This Place is Awesome ─ An SEM Gives Thanks


This Place is Awesome ─ An SEM Gives Thanks

The best thing about the holidays is that they force us to stop to take a moment to remember what’s important in life. The fast pace and full immersion experience of life in SEM can keep us in a zone that keeps us from remembering how good we have it. That’s why some genius invented holidays, birthdays and special events to give us that self-imposed time out to show loved ones how much we care.


Thanksgiving is also a good time to remember what it is we love so much about this crazy profession of ours. The job can be daunting, overwhelming and downright exhausting at times, but we fell in love with it for good reason. We’re a lucky bunch, we search and social marketers. Here are a few reasons I give thanks I landed in such an awesome industry. Add yours to the list in the comments and we can take a moment to bask in the beauty of a community giving over to unabashed gratefulness.

The search bar is rising

With Yahoo! and Bing’s consolidation this year, search marketers witnessed the emergence of a major opponent poised to challenge Google’s search dominance. The competition seems to have elevated the rate and level of innovation on both ends. Bing’s got vertical search on lock down with awesome advancements such as: a more social online shopping experience; endless potential in their partnerships with Facebook and Twitter; and map technologies that can go as far as improving quality of life, just to name a few. In response to the pressure of a worthy competitor, Google’s rolling out search technologies at a faster-than-ever pace, including Instant Previews, Google Instant and a souped up search index. The competition is spurring Internet technology to new heights, which is good for everyone.

Good times and good friends

PubCon was just the latest testament to our industry’s work-hard-party-hard spirit. I take it you’ve checked out the fun times at the Raven Party, where the brave among us took on the bull. What a blast that was! Even in college I was hard-pressed to find a community so devoted to life’s enjoyment, and the joie de vivre is contagious. And it’s not even that there are so many good times to be had, but it’s the good people that make our get togethers worth going to. Many deep friendships develop among members of the community. People are free with their support, advice, expertise and time because they sincerely care.

A contagious spirit of giving

It should come as no surprise that good people do good things, but the generosity in the search world is pervasive. At every level, people in search seek out ways to give back to the world around them. Google shares its philanthropic efforts on the blog. Several times a year, the Charity Party comes together thanks to the SEM folks who volunteer their time to plan it, the companies who sponsor the events and give awesome raffle prizes, and a swelling group of attendees who support the cause and have the donation to prove it. It’s great to be a member of a community that can recognize their own life riches and happily support a culture of charitable love.

Geek is the new black

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re well into an era where its good to be a geek. Geek has transcended old school stereotypes epitomized by Urkel and Screech and taken a smooth ride into sexytown thanks to hunky comic book flicks and the rich and powerful technophiles who are clearly taking over the world. Girls love ‘em, hipsters want to be them. It doesn’t matter what your subject of obsession is, as geeks come in all flavors, including sweet SEM savant. I’m grateful we’re in a time that glasses are no longer fodder for bullies in letterman jackets and smarties young and old can let their geek flags fly.

Never a dull moment

If variety is the spice of life, the SEM industry is a bloody Habanero. There’s no time to get bored because every new day brings a new product to get excited about or a new optimization opportunity to undertake. Of course, you can offer yourself some relief in the control that comes with monitoring constant campaign changes with a research, management and reporting suite like Raven Tools. The upcoming webinar series can help users most efficiently utilize the power of the tools. And if you’re into personal development, our industry fosters more blogs and analysis from brilliant tech and marketing minds than one person can ever hope to absorb. Plus, we competitive perfectionist types find satisfaction developing innovative solutions, executing challenging tactics, and helping to usher in wins for the business. I appreciate how the freshness and constant change keeps us mentally sharp and at the top of our games.

So that’s the short list I’ll remember over the turkey next week. What’s on yours?

Arienne Holland is the Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Raven. She divides her time between outreach, writing, teaching and understanding developers. Before Raven, Arienne spent more than a decade as an editor and graphic designer for Gannett. She was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for team breaking news journalism. She likes bread, books and bourbon.

More about Arienne Holland | @RavenArienne

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