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Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Yahoogle?

Recently, Google announced an agreement with rival search engine, Yahoo. In their blog, Google maintains that this agreement does not signify a merger, nor will it harm competition in advertising. However there is general concern over the extent that Yahoo will make use of these ads.

Although there are not a lot of details available as yet, some further information can be found in this blog post. According to this post, this agreement will enable Yahoo to display some Google Ads on their Search and Content Networks. The real question (and concern) is how will Yahoo make use of this.

If they only use Google Ads as filler for less competitive phrases, then likely this would likely have little impact on their own advertising clients. If they go further and start pitting their client’s bids against those of Adwords, costs will soar for advertisers using Panama. Read more…

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 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…

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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

This is the second 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 part one, you can view it here. Today I will be covering Yahoo’s Panama. Of the three, this is my least favoured, so I’m wearing my Yahoo Search Marketing ball cap today, to remind myself not to allow too much vitriol to slip into the article. Read more…

This is the first in a series of articles intended to convey my personal impressions of managing PPC through Google Adwords, Yahoo Panama and MSN Adcenter.Microsoft AdCenter logo

Each engine has its pluses and minuses and I thought I would write a short blurb describing my experiences using the interface for each of these. The first engine I will be looking at is the lesser utilized of the three, MSN Adcenter. Read more…

Search engine marketing budget - to cut or not to cut?Recession, recession, recession… I don’t know about you but I have had my fill of this doomsday word! It seems to me the panic caused by this word simply increases the chances of a recession occurring. Recessions, however, have a silver lining because they provide business owners with the opportunity to look long and hard at their expenses and this can provide valuable insight in strengthening the business long after a recession recedes. Some cut backs may become obvious such as eliminating frivolous office expenses and are a wise move but should business owners cut back on their web marketing? Lets look at the circumstances within web marketing where cutbacks may or may not make sense.

When You Should or Should Not Cut Back on Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization Campaigns
So what is unnecessary marketing? Logic dictates that any marketing that is not profitable is not worth keeping. That said, how certain are you that a particular form of marketing is not profitable? Perhaps the following questions and notes will help you decide Read more…

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Friday, March 14th, 2008

What is PPC?

PPC (Pay-per-click advertising) has been around for a while now and many site owners have either experimented with, or have at least heard of the marketing platform but surprisingly, there are still a large number of potential advertisers who have had no exposure to the world of PPC.

After fielding questions from new clients as well as our newest sales representative, I have decided to write an article to explain a few of the basics of what PPC is, some pro’s and cons and provide some insight into how it works.

PPC advertising is a means to let businesses advertise their products or services online, within search results or on other websites participating in an advertising network. The advertiser pays only when a potential customer clicks their ad and follows it to their site. The advertiser competes on ad display and positioning by bidding on relevant search terms. Read more…

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Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Today's Social Media Linkforth

Yahoo Search is aiming to show more useful information on its results page. Yahoo state’s it will eventually “enable 3rd parties to build and present the next generation of search results”. This includes bringing data found within a website like ratings and other useful information into it’s Yahoo search results page. Instead of just a website’s URL and abstract on its results page Yahoo will include “ratings, images, deep links, and all kinds of other useful data”. Although this is still in the works the plan is to let websites “regain some control over how their content is presented without allowing them to actually muck with search result ordering.”

Great Q & A from people working with social media (Lee Odden, Shana Albert, Neil Patel, Jane Copland). Topics include good sites to promote content, attracting links, social media as a marketing strategy, and an insiders guide to Social Media.

Google Maps is now including a “refine by user rating and neighborhood system” to its search results of local services (hotels, restaurants). So whether you are downtown or uptown you can find more specific and user rated search results.

Yahoo is changing its minimum bid for PPC. Depending on what keywords you are targeting your minimum bid can now be under the previous .10 cent minimum. Although this will not affect any competitive keywords it will likely help to lower costs of targeting smaller niche markets.

The policy at Google may not be changing regarding how they treat Display URL’s within AdWords accounts, but they are cracking down on those abusing the system. Effective April 1st of this year the display URL policy will be strictly enforced.

While the policy is relatively simple, some advertisers have found ways to abuse the system and in the light of some advertiser complaints, Google has decided to put its foot down in the act of fairness.

Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land has written on this in more detail and has given a few examples of acceptable and unacceptable Display URL’s, but in short, if your Display URL’s coincide with your landing page, you should have nothing to worry about.

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