Wednesday, September 20, 2006

ESPN To Sell Own Text Ads

Barry Schwartz aka RustyBrick over at Search Engine Watch has reported that ESPN is dropping the Yahoo Content ads and is now about to launch their own ad system using Quigo's AdSonar software.

This could be the start of some large independent sites going the way of controlling their own destiny. Should be worth watching.

Google Experimenting With Ad Placement

Now you see them...: Google has confirmed that it's experimenting with an ad placement system that makes some ads disappear after a user has ignored them multiple times. Apparently, Google is testing the removal of sponsored listings in the "one box", the shaded featured area above search results, if those ads go unclicked-through four or five times. (The phenomenon was first noticed by search marketers who refreshed results pages four or five times without clicking in the one box.) In some cases, the ads are removed; in other instances, they migrate to the top of the search ads on the right rail. A Google spokesman told ClickZ that the trial was designed "to further ensure that users will find ads only when they're most useful and advertisers will receive the most qualified leads." On the plus side, that could work to drive conversion rates up, if ads were shown more often to users who had proven receptive to clicking on them; but there's also some speculation that it could drive ad prices up too by reducing the total ad inventory.

Now that is interesting... funny no-one notified us and we have bitched about the floating ads we are seeing....

Monday, September 18, 2006

Quigo Going Trying To Win Google, Yahoo Publishers and Advertisers

Quigo has been around for some time. Offering various products, they have stayed in the mix when many others have folded their tents.
They have been offering their AdSonar product for over a year now - though CNNMoney in their article today makes it sound like they are something new. I don't know if I would call them the "next Google" as the title of the article suggests, but I am going to test the claims and see how it does for a small amount of our traffic - say a couple of hundred page views for a month.
It would be nice to have an alternative. And the one thing I like about their product is the advertisers get to bid individually on each publishers available inventory. So the good ones will get more and promote sites to strive to be better to gain more income.
Then the arbitrage game would be about improving your site as opposed to just throwing it up and starting another one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

26% of US Marketers Using SEM Tools

It is funny how reports tell us that between 70-80% of people use search engines to initially find a website, yet fewer than 30% of US marketing people use SEM tools.

Those of us who do don't mind - we will take the extra profits you leave on the table. But overall our industry is not being taken seriously in Fortune 500 boardrooms because of this.

Fair enough we will be the winners in the end - but I would like the industry as a whole to get a better image. Successful SEM people are as valuable as any that oversee other media and it is time that was recognised.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Miva Launching An IntelliLink Variation

Seems Miva is looking to launch an on page definition term text link to advertisement to help their publishing partners make a few more dollars.

Hey it was an idea that did not prove too popular a couple of years ago. But I have noticed others starting to use it again. Hey we have been implementing a definition tool that basically uses the same technology.

Ads may not be too popular but a link to a definition that allows you to click to another page will help increase page views - and if you have banner ads give you more impressions...

MSN AdCenter Making Big Migration

Okay folks here they go again. I just received this email.

Over the course of the next week, all MSN Search results will migrate to Live Search. Live Search will be the branded, marketed search platform for Microsoft.

Currently MSN users can use our search tool through a variety of ways including Home Page, throughout all channels of MSN including Hotmail, and Instant Messenger. Moving forward, Live Search will be the default search tool across the entire MSN network including . The attached document provides additional information and can hopefully answer your questions.

The attached file was:

Over the next 3 days, we plan to take the beta tag off of Live Search. All search boxes and toolbars on the and properties are scheduled to be completely migrated to send users to the Live Search Engine Results Page--including those who search on Hotmail®, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, on all properties, on and on

What does this mean for your campaigns on adCenter?

* All paid search advertisements will still be served by the Microsoft adCenter platform, so your campaigns, ads and keywords should continue to run as normal.
* In addition, we have conducted extensive testing and expect the advertising performance of Live Search to be as good as or better than on MSN Search.

Notable features of Live Search:

* Live Search lets us augment our search-engine investments with a customizable user experience. More than just an engine with a single search box, Live Search helps users personalize their search and more quickly find what is important to them.
* The Live Search interface is designed to display a better visual blend of paid and organic results. For example, you’ll find complementary fonts, less contrast around ads, and justification of ads with organic results.
* Best of all, with an updated search interface, Live Search is designed to attract and retain more searchers – to give you access to what you want – more traffic.

Learn more about the Live Search features at or, try it out today at

Friday, September 8, 2006

Game, Set, Match: Yahoo Goes to the US Open

I was lucky enough to be invited by Yahoo! to the US Open last night. Great weather, good company and a great match between Roger Fedderer and James Blake. Even got to see Martina Naritolova play mixed doubles and a couple of other interesting games on the outer courts.

Tim or Tom Gullikison played with Hana Mandilokova - both well into their late 40s - Tim/Tom (they are twins) has to be early fifties... one of the Gulliksons even had a daughter competing.

Thanks Yahoo! I had a blast....

And if you could decide to drop the black box pricing method from your future plans I think I would become a solid evangelist!!!

Google AdWords Offers Global Ad Viewer

The ability to find your ads on Google has been difficult if they are in a different country or a different pointed zip code or local area. Well not anymore!

Google has finally rolled out a tool for us that will overcome this hurdle.

It is well detailled in the AdWords Blog over at Google.

Thanks guys.... now could you let us know what everyone else is bidding on the keywords and I will be a happy man!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

BazaarVoice Launches Syndicated Review Content

I came across this article about BazaarVoice launching syndicated review content today and though thier offering may not apply to our specific market, the concept is one we have started to integrate for ourselves. Reviews and other methods of building a community or 'social networking' is proving to be a powerful traffic grabber.

People who offer products - affiliates or direct companies - could do alot with this added content and traffic source. It helps with number of pages and builds your authority, as well as more pages to get into organic results... seems like a winning method to me. Forum and review posters and readers also spend more time on a website.

I will follow this company's progress with interest.