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A case was brought to French court surrounding the use of certain keywords through the use of Google AdWords.

Google AdWords offers advertisers a keyword tool which will often suggest variations of certain keywords to be added to a given campaign. Fashion retailer, Louis Vuitton is unhappy as AdWords has been noted to suggest terms such as “Louis Vuitton fakes” and “Louis Vuitton replicas”.

Because Google is essentially selling the advertising rights to these trademarks, Louis Vuitton alleges a trademark violation, and took the search giant to court – and won! Naturally Google has appealed and the case will now go to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

For a few years now Google has offered their AdWords advertisers an alternative to the online interface with AdWords Editor, a downloadable program offering additional functionality to make managing your campaigns just a little bit easier. Today at SMX Advanced, Kevin Johnson, Microsoft’s Platform & Services Division President, announced the launch of a similar such product for Microsoft adCenter, in Beta of course.

Microsoft’s vision is a fully functional desktop client version for adCenter, rather than just an editor. This means that tools such as those used for keyword research will be integrated into the software, a feature lacking by Google AdWords Editor.

This product launch will likely make many advertisers happy assuming it all goes smoothly. Our experience with adCenter is that of awkwardness as their interface is far from user friendly, taking several steps to complete a task done with only a single click over at Google.

Unlike many other beta launches that are accessible to only a select few deep pocket advertisers, adCenter Desktop beta is available to anyone with an account in good standing. If you meet the adCenter terms and conditions, you are eligible to apply. If interested in giving the beta a try, fill in their application form to be considered.

Google celebrates many holidays with pizazz by presenting a themed logo. On Memorial Day Google has not opted to provide a themed logo as long as I can remember, yet as Search Engine Journal depicted today many of the other search engines do a decent job of theming their logos.

So what is it with Google? Obviously no one in their right mind would have any problem with honoring active members, veterans and resting military personnel.

Google Adwords sample listingThis is the third in a series of articles intended to convey my personal impressions of managing PPC through Google AdWords, Yahoo Panama and MSN Adcenter. If you missed the earlier posts, you can find them here: Part 1 – A User’s Review of MSN adCenter; Part 2 – A User’s Review of Yahoo Search Marketing

Google is still by far the most popular of the 3 engines and therefore the AdWords Pay-Per-Click management system is the most utilized. As a result, AdWords is the most developed of the 3 systems.

Google Adwords LogoIf there is one thing I can say about Google it is that they are constantly coming out with new features. As there are a great many tools to cover, I have decided to leave off any sort of in depth look at them in this post. I will however, be writing a follow up looking exclusively at some additional features, particularly my personal favourite, which is AdWords Editor. Read more…

Microsoft offered a sneak peak back in February, and as of Tuesday the public beta of WorldWide Telescope has been made available, according to a Press Release issued by Microsoft.

The online virtual telescope has been created in response to Google’s launch of Google Sky a few years ago, and takes things to the next level with a huge database of high resolution images from various stars, galaxies, and other non-earthly entities. Ray Gould spoke about WorldWide Telescope back in February and noted that some of “the best images from the worlds greatest telescopes from earth and in space are woven them seamlessly to produce a holistic view of the Universe.”

“The WorldWide Telescope is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “By combining terabytes of incredible imagery and data with easy-to-use software for viewing and moving through all that information, the WorldWide Telescope opens the door to new ways to see and experience the wonders of space. Our hope is that it will inspire young people to explore astronomy and science, and help researchers in their quest to better understand the universe.”

WorldWide Telescope, Much like Google’s Earth & Sky products, is offered free and is currently available for download. While the user interface is quite different, the overall experience is very similar. WorldWide Telescope has a more modern and sleek interface than Google Sky, but in the end both have about the same to offer.

I prefer the Microsoft interface with easy graphic thumbnails to take you directly to the celestial body. Personally I find that this new beta release offers a higher level visual experience, which is why I would likely turn to it in the future.

The social web is rapidly growing and Google is trying to tap into this massive industry with the launch of Friend Connect. Released in a limited preview, Friend Connect allows web site owners to incorporate a number of gadgets to their site in an effort to improve the overall user experience.

Friend Connect helps webmasters make their websites more appealing, engage users, and help increase the average time on site. Incorporating a number of available social features is made easy, and does not require any programming skills whatsoever.

Webmasters select from a list of Google and Member gadgets, choose their colors and other options, and then simply cut and paste the code directly to their site.

When your site visitors opt in to use Friend Connect within your site, when they enter a review, post photos, or interact with your gadgets, notices are posted within their friends various social media accounts which can attract them to visit your site.

Currently Friend Connect is available only in a preview release, with select sites being accepted. If you are interested in participating, fill out the application form and cross your fingers that Google will accept you.

Over the past few weeks I have received a few questions regarding my 3 part series on How to Optimize for Google. This post will answer a few of the questions I have received.

Do hyperlinked images count as back links? Which scores higher, text or image links?

Yes, Google does count hyperlinked images, however, to get the most out of imaged based links it is best to have relevant, preferably keyword-rich, alt text tagged onto the image.

As far as which scores higher, for the most part they are equal, assuming that the image has the appropriate alt text. In some cases a text based link may actually pass on a little more value if it is located within a highly relevant paragraph as an in-line link. Read more…

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Google's Ad Quality Score Leaked

This morning I arrived at my desk to find a very welcome message from my friend and colleague Eric Lander. Apparently Google made a colossal boo-boo and exposed the quality score and max bids for some advertisements. As far as I know this is a first. Check out Eric’s article at Search Engine Journal.

Below is one of the screenshots of the leak from Eric’s article

In Part 1 and Part 2 of How to Optimize for Google I discussed general website optimization, links, and Google webmaster tools. In Part 3 we will look at a number of other considerations which play a role in successful rankings in Google, and also touch on some tactics which are best avoided. Read more…

Optimizing for top Google rankings includes a number of factors. In Part 1 of 3 we discussed onsite optimization. In Part 2 we will touch on incoming links as well as using Google Webmaster Tools.

Links are very important in today’s Google rankings, but just how many links you need will depend on both the competitiveness of your target phrases, and the quality of the incoming links themselves.

Essentially the number one rule of links is to keep it relevant! Topical relevance is very important in order for inbound links to give your site the most value. If the page that links to you is relevant that is good, if the entire site linking to you is relevant, that is better.

First to get an idea of how many links you may need, take a look at the top 10 ranking sites in Google and record how many links Yahoo is noting for each site. (This is because Google does not display anywhere near all the links they have noted). The average of this count is often a good indication of how many links your site may need. Read more…