I enjoyed this book considerably.
Often times, the how-to genre is hobbled by an endless litany of screen shots, menu selections, options etc. that, while imparting data, tends to encourage skimming.
The authors did a good job of bridging this with smart tips and links to additional information sources. In fact, I found the greatest value of the book lay in its insights and perspectives from industry leaders Google, Ominture, Coremetrics.
Given the pace of evolution in the SEM/SEO/PPC worlds, I would
suggest they integrate a blog with their next edition – to maintain
linkages with their reading community and bring current updates in
strategies and tactics.
The time the book spent on helping readers calculate their costs per
action/lead (CPA,CPL) is perhaps the most important understanding a
user needs to internalize. I felt this section could easily have been
doubled to cover more of the issues in metrics, imparting a deeper
appreciation of the roles different funneling metrics have in meeting
different business objectives. Their espoused "results orientation",
while eminently pragmatic, tends to bias the perspective toward
price-based transactional outcomes.
Given that some studies indicate
that search behaviour between Informational, Navigational and
Transactional search intentions has an 80%,10%,10% skew,- the book
probably would have benefited from a similar how-to content alignment
to reflect consumer objective centricity as opposed to its user/task
My overall rating of Search Engine Marketing is 7.5 out of 10