Bob Schwartz, Ex-President Of Magento, Named Vice Chairman Of Wpromote

Wcommerce Advisory Division is Formed to Focus on Commerce Growth for Brands and Merchants, Further Defining Wpromote as “The Commerce Agency”

 

Wpromote, the nation’s leading digital marketing agency, today announced the appointment of serial commerce company builder Bob Schwartz as Vice Chairman of the company as well as the joint formation of Wcommerce, a new division of Wpromote.

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Bringing in Schwartz, a commerce industry heavyweight, as Vice Chairman is seen as a strategic move made in response to massive global growth in “technology-enabled retail.” This growth has been driven by demand from major brands and retailers for a trusted Commerce Agency with deep digital marketing expertise to guide them in making the right choices to become great at commerce.

“It needs to exist, the world is demanding it. Each week I hear from companies, ‘We are great at our core business, but we now need to get great at digital commerce. If we do we survive, we might even win, but if not we’ll die out completely! We need a trusted commerce advisor,’ and that is exactly what we have created,” Schwartz said at his morning meeting place, Two Guns Espresso in sunny Manhattan Beach, CA.

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Schwartz continued, “Digital commerce success is now about much more than just technology. It’s about being a great merchant and brand by leveraging technology. There is an incredible need for a trusted partner to advise companies how to get great at commerce, and at the core it’s about the consumer. Wpromote is one of the best agencies out there at understanding brands and driving customers, and that gives us a very strong platform for success.”

CEO of 47B and an internationally recognized commerce company growth accelerator, Schwartz boasts an impressive track record in commerce company building. As the former President of Magento, he grew the company to over 30% market share and sold to eBay Inc. He is also former founder and general manager of Nordstrom.com, a multi-billion dollar a year Ecommerce arm of Nordstrom Inc.

“Bob and I have known each other for years and we are incredibly excited to align Bob Schwartz’s extensive experience, reputation, and brand with Wpromote in this exciting period of growth and expansion,” said Michael Mothner, Wpromote Founder & CEO. “It solidifies Wpromote’s position as The Commerce Agency and will be a key driver in Wpromote’s continued success.”

Mothner and Schwartz said that Wpromote, with over 170 employees, will soon be moving to bigger headquarters in El Segundo, CA. They plan to bring in more talent to focus on the demand for Wcommerce as well as address Wpromote’s fast growth and core talent needs.

About Wpromote

Founded in 2001 by Michael Mothner, Wpromote is an award-winning online marketing firm headquartered in El Segundo, California with over 170 employees and expanding rapidly. Named the #2 Best Place to Work in the US by Ad Age, Wpromote has helped hundreds of clients from startups to Fortune 500 companies grow their businesses online with end-to-end digital solutions. Through integrated search, mobile, and social marketing, the firm has helped Toyota, Bayer HealthCare, Verizon, TOMS, Dickies, Wienerschnitzel, Cleveland Golf, Qlik, TUMI, and Zenni Optical dominate the online Commerce space. With unmatched experience in multi-channel, content-centric campaigns and unrivaled dedication to clients’ results, Wpromote helps companies big and small act and move like large enterprises. For more information, visit http://www.Wpromote.com.

About Bob Schwartz

Schwartz is a serial commerce company builder and acclaimed leader of multiple technology and consumer Internet companies. In helming businesses generating billions of dollars in online sales, Schwartz has helped produce over $1 billion of value for company shareholders and founders via acquisitions by Amazon, eBay, Nordstrom, Packard Bell, First American, Cendant, Aetna, and others. Schwartz led the growth of Magento to 30% global market share and directed its sale to eBay. More information can be found at http://www.47BStreet.com.

A Smattering of SEO News – Contradictory Information, European Commissions, and More

Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of the SEO news that matters the most! This week, the European Union once again sets its sights on Google, and we get some more fun info about Panda and Penguin while also finding out what the mobile-friendly algorithm will and won’t target. Check it out!

