Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blogs: Better Listings On Google

SEOBook and a bunch of people are discussing this today and the new acronymn for blog is not a shortened way of saying web log but "Better Listings On Google".

This is a discussion that should grab a bunch of comments throughout the industry over the next few days.

PPC Spending Exceeding Expectations

Google's first quarter net revenue was $1.3 billion - or if the numbers hold through without continued growth would be $5.2 billion for 2005. At the start of the year forecasts for the industry as a whole were around that number and people thought them about right.

Merrill Lynch saw the numbers for the industry at between $5.1 and $5.6 billion.

Forrester Research saw the numbers at about $5.7 billion.

Gary Stein, a senior analyst at JupiterResearch,said "paid search will continue to grow faster than any other sector of online advertising, increasing from $2.6 billion in 2004 to $5.5 billion in 2009." So I guess we will see no more growth for the next 4 years.

Early this year I questioned these numbers and the whole forecasting approach in general. Obviously like us PPC marketers the industry needs numbers and the ability to do some predictions. I would think in an industry that lives by numbers we would be a little more accurate.

Guess the numbers were taking into account the refunds that will be coming once all this click fraud is worked out!!!!

Google Sued For Click Fraud

The aptly named Click Defense Inc. has filed suited against Google for $5 million, according to a Reuters new article. The problem much in the minds of advertisers and searchers recently is going to get some definition if this suit is allowed to go to court, which suggests a settlement will be reached.
The problem is as soon as one case goes to trial and definitions and precedents are created the entire search industry will be headed for a massive change. One that I hope happens and the industry uses the opportunity to get itself to the next level, where advertisers and PPC providers work together to clean up the frauds and create a solid platform to invest in.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Government Wants Yahoo and Google to Filter Adult Content Better

Interesting article at Xbiz tells how the government is expecting Google and Yahoo! to improve the filtering of adult content from the search results.
Stating children are using the search engines to access adult content, government officials, are looking to the top engines to lead the way in improving adult content filters.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Yahoo Starting Search Subscriptions

I missed this when it was first posted 10 days ago, and am surprised it has not gotten much play on other sites. But Yahoo plans on offering a subsciption search service.

Essentially people will be able to sign up for various info that is behind subscription walls at various major places such as LexusNexus and the Wall Street Journal.

Guess it is a glorified affiliate program for subscriptions that will be placed in search results. I am curious as to the whole method and will be talking with the Yahoo poeple I know tomorrow and try and get more info.

Mentalist Gets Google Employees to Comply

The recent Google Sales Conference in Arizona apparently had a mentalist there to entertain the employees. Bet there will not be one attending the Engineers Conference, they would not risk exposing the alogorithm to anyone.

The evening's entertainment was a mixture of magic, hypnosis and mind reading. The guy had people from the audience up on stage and was able to get them to do various things... now doesn't that open itself up for all sorts of interpretation.

"When you get back to your office you will give my account a million dollar click fraud credit...."

Tell A Lie and Yahoo Will Ban A Competitor

Seems the DMCA regulations scare Yahoo. Enough to have them take sites down erroneously and without fact checking. Thanks to Nick W. at for bringing this story to light.

I am now wondering how many people will be running around trying this and creating another search nightmare. Only time will tell.... now which of the competition do I want to remove.....

Friday, June 24, 2005

Measuring Branding Through Bad Comments

MindComent has a free tool that they use to find pages that contain bad comments about the company's website etc. Guess they are firm believers that there is no such thing as bad press, since they use this as a means to gauge branding on the internet.

This one actually can be used to find who is writing against your site or services and use it to repair bad will.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ready For My Close-Up Mr Warner


Though it looks alot like Yahoo!, the new AOL free access portal may be an interesting step in the development of web.

The new is a full-fledged web portal. The search results are a rework of Google listings... though they grab the most profitable stem of any term in the PPC side as far as I have been able to test.

You can access your AOL mail, play those AOL games and access most of the areas that were previously just available to paying members.

It is this familiarity that may move them into an interesting position in the industry.

