Monday, October 30, 2006

CIA Recruits Google

Seems some former CIA higher up let slip that Google was working with the CIA. A Threadwatch article by KidMercury gives some good links and overview.

Nothing like a good conspiracy theory. I would have thought it much more interesting if Sergei was a former Russian spy who was planted here to bring about the fall of capitalism....


Seems being paid to post about things can make you money - directly from the comapny looking for links and good PR.

They want you to make money - hell it is how they make their money too. Don't think the affiliate program or referral program they offer is questionable. They have some serious deep pockets and may be able to use this to get themselves inexpensive links and PR.

I am signing up and will see what can be done with this... will be interesting to see if they rise in the SERPs and get others to buy the system.

Affiliate Marketing Forums

If you are looking to discover ways to monetize your web site, the tried and true method has been affiliate marketing - but it is not an easy job and while some people make a little part-time money as an affiliate - there are some people who are making 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars each month.

Affiliate Marketing Forums - Revenue Source is a great resource. Using forums to find out what is working and keep grounded with other people in the space is important. You will never learn everything or be able to test everything. Dveloping a group or a solid community can help spread the time restraints and get much more accomplished.

Apogee Search Pushing SEM

Apogee Search, a small Search Engine Marketing boutique, seems to be pushing the limits of SEM trying all sorts of methods to get their word out there.
Hopefully they will keep us in loop with their blog. Their site has some interesting White Papers and they have been in the space for some time now. Let's see what they share with their readers over the next few months.

HELP: CPM and CPM 2 and Whyville or Whoville

Okay I like the reports written over at Adotas, but this latest one about the new CPM model - CPM 2 as they call it seems a little mind boggling.
The use of an example of people in Whyville left me very confused... I felt like an outsider looking in at Whoville and wondering when the Grinch was going to show up.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Yahoo Creates Blog For Panama Feedback

Okay today must be bulk email day at the search engines. First MSN and now Yahoo! guess Google's is on its way.

Yahoo is creating a blog to get feedback on the Panama interface.

As you are no doubt aware, we have begun to invite our first U.S. advertisers to upgrade to the New Sponsored Search platform. We know that many of our advertisers are already excited about the new system, and we obviously have a lot to tell you about the upgrade process, the new features and tools, and other news of interest to businesses who market online.

As we developed the new platform, we determined that we needed a completely new way of talking with our advertisers...a pipeline in which information and ideas could move in both directions between you and us. We also wanted to create a place where online businesses could begin to think beyond search, and consider how many online advertising vehicles work together.

Thus, it gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of the Yahoo! Search Marketing blog at This blog is intended to be a holistic marketing resource for online businesses, in which you'll find the latest information on the upgrade, tools and tips--but also, in-depth how-to's, advertiser interviews, industry trends, links to articles, and other news and information you can use.

The community that a blog engenders is equally important to us. Through the comments section of each post, readers will be able to share their opinions and ideas with folks here at Yahoo! and other online marketers. The blog offers a direct pipeline to Yahoo! execs, and provides you with an opportunity to help shape future product offerings. We pledge to regularly respond to comments and questions in an honest and direct way.

We invite you to visit frequently, or better yet, to add it to your My Yahoo! page or to your RSS feeds to get up-to-date information for and about marketers just like you. We intend for the blog to grow and mature over time, and we hope to receive a lot of suggestions and comments that will help us make it even more useful to the community. So please, let us know what you think!

MSN Search Doing Heavy Advertising

Just received this in my email:

I wanted to make you aware of the beginning of a phased marketing campaign to promote Microsoft Live Search. As mentioned, Microsoft has heavily invested in the development of our Live Search product and we’re launching various marketing campaigns to generate awareness and gain share over time. The information below provides additional information about our initial campaign.

We are beginning the next major phase in the launch of Live Search with an acquisition campaign involving both print and online advertising, so we wanted make sure you were aware of what was happening, and also take a moment to update you on how we are doing on executing the Live Search launch plan.

Today we start a significant customer acquisition campaign for Live Search. There are plenty of details below, but you will want to look for our online ads throughout the web and our print ads running in the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, USA Today and the local papers.

The campaign launching today builds on the momentum of the successful MSN migration and expands the target audience beyond loyalists to what we call sharers – people who use our services like mail and MSN channels, but have not heavily adopted Live Search. We’re starting with an introductory phase to build awareness of our new Live Search service. We then quickly move into a direct response phase where we drive people into the Live Search service itself to experience all of the great innovations and features we have spent so much effort building. The campaign starts with a bang on Oct 27 (look for it in your newspaper, MSN homepage, Hotmail, and, which will include online advertising through the end of March, and sustained strategic online programs through the end of the year.

We will be building awareness using both print media as well as highly targeted, contextual online placements that aim to connect with people at the right time and place for them to consider a new search engine.

Online: Our efforts here will be focused on connecting with consumers at appropriate life moments and through highly contextual placements. For life moments, we have chosen to focus on Travel and Health and will be deploying custom advertising vehicles on the Everyday Health Network, Reuters, the Away Network, and Weatherbug that will demonstrate how Live Search can help with the topic being investigated by driving them to the Live Search service that’s appropriate for their topic.

