Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An impending shift in book marketing 2.0 strategies?

With this morning's news that Microsoft and Yahoo are officially joining forces to question Google's dominance (shoot -- I'd say "exclusive foothold") as a search engine, I wonder whether there will be changes in book marketing 2.0 strategies.

Obviously, online book promotion is at least 50 percent of any author, publisher, or book publicist's focus these days. Your pool of potential readers is limited if you're still conducting exclusively traditional book promotion campaigns and ignoring social networking; producing articles, podcasts, and book trailers; syndicating your blog; using your Web site to create an online community; distributing newsletters electronically to those on your mailing list; publishing eBooks to offer free peeks at your book's content or to gain readers who might potentially get interested enough in your topic to buy your book (or, perhaps, to hire you); and so forth.

Unless you've been sleeping in a cave (not that there's anything wrong with that), you're aware that much of book marketing 2.0 involves spreading legitimate backlinks to your Web site to get the attention of Google, which has been the best way to reach the other 50 percent of your potential readers because that's the search engine to which they were all going to search for information about your topic.

So the "elevator pitch" for book publicists who wanted to explain to authors and publishers why online book promotion was so important was this: "The more visible you are on Google, the more books you're likely to sell." Now that strategy may be changing.

Once Yahoo and Microsoft have combined their forces, it's just possible that or or -- who knows what it will be called? -- some other search engine will dilute Google's audience, and online book promotion will include strategies that are designed to reach out to that other search engine -- or those other search engines, depending on how this plays out -- too.

A quick vanity search in Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's Bing show me that my company's search engine placement (my most important key phrase is "book promotion") is about the same in each of the three search engines, for now. I work at impressing Google, and I've been lucky with Yahoo and Bing. (Note: I'm throwing salt over my shoulder as I type this to ward off those pesky jealous, evil spirits who want to make it tough on those of us who care about our online visibility.) But I imagine that, as businesses change and combine and grow, the search engine optimization rules will start to change, too. That means there were certainly be new search engine placement algorithms to learn, new book marketing 2.0 techniques to put in place, and new ways to use all of the online book promotion tools we have at our disposal to help our intended readers find us.

It's all good .. and it's all challenging ... and it's all coming soon. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope you are, too.

No comments: