Playing Games With Customers: Is Foursquare The Future Of Local Search?

Congratulations! You are now the Mayor of Search Engine Land! If that sounds familiar you are one of the growing number of people using/playing Foursquare, a mobile app that uses the location of your mobile device to encourage users to "check in" wherever they might be in exchange for points and recognition like becoming the Mayor of McDonald's, or wherever else you might happen to be. Yelp recently launched a similar feature and GoWalla provides its own spin on this conceit. So more people are checking out checking in. You might wonder, what does all this have to do with local search? [...]


OneRiot Launches RiotWise Ad Network For Real-Time Search

OneRiot has announced the full rollout of RiotWise, a service that it calls "the first ad network for the realtime web." Today's launch follows a pilot phase that the company says was successful in allowing developers to monetize mobile apps, desktop clients, social search engines, and similar applications. Partners during the pilot phase included Digsby and UberTwitter, among others, while advertisers included sports networks, news organizations, and entertainment sites. Here's an example of ads from the program being shown in OneRiot's feed, tied to the "Conan O'Brien" trending topic: [...]


How To Optimize A Mobile AdWords Campaign

Google is going mobile in a big way. Following the announcement of Nexus One, the official Google phone, and the acquisition of adMob, Google is ready to make some serious moves on the small screen. Early days of mobile advertising Before smart phones hit the market, mobile advertisers were confined to the small screens of traditional mobile units. Web access on those phones was painful and expensive"web pages" on those phones often consisted of nothing more than several hyperlinks. Needless to say, the technology never really took off. The iPhone changed all of that in late 2007, by off [...]


SEMPO Says Time To Get Serious About Mobile Search

SEMPO yesterday released a "POV" white paper that seeks to orient search marketers to the growing mobile market, mobile SEO and mobile paid search in particular. It cites the dramatic growth of mobile web usage and anticipated future growth in arguing that search marketers now need to take mobile seriously. Developed by SEMPO's Emerging Technologies Committee, the report asks (and seeks to answer) several key questions: What mobile channels are available to search marketers and which show the most promise? What are the prospects for search, particularly local search, on mobile devices, [...]


Micro-Hoo: The Details Emerge With SEC Filing

First to pounce on the SEC 8-K filing by Yahoo was PaidContent, which provides an extensive bulleted list of many of the deal terms not revealed last week during the frenzy of conference calls and articles that followed the official announcement of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal. CNET also writes about selected aspects of the deal contained in the filing, specifically an "escape clause" (termination) for Yahoo (see below). And the AP has a short piece on how the deal terms require Microsoft to hire at least 400 Yahoo employees. Here are some verbatim excerpts from the SEC filing: Negotiat [...]


Google Shuts Down Business Pages For Mobile Ads

Tim Cohn tipped us to his blog post about the end of Google's Business Pages for Mobile Ads product. When logged into his AdWords account, Tim found this alert: "AdWords Business Pages for mobile ads are being retired. As the first stage, you will no longer be able to edit your mobile Business Page after March 23. Please make any necessary changes before that time." Business Pages for Mobile Ads was a free service tied into mobile ad campaigns, and it included a "wizard" to simplify the creation of mobile business web pages. Google launched the service in November, 2007. Tim suggests [...]


Google AdWords Adds New Mobile Targeting Options

Google has announced new mobile advertising options to target the iPhone, G1, and other mobile devices with full HTML web browsers. Advertisers can now create separate campaigns that are targeted specifically toward mobile searchers with smart phones. You can write mobile-specific ads and get performance data separate from your other AdWords campaigns. This new mobile targeting is turned on by default for current AdWords advertisers. To throttle it on or off, look for the "Device Platform" option of the "Networks and bidding" section on the "Campaign Settings" page in your account ( [...]


Location in the Browser: What Does It Mean?

Not long ago, Google rolled out its "Geolocation API" (via Google Gears). Initially it was intended to enable third party publishers and developers to get location for their apps on mobile devices using a combination of the phone's inherent location-awareness technologies (i.e., GPS) and Google's cell-tower database (which has been expanded now to include WiFi locations). However it also works for destkop browsers, provided that Gears is installed on the computer. Here's the Google Code Blog discussing the impact: When we originally proposed the Gears Geolocation API our goal was to make i [...]


Blyk And MySpace: Will Ad-Subsized Mobile Services Fly?

There is a belief, held by many, that there is a bright future for ad-supported or subsidized mobile services. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt floated this idea as far back as November 2006. Now, the long-delayed Blyk in the U.K is live and MySpace in the U.S. has announced an ad-supported model (and a richer subscription model) for a mobile version of its application in an effort to attract usage. Blyk is a mobile operator aimed at 16-24 year olds and will offer a limited number of free, ad-supported minutes and text messages. According to the site: When you join Blyk you get a free SIM with 217 [...]


Comparing Mobile Ads In Google & Yahoo

Google recently opted-in many of their clients’ PPC ads to appear in Google Mobile search results. Yahoo has been offering a small suite of mobile ads for a while now, too, so I thought it’d be interesting to compare their current mobile ad offerings. This article is part of Local Search Week here at Search Engine Land, a special look at local search marketing issues in the run-up to our SMX Local & Mobile conference next month. Google’s announcement that they would automatically opt-in many of their ads to appear on the mobile platform seems somewhat controversial, since [...]


