[Hammock’s Current Idea Email was released today.
Subscribe now to receive your own issue, once every two weeks.]

the hammock idea email brings smart marketing ideas to your inbox

A comparison of trend lines tracking how often each search term was entered in a Google query relative to total Google search volume. (Source: Google Trends)

Idea: How Google Inspired SEO Gurus to Start Calling Themselves Content Marketing Experts

Since Hammock started in 1991, our focus has been exclusively on helping clients develop and use custom media and content to build long-term relationships with customers (or members, patients, etc.). With such a singular focus on content used by marketers, we’ve had a fascinating front row seat to watch as the term “content marketing” has recently ascended to buzzterm status.

The 6-year chart above shows the point where Google pulled the trigger on Panda (2011) and ridded its algorithms of anything that smacked of trying to outwit its search engines. You can see when Google Trends’ tracking of the query “search marketing” started to crash while “content marketing” began to soar.

You’d think we’d be cheering that trend along. However, we believe that rather than demonstrating recognition of the power of marketing with content, the trend line actually reveals that last year’s SEO gurus are now calling themselves content marketing experts (or strategists). SEO has become a sinking ship, and “content marketing” has become a LifeRaft 2.0.

Note which title has grown the fastest on LinkedIn profiles during the past two years.


We have long advocated that marketers should master and use powerful marketing tools, but avoid using the names of those tools as labels you apply to departments or jobs. Or, as we’ve noted before, one should be a marketer who uses content, not a content marketer (or email marketer, social media marketer, etc.).

During the web era (1995-present), we’ve witnessed the fickle nature of the labels of web marketing: Web gurus became word-of-mouth rockstars who morphed into Web 2.0 gurus and SEO experts who are now social media influencers and content marketing strategists. Beneath those ever-changing labels are powerful marketing tools and opportunities. Unfortunately, trendy titles trivialize the potential such tools provide.

Bottom Line for Marketers: Content (in all of its forms) is a powerful tool that marketers can use to build long and deep relationships with customers. But the term “content marketing” can be a term self-declared SEO rockstars and Web 2.0 gurus are just using to freshen up their LinkedIn profiles.


The Idea Email is distributed free, once every two weeks, by Hammock, the customer media and content marketing company. Please share this with friends and colleagues who can subscribe here. We respect your privacy, and each mailing includes a one-click unsubscribe link. We typically feature one or more companies and organizations in each Idea Email. If any company we mention has a relationship to Hammock (as a current or former client, for example), we will include a disclosure.

the idea email benefits for your business