If they deceide they want to create their own search engine and sell their own PPC listings, I am not predicting a long life. They are better off making the right partnerships and concentrating on the content and products side.
Too many people have faltered and failed attempting to climb the search mountain when a well-negotiated partnership takes all the backend and slaes work out of the equation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sowing the Seeds of Love

Seems the changes are around the corner and the combination of the recent human editors and the possible implementation of TrustRank and Good Seed has people speculating about a new methodology being used or about to be initiated at Google. Search Engine Watch forum discussion and blogs from various search industry members suggest this will be the next big exploration of the algorythm.
Should be fun. And I am sure the Google engineers are laughing about it as they battle each other on the ping pong tables!!!

MSN Local

I like this... though you have to find it in the dropdown menu the search result page is better laid out and simplier to use.
If this continues maybe MSN will backdoor their way into challenging Google.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Democracy is Banned by Microsoft in China

The Reporters Without Borders came out strongly against the actions of Microsoft which adopted the Chinese censorship policies and flagged the word 'democracy' and other terms on its blog.

Apparently "when a Chinese blogger (at MSN) attempts to post a message containing terms such as "democracy", "Dalai Lama", "Falungong", "4 June" (the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre), "China + corruption", or "human rights", a warning displays saying, "This message contains a banned expression, please delete this expression."

The argument has to be 'get inside the system and then work for change' and one that all the major players (Google, Yahoo and now MSN) seem to be adopting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tracking Codes Knocking Organic Results Out

I have been having problems recently with our websites getting dropped out of the SERPs because the spiders are seeing banner links or text links as the index page instead of our actual sites.

I have had one site dropped from Google and now three from Yahoo each engine attaching to different sources.

In essence, they see, as the canonical domain... but the real domain is the one with all the inbound links and it gets pushed out as dupliacte content.

I have the two tracking/analytic companies we use see what can be done with this, but a straight 301 redirect strips the tracking code so I lose that...

Anyone else experiencing this???

Saturday, June 11, 2005

AOL choosing Search over TV ads

Seems AOL is showing some faith in its own medium.

According to a New York Times article yesterday, they have decided to put the bulk of their $50 million advertising budget for the push of their new open-access portal into web advertising.

Interestingly they are using Google and Yahoo for PPCD and have actually earmarked some of the money for developing optimized pages and improving the ones that exist right now.

Guess the SEO world is smiling right now... I know I am!

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

The Many Faces of Internet Moves in China

Funny I followed Danny Sullivan's link to an article about the big internet players moving into the Chinese market to keep on top of what was happening in the Asian search market. Business Week no less covering search moves into China... impressive.

But later in the day I come across a nugget at Yahoo about websites and blogs having to be registered in China. Guess the multinationals are registered and can overlook the curtailling of freedoms in pursuit of profits.

What they have to consider, however, is that sooner or later the censors will limit them as well. Seems Google has forgotten they had their news in China censored not to long ago.

Newspaper Sites Looking to Grab Local Search

According to a report in the NY Post yesterday, "a handful of U.S. newspapers are trying to break the grip Google and Yahoo! have on the lucrative online advertising business by launching their own services."

New York newspaper, Newsday now offers its own PPC program with the option of picking the sections of their online edition the ads appears. The choices and spaces can be seen here.

Since newspapers are some of the largest traffic providers on the web right now, as Melinda Gipson of the Newspaper Association of America stated, it could be an interesting way for local search to finally take shape.

Hey Google, Yahoo! and MSN have the global stage, if they want to really grab the local one they may have to go back to basics and become paparboys!!!

Sensis: Australian Search Marketing National Pride

I use and thus received their latest PR release touting national pride. "View the World Wide Web through Australian eyes" is a catchy slogan to pull at the nationalistic pride of Australians have.

The other thing I like is the way the search results are presented. Two columns, left are Aussie pages, right are global results. Moving forward this would be a great tool for global engines to use... pick a country and compare it with global results.

I check the sites I work on through them regularly and I must say they have solid relevant results, both locally and globally.