Mobile Search Forecasts: Apples And Oranges

The Kelsey Group added its mobile forecast to the range of other forecasts out in the market. The problem with all of these is that, like local search forecasts, there are fundamental definitional issues about how the marketplace is framed and conceptualized. Kelsey says "U.S. mobile search advertising revenues to grow from $33.2 million in 2007 to $1.4 billion in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 112 percent." eMarketer has lower numbers and Jupiter has higher numbers, among several others. Google's decision yesterday to push its AdWords advertisers out via mobile ( [...]


Survey: Mobile Users Most Receptive To Paid-Search Ads

An Ingenio sponsored survey conducted by Harris Interactive, released today, captured a broad range of user attitudes and behaviors toward mobile phones and mobile advertising. The survey polled just over 4,000 adults in the US. Among other things, it confirmed that more people own mobile phones than landlines and that users were most receptive to the equivalent of paid-search ads vs. other types of mobile advertising. Below are some of the highlights from the survey findings. Forty-nine percent of mobile phone owners currently use their phones for more than just making and receiving phone [...]


‘Local Search Advertising: Challenges and Opportunities’ Revisited

Last Thursday I did a webcast for Search Marketing Now on local search called "Local Search Advertising: Challenges and Opportunities." The slide presentation and a recording of the webcast are available here. Those who didn't attend can still hear the webcast and access the slides by registering for free. The presentation was intended to be a very broad introduction and discussion of the topic and some of the complexities and issues associated with local search. One of my personal "projects" is to expand the definition of "local search" from the currently narrow idea of "searches performed [...]


AOL Buys Third Screen Media Ad Network

Seemingly in parallel with the land grab going on online, mobile M&A is heating up. Earlier this month, Microsoft acquired EU ad firm ScreenTonic and prior to that voice services and directory provider Tellme. Today, mobile ad network Third Screen Media went to AOL and will become a subsidiary of Advertising.com. Microsoft had been seen as a Third Screen suitor earlier in the year. Third Screen is a strategic acquisition for AOL, as mobile becomes a more important category and advertising becomes the source of more and more revenue for AOL. [...]


PhoneSpots Launches Mobile ‘Ad Exchange,’ Announces AT&T Deal

Directory assistance vendor PocketThis has rebranded as PhoneSpots and relaunched a new mobile ad "exchange." The company has been around since 1999 and pioneered the "send to mobile" feature now in widespread use on local search sites. PocketThis originally offered enhanced results (additional content and links) from directory assistance queries when users opted to receive them as text messages. Its relationships were primarily in Europe. Now the company has changed its name, greatly expanded its model and is announcing a partnership with AT&T's YellowPages.com. PhoneSpots will power the de [...]


Free Webcast This Thursday: Revving Up For Mobile Search Marketing

I moderated the two mobile search panels at SES New York a couple of weeks ago, and was fascinated by how quickly the mobile search space is moving from a potential to a real opportunity for savvy search marketers. Mobile search is still in its infancy, but it's clearly on the verge of exploding, and search marketers who get in the space early are going to have a significant edge on everyone else. On Thursday, I'll be presenting the webcast Revving Up for Mobile Search Marketing through our sister site, Search Marketing Now. I'd like to extend a personal invitation to all search marketers to [...]


Yahoo Launches Mobile Ad Network & Mobile Publisher Services

Yahoo has launched a new Yahoo Mobile Publisher Services site designed to offer one-stop shopping for publishers that want to get mobile content into Yahoo in various ways. In particular, the services offered will be: Yahoo Mobile Ad Network: Will put ads out through Yahoo's mobile network. Includes display ads, sponsored links and oddly, "video or in-game placements."   Yahoo Mobile Content Engine: A special search engine designed to carry mobile-specific material, which will power the Yahoo oneSearch service.   Yahoo Mobile Media Directory: A directory of mobile conte [...]


Ingenio Adds Medio Systems To Mobile Distribution

Pay-per-call provider Ingenio has added white label mobile search vendor Medio Systems to its distribution network. In addition to a range of online destinations, Ingenio is working with a number of mobile search sites and providers: JumpTap, Live.com/MSFT, AOL, go2, UpSnap and 1-800-FREE411. Last week Medio put out this release, claiming the be the leader in North American mobile search. And Medio also just announced the launch of its own mobile ad network. [...]


1-800-Free411 To Launch Local Category Search

Jingle Networks' free directory assistance (DA) service 1-800-FREE411 is slated this week to launch a new "category search" option, where you call to get matches of businesses in an area that relate to a category of interest (such as movie theaters in Los Angeles, or a dentist in San Francisco). To date Jingle has offered a free, ad-supported alternative to consumer-paid 411 services, which has largely duplicated the "what city, what listing?" model of conventional DA -- albeit with ads. With the addition of category search, callers will now be able search with more flexibility by business ty [...]


Microsoft’s Tellme Acquisition ‘Accelerates’ Mobile Search Competition

Notwithstanding Microsoft's own existing speech assets, the Tellme acquisition appears to be complementary and strategic for Microsoft across the board. There were the four principal areas, identified in the release, that would be pursued or enhanced by the acquisition: unified communications, speech platform, software plus services and mobile services and search. Indeed, Microsoft wants to put a speech front end on all its applications and on its OS. While this holds some interesting possibilities for search on the desktop and for the desktop itself the real promise from a consumer standpoin [...]


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