Why is Google so Valuable?Have you ever wondered why Google is worth over a hundred billion Dollars? Or why a single click from Google can go for as high as $50? The reason is the precise targeting offered by search engine marketing.
How Most Advertising is BrokenMost ads try to club you over the head and beat you into submission. Look how ugly the first online banner ad was
From there, things only got worse...
Banners which bounce around in a jarring fashion, banners which play audio, banners which try to get you to "punch the monkey" ... anything for attention. ANYTHING.
It got so bad that people had competitions to see who could make the most annoying banner ad. (Don't click this link if you have epilepsy!)
With the ads being so irrelevant and annoying, people have been trained to ignore banners, developing banner blindness. Marketers responded to low engagement by making banners even more annoying...
a tragedy of the commons where online banner ads look like the following picture. They may as well be hidden behind a tree.
And, as if banners were not bad enough, online advertising continued to (d)evolve...
Given the above behavior, it should be no surprise then that AdBlock Plus is *the* most popular Firefox extension, with over 96,022,319 downloads. Even large ad agencies (like Ogilvey) advocate installing it! :)
Search is DifferentContrast all that annoying stuff with the relevant ads that earn Google over $20,000,000,000 a year!
Search engine marketing is a completely different form of advertising because rather than trying to distract & annoy users, searchers request to see results relevant to their interests.
Consequently, the user focuses heavily right on the top of the search results, as shown in eye tracking studies.
The higher your website ranks the more relevant search traffic you get.
2 Approaches to MarketingAds on websites with no targeting can have little to no value. Search traffic, which is laser targeted, is worth over 30x as much. 
For display advertising, Credit Suisse estimated that in 2009 the average CPM will be $2.39, down from $2.46 in 2008.Would you rather hunt for customers, or make yourself available to customers hunting for you? SEO allows you to tap the value of search, with your customers finding your business when they need your products & services!
Research the Market Value of Any KeywordThe cool thing about search engine marketing is not only is it so targeted, but it benefits search engines to share valuable keywords with prospective advertisers. This means you get to spy on the relative search volumes of different keywords, and how much your competitors are willing to pay for keywords.
Using the Google Traffic Estimator you can view how much Google's estimate the of keyword value at
For example, here is the estimated value for credit card and credit cards
Notice how there are 3 different listings for each keyword. They are based on Google's AdWords ad match types, and can be used to help you know the relative search volumes between different types of searches.
Tomorrow we cover other useful keyword tools as well as the keyword research and discovery process.