Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Danny Sullivan To Leave Search Engine Watch

I get back from a vacation to read this:
Moving on: Danny Sullivan is leaving his post as editor of the influential Search Engine Watch blog after ten years at the big desk. Sullivan launched the online discussion forum for all things search and then sold it to Jupitermedia in 1997, back when the company was still called Mecklermedia. According to a Monday entry on Sullivan's personal blog Daggle, the reason for his departure from SEW -- and most likely from leadership of the Search Engine Strategies conferences -- was a failed year-long negotiation over an equity stake in the future of SEW and SES, which Jupiter sold to Incisive Media last year. "I helped build both of those assets," Sullivan wrote. "Then I watched one company sell them to another without me having any formal capital stake in the sale. That left me wary of history repeating itself." Sullivan will take his leave of Search Engine Watch at the end of November and will officiate at the SES Chicago show in December. Possible future prospects include independent consulting and the continuation of the Daily Searchcast podcast on WebmasterRadio.FM, now at a new URL:

Damn what is next?

As I posted over at you will be sorely missed. You have an army of supporters that will help you out any way you need us.

I do not envy the person who has to attempt to fill your shoes....

MSN To Offer Content Ads

The people over at adCenter emailled me asking if I wanted to be part of their pilot content ads program. This should be good... we have already seen the great value MSN leads offered begin to come back to the pack as their new publishing partners have come online as well as more advertisers. Guess I should keep things to myself!!!

Anyway here is the email:

On behalf of everyone on the Microsoft adCenter team, I’m excited to announce that we will be starting our pilot of Microsoft adCenter Content Ads early this fall. Content Ads is Microsoft’s next product that allows advertisers to place content-targeted, text-based advertisements primarily on Microsoft-owned properties including MSN Money, Real Estate, and many others within the portal. Like our search advertising product, it will also utilize our demographic targeting, geo-targeting and incremental bidding tools to help our advertisers reach the audience they want. Our Content Ads pilot will start as an invitation-only pilot, limited to selected current adCenter advertisers.

Lycos Using Blinxx for Video Search

Lycos has turned to Blinxx to add video search to their product offerings. Good move by both aprties - but I think any search engine that is not named Google, Yahoo or MSN (and hey Bill you may want to be the guy of the Big Three that develops this first if you want a chance of conquering Google) should be offering a CPA model.

I know I have touted this before - but the time is close when it will be here and of all the things that could change the playing field this is the one.

Bill Gross is working on it at The people at Acoona have launched Exchange Place which has some potential.

But good luck Lycos and Blinxx.

Here are some other links about CPA:

Adotas Conversation

DigatPoint Forum discussion

Friday, August 18, 2006

Move Over SimCity The AdSense Game is Here

AdSense expert Joel Comm has created a game about making money as an online publisher using AdSense.

Why not we have everything else.... next will be GoogleCity - buy a HQ and start your dominance of the world one application at a time..... hey he may use it to shill his book but there was some thought that went into this.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Everyone Wants A Piece of MySpace

Okay so Google cuts a deal with Rupert Murdoch's boys and becomes a partner. Not bad a $900 million committment for something Fox paid $580 million for a year ago....

Now AOL backdoors their way in. MySpace's IM system is run by UserPlane - which AOL bought last month.

But hey Google owns 5% of AOL - so they must be getting some of their money back....

We need to create a new game Six Degrees Of Separation from Google.... like the Kevin Bacon game.... I think the Google version would be easier.

Google Recommends Others Over Own Product

I have been trying to help someone with domain parking. He has a great list and needs to monetize it in a serious way. I remember a few weeks ago I was told about Google's AdSense for Domain Parking.

So I get in touch with people I know there and they reach out to others and what happens??? I get this reply back:

our technicians provided this website for me to pass on to you:

I am not sure if this is what you were looking for but it seems that their knowledge and info on this topic is slim.

You have to love that they are willing to give this away to an affiliate. But it questions if the company is getting so big that people do not even know their own products any more.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Learn The Link Game From Experts

Aaron Wall, the SEOBook, and Andy Hagans, link strategist extraordinaire, have written a great instructional article about building link popularity. 100 Ways to Build Link Popularity in 2006 is a must read to people just starting out as well as a good checklist for the more experienced internet marketer.

Great job guys!

It's Raining Shopping Carts at Google

If you do a search today you will see the speedy shopping cart icon on all Google results - well at least that is what I was getting this morning in New York.

As I mentioned over at Search Engine Watch, I don't mind them but in the blue bar part of paid search they definitely tip the advertising hand there. Many people think the left results are all organic. I wonder if this little exercise will drop CTRs for the blue ads???

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Google Joins ValPak and Adds Coupons to printed Maps

Google has added coupons for the areas of their printed maps. Get a map and it comes with coupons... now that is a novel approach and a clever way to monetize the free maps.

A Link Buying Primer

Patrick Gavin, CEO of Text Links Ads and a regular speaker at SES, has put together a great starter kit for people new to buying text links.

During the recent SES in San Jose he was on the Linking Buying panel and gave some very good advise that most of his fellow presenters echoed. "Don't buy links just for the inbound text link."