Print: For the print campaign, we will have full-page print ads in the Wall St. Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post Intelligencer starting tomorrow. These ads will run three times in each publication over a one week period.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Searchles: The Social Networking Search Engine

Interesting article about Searchles, a social networking search engine... this is like the shared bookmark projects and other similar things. It has a slight chance of catching but if it does too many are poised to swamp the boat.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Courts Decide Google Don't Have to Police Trademark Advertising

I am amazed this piece of news has not gotten more publicity or comments in the SEM world.

While I think Google has other responsibilities (especially based on the "Do No Evil" credo) - the need to police and be accountable for the actions of its advertisers is an area I give them leeway. But this impacts so many people I am still wondering why it was not blogged about and discussed in the forums.

Have I been that out of the loop over the past two months that I missed this? Let me know!!!

Google Shoots Another Salvo at Analytics Companies

Hey I like Google and the AdWords product and their organic traffic but at times I think they come close to some type of meglamania (or is it meglo?)...

I know this is starting to become a broken record but - STOP - Larry and Sergei you are going to lose that cachet and that could be the momentum that changes things.

Why are you pushing all these analytics products - a smarter consumer is a better (spends more) consumer?

When Danny Sullivan said he surrendered and would accept the Google implant everyone laughed. But now I think the establishment of "Big Brother" may be getting closer.... our Orwellian future could be the day when Apple and Google join forces and the 1984 ads Steve Jobs promoted years ago taken on a frightening deja vu.

This free tools trick is not exclusive to Google... hell I know a lot of people that are giving away products others charge for... the analytics companies are getting a rough time right now and few are standing up to say something.

When Google starts offering free SEO - which has to be right around the corner now that they are optimizing landing pages - maybe people will start yelling a little louder... but it could be a little late.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mints, User Interfaces and Other Search Engine Similarities

The search engines seem to be becoming more and more similar these days. In the good old days they all had their own idiosyncrasies - which made it so much easier to tell them apart. Google ads' titles had 25 characters while Overture allowed you 90. Now Yahoo wants to mimic Google and MSN is changing to make the differences seem smaller.

Even LookSmart is calling their interface the AdCenter just like their former search partner MSN.

Uniformity I know makes things easier for analytics and using the same ads on different platforms, but the branded differences were okay by me.

I just came back from Shop.Org and the big three were there - funnily Yahoo and MSN were pushing there search products while Google was all about Checkout. In previous events Yahoo would have been promoting their shopping cart and MSN the quality of their content areas, while Google would have been the sole search pusher.

Even the handouts from MSN and Yahoo! were the same - mints.

MSN you lost the mint round!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Is Google Overreaching?

Okay they grabbed a chunk of AOL, bought KeyHole (the satelite pics part of Google Maps), Picasa - the free pic editor, swallowed Urchin into Google Analytics, created an online word document program, started a widgets area where others could showcase their efforts and basically created a shareware platform, and then came the last two BIG moves - $900 million to MySpace to lock up their advertising and $1.65 billion for YouTube (and a quick agreement with Warner and Sony to help promote their online videos).

Factor in they have started working on selling offline advertising areas: print, radio and television and are juggling deals for gaming ads too - the giant is getting bigger.

But are they losing sight of the bread and butter that got them there? Ask is pushing away with their continued TV ads, I seem to hear Yahoo! being yodelled over the radio quite a bit and MSN is getting aggressive with search.

I agree YouTube is hot right now but there are many stories of poorly timed purchases - just ask the NY Times - and the numbers are so high it would be tough to see them recouping the money if others join the fray.

There are some who see the YouTube pruchase as an attempt for Google to add more entertainment to counter Yahoo... hey with the numbers YouTube brings Google will fast be pushing at Yahoo's number one staus at Alexa... hey if they are not making good money from banner ads it could be a bust.

Keeping others away from MySpace was a smart move... the YouTube one could have a different result. But hey they still have another $6 billion sitting in the bank so watch out world Larry and Sergei have money burning a hole in their pockets.

Why not buy their favorite fast food chain? Wonder how much BurgerKing would cost???

Domain Hell Strike The Blog

Okay sorry for being offline for so long but I really learned alot about domain registration and the limbo known as soon to expire and die....

A friend and I were originally going to do something with the smart-keywords domain and he was the one to register it. When we went on to other projects I started to use it for the blog mainly. So in my ignorance is bliss state I happily went about blogging oblivious of the need to transfer the domain. So when it came time for renewal I was not the one that got the email and my friend had it in a large pile of other domains that he was no longer using and thus it fell into the frozen state.

When I finally was informed it went offline I happened to be in the Dominican Republic on vacation. So from there it took 2 weeks to get it back on track.... part of which was due to the inept tech people I spoke to over at GoDaddy - though the woman who finally helped me was a delight. It is amazing how good customer service is vital even in our online world.

So it is back and hopefully will stay that way for quite some time to come.