Every once in a while my fellow search compadre here at Direct Online Marketing™ Towers, Katie, will amaze me with a succinct summing-up of a particular aspect of the search marketing landscape.

During a recent analysis of a rather sizeable pay per click campaign that we’ve just snagged, her notes alluded to something called ‘The Yahoo! Junk Boom Effect’.

Obviously I’m going to be less succinct in my own deconstruction of what she actually means. You see, every now and again you’ll come across paid search results that are frighteningly irrelevant – due to a policy of simply bidding on any old keyword and having it show up in the ad title and text and bidding enough for it to show.

For example, if you take a look at this set of paid search results (the ones down the right) for ‘soil mixing‘, you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about. How on earth am I going to get my hands on ‘soil mixing’ at Yahoo! Shopping?

On the one hand, this irrelevancy could be perceived as planting dirty seeds in the minds of searchers who will never trust paid search ads again. On the other, you’re going to stick out like a rose between several thorns if you’re the only relevant pay per click ad, and receive more click-throughs because of it.

And don’t forget the amount of lost revenue in pointless clicks, although this could be offset by having your online brand synonymous with infinite availability – even though it’s unavailable.

This cyclical argument leads me to another weird online bugbear of Katie’s:

The Facebook Baby Boomer Blitz

For this you have to understand the law of cool. You don’t become cool because you start using something that is defined as the epitome of ice cold. However, the inverse is true – things that were cool cease to be so once uncool types start using them.

For example, is the iPod a cooler brand now you’ve seen old fat blokes with them?

This isn’t to say old fat blokes can’t be cool – after all, look at me – but they fail miserably when they try to jump on a younger person’s bandwagon. You know, a bit like trying to fit into a figure-hugging top that you think shows off your prime pectorals when all it does is cosset your developing man-bosom.

Personally, I’m not that bothered about Facebook after playing with it for a while. I only go on once a week to upload a few new videos when I’m avoiding certain useful things I could be working on at home. It’s an interesting diversion, with a bit of marketing potential if you’re wanting to tap into certain established groups. It also serves the urge of “I wonder what such and such is doing these days.”

But business networking…erm, not really.

Where else could you have your boss, your colleagues, your wife, you best friend and some guy who once emailed you about some planters two years ago able to snoop on your every move 24/7. For me that’s almost social paralysis. Or a twilight zone wedding reception without the booze. I’m also terrified by the rejection of an unrequited invite – from both an inviter and invitee perspective.

At the end of the day we’re talking about adding or added value – and throwing virtual sheep at one another isn’t either.

Unless, of course, you come from Yorkshire.

Is it any wonder the college kids who first used Facebook are now laughing at the geriatrics for their attempts to turn it into something more formal for business?

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Paul Woodhouse

Paul looks after the SEO side of things here at Direct Online Marketing as well as trying to work out the best social media strategies for our clients.

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