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The ultimate NewFronts roundup

Every year, companies gather in New York to pitch advertisers on their latest and greatest digital offerings in digital media’s response to television upfronts.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s NewFronts which occurred between April 27 and May 7…

10 blue links: are they dead or alive in search?

It’s a provocative question and heaven knows we all love one of those.

There are a lot of contradictory opinions out there surrounding the term ‘blue links’ and how many are to be found on your average search engine results pages (SERPs). 

While many proclaim the death of ’10 blue links’, other experts suggest their own research confirms otherwise.

Search is an ever evolving, constantly tinkered with playground that is almost impossible to ‘game’ in the long-term and second-guess in the short-term. 

As a producer of content myself, I’ve always believed that SEO best practice lies in the quality of the content itself. Creating entertaining, useful, relevant or engaging content is the number one approach and any ‘wins’ your content may achieve in appearing in organic search listings are a well earned result.

Of course I sound naïve here and I’m fully aware that good SEO involves more than just that, especially if organic search listings on the first SERP are becoming less visible. 

Let’s take a look at the current state of play for organic search and ’10 blue links’.

Global paid search spend increased in 2013: stats

Covario has just issued its Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for Q4 2013, revealing that global spend on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has increased by 13% from Q3 and 7% year-on-year.

Paid search on mobile also had an incredible 2013, with impressive numbers recorded for Android, iPhone and iPad activations. Total advertising spend on mobile grew 23% in Q4 2013 from Q3. This is 55% up from the same period in 2012.

Keyword pricing wise, the average cost-per-click (CPC) came down in Q4 2013, however the average CPC rose 10% versus the same period in 2012.

What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it?

Paid search marketing has many names, wears many guises and works alongside many other nebulous terms.

Search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-impression (CPM) search engine advertising, sponsored listings, paid for placement, and that’s before you get to services provided by the search engines themselves – Google AdWords, Yahoo Bing Network. 

It’s a lot to wade through.

As a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world, I’ve decided to begin a series of ‘beginner’s guides’ to uncover what is meant by certain terms, trends and technological advances in digital; being both a travel guide and a personal investigation.

Last week I covered Native Advertising, this time I’m going to take a look at paid search. If you’re an expert in the field, this article may not be for you, however please feel free to leave any advice or guidance in the comments below.

Yahoo and Tumblr: the dangers of speaking too soon

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years from working in digital marketing, it’s that first reactions to tech news stories are rarely accurate.

The time to form an opinion, in my experience, is when the stories ending in question marks die down. 

When the Tumblr news broke (Yahoo’s planned acquisition @ $1.1bn) we were predictably flooded by instantaneous musings and misunderstandings around the network and its new owners.

Speculation then moved onto what Yahoo should do with its new toy, with a common concern muted as the nonsensical introduction of spammy ads.