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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Search Engine Marketing (& Search Engine Land) Not Notable For Wikipedia?

Earlier this year, Wikipedia
pondered whether
Matt Cutts was notable enough to continue having a Wikipedia entry. Good sense
prevailed, and his entry remained. Now debate has shifted to whether the entry
about search engine marketing should go. Oh, and apparently Search Engine Land
has an entry that might also get deleted, since we might not be notable enough.
Time for the SEM villagers to grab torches and storm the Wikipedia castle!

Well, perhaps we can be calm and rational about all this. Let’s start with
search engine marketing. The entry is
here, and the
debate over killing it can be found

. You’d think that Wikipedia
the top listing on Google for search engine marketing would be reason enough to
keep that article going — and plenty of search engine marketing sites and
companies would be happy to see Wikipedia bail out. But let’s address the
concerns Wikipedians are raising:

Propose Deletion. This article is not Noteworthy. It is an overlapping
topic….It is an overlapping (subset of Search Engine Optimazation). Search
Engine Marketing belongs as a subtopic of Search Engine Optimazition, as it is
currently written.

Search engine marketing does NOT overlap with search engine optimization. SEO
is a subset of SEM. I know this, because I helped popularize and define the term
"search engine marketing" back at the end of 2001. As I wrote

As the nature of search engine promotion has expanded and matured, the
label "search engine optimization" hasn’t seemed to cover what some companies
and individuals feel they do. But what should come to replace it, if anything?

The venerable phrase "search engine optimization" originally emerged to
cover the optimization that was done for crawler-based search engines. Now
directories are a big part of the search engine mix, as are paid listing
services. In many cases, you aren’t really "optimizing" for these other
venues, but you certainly are doing work that can influence how people are

Personally, my preferred successor term is "search engine marketing." I’ve
been using that since the middle of last year in some cases, especially when
describing what’s taught at the Search Engine Strategies conferences.

I’ve like the term because I feel it encompasses many things: optimizing
for crawlers, managing paid listings, submitting to directories — you name
it. All of these activities are marketing on search engines.

Of course, what do I know? Wait a minute!
to Wikipedia, I’m a notable technologist on the subject. So Wikipedians, if you
are debating, SEM is an umbrella term as I’ve outlined above that encompasses a
range of activities (paid and free) designed to gain search behavior traffic and
visits. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, I’m an expert in the area. So as an
expert, consider me a third party source telling you that SEM deserves its own

Meanwhile, the
for Search Engine Land has a

going that it should get deleted:

Propose Delete, since this article is not noteworthy as is basically an ad
for a website that sells ads, why should it be in Wiki? Look at the cites, one
or two words in a cite and some do not mention this site at all. This is just
a website that gets paid for advertising.

Ouch. Nearly 2,000 articles written in our short history, read by thousands
of people each day, and we’re just some scum-sucking site with ads. Dang. Who
gets yanked next, the New York Times because of all their pesky ads?

Wikipedia doesn’t yet rank highly at Google for our site name, so I guess the
entire "don’t you want to suck down someone else’s traffic" argument won’t work.

But seriously, the consensus so far seems to be that Search Engine Land
should be a subset of my personal page. By that argument, I look forward to the
Search Engine Watch
being removed and shifted over to being a subset of me, as well.

The reality is that both sites stand independent of the individuals that
created them or that were prime movers for them. The are collective and
noteworthy works, just as much as Wikipedia is noteworthy and shouldn’t be
considered a subset of Jimmy Wales or Larry Sanger.

Honestly, some of the other arguments for deletion are laughable:

There are no third-party sources about the subject. If you could improve
the article with some industry news from reliable sources that discuss the
set-up or the work of the company then it would be more acceptable. As is said
above, a few minor citations in other news articles is not sufficient, and the
Finance Visor article is basically a redistributed press release from the
Company. If this site was important enough then someone would have written
about it independently.

How about this? If Wikipedia founder (or cofounder, depending on who you want
to please) Jimmy Wales can make the time to sit down way back in December and
talk to Search
Engine Land about his Search Wikia project, maybe he considers Search Engine
Land notable? Would that work? Wait! I’m notable! Can’t I say as a notable
expert in the search space that I think Search Engine Land deserves its own

I liked this:

not particularly noteworthy, smacks of advertising

Yeah, let’s judge a site based on carrying ads. Anyone doing even a small
amount of research into the site (which those in the debate should be doing)
would quickly find it is cited from sources across the web. But that’s work, and
it’s much easier to simply scan the site, see some ads and declare it to be bad
because of advertising. It’s that type of attitude that weakens Wikipedia as the
leading research resource it sees itself as being.

Or this:

Reuters cited it as ‘search engine land blog’ so….for now the best place
for it would be on Danny Sullivan’s page.

That just makes no sense. They cited the cite itself, to help define who I
was — so the site belongs as part of my entry?

OK, JE Hochman was already
on me
earlier this year for not doing up a page listing all the places that cite
Search Engine Land. As I
I used to do that back at Search Engine Watch but stopped maintaining it because
I (and thus the site I run) got cited so much. It also feels a bit too
self-referential, but clearly I need to do it if only for Wikipedians who remain
oddly (for a site that is not mainstream) in love with third party references
from mainstream media. Here’s a short list of some recent cites for now:

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