The 2008 Search Engine Strategies (SES) Awards Meaningful?

Last week was held the 10th annual Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference in San Jose, California. In case you don’t already know, the SES event has been one of the world’s most popular conference series for webmasters, agencies, Internet marketing specialists and search engine industry professionals since 1999.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the SES was introducing its first annual SES Awards, which mission is to encourage technology innovation and inspire new ideas by honoring 15 outstanding search marketing industry professionals and/or organizations.

Although I really like the idea of honoring search marketing professionals and organizations involved in the industry, I wondered about the credibility of the event so I decided to take a look at some of the SES awards winners to see if it made sense…

Best Search Engine Ad Platform

  • LookSmart AdCenter

    The LookSmart platform looks nice but I think most PPC specialists would tell you that Google AdWords has more features to offer while delivering a better ROI for most businesses.

Search Engine with Most Relevant Search Results

  • Yahoo!

    A lot of people might question this one. Is Yahoo! really better than Google? I think this is actually a good topic for a future blog because it would take some time to evaluate the search results of both engines. Based on the search results I have been getting lately, I don’t think Google is as good as it used to be and on the other hand, Yahoo! has improved its technology so it could end up being a good match-up.

Most Innovative New Search Engine

  • YellowBot

    I like this one. Is it the most innovative? Well…it’s like a mix between the YellowPages and a social network. Unfortunately, it is only available in the US for now but according to their website, they are working on a Canadian version. Just for the heck of it I searched for the term “Sabres” in Buffalo, NY. As a result I got about 7-8 links for the Buffalo Sabres. Which one belongs to the NHL hockey team? Go figure. It must be the “innovation” they related to…

Technology Platform Search Marketers Can’t Live Without

  • Enquisite

    There are so many good free services out there that it is hard for me to be fair when it comes to a platform such as Enquisite. Would I pay for it? My answer is no but hey…good for them.

Most Innovative Use of Search Engine Optimization

  • NikeStore

    Am I missing something here? The NikeStore website looks great but there are no meta-tags in the code other than the title (yes search engines still use them) and the domain doesn’t show up for anything in search results. What kind of website optimization has been done there? The choice seems more political to me than anything else.

Most Advertiser-Friendly Search Engine


    Since I never heard of Matchpoint before, I went to their website to get a better idea of what they are all about and I have to say that their navigation system did not leave a very good first impression on me. You can’t click on any images so it quickly turns the user experience into a painful one. The main page offers a few links to “top” categories but the selection is very limited, even when clicking on “more”. So I decided to search for the term “
    SEO” using their search box but guess what? No result! Ok…what about the term “marketing”? Well finally I was moving a step forward having Matchpoint offering me matches for the term “marketing” but those matches were sub-categories so I picked “internet marketing”. This time Matchpoint was asking me for a zip code. A zip code??? What if I am Canadian and I am looking for a marketing agency from New York city that could promote my business in New York city? I guess this is the beauty of local search right? You need to know “exactly” what and where to look for! Then why looking if you already know all that? 

    Anyways…after having to use another online service in order to find a zip code for New York city I entered it and finally got some results…4 results! Not only the results were very poor but they were all sponsored listings that I could not reach using the form offered by Matchpoint! Ok ok…it was selected as the “Most advertiser-friendly search engine” and not the “Most user-friendly search engine”…I will give it to them but I would definitely not advertise on a network where users leave before reaching a sub-category because the navigation gets on their nerves. Call that advertiser-friendly right?



So who is running for next year? Let’s hope our friends at SES will review their selection process.

Frank Levert

About Frank Levert

Born in Montreal (Québec), Frank Levert was first introduced to the Web in the late 90’s.

After attending college in Music Business back in 1998, Frank got his first marketing job broadcasting faxes from home for a Canadian book publisher. While fax marketing was fairly successful at the time, the popularity of the Internet was on the rise and it didn’t take him long before he got involved with SEO.

After much research and experimentation, his efforts paid off and he was asked to perform SEO as a freelancer. From that point on he never looked back, improving his Internet marketing skills while working on various projects in the publishing, pharmaceutical, market research, online gambling and software industries to name a few.

Twelve years later, Frank is now the owner of Levert Marketing, a home based Internet marketing company located in Hamilton, ON.

When not fueling on achieving new business goals or sharing his expertise on his Internet Marketing Blog, Frank enjoys hockey, music and spending time with family and friends.
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