Explore the Digital World of Marketing with MSU’s New Media Driver’s License

If you’re interested in the rapidly growing world of online marketing, this is the perfect class for you! With Michigan State University’s New Media Driver’s License, you will learn all about the different aspects of online marketing from the experts. Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing, shows his students the many facets of the digital world in a fun, easy to learn way.

One of the greatest things about this class is that you are learning brand new things, but a lot of it is just expanding your knowledge of media you already use. Not everyone blogs, but it’s a pretty simple thing to do and you will learn the little extras that turn your good blog into a great blog. Most of the students who take this class already have accounts on at least one social media platform. Learn how to use platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube to their full advantage.

Some things you may know little or nothing about are search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and Google and Yahoo! search rankings. When you successfully complete this class, you will have an understanding of these things and just how great of an impact they have on a business.

Another great thing about this class is that it is (mostly) online. From experience, I can say this is one of the most enjoyable and most useful classes I have ever taken. I loved the convenience of being able to do my work when it worked best for me.

Sign up now for the Fall 2011 New Media Driver’s License (ADV420) course!


THE NEW MEDIA DRIVERS LICENSE IS PROVIDED BY The Michigan State University Advertising, Public Relations & Retailing Deparment in Partnership with Derek Mehraban.

BP Oil Spill and Digital Marketing

BP has been taking on a multi-faceted marketing campaign in attempt to offset the bad press as a result of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Recently, BP began bidding on  keywords such as “Deepwater Horizon,” “Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” and “oil spill,” in which the landing page provides information on BP’s response to the environmental disaster. Visitors can click on video updates, pictures and news releases to get the company’s perspective on their clean up efforts and tactics. Yahoo!, Google, and Bing reveal PPC ads with links to BP’s response.

Social media sites have been targeted by BP in order to control the message being broadcast. To date, BP’s official Facebook page, BP America, counts 30,343 “likes.” Fans can read updates from the company as well as watch YouTube videos and review BP’s commenting policy. However, the majority of Facebook users have chosen to befriend BoycottBP with 694,898 “likes.” Facebook users have the ability to participate with the page instead of BP’s controlled approach that only allows the company’s commentary. The anti-BP page allows users to vent their frustrations and with over 8,400 photos being added by users of the aftermath and more than 51,000 links associated with the boycott, users are, indeed, frustrated.

BP has also taken their voice to Twitter. The company states:

Updates of BP’s ongoing response efforts are provided by our social media team as well as on-the-ground personnel working in the affected Gulf regions… From time to time, CEO Tony Hayward and COO Doug Suttles will be giving first-hand updates via this channel. These tweets will be identified by ^Tony or ^Doug.

Once again, BP’s one-way conversation with its followers are not doing enough to ease the tension. BP Public Relations , another anti-BP account takes a more whimsical approach as it weaves in dark humor and quips about the company’s response efforts. It writes:

My staff told me I shouldn’t wear my monocle in Congress but now I can’t read the lies they’ve written for me. ^Tony


We’re not blocking all reporters from the gulf – just the ones who aren’t going to say nice things about us.

The false BP Twitter account boasts 175,820 followers while the official BP America claims 15,735.

It seems as though what the world wants now is to be heard and have a discussion instead of being spoon fed information from a very intentional marketing strategy. Essentially, BP’s social media involvement and PPC ads are not geared toward a direct response, which is quantifiable. Instead, one must ask his or herself: When someone is searching the keyword “oil spill,” what is he or she looking for? The answer may be news, pictures, videos or what BP is saying in general. So, BP’s strategy is a successful one, albeit, a bit of a perversion of the point of social media and PPC ads.

Should Google and Search Engine Optimization be Regulated?


I guess Google was getting so big, so uncontrollable lately, it was only a matter of time before we began hearing words of descent. On July 13th, an unknown poster whose been holding back their frustrations about Google, and SEO in general, spoke out about it.

I stumbled upon an article that was posted on TechCrunch.com about how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become so unregulated it’s now comparable to “free trade”; with the one controlling all exports and imports being the search engine itself (i.e. Google, Yahoo). The article, which is written by an author who wishes to remain anonymous (for fear of fallout with Google and the SEO industry), makes points about how Google has too much control over search engine results, and the rankings of websites for certain companies and points of interest. This power and control, the author believes, should be regulated by the government and that it’s about time it happens.

“Through an uncontrolled set of factors search engines determine which listings appear at the top and bottom of any individual query,” says the author. “If you happen to own an online business, unless you exist within those top three (search results), the amount of individual traffic you will obtain from organic listings is very, very low.”

He also goes on to explain that these search engines should be required to publicly disclose the rule-based algorithms that determine result sets. This sounds a little like releasing the source code of a program, which would result in Google changing from a unique search engine brand to a common one. His points are interesting and thought provoking, but is government control really the answer?


A blog post has been made in retaliation to the article on Econsultancy.com by Chris Lake, where he declares that Google and SEO should NOT be regulated. He goes on to list 10 points about how this anonymous author is wrong and comes up with some good arguments.

Let’s say the government does decide to get involved with this, especially if this becomes a hot topic. What happens to the digital agency and digital marketing as we know it? It seems like there would be a lot less calls from people who would love to use SEO for their company, especially if search results were completely randomized. I would especially hate to see sites that contain spam and other junk at the top of Google search listings just because they contain a few words from a search query.

I urge you all to read both of these articles and leave a comment on where you stand on this issue.

The Time Has Come To Regulate Search Engine Marketing And SEO

10 reasons why Google and SEO should NOT be regulated