steve Rubel points to evidence that suggests Google is getting ready to make a push for classifieds.

According to the job listing, Google is growing their “world- class sales team to assist in the sale of targeted advertising solutions to advertisers in the Classifieds space…As a member of Google’s Vertical Markets Group, your main responsibility will be to develop and execute on a strategy for driving ad sales with all advertisers in the Classifieds category on a national/international level, working with all sales channels and resources (DSO, ISO, Online).â€?

Channel Sponsors

Could Google or Yahoo be Manchester United’s Next Sponsor?

Over at WebWatch, there’s speculation that Google or Yahoo could be in the running to sponsor England’s soccer powerhouse (and the second best team behind the Gunners) Manchester United.

Vodafone announced last week that it is ending its four-year £9m a year shirt sponsorship deal two years early at the end of this current Premiership season…some of the names reportedly willing to top Vodafone’s deal include Google, IBM and Yahoo!, according to The Observer newspaper at the weekend.

Sponsorship of an English soccer team generates a lot of brand exposure for any company. Man’ Utd has a strong global following with their shirts worn around the world.

Is Miva Looking for a Buyer?

Rich Duprey’s eagle-eye spots a recent Miva filing that suggest the company may be looking for a buyer.

Miva’s filing begins by mundanely setting the base pay of the senior vice president and general manager of the company’s North American operations, the chief technology officer, and the chief marketing officer. It then goes on to reveal that they are also now covered by a change-of-control plan should Miva get bought out and are prohibited from competing against the company for a one-year period. You wouldn’t realize that any of this information was new until you go back to Miva’s proxy statement filed in May, where only the CEO, president, chief strategy officer, and CFO are covered by the agreement. The new filing nearly doubles the number of executives covered.

Fourth Quarter E-Commerce Growth Very Strong

Over at Forbes, they look at Merrill Lynch’s view that e-commerce will have a stella Q4 thanks in part to Google, eBay and Amazon.

“Comscore’s latest fourth-quarter forecast calls for e-commerce sales of $26.5 billion, which exceeds our fourth-quarter e-commerce estimate for 22% year-over-year growth,” Merrill analyst Justin Post wrote in a recent note in investors.

TiVo Users Soon Can Search for Ads, Google-Style Ad Pricing Possible

Just last week we reported on compelling reasons why Google should acquire Tivo. That argument just got a whole lot stronger with the announcement (WSJ) that Tivo is partnering with several big ad firms to offer its users a system that lets them search for commercials centered around a specific topic.

TiVo users will be able to set up a profile of products on their television screens by clicking on categories such as automotive or travel or typing in keywords such as “BMW” or “cruises.” On a regular basis, TiVo will then download relevant commercials to TiVo recorders over the Internet or, for those users who don’t have broadband, send the video via traditional broadcast signals. The commercials will appear on-screen in a folder next to the list of television shows TiVo users record.

Xooglers Blog for Ex-Google Employees

Mike Bazeley at SiliconBeat thinks he’s the last to mention Xooglers, a new blog by former Google employees, but I might just take that honor. ;-)