Monday, June 6, 2005

FindWhat and ESpotting Take A Married Name

They have been living together for over a year now, but the happy couple will be making it official for the world to know they are now legally one.

They have decided to take a completely new name so neither party could feel the upper hand in the relationship. Smart move in my opinion.

More importantly, what about paying bills! Well they have not determined whether they will have a joint checking account or continue to hold separate ones like they do now... this is at least the information I got when I called FindWhat today... the official announcement of what they will do moving forward will be announced at the ceremony...

Here's hoping they allow us to send gifts in one currency.

The new name is Miva (pronouced Me Va).

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Google Site Map Maker and Submitter

Hats off to Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Watch for breaking this info. The link to his article is in the title.

Google will be working to get a better reach into web sites and using all the tricks and algorithms they have at their command I imagine it will eventually help improve the overall quality of the listings in their database.

A byproduct of this move is a cool new tool: SiteMap Generator!

I will be following this one thoroughly and will post more as the story unfolds. But have to admit they have been busy over there at G-ville. Guess the increased stock price has everyone there whistling a happy tune as they work!

Tracking Google Content Publishers

Apogee Web Consulting has given us a very handy tool for tracking who exactly is sending us traffic on the content side and with that we can also uncover who is sending the traffic that converts.

My hat is off to you guys - quite the impressive little widget.

DMOZ Corruption

The Corrupt DMOZ Editor is a great insight into what could happen at Google. And a great read for those that have been frustrated by the DMOZ process.

It is time to get out the broom or drop the facade and become another Paid Inclusion site!!!

Human Input On Google Search Results

This seems to have been broken by a Dutch Journalist, Henk van Ess, at his blog, - a great entry into the search blog field. It has been quickly grabbed by SlashDot and then Digital Point and SEW Forums started discussing it.... now it is a great example of viral marketing.

The PowerPoint presentation explaining how it works (for employees) is here.

The speculation will fly about its impact, the possibility of bribes and misuse like DMOZ is experiencing, the questionable ability of those chosen to know the niched areas and the criteria for placement, and the convergence and development of TrustRank will get a lot of attention in the coming weeks.

Hey if it clears a lot of the crap out, stops the spammers, and eliminates the errors (or blatant Google allianced-influenced sites) I think it is something good.

If it gets abused then I really think Google will drop it.

Guess the leak works as a trial ballon and the rest we will have to wait and see about.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Yahoo Australia Getting Greedy

The link in the title is to a search result that shows you the type of greed I am talking about.

It is almost non-Australian! Come on Yahoo AU play cricket!

I have started to notice a large number of ads by Yahoo Australia in the PPC ads. They are buying their own traffic at low numbers and sending it where they can make more through impressions and other agreements they may have in place.

Hell the link that I use in the title of this article has Yahoo in 2 positions (have seen them be 3 of 5 results!), but also has the "also try" links to recycle more impressions, the two links to Inside Yahoo before the PPC ads begin, and then decided they may as well grab a bunch of the free search spots as well: Numbers 1, 2, 4, 9 and 16 of the 20 listed.

Each of these pages sell more space - be it Directory Listing costs, Banner CPMs etc - there should be a law against it....

This is not playing fair, I would give them Yahoo Finance as the first organic result, even Google does so it is popular. MSN AU ( has Yahoo in the top 3 spots, though anyone can spam MSN right now.

Yahoo you have enough why try and grab the areas where you know you can make more from the traffic?

Pretty soon Yahoo will be its own best advertiser and eventually its own advertiser as people decide to go to a level playing field...

PR withdrawals

Funny the amount of time that was spent speculating on the drop of the little Green Bar in the Google toolbar. There were Chicken Little's warning the sky was falling, there was a ground swell of people liking the idea of it being gone so they could not be pressured by it from people who did not really understand it but wanted it as long as it could get. Green Bar Envy could have been an entry in psych books.

Well after the long weekend, up its back.... now I am sure the speculation will begin as to whether it was returned by the impact of the posts about it....

What did we every do before the Green Monster was around?