Archive for August, 2010
Aug 10
Learnings from Search Engines Strategies in San Francisco

Finding my way in Search.

I was fortunate to be able to attend SES in San Francisco this year. This year was all about the convergence of search, display and social. Clearly some good learnings for us an an agency but also for our clients.

Here are my 5 take -aways:

1) There is no longer a clear line between Online advertising, Search and social media. Some proof points:

- Social and real time search are changing the way we think about optimizing sites (SEO) for search

- Google’s search growth will be display and video

- Re-marketing is giving us opportunity to cross-pollinate all 3 channels

2) Social Media can not be ignored

- Jeff Hayzlett (ex Kodak CMO) redefined ROI as ‘Return On Ignoring’

- Rumors are Google is considering using social media metrics as patr of its algorythm

- Some social meidia platforms are ideal for distraction. Search is not as it is designed to drive a transactional behavior

3) 3 things you can do to improve your Paid Search

- Do not give visitors too many options. Buy or engage.  Engage but not distract

- Search is becoming more granular. Gauge results by time, location, demographics etc.

- Do not neglect the content network as we used to. Google is investing heavily to make it work.

4) Selling search to the C-suite

- Online experience starts with search

- Show missed impressions and show share of voices. If we don’t do this, this is what would happen

- Show customers looking for mass media and then go online

5) Eyetracking update

- People ignore thinks that look like ads (no text on images)

- 3 click rule is nonsense. People are prepared to click up to 27 times to get what they really want

- No image on contact us page. People want a phone number or form

- People don’t look at Stock photography. They are too polished

- If you type video in a search engine, your eyes will expect to see a video thumbnail

Aug 10

This month, we welcome Sweet Patootie as a new customer. Sweet Patootie carries clothing and accessories that are the most comfortable and made of the finest quality for Babes and Totes. It is the ultimate specialty shop for the little ones most precious to you.

Starting this month, you will start seeing ads in Google. We had a lot of fun creating engaging ads that appeal to new parents. We hope the ads will be as irresistible as the line of products itself. For more information, click on their web site.

Sweet Patootie on Google, a sweet deal.

Aug 10

One of the questions that came up after the formal launch of Facebook Places last night was: how will this affect Google Places (among others)? As an aside, I have to say it’s really strange that these products have nearly the identical name. It’s almost like Honda offering a car with a particular name and then Toyota coming out with a car with the same model name.

Of course Google Places and Facebook Places are currently different animals from a consumer perspective. You don’t “check in” to Google Places. But Google has other products that perform a similar function (Latitude, Buzz) that it may feel compelled to merge into Google Places at some point. Facebook’s long anticipated move into location does, I think, put some pressure on Google to “socialize” its Places in one or more ways.

However from a local business standpoint the two Places are conceptually if not practically quite similar. Local businesses can claim their Places pages on both sites and use them as promotional tools in several ways. I’m not going to enumerate the relative merits or practical aspects of this comparison here; I’ll leave that for another article or articles plural.

Google Place VS Facebook Place

Google Place VS Facebook Place

Article by Greg Sterling from Search Engine Land

Read the full Article here

Aug 10

We’re excited to announce the launch of Enhanced CPC, a new automated bidding feature that can help you improve your ROI on your campaigns with manual bidding. Enhanced CPC uses your campaign’s historical conversion tracking data to automatically adjust your Max CPC bid based on the likelihood that your ad will convert. As a result, you should receive more conversions while maintaining or reducing your overall CPA and hopefully spend less time managing your Max CPC bids.

How does it work?

Let’s walk through an example. Jeff sells model airplane kits and has enabled Enhanced CPC for a campaign that contains the following keywords, each with a Max CPC bid set to $0.30: model airplane, model airplane kits, and build model airplanes. When a user searches for ‘model airplane kits,’ the AdWords system recognizes that this term has converted well for Jeff in the past, and therefore increases the Max CPC bid to $0.32 for this specific auction. If the likelihood of a conversion is very high, Enhanced CPC can bid up to 30% above the Max CPC. This means that the most that Jeff will be charged for a click is $0.39.

On the other hand, when a user searches on a term that has not converted well in the past, e.g. ‘model airplane,’ the AdWords system will lower the Max CPC bid for this specific auction to $0.20. By adjusting bids based on Jeff’s conversion data, the AdWords system ultimately helps him increase sales while maintaining or decreasing his average cost per conversion.

Article for Google’s official blog.