 

Google News:

  • European Union Opens Antitrust Investigation Targeting Android – In the latest of what seems to be a long line of antitrust actions against the search engine giant, the European Commission – the executive legislative body of the European Union – has opened an antitrust probe looking into Android’s apparent dominance of the marketplace, and whether that dominance unfairly hurts competition. Google has ten weeks to respond to the Commission’s “Statement of Objections,” so we’ll bring you more as it happens.
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    Panda And Penguin Are Manual AND Automatic AND Manual AND Automatic And… – So Google’s been sending out some contradictory information as of late regarding whether updates to Panda and Penguin are manually pushed or whether they’re automatic. When recent news of the updates being manual raised something of a kerfuffle, John Mueller took to the airwaves (Hangoutwaves?) to say that some things in the algorithms are automatic, like checking for issues in disallow files, while other things are manual. It’s very confusing, so hopefully this gets sorted soon!

  • What The Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Will And Won’t Affect – Recent murmurings out of Google state that the effect of the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm will be relatively narrow, compared to other updates. Apparently the update will only affect the “10 blue links”, which are the 1-10 results in Search Engines Results Pages. This from Google’s Gary Illyes, who confirmed in a tweet that other portions of Google won’t be affected. While that’s likely a relief to some folks who aren’t fully ready for what the mobile-friendly algorithm is planning, they have to realize this is just likely a first step toward more changes in the future.
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    You Likely Don’t Need A Mobile Sitemap – With all the hubbub over the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update, webmasters are scrambling to make their sites more mobile-friendly. At one time this included a mobile sitemap, but according to John Mueller this is no longer the case. Apparently you only need a mobile sitemap if you have a feature-phone version of your site, but who has those anymore? This will likely come as a welcome reprieve for those working hard to make their sites as mobile-friendly as possible.

 

Other News:

  • Yandex Brings Back Links As A Ranking Factor – After making a big brouhaha about not needing links as a ranking factor some time back, Russian search engine Yandex announced they would be bringing them back as both a positive and negative ranking factor. It seems that “Yandex was disappointed with the inertia shown by the search industry, which showed only a 16% reduction in the acquisition of paid links even despite them being told that Yandex was ignoring them.” Apparently the market, they claim, was too slow to react despite how technologically sound their algorithm was.

A Plethora of PPC News – Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

AdWords Announcement For May 5th

91% of smartphone users now turn to their phones for ideas while right in the middle of a task. Google’s new product announcements will be aimed at creating a better mobile experience because of its increasingly prominent role in the customer journey. The livestream event will be May 5th at 9:30am PT / 12:30pm ET, on their Inside AdWords blog. You can register in the link above and follow it at +GoogleAds page for sneak previews.

 

Google’s Mobile Search Interface

In other Google mobile news, Google has streamlined search results to load faster and be overall easier to use. On April 21st, Google will start considering mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor.

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New AdWords Fundamentals Exam

The Google AdWords Fundamentals Exam was recently revamped: finally, the exam has the much-needed changes we’ve all been hoping for. The exam now tests more on the understanding of best practices and the working knowledge of account management. The time allotment and number of questions remains the same, but the passing grade has been dropped to 80%. The recertification period has also changed to 12 months and the previous 10 categories have been pared down to just 3 modules, cutting exam materials down from 150 pages to just 15.

 

LinkedIn Inks Lynda.com Acquisition

In a recent post, I lobbied for consideration of LinkedIn. Soon after, LinkedIn made its biggest acquisition ever – Lynda.com. Lynda.com is a website that provides its users with a plethora of instructional videos. LinkedIn says the acquisition will be about “connecting people to opportunity.”

The first-party data LinkedIn now has access to is giving a golden opportunity to advertisers. For example, imagine Adobe getting its Creative Suite ads in front of design students or recruiters getting notifications when people complete Lynda courses relating to positions they’re looking to fill.

