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Recently, a new client of mine in Vancouver Canada brought something puzzling to my attention and needed my help to decipher across various discrepancies while they were working with Yellow Pages Group (YP) Canada with regards to their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) AdWords Campaign. As I was collecting many data points, I thought it would make sense to warn people on working with YPG as they may be double dipping in your wallet behind the scene. I basically was tasked to reverse engineer all aspects of their contractual agreement as YP Canada were unable (and probably unwilling) to shed any lights over a large number of data points. That in itself seemed troublesome enough to me to raise many red flags so here they are. 

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01/26 /// Online & Social Media Specialist - University of British Colombia (UBC) - Vancouver (BC);
University of British Colombia (UBC) (Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia)

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"I first got to know Alex on a business level working with him as part of my marketing team. From the moment I met Alex I was struck by both his enthusiasm for business and his clear understanding of the eMarketing world and the importance of search engine optimization.”

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Intrawest Corporation


Term Definition

Deep Linking /// Deep linking is the process of web pages (yours or outsiders) linking to a specific document within a set or collection of documents, allowing users to bypass welcome pages, introductions, etc. (eg A direct link to page 5 of an 8 page series)

/// Read the Glossary

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Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (Canada)

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Search engine marketing vision and challenges

Vision in developing an online presence: The market is fractured. Invest or abandon your site!

A long time ago, I had a similar conversation with the people at Intrawest, my first job in search marketing in 2000. At the time we came up with a formula where every Intrawest partner had to participate financially in the development of their website with content and promotion through search marketing tactics.

Because of the cost involved in performing these activities individually, it was a good option for these small business owners to work together.

Your challenge might be similar. Most business owners do NOT have enough resources to build and promote their site effectively. Do your chances of success increase by abandoning your site and putting the content into a consortium of businesses that will attract more visitors?

You might also think that there are too many Web sites on the Internet. But consider that 90-percent of Web sites are poorly design and not marketed at all. And 94-percent of them are not getting traffic from major search engines. Many, if not most do not generate sales. There is lots of opportunity for you to take the lead position.

I am continually surprised by sites that haven’t been updated in a decade. What’s gone wrong here? We all know that it is important to update a website, keep the content fresh, and so on. The problem is obviously the dollars to feed the site with appropriate resources.

Search engines including PPC search engines are forcing small businesses with poorly designed sites to abandon them. They do this by by raising their fee. As an example, it now costs $299 US annually to have a listing in Yahoo. What used to be free is now getting expensive.

Why? Search engines are in the business of providing relevant search results. Lucky for us they are pretty good at achieving these goals. They also know that if they raise their fee, some businesses will bail and this is precisely what they want. If your site is not relevant it gets left behind.

Don’t be surprised if Google, for instance, drops your website from their search engine when they realize it has not been updated in months. Most search engines are becoming more and more intelligent and it becomes impossible to achieve a top ranking with a poorly marketed and rarely updated website.

So if you don’t allocate the resources to achieve a decent search engine ranking, and you have a poorly designed site that doesn’t have much traffic anyway, what is the point of keeping it?

As the search engine shakeout continues, what revenue models will survive? Are the days of commercial-free searching over? Out of the 10 billion Web pages on the Internet, not every single site is going to survive. Most business owners only hang on until they find a solution to their online marketing challenge.

Here is the solution:

Invest in your online presence seriously or form a group. Considering the cost of promoting a site, I think small business owners should abandon their site, save their money and put that amount into a group of businesses promoting the same subject. For instance, if an American is searching for Victoria travel, it is obvious that this online user will not scroll through the 100 B&B sites in Victoria or the 200 Tour operators online, and so on.

But if 100 companies about travel in Victoria get together for a search marketing plan and build a site about their common interest, and where every company drops $2000 the end result will be a well-designed website with tremendous marketing power. The combined forces are greater than the sum of its parts.

There are only a few positions in search engines that actually drive traffic to a site. If you can’t afford the search marketing effort necessary to show up in the first page, or the top 10 results, you won’t get much traffic on your subject.

Be smarter about how you organize your resources. Teaming up may provide the best chance of survival.

Make the assessment whether or not you want to allocate more than $20,000 per year to market your website. If you cannot compete with major players in your market, than form a group of companies in your industry and market one well-designed site.

If you can allocate those marketing dollars for online promotion, than go for it.

For more information on the actual search marketing challenges, do not hesitate to contact me: Alexandre Brabant BComm