Online Video Ads: What Small Business Advertisers Need To Watch For

According to comScore, U.S. Internet users watched 11.5 billion online videos in March, 2008. The average viewer watched nearly three hours of video online. These statistics make video an attractive means for advertisers to reach their audience, and in turn, a potential windfall for online video hosts such as YouTube and Google. So far, however, online video sites are finding that users want to be entertained with online video and not necessarily watch commercials. So how do small business advertisers effectively tap into the online video craze and relay their messages to target audiences? [...]


Sorry, Ask.com — I Still Don’t Think You’re Focused On Core Search

Back in March, after Ask.com seemed to be pulling away from search to some people, I wrote that Ask "killed the search engine," was no longer an innovator in search, and couldn't expect to compete against Google. Recently, I spoke with Ask.com CEO Jim Safka, who hoped to change my mind. He failed to do that, in the end. Safka's been reaching out to a number of the "digerati" who came out against Ask after the March news. Lisa Barone, who wrote about giving up on Ask, was contacted. Danny Sullivan's had a call and plans to write a piece from that. My turn was about three w [...]


So, You Think You’re A Search Engine Optimization Expert?

A few years ago, I wrote a three-part article series about the different levels of SEO skills: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. I placed copywriters at the beginner level, information architects and interface designers at the intermediate level, and web developers and programmers at the advanced level. At the time, I was pretty confident at the delineations, because it seemed that is how the perception of search engine optimization had evolved. Now, as I re-evaluate what I wrote, I am not so sure. Instead of seeing a continuum, where a true SEO expert can effectively perform the skills [...]


Google Finds A CFO From “Old Media”

Google has finally filled the CFO spot being vacated by George Reyes, the outgoing CFO who has been with the company since roughly 2002 (pre-IPO). The new CFO (and SVP) is Patrick Pichette, who was President of Operations at Bell Canada. He will report directly to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. There are likely dramatic cultural differences between Pichette's old firm and his new employer. In keeping with Google's preference for high GPAs and award winners, Pichette was a Rhodes Scholar. Here are some apparent details on his package and compensation. [...]


Search Marketing Meets Congress: Now In Video

Rob Snell, likely the first search marketer to testify before the US Congress, has done his duty. He emailed me, "We ran over the allotted time by 15 minutes or so, but they let us keep talking." So I guess Congress likes SEM, they really like it. Below, you can watch a video of his testimony. You can also see all the testimony given on this YouTube page. [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, June 25, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Keeping Visitors Engaged With Site Search B2B sites tend to be more difficult for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Perhaps it’s because things don’t always fit neatly into more intuitive consumer categories. Perhaps it’s because B2B sites are often laden with so much diverse information. While site owners can engineer enhanced usability, better... Behavioral Targeting Under Fire As ISP Backs Away From Tracking Subscriber ActivitiesPri [...]


Keeping Visitors Engaged With Site Search

B2B sites tend to be more difficult for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Perhaps it’s because things don’t always fit neatly into more intuitive consumer categories. Perhaps it’s because B2B sites are often laden with so much diverse information. While site owners can engineer enhanced usability, better optimize and structure content, or create better organic landing pages, none of these options is a quick fix. Google’s Site Search offers a quick, inexpensive way to keep visitors engaged and (hopefully) get them quickly to their destination on your site. We’ve all c [...]


Behavioral Targeting Under Fire As ISP Backs Away From Tracking Subscriber Activities

Privacy is dead, get used to it. In the effort to rescue display advertising from its historically dismal performance and so-called "banner blindness," behavioral targeting (BT) was born a few years ago with Tacoda. It has both increased in popularity and infamy since that time. Consumers prefer more "relevant" ads but they also dislike being tracked. That's the paradox and the problem with BT. Here's the issue in a nutshell. According to a March 2008 survey by Truste (written up in MediaPost), "nearly three out of four people, or 71%, said they realize that companies track their Web browsin [...]


Everything You Wanted To Know About Google’s Android

Well, sort of. If you're a developer you can get that information on the Android site. But if you're interested in the history of Android, how much Google may have paid for the platform, and its hypothetical outlook, you can read this long Wired article. (You can also read my short riff on it in Local Mobile Search.) According to Nielsen Mobile, Google already has a commanding lead in mobile search: 1. Google (61%) 2. Yahoo! (18%) 3. MSN (5%) One could thus argue that Google doesn't need Android to succeed to win in mobile. Indeed, there are tough competitors and skeptics that Google faces [...]


Google Posts Official Webmaster Help Group Chat Recordings, Transcript, & Presentations

Google has posted the official blog post summarizing last week's live chat event. Yes, we did post the unofficial version on Thursday night, but now we have the official version live for viewing. Q&A Transcript available via Google Groups John's Personalized Search Presentation via Google PresentationsMaile's Case Sensitivity in Web Search via Google Presentationsand the complete and edited version of the audio recording in MP3 format The following Googlers participated in the webmaster chat: Adam (lead the discussion), Bergy, Evan, Jessica, Maile, Matt (Cutts), Reid, and Wysz in Mountain [...]