Oh – and yes, Lynda.com offers PPC courses and many other trainings related to positions we’re hiring for!

Zenni Optical – The Lifetime Cost of Wearing Glasses [Infographic]

Zenni Optical has a fun new infographic that takes a close look at the price point breakdown of what it means to shop Zenni versus designer glasses for the entire family. Maybe you think it’s not a big deal to go through a pair of glasses a year, but when you realize the savings? Well, that might be another story…

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Be sure to check out the entire infographic, and get on your way to saving the big bucks!

A Smattering of SEO News – Pushing Pandas and Penguins

Hey kids, welcome to another week of SEO news! As we gear up for the upcoming mobile-friendly algo shift, we gain some more insight into some other algorithms we’re old friends with, Panda and Penguin. Seems to get them moving, they have to be jostled manually. All this and more below.

Google News:

  • Panda And Penguin Updates Are All Done Manually – In a recent Google Hangout, John Mueller stated that updates for both Penguin and Panda aren’t done regularly at all, and are actually pushed manually. Given that people have been waiting months for a refresh or update to these algorithms (so that their penalties might be removed after working to get back into Google’s good graces), I’m sure that some people properly cheesed. Hopefully Google is working to make updates to these important algorithms much more frequently.
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    Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Update To Only Affect Smartphones – In a response to a question via Twitter, the official Google Webmasters’ Twitter account stated that the upcoming mobile-friendly update (that we’ve been talking about for weeks now) is geared toward smartphones only, and tablets aren’t part of the update. Interestingly, Barry Schwartz – the author of the linked article – did a test to see if Google’s new “Mobile-friendly” label shows up on Tablets. To my surprise, the label only seems to show up on smartphones, which bolsters the news that the update is for smartphones only. One wonders why tablets are being left out, but smartphones are more prolific than tablets so it kind of makes sense. Kind of.

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    Google Bolding Answers In SERPs – It’s a minor but interesting thing: Google has taken to bolding the answers to questions posed in Search Engine Result’s Pages (SERPs). You know, when you look up something and get that answer box, now Google has begun bolding the answer in there, along with bolding the words used in the query as they’ve done for years now. It’s a little usability thing that makes scanning the SERPs a bit easier, and therefore it’s a great addition, I think.

  • Rumor: Google To Launch Home Service Provider Search Later This Year –According to reports on Buzzfeed and Tech meme, Google could be launching a new service later this year to connect home owners with those who provide home-focused services, such as plumbers, electricians, roofers and so on. This could directly bank on the data in Google Local, meaning local home-focused businesses really need to make sure their Google Local profiles are as up to date and as engaging as possible.

Other News:

  • Twitter Experimenting With Filtered Search Results – According to Marketing Land, Twitter is now experimenting with different filters for search results. These include search results by tweets, accounts or photos, searching tweets from everyone or people you know, from all around the world, or more locally. This would be a serious boon toward making Twitter much more usable and therefore valuable for both users and marketers.

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Toy Zoo – The World’s Most Iconic Toys [Infographic]

Frisbees, Legos, and Elmo – OH MY! Think back to your childhood. Did you have a favorite toy that wasn’t  a computer? Did you know that Mr. Potato Head took pictures with each electoral candidate in 2008?  Join Toy Zoo‘s new infographic and take a walk down memory lane and learn some pretty funny facts about your favorite toys. Believe it or not, these timeless classics are still being sold world-wide today!

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Be sure to check out the entire infographic and see all your favorite toys, today!

A Plethora of PPC News – Call-Only Campaigns and Tinder…

After a brief hiatus, we have a Plethora of PPC News to share with our wonderful readers! We know it’s been a while but we’re back. And you look lovely – is that a new outfit? Without further ado (or flattery), I present to you the Plethora!
 