Read the full article here

Aug 10

As expected, Facebook on Wednesday launched its new location-sharing feature called Places. Similar to other location-based services such as Gowalla and MyTown, it allows you to signal your presence at a bar, restaurant, arena, or other location via Facebook. The social network’s focus appears to be on simply sharing your location with your friends as opposed to including gaming elements or promotional check-in incentives that you find with other location services such as Foursquare
Facebook Place

Places promises to be an interesting addition to Facebook, and could increase the popularity of location sharing in general. But before you start checking in to every restaurant, movie theater, and bar you visit, here’s what you need to know.

Read more about Facebook Place here

Go to Facebook Place page here

Aug 10

With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience.

To use search over SSL, visit https://encrypted.google.com New window icon each time you perform a search. Note that only Google web search is available over SSL, so other search products like Google Images and Google Maps are not currently available over SSL. When you’re searching over SSL, these properties may not appear in the left panel.

What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that helps provide secure Internet communications for services like web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other data transfers. When you search over SSL, your search queries and search traffic are encrypted so they can’t be read by any intermediary party such as employers and internet service providers (ISPs).

Read more about Google SSL Search here

Aug 10

If you’re the type of guy who has one Google ID for email, another for Webmasters and multiple IDs for other purposes (or anything faintly similar) then you’ve got help !

Signing in with multiple IDs to Google services was a pain in the a@# ! So much that I used multiple browsers for each, just for that purpose.

I use one Google ID for email, another for Webmasters and another one for Google reader, so its tough managing each. But it looks like Google now silently enabled multiple ID logins on the same browser. That is if you have multiple Google IDs for each service you can switch between each ID when you’re using that service.

Go to your Google Accounts Manage settings and you’ll find something similar to this.

Article by Mani Karthik from Daily SEO Blog

Read the full article here

Aug 10

I was attending a SEMPO event last night at the Microsoft office in NYC. We had presenters from Bing and Yahoo who offered some insights into the alliance.

Yahoo and Bing alliance

An alternative to Google?

The merger was approved in Feb 2010 to create a powerful alternative search engine to Google.  The way it will work is Bing will provide both paid and algorithmic services for Yahoo. All ads will run through AdCenter and yahoo’s ‘old’ paid platform will disappear. Yahoo will focus on being a  media company and will still compete against Bing on display advertising., email marketing, IM etc Both companies will maintain their own affiliate networks. Per Yahoo’s own words, Running an indexing business is very expansive: Yahoo is a media company, Microsoft is a tech company.

The partnership is purely for Search. and is expected to generate about 4.8b n searches monthly. As a result of Yahoo advertisers  using the AdCenter, they will have access to more features, listed below:

- 500 domain blocking

- advanced geo-targeting (state and dma)

- Thousands of Negative kws (limit of 1,250 at campaign level)

- Ad copy to 25 / 70 characters. Exact + phrase + broad at the Kw level.

- Singular and plural + misspelled treated as different kws. Minimum bid of 5 cents

- Monthly budget and daily target (optional)

- Rich ads will be available at some point.

What makes this partnership complex is both engines will continue to own the customer experience. Yahoo and bing search ads will look different (even though both will be managed through the AdCenter).

As far as the timeline is concerned,  already 25% yahoo already powered by Bing (as of July 2010). All natural Bing searches should be completed by Sept. 3.5% paid search will be powered by AdCenter starting in August (more gradual).

Overall, there does not seem to be anything illogical in this partnership. It will be interesting to see how ads and bids will vary as all advertisers start optimizing bids for Bing around September and beyond.

Aug 10

“The next Google” label is heard from time to time, and since releasing their universal Like button, the focus has been on Facebook.

The idea is that all of these Likes means that Facebook now has access to proprietary data about the popularity of pages across a vast amount of sites. Talk has further grown as links to external sites were spotted in Facebook search results.

Facebook VS Google

Facebook vs. Google?

Right now, Facebook as a search provider is barely a blip, behind the likes of Ask and eBay, according to comScore. One obvious difference is that Facebook isn’t a search destination — people go to Google to search, people go to Facebook to be social. This number will stay low as long as Facebook isn’t a toolbar option and doesn’t allow searches from users who aren’t logged in.

Another considerable difference between Facebook and a traditional search engine is that links are used in judging credibility as opposed to the possibility of “Likes.” Many sites will never have Like buttons, which is a concern.

Article by John Greer, Search Engine Watch

Read the full article here