Digital marketing for Vietnam book

Hi all,

As some of you may know, I am writing a book about Digital market in Vietnam. This book is for those who just started with Digital marketing or want to switch from traditional marketing to digital and for those who generally want to know more about Digital marketing landscape in Vietnam.

I am writing it in English first because I feel that English is a must have if one to advance in this industry. However, I will write the book in a casual tone and easy-to-understand language. Vietnamese version may be available at a later stage depending on the demand.

I will cover the following topics in the book:

  • Overview of Digital marketing in US, UK, SG, China and Vietnam
  • Digital marketing landscape in Vietnam
  • The agency world in Vietnam, including both big international agency groups, independent agencies, local agencies
  • Some general advice on how to learn Digital marketing: the importance of marketing understanding, consumer insights etc…
  • Something to take note about website/microsite
  • Digital analytics
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Display Media
  • Video marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Social Media
  • CRM
  • Commerce
  • Digital strategy

The aim is that with this book, it should give you basic foundation, some intermediate knowledge and pointers on where to go if you want to learn more. 

In each chapter, I will try to include the followings:

  • Why you should read this chapter? i.e. benefits of the tools/sections
  • How and when to apply?
  • Some common misunderstandings in the market place
  • How does it work?
  • Costing?

I have written about 150 pages so far and have about another 100-120 pages to go i guess. What I plan to do is to publish parts of what I have written on this blog and hope that it could bring some values to you. If you have any comments, feel free to leave them here. 

For today, I will post about common myths with Search Engine Marketing:

1. Special Relationship with Google:

I have heard this many times. Some people say that because a certain agency has a special relationship with Google, they somehow manage to influence the ad rank so that the ads only appear on the top (left hand side).

Well I hope by reading what is said on Google help section above and understand the ad rank formula, you know now that ad rank is decided by formula/algorithm, not human relationship.

2. Spending money with Google Adwords will help your natural search ranking

In other words, the natural/organic search results that Google returns could be bought by paying money indirectly to Google using Adwords.

That is absolutely NON SENSE. The organic results are not for sales, Google has said this since the beginning of the company.

Another way to look at this is that if let say it was true that by spending lots of money with Google Adwords, you could have higher rankings on organic search results, imagine what would happen?

Well one thing for sure is that sites from big brands would dominate the search engine result pages and there are no spaces for the little guys, for independent bloggers etc… At least no spaces left on the first page, where most of the action is happening.

And if Google started to become like that, the search results would be worse and worse, users would simply turn away and use another search engine. Short term gain, long-term pain!

So not only from moral standpoint but from business standpoint, it makes sense to give the best/impartial search results as well.

3. Special software that automatically boost your search engine ranking

First of all (and this is not limited to this kind of software above), if there was a software that can automatically boost your natural ranking on search result page and the software works somehow, you would not be the first one to use it. Vietnamese agencies would not be the first one to develop it or use it. Hence any advantage you may have over other websites will be relatively 0. It’s just like if everyone is wearing 10cm shoes, the net result is that the relative difference between everyone height is the same.

Secondly, It is very unlikely that such a software works simply because if it is that easy to manipulate the organic Google search results, then Google would not become what it is today, surpassing Yahoo, Bing and many other search engines.

Thirdly like it or not, we are late comer to the Internet party and so whatever we think of doing, other people in other countries probably thought about it long time ago. Our infrastructure, our software engineers are not as good as those from mature markets so I won’t try to do something weird, spamming site hoping the ranking will improve. It the ranking did improve, it would be short-lived.

4. Keyword in the domain plays a very important role in boosting organic ranking

To answer this myth, please read the following from Matt Cutts “We have looked at the rankings and weights that we give to keyword domains and some people have complained that we’re giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains. And so we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm so that given two different domains, it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.

If you do not know who Matt Cutts is, please read about him here.

You can refer to the video “How important is it to have keywords in a domain name

If you are not convinced yet, please read another article by Danny Sullivan “The EMD Update: Like Panda & Penguin, Expect Further Refreshes to Come

There are many myths so the above are just a few. Do you agree/disagree?



  1. I do think keywords in domain still play an important role in ranking. Even if they reduced its importance, they can’t get rid of something that make sense. Many businesses would logically have a keyword in their domain.

    1. Hi Charly,

      Thanks for your feedback.
      SEO is like a beauty contest, so the key thing is to be better than other guys so that you could have higher ranking, not so much as being the best guy in the whole world so if everything is equal, keyword in the domain would play a role as well.

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