Paid Search News:

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AdWords Call-Only Campaigns – Google’s new call-only campaigns were announced in late February, but the paid search world is finally airing their initial thoughts. The data in this article provides useful insights into what industries the call-only campaigns are best fit for. For bail bonds and towing services, users tend to be ready to call much more quickly than users searching for a chiropractor or limo services. Call-only campaigns force users further down the sales funnel than other PPC campaigns, which may be counterproductive for industries where users tend to take longer to make calls.

LinkedIn for Paid Search – Not likely to be top of mind for advertising dollars, LinkedIn might be an overlooked platform for your business. LinkedIn, the self-proclaimed “world’s largest professional social network,” has a member base composed of users that are in a different mindset than other social networks. For example, Facebook users are more interested in sharing social updates of things no one actually cares about (it’s okay, we all do it). But with users in a professional mindset and the rich targeting options available, LinkedIn might be worth testing if you’re in the B2B or recruiting space.

The Home Depot On Landing Pages – In a recent interview during her panel discussion at ClickZ Live in New York, Erin Everhart, SEO manager of The Home Depot, shared her thoughts on landing pages. The five-minute video is worth watching in its entirety, but to sum up her main point – test everything! She says to “Test small and test often.”

 

Other News:

Bud Light Launches First Tinder Video Ad – Sure, we’ve seen promotions in the Tinder app before, but Bud Light isn’t building fake profiles as previously done by shows like “The Mindy Project.” These ads will be interruptive video units, ready to pop up whenever – so are you #upforwhatever ads your swiping might bring?

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A Smattering of SEO News – Preparing for the Fallout…

As Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm launch approaches later this month, Google is preparing both marketers and consumers for what’s to come. Mobile-friendly alerts and speed warnings are just the start. With Google revealing it has a method of putting customer expectations front and center, it seems the mobile-friendly algorithm is just a part of a grander plan. Fascinating stuff, check it out:

Google News:

  • Customers Come First In Google’s Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Algorithm – For years, Google has strived to have webmasters focus on users first and search engines second. Google now seems to be adopting that motto themselves, if this upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm is any proof. Google has started adapting to a pyramid model used by other corporations like Ritz-Carlton, which puts consumer expectations at the base of the pyramid, requests in the middle, and delights at the top. Google now sees striving for mobile-friendliness as part of a larger plan to delight consumers, eventually turning them into Google brand ambassadors. Having a fast, mobile-friendly site that delights customers is part of that plan, and it truly sounds outright fascinating.

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  • Google Says Recent Fluctuations Are Part Of Normal Algorithm Updates – Webmasters have been all aflutter about many recent SERP updates late last month, and Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz finally asked Google’s John Mueller about it in a recent Google Hangout. Mueller said that after looking into the changes – “because people have been writing about it” – they are normal fluctuations that always happen as they update their algorithms. Shame, it’s more fun for something to be wrong or for there to be an actual update, but we’ll have to sit and wait a bit longer for that kind of excitement.

Other News:

  • Baidu Benefits From Google’s Blockage In Mainland China – While Google is still the dominant search engine worldwide, due to its being blocked in mainland China, the Chinese engine Baidu is reaping the rewards, aka traffic. From 2013 to this year, Baidu’s global market share has increased from 6.4 to 8.8 percent due to that blockage, which is no small feat. Analysts also predict that Baidu’s search spend for 2015 will be upwards of $14.90 billion, which will make up about 33% of the global spend on search. That’s double its overall growth over the past year or so. It’ll be fascinating to see how Baidu further grows due to Google’s continued block.

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  • Microsoft And Yahoo Extend Deadline To Renegotiate Search Relationship – Back in 2010, Microsoft and Yahoo formed a search partnership which was to last ten years, with the option to renegotiate the deal after five years. Well, that five years is here, and while the original renegotiation was to be signed off within 30 days, the two parties have extended the deadline another 30 days. Since Yahoo’s current CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been…let’s say, less than happy about the partnership since coming on board as CEO, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in 30 days. Stay tuned!
  • Twitter Releases Tool To Help Media Publishers And Businesses Curate Best Tweets – Let’s face it, Twitter is a bit of a mess when it comes to following specific topics. Sure, you have hashtags and searches, but those are hardly optimal solutions as they don’t really allow users or brands to control how the information in those tweets is presented. Twitter apparently realized this, and has released a tool simply called Curator. With this, you can now curate a series of tweets based on specific parameters you choose, such as tweets with a specific hashtag from users who only have 1,000 or more followers, for example. This will allow a lot more focus when it comes to sharing relevant and popular tweets on a given topic, and it sounds like a fantastic idea.