Granted there had to have been some Google people there monitoring this panel as there have been in the past. Some suggested Matt Cutts was their watching who attended - but that seems to be the running joke of this repeated panel.

If you buy inbound links for their advertising the extra push they may give to your organic results are the bonus. This is not going to change - the alt tag text of banner ads when you can get them has a similiar if slightly lesser impact on organic.

This introductory primer is a great start for anyone consdiering the purchase of links.... good work guys!

Misinformation Pollutes Search

I guess there are too many people in our industry that really have no clue. This post is going to start a flame war but people really should think a little more.

I will apologise in advance if this was done tongue in cheek - but I don't think so.

Janeth - a seasoned poster over at WMW - made the following comment:
To make a site work good with AdSense or Overture the first step is in building a site that is totally useless or close to it.

This is an important first step because you don’t want your visitor hanging around your site, you want them clicking an ad and finding another site. Otherwise you don’t make money.

The sad thing about this is it will promote even more garbatrage filling the search results.

Come on folks - that is so totally incorrect it is laughable. I guess the $10,000 a month she was making at AdSense publishing was early and from some of the most lucky breaks in the world.

The post can be read here.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How to Purchase Text Links

The guys over at Text Link Ads have made a video explaining the process of buying text links.

Patrick Gavin, the CEO, speaks on the text link buying panel at SES and having seen his presentation a couple of times - both with and without the new graphics - I can tell you these guys really do lead the industry in this area.

Obviously this is just another form of advertising and any organic benefit you may receive from purchased link advertising is just another pleasant surprise - right Google folk!

Have to know there are people reading my blog from Google.

Guys those cellphone boosters you handed out in San Jose were a nice touch - but I am having someone see if they contain a tracking chip...

I am starting to get Google paranoia!

Friday, August 11, 2006

My Trip to SES San Jose

Thank god I think I avoided the picture takers to a large extent. At least anyone at the various parties.... I know there is a pic of me on the Arbitrage panel floating around which shows I did do some real work.

And Barry Schwartz aka RustyBrick took one of me in the limo on the way to the Google party - hey SEW mods need to travel in style - they pay us enough!

I got in early Monday morning and was at the convention center before noon - signed in and caught a couple of panels. They added a retail section and though I did not attend any, the feedback I got from a bunch of people seemed very positive. I am looking forward to the Financial Services SES in London at the end of October.

The Arbitrage panel was interesting - though Kim Malone from Google did not really want to address the cost to regular PPC advertisers the 'inactive' push of bids was having.

I actually had a bunch of people say they would liked that to have been discussed a little more deeply. But in fairness to Kim it is not her area - the PPC guys should have been there to address it.

Eric Schmidt's Q&A with Danny on Wednesday morning was informative if generalised. Seems his lawyers had prepped him well on what areas he could not discuss. He did, however, give some insights into the future of Google and the web in general - and Danny's joke about having the Google implant may not be that far off. They were handing out cell boosters and the running joke was they may be monitoring our phone calls if we use them!!!

The numbers at the Google party - which is now one of the big after session draws of the event - were impressive, but I was told all employees from Google HQ were invited for the first time this year - which accounts for all the young people wearing the light blue Google Dance T-shirts. I actually talked to one woman (must have been very early 20s) and when I excused myself saying I was going to talk to the engineers I heard her say as I walked off "what I could not be an engineer!" - sorry but I would have wagered quite a bit that you were not one.

SES is as much, if not more, about networking. Old friends who only exchange comments on forums or emails and the occasional phone call got to reconnect and enjoy the good weather in the outside beer gardens - the early Wednesday night session with the guys from Text Link Ads, Aaron Wall, the infamous SugarRae and sundry others was really entertaining even if the topics were a little off the SES scope. Well maybe just not main stream! Thanks for the couple of hours of laughs guys!

As usual the people from WebSideStory were out in force - I think you guys should now have information about my drinking habits to do a thorough analysis!

The T-shirt marketing campaign of Best of the Web has reached epic proportions. Every time I thought I had found Brian or Greg at the Google party it turned out to be someone else wearing their shirts. They were nearly as prevalent as Google T-Shirts!!! Hope there are plenty of pics of women in the small bikini strapped tees! I know Rae was wearing hers on Wednesday night.

The only downside of the event was getting home. The terrorists had to pick Wednesday night to be rounded up....

Feel free to add pics here guys and thanks for all the informative conversations!

Friday, August 4, 2006

Big Engines Form Click Management Working Group

Nice to know that the top tier search engines have formed an alliance to detail click types.
Their Click Management Working Group does show they want to deal with this. But that is sort of like letting the fox count the chickens....
For more details WebProNews has a good article.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

MySpace Changes T&C for Billy Bragg

Well maybe not just for him - but apparently the broad nature of the usage caused British folk rocker Billy Bragg to have all his music taken down from My Space.

His comments subsequently led to the changing of the Terms and Conditions.

Funny I have always liked Billy Bragg since his days as an alternative singer with his hit "Looking for New England".

One line of the song "I don't want to change the world". Guess old age has change his mind! Good one Billy!!!