Most writing about search marketing tends to be tactical tips from practitioners. Understanding Sponsored Search: Core Elements of Keyword Advertising, a new book by Prof. Jim Jansen, takes a more academic look at the field. I took some time to interview Jim to understand how his book can help search marketers and learn some of his more surprising findings.
Cambridge University Press has generously agreed to give away a free copy of Understanding Sponsored Search to one Digital Alex reader. Simply tweet a a link to the post by today (by 11:59 p.m. on 9/6/11). I’ll choose one winner at random (you’ll need to share your mailing address to receive the book).
1. What’s the difference between your book and more practitioner oriented books?
This book focuses on the theory, models, and constructs underlying the practices that we do in keyword advertising. Naturally, every account has its own uniqueness, exceptions, and caveats. However, there are nearly always some commonalities in general principles. This book addresses these trends. It is different that the typical practitioner books (many of which are excellent!) in that it does not focus on the “how” but instead focuses on the “why”.
2. What were some of the most surprising things you learned in your research?
Having taught, researched, and implemented keyword advertising efforts for nearly more than a decade (I was co-author on one of the first published accounts of web searching using really search engine data, from Excite to
give you and idea of how long ago), it is was most surprising that the people aspects had such an effect on all aspects of keyword advertising. We hear all the time that it is always “about the customer” or “it’s all about eyeballs”, but when you systemically analyze the data, research, commentary and trends, it is just so apparent. The person (as searcher, consumer, customer) is reflected in nearly every aspect.
3. What are some common misconceptions in paid search you’d like to see dispelled?
I don’t especially like the over focus on things like quality score. Make it a good customer experience. Quality score will take care of itself.
4. What can seasoned search marketers learn from your book? What are 1-2 ideas you’d like to see them use?
Principle of Least Effort — One of the most enduring and most thoroughly research aspects of human information behavior. People will expend the least amount of effort to get the information they need. This simple principle influences keyword selection, ad creatives, ranking, and bidding. Make it as easy (and fast, and straightforward, and simple) for the customer. Again, it’s all about the person.
Don’t forget to tweet a link to this post to enter for a free copy of Jim’s book.
Jim Jansen is an associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of several books, most recently Understanding Sponsored Search(Cambridge
University Press, September 1, 2011). He is currently a senior fellow at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, where he studies the uses and affordances of the Web for information searching and ecommerce, with a focus on the interaction between the person and the technology
You can buy his book, Understanding Sponsored Search: Core Elements of Keyword Advertising, at Amazon.
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