Clickable Phone Numbers with Mobile AdWords

If you are one of those mobile internet enthusiasts you should be thrilled that Google AdWords has clickable phone numbers displayed with their ads (launched in January). Since the change you have had the option to allow users to call you directly just the same way as if they were to click on your ad to go to your site. By setting this up in a separate part of your Google AdWords account, you can give the option for the system to make this functional. Read more…

I don’t usually write about scams, but had a fun phone call this morning and thought I would just put out a warning for the 1 or 2 readers out there who may fall victim to such a scam.

I got a phone call from an unknown-name, unknown number. Well, actually my wife answered the call, and when I overheard the conversation I quickly asked for the phone before she hung up – I knew immediately what the call was about and I wanted to have some fun.

The caller starts off by identifying himself as working for Microsoft, and that the reason he is calling is that he wants to protect my computer from viruses. You see, apparently my computer has been sending him error messages, kind of an SOS message, and his job is to respond to these messages and help fix the problem. Its awfully nice of Microsoft to be looking out for me like this without having to even ask. Read more…

Have you ever wondered how viewers respond to a particular movie or commercial? Does it retain an audience or do people leave straight away? Wouldn’t it be useful to know specifically what parts of a movie or commercial are popular so that your next video posting can be better than your previous?

Video Link: Humans vs. a can of Coke at high altitude

Within my own company, Applied Brain and Vision Sciences, we use StepForth’s web marketing savvy and tools like YouTube and Google Analytics to help us direct our own marketing approaches and help us identify market opportunities for technology development. One of the distinct advantages of having StepForth house my own company is our physical proximity to each other; there is a wonderful on-going cross-pollination of ideas and know-how.

Using The YouTube Insight Viewer Retainment ToolWe recently used the YouTube tool called “Insight” to quantify the success of one of our recent promotional campaigns for our high altitude research. The short-term goal of our project is simple: go where the oxygen availability is low and collect brain function and behavioral data. The long-term goal is a little more complicated. We will use the data to better understand how the brain works and how to develop better signal processing algorithms. First, however, it is important to raise public awareness about our project so that we don’t do all of this work in a vacuum (no pun intended) where nobody knows what we’re doing. Our means to raise public awareness was to create a video of us at high altitude that is exciting, humorous, and retains the attention of the audience. Read more…

Yesterday Google formally announced it is acquiring Motorola for $12.5 billion dollars in an effort to stem off intellectual property lawsuits from companies such as Apple, Oracle and Microsoft; here is the official investor’s notice to Google owners and here is the live blogging record from the press conference. The rest of this post will examine some of the benefits of this acquisition through related links and other external information. In a way, what you will see is my own research on this interesting move on Google’s part; I hope you find it informative.

Here is an snippet from the official investor’s notice which outlines very basically the reason for the purchase:

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

To get to the meat of this purchase, however, we need to consider the following snippets from the Wall Street Journal’s article on this acquisition:

Android is an example of open-source software that is designed to allow outside engineers to tinker with the way it works. While that makes Android highly customizable—companies using the software can optimize it for their devices—it also has left the operating system vulnerable to intellectual-property lawsuits.

Motorola’s patents will help Google address that weakness, which already has prompted a lawsuit by database giant Oracle Corp. Motorola, of Libertyville, Ill., holds or has applied for a total of 24,500 patents.

A version of the Motorola and Google logos in the same image

As noted above this purchase will strengthen Google’s position as a patent holder in the mobile space and hopefully thwart or minimize the legal actions against Motorola. That said, what kind of patents are of interest that would provoke such a major leap? I have little or no experience with patents (unlike search engine patent expert Bill Slawski) but it appears the following would stand out as welcome additions to the Google portfolio: Read more…

An image of Micheal Blumenthal - aka Professor Maps because he is a Google Places ExpertOn their radio show, SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM, Ross Dunn and John Carcutt had the opportunity to speak with Mike Blumenthal (AKA, “Professor Maps”); the guru of Google Places and blogger of “Understanding Google Maps and Local Search.”

