Even mainstream news sources were abuzz this week with Google’s Knowledge Graph. You can check out a Forbes article here and a  HuffPo article here to see what others are saying. The Knowledge Graph is now being rolled out slowly and some lucky folks have been able to test how it works. Please let us know in the comments section if you’ve gotten to try it and what your first impressions are. Add this to bulk listing improvements in Google Places and search marketers have had a busy week!

 

Ever feel like you can’t see the forest for the PPC trees? PPC Warfare: Get Out of the Trenches & Gain a New Strategic Perspective from Search Engine Watch acknowledges that even the very best PPC managers can get bogged down in account minutiae. Author Joseph Kerschbaum suggests that “you need to take a step back and review the battleground from afar. In other words, extract yourself from keyword-level analysis and take-in the bigger picture.” The article gives some great tips for taking a realistic look at account performance over time.

 

Over at Search Engine Land, we read an interesting article asking Do Search and Display Really Belong Together? Dax Hammon argues that SEM works best as PPC + SEO and that display may fit in better with creative teams.  What do you think?

 

Search Engine Land’s article 4 Alternatives You Need to Consider Beyond AdWords encourages paid search people to think outside the box with paid search campaigns. Mona Ellesily outlines a couple of the usual suspects – Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads – to drive targeted visitors and also touches on Kontera (doesn’t recommend) and StumbleUpon Paid Discovery (which she says might have potential).

 

Nice, helpful overviews of the best (free) tools manage your PPC accounts can be found in Search Engine Journal’s How to Improve Productivity When Working with AdWords. Jeremy Decker recommends using Excel, AdWords Editor, the Concatenate function in Excel, and Automated Rules in AdWords to improve workflows.

 

What do you think about the new AdWords campaign bid simulator? If you are a fan of using bid simulation at the keyword and ad group level, this may be a useful tool for you. One thing it allows you to do is “model what happens if you changed all your bids in the campaign to a single value.” Pretty cool. Click through on the above link to see what the simulator looks like.

 

Here are a few more search marketing links from around the web that you may find interesting:

 

Search Engine Journal offers up SEO in 2012: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times? breaking down some of the biggest developments in SEO year to date.

 

Why Your SEO & Social Strategy Should Include Pinterest argues that non-lifestyle brands can also do well on Pinterest. Check out the examples they give.

 

Finally, if you don’t follow Avinash Kaushik, you should.  His approach to web analytics is fun, engaging, and totally applicable to what we do every day.  His latest blog post is Excellent Analytics Tips #20: Measuring Digital “Brand Strength”. Check it out.

 

Have a great weekend everyone!