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Top 10 Reasons To Work At Wpromote

You can feel the energy in the air when you walk around our Los Angeles headquarters. A debate about content marketing over a heated game of shuffleboard, an attribution model scrawled on the wall next to a portrait of Bill Murray. Big data in the morning to fill the mind; yoga in the afternoon to clear it. We have built ourselves from the ground up over the past decade to grow and thrive not just within the industry, but as a ‘tech company’ with the culture to match. Why do Wpromoters enjoy coming to work every Monday? FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK…

 

10. Flexibility – Get to the office when you want! Feel like sleeping in? Do it! Just make sure you’re in by 10am! Personally, I get in around 7:30 so I still have daylight at the end of my workday. Gotta get that Vitamin D!

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9. Workplace Success – Wpromote is growing – FAST. Being hired now gives you the unique opportunity to carve out a niche for yourself on our intimate teams, and establish yourself as a vital member of Wpromote. Who knows? You might even win HorseBear

 

8. Quantified Happiness – Through the use of TinyPulse, Wpromote has made a tangible step towards creating a common definition of workplace happiness, and encourages employees to give anonymous feedback, suggestions, and contributions to making Wpromote a great place to work.

 

7. Opportunity – There has been a 65% increase in team members at Wpromote in just the last year, and a 6,501% revenue growth from 2003 to 2014. Year-over-year increases are what helped land Wpromote on the Inc. 500 list for seven consecutive years.

 

6. Technology – Our proprietary EssentialPPC technology, now over ten years in ongoing development, gives us a powerful set of tools to build, track, optimize, and report. We are also uniquely tied to Google as a Google preferred agency. Talk about job security.

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5. Health Benefits – Experiencing 100% paid health insurance isn’t just a perk, it’s peace of mind. When you add a matching 401k, Paid Time Off, and a credit union to the package, it becomes obvious why we are Ad Age’s #2 Best Place to Work.

 

4. Location – We can’t be beat! El Segundo is right next to LAX and half a mile from the beach. We love having clients visit the office, and can often be found at Downtown LA conferences. Many of our employees take the train or bike as their commute. If LA isn’t your style, never fear! Our brand new Chicago office is growing as well!

 

3. Culture – Wpromote maintains a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude. We are confident of our skills and always ready to learn more. Our weekly Lunch & Learns encourage discussions and learning, keeping everyone up to date on industry updates, interoffice exchanges, and exceptional work examples. The keyword here is cohesive, people!

 

2. Office Perks – Sign up for yoga three times a week. Free massages. A custom Wpromote shuffleboard table, along with a baby grand piano, and an official Google foosball table (a generous gift from Google themselves). Fine Wine Fridays. Parties and Events. Flexible Spending. Fresh Fruit Monday & Bagel Friday. Breakfast Like A Bo$$. The list goes on, and on, and on…and it keeps getting longer. Everyday there are new suggestions and new ideas being implemented.

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1. Fun – It’s not just that we are involved in Wpromote, we ARE Wpromote. We dream it, and it becomes a reality. The camaraderie is ubiquitous and tangible. Working at Wpromote feels like a fun home away from home.

 

All Wpromote employees agree that we should have been #1 on the Ad Age list Best Places to Work in the US. But hey, there is always room for improvement and our Executive Team works tirelessly to make this a place where employees truly enjoy showing up and working hard everyday. Maybe you can help us reach #1 next year!