Wednesday Webcast With Greg Sterling – National Brands Marketing Local

On Wednesday, Search Engine Land's contributing editor Greg Sterling will look at the current landscape of local search and how brand marketers can take advantage of this evolving channel in a webcast titled "National Brands Marketing Local." Research indicates that 82% of consumers who use a local search site have followed up with an offline action. Find out where local search is headed in this free educational webcast. Special thanks to our sponsor, TMP Directional Marketing. Register here. [...]


GooHoo Faces Hurdles, Yahoo And Microsoft In Talks Again?

Earlier today TechCrunch reported that Yahoo and Microsoft were in acquisition talks again. However, Silicon Alley Insider says that's incorrect and it's only about search. But that doesn't make much sense either given the recent rejection of that very proposal by Yahoo, unless the terms now being discussed are substantially different than before. CNBC says there are no talks happening. Meanwhile, some members of Congress are doing some saber rattling, expressing concerns about consumer privacy and the potential pricing implications of the Google-Yahoo search deal: "[The] announcement of a [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, June 24, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: June 2008 California Fire Maps Wildfires, again, in my home state of California. People are looking for maps of where they are at, so here are some resources:... What's a 404 to Do? Have you ever written a blog post or an article and after publishing it, gotten an email telling you that one of your links is broken? It happens to all of us once in a while. But what happens to the links that slip through the cracks and remain... Interview: Carter Masla [...]


June 2008 California Fire Maps

Wildfires, again, in my home state of California. People are looking for maps of where they are at, so here are some resources: NOTE: For the latest fires, see this fire maps section of Search Engine Land, where any updates are listed. California Fires 2008 is an excellent map pinpointing fires across the state. Just excellent work. It's embedded over at KSBW so that you get a key for the color of each "thumbtack" marking a fire (blue is smaller; red is largest). See also the wildfires section that has a list of more detailed maps for particular fires. Significant California Fires [...]


What’s A 404 To Do?

Have you ever written a blog post or an article and after publishing it, gotten an email telling you that one of your links is broken? It happens to all of us once in a while. But what happens to the links that slip through the cracks and remain broken? They become unused link juice to the site they’re aimed at, and in an algorithmic era that treats links as its largest form of currency, unused link juice is like throwing money on the ground. Some might argue that a broken link or two here and there won’t really affect things much… much like picking up a nickel or two that you fin [...]


Interview: Carter Maslan On Google’s Local Business Center Upgrade

Google Maps recently introduced a new user interface for the Local Business Center. There were some issues with the upgrade and Carter Maslan, Google's Director of Product Management for Local, agreed to answer some of my questions about the process in a phone conversation. Below, selected excerpts from our conversation: Mike Blumenthal: What was the goal of the upgrade? What prompted the change? Carter Maslan: We wanted to address usability issues to make it simpler to get through the process and having it flow on a single screen was a big driver. Usability was the main motivator... simpl [...]


Mr. Google, Tear Down This Google Trends Wall!

About two seconds after Google Trends For Websites came out, people started noticing that one company's websites oddly had no data available -- Google's own. Google will tell you all about the traffic to competitors like Yahoo and Microsoft but gives away nothing about itself. The same is true for the newly-released Google Ad Planner tool. It's not right, despite Google's weak excuse of not wanting to provide "financial guidance" about itself via the tool. Google either needs to post its own information pronto or allow any company to opt out. The First Rule Of Google Trends [...]


Google Ad Planner Launches, Offers Site Demographic Profiles

Google has launched Google Ad Planner as an invite-only beta. It's designed to allow advertisers to identify sites with demographics they're interested in -- even sites that aren't part of Google's advertising network. The tool provides a greater depth of information about sites than Google Trends For Websites that came out last week. In fact, that's more a "light" version that Google told Search Engine Land was spun off from Google Ad Planner: Initially, we were going to launch only Google Ad Planner. However, when Google management looked at the product, they wanted to make s [...]


Google Introduces Map Maker For “Uncharted” Regions

There's an interesting analogy to the 15th and 16th Centuries when European explorers (or colonialists) were out sailing and mapping the globe. The world was not entirely known and mapped at that time. So it is today on the Internet. While many areas are highly developed and well documented in online mapping, there are others that offer little information. Google has been trying to address that by opening up Earth and Maps to users through My Maps and collaborative map editing. Now comes Map Maker, which takes this to the next level. Map Maker allows people to edit or add: --Borders and reg [...]


Google Adds “Report Images” To Web Search Results

Finding adult images on Google by doing an ordinary web search is not all that uncommon these days. In fact, I reported one such as in March and another case this morning at the Search Engine Roundtable. What I also noticed this morning was a new feature to "report images" to Google that are found within web search. For example, a search on new bathroom brings up an adult image, but I was able to report that search result to Google directly from that page: After you click on the "Report image," you are asked to confirm: Then after you confirm, Google gives you a "thank you" message: [...]


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