If you are a business owner with a local presence, you are sure to find this 60 minute interview invaluable. Below is a summary of what was discussed. To listen the entire show, you can download it for free on iTunes at

Important note: These interview highlights have been paraphrased unless quotes are used.  

Ross - Mike Blumenthal has spent the last 6 years studying Google Places; how it works and how it affects the entire local ecosystem.

John - He is known as Professor Maps because he literally knows everything there is to know about this. I am really excited to pick his brain today. Read more…

A photo of John Mueller - Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst

Ross Dunn and John Carcutt had the opportunity to speak with John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst from Google Switzerland, on their popular radio show, SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM. In their exclusive 60 minute interview they covered topics including Google Webmaster Tools, the Plus One button,and Google+. Below are just some of the interview highlights.

To hear the entire show (it is well worth the listen) download it on iTunes at

Important note: These interview highlights have been paraphrased unless quotes are used.  

Dunn: John, you are a Google Switzerland Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst. What exactly does that entail?

Mueller: My primary role is to connect Webmasters with engineers at Google. I try to make sure everyone is speaking the same language and all the feedback we get from Webmasters  is communicated effectively to our engineers.

Dunn: How did you start working at Google? Read more…

The logo for the Victoria Web Marketing MeetupIn the latest Victoria Web Marketing Meetup we chose to do a night featuring live reviews of websites owned by attendees. The idea was to answer any pressing questions for at least 3 site owners while educating (or refreshing) the rest of the Meetup crowd. It was a lot of fun and although we had fully planned for a break half way through the 2 hour session the questions just kept coming and I decided to keep up the momentum… I would like to think attendees got a lot out of it. Anyway, below are a few of the issues I noted on the reviewed sites along with some answers provided for anyone who missed the evening or wants access to the URLs mentioned. I hope you find it useful.

1. How to optimize your website for local search

In this situation the website provided a local service but did not have its address located in the footer of each page on the site. I strongly recommended updating the footer to include the name address and phone number (AKA N.A.P) for the company because it would increase the odds the site would appear in local search results on Google. I also stressed the importance of using the same formatting for the address everywhere on the site and the Internet to maximize the likelihood Google & Bing would give them credit for their address. Read more…

Being that the +1 button from Google came out a few months ago in organic search, we are now seeing this +1 button with AdWords ads. Similar to how this button works in the organic listings, when a person who has visited and likes your site clicks the +1 button, your AdWords ad will now show a little +1 next to your display ad. This gives the users a chance to give some input on how they feel about the click they had made, and the visit to your website.


Will this change how people click on AdWords ads?

We feel that this will definitely change the way people click on ads regarding paid positions. For example, if a site in position 3 or 4 has many +1 clicks and is liked very much, a surfer may click on this ad first over the ad in position 1. We feel this will increase the click through rate on lower positions in AdWords, which is great because these positions are cheaper than the top position. Currently we are recommending all of our clients who use AdWords to at least try the +1 button on their site. Read more…

An image of the Google +1 button The following is a quick heads up to any designers out there who like me may wish to protect what little hair they have left from being pulled out. It turns out the Google +1 (aka “PlusOne”) button conflicts with the Javascript onMouseMove(event). This is not my cup of tea but I know our in-house programmer has a headache from this and there is a handy thread at Google for interested parties to follow who may be facing the same issue. I know John Mueller has received notice of the issue so hopefully there will be a fix soon.

To quote “Fine Art America” who started the support thread at Google Webmaster Central, this is the issue: Read more…

Learn how to create a list of links that are benefiting your competitors so you can obtain them as well. This competitor analysis tutorial focuses on the incoming links portion of offsite SEO competitor analysis. Taught by search engine optimization (SEO) industry veteran Ross Dunn (of WebmasterRadio.FM’s SEO 101 Radio Show) this tutorial will provide you with the tools and tactics you need to improve your competitiveness in search engine rankings.

Elements of this analysis include: how to find your competitors backlinks, how to determine why your competitor is succeeding online (from an offsite perspective), how to check if your competitor is spamming Google, how to beat whois privacy protection (legally), how to conduct a link popularity analysis, and much more.
Read more…