SEOdamian's Blog

Helping others understand & share about technology, search

Will PPC increase in 2009?

Here are some thoughts from Kevin Lee’s Poll on Linkedin,

Do you think your PPC (Pay Per Click) search spending will grow this year compared to last?

I believe SEM (search engine marketing) will increase, but the real question is will more dollars go to SEO (search engine optimization) or to SEM?

SEM will increase, because it is measurable and you can plan on it a lot more the SEO. More importantly, the results are often quicker with SEM than SEO. These days management wants quick results – harvest the sales this month, not planting for when we might be in business next quarter. SEM has fewer variables as far as knowing at least how many ‘clicks’ you are going to get.  Certainly you still have a lot of back end ratios that can be ‘tweaked’ to get your true CPA (Cost Per Action) including copy, call to action and creativity. But at least you can report a ‘we had a million people come to the site’ that matches up well with the retail side of ‘Orbit’ people counters or what ever the ‘bricks’ side is using to count bodies. ‘Orbit’ people counters are devices that counts number of people entering a store each hour-most stores are counting how many are entering the store, as well as how many are buying and average spent per visit.

I think the answer is –  it will be a draw – more dollars will go into SEO as SEM gets saturated. But SEM will get the easy money as response from traditional marketing continues to drop in response to TiVo, DVR, Hulu, YouTube, programming fragmentation (what time was that show on? – now its what day, time and station is that show on?), programming standardization (how many ‘dancing shows’ are there?) and simplification (reality TV), diluting brand equity and a host of other core mistakes on the traditional marketing side as it tries to adapt to the changing world of ‘500 channels of TV and nothing’s on’.

It will be interesting to see if the additional money in SEM produces good results or will too many hacks waste too much money and destroy the reputation of the industry for years to come, pushing marketing dollars back into traditional marketing as soon as the economy recovers, and traditional marketing can get their own act together for measurable results (especially with live viewings vs. 24 hour viewings vs. 7 day viewings).

So what do you think? Are you investing more in PPC in 2009 than in 2008?

June 23, 2009 - Posted by | SEM Industry | , , , , , ,


  1. What is 24 hour viewing & 7 day viewing?

    Comment by schulzrose | June 26, 2009 | Reply

    • In the world of DVR (Digitial Video Recording like TiVo and other boxes from satellite and cable companies), timeshifting (watching TV programs at a time other then when they were originally televised, becomes a major issue in measuring viewership. This is most significant because TV stations set their rates based on how many people are watching shows. Ratings and Sweeps have been around for a long time often associated with the ‘Neilson Ratings’. However when 20+ percent of viewers can be watching a show later on VCR or TiVo it throws all the old numbers into an uproar.

      One of the ways to address this (this is an area that is very much evolving-measuring viewership when viewers have control over when they watch or consume) is to measure how many view a program within a 24 hour period of its initial showing (I watched it when I got home to talk about it tomorrow around the water cooler), or within 7 days (I went to Carl’s game on Tuesday so I watched it on Saturday afternoon). These tend to be the edge of where the ‘value’ of a ‘timely’ ad can be measured. This may or may not take into account viewers watching an online version at sites like

      Comment by SeoDamian | June 28, 2009 | Reply

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