Category Archives: Search Marketing

Google Chrome – Sweet, Now Google Will Know Everything!

Google just announced today on their blog that tomorrow they will be releasing a beta version of a browser they designed called ‘Chrome’.  While I use and appreciate many of the tools that Google produces, I often question, like many, their usage of personal data for ad displays. 

Google Chrome Interface

Google Chrome Interface

Currently Google analyzes that the content of the pages you look at to display ads that are related to the content of the page.  Once Google had the tracking power of Google Toolbar and now the Chrome browser, Google has the ability to track viewing and purchasing history for individual web users instead of individual web pages.  It is very similar to the power Amazon has to match you with products that people with similar purchase histories prefer, except during your entire web experience.  While it proves somewhat convenient to have products displayed to me on a shopping marketplace, I don’t want to have this targeted bombardment of advertisements in the same way every time I use the internet. 

Google Chrome Beta - Creates Privacy Concerns

Google Chrome Beta - Creates Privacy Concerns

I expect Google will release a statement saying that they will not use the technology for this purpose like several of their projects before, but this is just one more time when we are putting something of incredible strength and power into Google’s hands without any accountability for privacy.

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The Evolution of Web 3.0 and Semantic Web Search – Part 1

It is that easy

Get Ready For Some Veritas From An Insomniatic Internet Marketer

Ever since someone coined the phrase Web 2.0 it seems that people have been speculating and predicting what Web 3.0 will involve.  I guess I am no different except that my speculations are closer to mainly limited to how it will affect search engines.  It is very probably that Web 3.0 will include a surge in modular applications and a new dimension of social/open source media, but the largest development will be the release of semantic-style search to the mass market.

Currently, most search engine technology is based off simple word matching.  For instance, if your search for ‘pink auto’  in most standard search engines you will pull results for the term ‘pink auto’ and maybe even ‘hot pink automobiles’, but it is not likely that you will get results for a ‘magenta suv’ or a ‘flamingo-colored Cadillac”….(suddenly tired…to be continued)

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Q4 Is Finally Almost Over!

Today marks the last day for Christmas shipping on most of the sites I promote.  After what was feared to be a bad Q4, I have been surprised how the year has gone.  Our holiday season has set record sales levels despite working in a product vertical that is seeing significant YOY drops in demand.

Now I can finally get my Christmas shopping done since the frantic need ‘to squeeze every little penny’ out of the season is over.

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Hitwise.com – Is a 10mm Sample Size Enough?

Hitwise Announces New Features - Hitwise.com

Today Hitwise, a subsidiary of Experian, announced that they were making big change in their tool by offering the ability to differentiate between paid and natural terms that create traffic.  I am very excited about this change as I have been asking for this since I became a client about a year and a half ago.  For those of you who don’t know Hitwise as intimately as I do, let me share. 

Hitwise is a competitive intelligence tool that boasts a sample size of 10mm searchers.  Now, I know that sounds like a big number, but if you sell to a niche like most, that equals about 15 people a day for you entire industry.  By looking at the sample size from a statistical perspective, most industries (not including porn,  internet searches, and music downloads) are not getting a large enough sample size to warrant a P factor acceptable to justify using the data in key decision making.  Especially considering that a yearly Hitwise subscription is actually higher than the average annual salary here in SC.  If the data is not statistically relevant, then it’s just a market-share checker…an expensive market share checker.

 I can tell you that their customer service is great and that their analyst’s blog is very fun.  In the same way ‘Freakenomics’ looks at economics, they look at web analytics.  The blog reports that the tool can predict the American Idol winner and the winners of Australia’s recent federal elections…too bad it doesn’t always offer data that results in clients making money.

* Hitwise.com Update – Jan. 11, 2008 – I had a call with one of the reps from Hitwise.com yesterday and she showed me the new features and some of the features that I have not been using in Hitwise.  In the next couple days I will post another review of Hitwise considering some of the vast improvements they have made and some of the features I have never explored.

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Another Well Intentioned Blogger Dies….NAY I SAY! Just Busy.

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Like many of you, when a new blog goes un-updated for a couple weeks, I assume it has died and the owner has moved on to new hobbies and tasks.  Not this one.  If you don’t know by now, I am an in-house SEM / SEO.  I also have a team of people who work with PPC, affiliate marketing, and comparison shopping engines.  I also offer SEO / SEM/ Internet Marketing consulting.  Needless to say, I stay busy.

At my full-time job we just went through season change where all of our products are removed and completely new products replace them.  This “season changeover” as we call it, can really create a challenge for the SEO side of my work.  Most SEO experts are quick to say that SEO is not a one time act.  In the case of my company, it’s at-least a twice a year act.  Normally just as we get things where we want them, the season draws to an end and it is time to start working on next season’s content.  For some reason, my company likes to mingle this change over with the Thanksgiving holiday which means the stress of work and eccentric family get-togethers collide in a spectacular display of dysfunction and exhaustion.  We normally prevail year after year, but somethings get neglected such as this blog…..sleeping, eating, feeding pets, cutting grass, being social, caring about anything…the list goes on.  Also, I have been putting together a proposal for a new SEO client.  Did I mention I consult? SEO, PPC, SEM, affiliate…..?

All of that has been to say, I have been busy.  Soon I will return to discussing / ranting about the internet marketing world and all things related…and unrelated.

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Universal Search: How long will Universal Search last?

Google Universal Search

Direct marketing makes me look good to my bosses.  Traditional media marketing has made me look bad in the past.    Although, I am successful now, I still harbor contempt for traditional media marketers, their large budgets, and decreasing returns.  Just when I think that media marketers will surely die off, Google drops Universal Search into the equation. 

 I know that it has been on the horizon for a while, but I expected it to be temporary like the “One Box”.   I know, I know…..the One Box still exists, but not as prevalent as it was when it was first dropped.  Maybe that’s the case with Universal Search; the ridiculous front loaded relevancy on video and photos will soon taper off.  Actually, I know exactly when Google will begin to taper: It will happen when I finally get around to updating my robots.txt file to allow Google to index my video and images.  I also know when Google will completely  stop weighting video and image results…when I get my copywriter to append captions on all our video and image pages.

All that being said…it’s time to get all those robots files updated and to look for some help optimizing images and videos.  Also, maybe it’s time I go back to those traditional media marketers and get some advice on creating videos that sell, since the world is going to be seeing them now.

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Search Marketers Are Killing Search Marketing

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Ready for a rant?…. 

Today I had lunch with Tom Alison, SVP of SendTec.  SendTec coined, or at-least currently owns, the term search-centric marketing.  He and I talked about the depths of paid search not yet explored and at some point in the conversation it hit us both that we may not get to explore the deep depths of truly analytical, modeled, paid search marketing if the majority of search marketing firms keep offering the same level of mediocre service as they do now.  No where is this more prevalent that lead generation search marketing.  Agencies are throwing tons of low quality leads at clients in order to increase ad spend.  As a result, the credibility of the industry is being threatened. 

 I know leads I produce are going to be highly qualified and will convert.  Unfortunately, those types of leads are not abundant.  I would rather let my client know that the leads I produce for them are not haphazard.  I want clients to know that leads from search are highly qualified, market-share stealing, new-to-file, repeat customer leads.  Not a white-paper sign up based off of a slightly relative term.  Some people call tactics like that long term, I call it ripping clients off! 

Marketing Firms: Play by the rules or quit playing. Do what’s right. 

Clients: Make sure you budget isn’t bigger than your brain!

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