For the February gathering of SLC|SEM we were pleased to have Danny Sullivan, Editor in Chief of Search Engine Land present on the state of search marketing.

This was the second event held at The Leonardo and the venue held up its standard as an excellent place to host a large group of online marketing professionals.

The reception area provided a light and fun atmosphere for food, drinks, catching up with friends, and networking with new connections in search. (See over 100 photos from the networking & content session on the SLCSEM Facebook page.)

The presentation began with a brief breakdown of the history of search. Danny Sullivan quickly went over how search has evolved from the days of keyword stuffing, to the search plus your world update earlier this year.

Using Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors, Sullivan showed the elements of search and how they have been added over time.


When the presentation turned to inclusion of social media into search ranking factors Sullivan compared it to the way that voting has evolved in the US.

Just like a person was only qualified to vote if they owned property, it was only those that had a website (owned online property) that had a vote. That is until social media started to factor into search rankings, now anyone can vote on search rankings.

After affirming that SEO is definitely not dead, the conversation turned to mobile search optimization. Sullivan presented data on how mobile searches have different behavior from desktop and tablet searches. Mobile users are more likely to search at night, but as activity increases after hours, bounce more, and even convert at a much lower rate than other searchers.

Sullivan then discussed how mobile users are enlarging the spectrum of what we refer to as “search”. The advent of specialty apps that enable users to easily find what they search for most requires SEM professionals to look at search beyond the standard search engines.

As a search marketer, it is your responsibility to optimize not only for Google and Bing, but also for other platforms where “search” is an activity of Yelp, Urban Spoon, Maps, etc.

Key Takeaways: State of Search with Danny Sullivan

  • The Hunt for Quality: Search engines are searching for the best key indicators of quality content. The indicators have moved from keywords, to links, to social. Focus on quality content and as the key indicators move you can move with them.
  • There’s an App for That: Apps are changing the way we need to think of search.
  • Search is Answers: An app is just a gateway to answer a question. Gateways are changing, but SEO is more important than ever.
  • Change is Good: Changes in the way people find answers online create new opportunities for the SEM industry. There are now even more diverse ways to take advantage of search and help consumers find their answers through your organization/client.
Alma Smith is a marketing professional with several years of experience in online marketing. Armed with an MBA, with an emphasis in Marketing, Alma is always ready for the next challenge. Alma is currently working with Tech Media Network ( managing their paid search. His rants can be found on twitter @Alma_Smith.

Search engine advertising can drive new customer traffic, increase sales revenue and deliver highly qualified leads when Google Adwords and Microsoft AdCenter campaigns are done well.

The best thing about paid search advertising? It’s effective, cost-efficient and resulting sales can be attributed directly to your efforts. [Read more…]

Join SLC|SEM for an evening dedicated to paid search marketing strategies presented by Marin Software!

All attendees can enter to win an iPad 2, courtesy of Marin! (must be present to win)


When: March 14th, 6-9pm 

  • 6 – 7pm: Food, Drinks & Networking Sponsored by Marin
  • 7 – 7:15pm : Opening Remarks by
  • 7:15 – 9pm: Case Studies & Best Practices presented by local search marketers 

What: Paid Search Madness! 

Paid search advertising can be one of the most cost-effective means of driving more customers to your business – whether you operate purely online, or have a bricks-and-mortar or service-based business. 

Yet navigating the complexities of paid search can be challenging without properly setting clear conversion metrics, target CPC’s (cost per click) and CPA’s (cost per acquistion) goals.

If you’re running Google Adwords, Microsoft Advertising for Bing/Yahoo, or buying Ads on Facebook – at any level of monthly spend, you’ll want to attend this event to brush up on the current best practices for running paid search campaigns to maximize your return on investment. 

For those not directly responsible for managing paid search campaigns, attending this event will still offer valuable insight into online search behavior and provide an understanding of how paid search works alongside your other marketing initiatives -from organic search (SEO) to social media strategies. 


Featured local speakers sharing case studies and best practices include: 

Who Should Attend? 
  • CEO’s and CMO’s looking for paid search solutions. 
  • In-house or Agency Marketers who want to learn more about paid search advertising or improve their current campaign performance. 

Held at partner venue, The Leonardo – the newly renovated Arts, Science & Technology Museum in Downtown Salt Lake City. 

209 E 500 S
Salt Lake CityUT 84111


SLC|SEM hosts its monthly networking and educational seminars for search marketers at this fantastic venue. Registered attendees may tour the museum (on the same day of) our evening event at a reduced entry fee of just $5 (regularly $14!).

Join us for an evening of exceptional company, conversation and content. Drinks & food will be available.

NOTE: Free Tickets are only available to current SLC|SEM members on a first-come, first-serve basis. We do ask that you pre-register for each event as early as possible so that we may plan space accordingly and open up additional tickets to non-members a week before the event.

Please DO NOT register unless you or your company has already purchased a membership. You can become a member of SLC|SEM online now and be guaranteed a seat to attend networking events with an annual membership.

Limited tickets may be available to non-members for a fee, if space allows. You must pre-register in advance and pay online or at the door.