MSN & Hidden Links for MSN Search Advertising

Thread Title: MSN & Hidden Links for MSN Search Advertising Thread Url: http://advertising.msn.com/searchadv/ Thread Description:

Hover your mouse just to the right of the butterfly on the MSN page threadlinked above...

Hidden links eh? Hope Google don't ban them hehe....

This catch bought to you courtesty of rumours@threadwatch.org - thanks to the anon source who mailed me :)

M$ vs Google - Winner Takes all?

Thread Title: What’s Next for Google Thread Url: http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/01/issue/ferguson0105.asp?p=0 Thread Description:

Interesting piece threadlinked above over at Tech Review by the former owner of Front Page, Charles Ferguson. Front Page being the dreadful, code choking joke of the web-dev world.

Charles sold FP to M$ and made a bomb rather than see his company die. He likens that to the decisions now facing Google:

Google now faces choices as fundamental as those Netscape faced in 1995. Google, whose headquarters in Mountain View, CA—familiarly called the Googleplex—is only five kilometers from Netscape’s former home, needn’t perish as Netscape did, but it could. Despite everything Google has—the swelling revenues, the cash from its initial public offering, the 300 million users, the brand recognition, the superbly elegant engineering—its position is in fact quite fragile. Google’s site is still the best Web search service, and Gmail, its new Web-based e-mail service, Google Desktop, its desktop search tool, and Google Deskbar, its toolbar, are very cool. But that’s all they are. As yet, nothing prevents the world from switching (painlessly, instantly) to Microsoft search services and software, particularly if they are integrated with the Microsoft products that people already use.

Thoughts on M$ vs Google anyone?

Wiki Spam gaining Momentum and Coverage

Thread Title: WikiSpam Thread Url: http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?WikiSpam Thread Description:

As bloggers finally get a little more savvy in ways to thwart agressive search marketers automatically commenting on thousands of blogs at a time, wiki spam gains ground as the next wave of auto link generation strategy.

A wiki, for those still in the dark, is defined by Wiki.org as:

Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.

Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.

The threadlink above defines wiki spam:

Google measures its PageRank? based on links from one site to another, plus the PageRank? of the site linking to the other. Wikis are PageRank? machines, being both massively linked and with hundreds or thousands of pages. These two factors--openness and PageRank?--make wikis the ideal target for spam attacks. While this was well known for years, it took TheSeptemberThatNeverEnded before WikiSpam become economical enough to justify a spammer's attention.

and continues to explain why a wiki is an attractive spam vehicle:

Spammers are not asking you click on the link, although if you do they are happier. What they are looking for is higher Google results. The most useful wikis to spam are not even the most popular wikis, but rather the least traffic and the least PeerReviewed wikis. While previous spam techniques saught to hit sites with incredibly high PageRank?, it's possible now to use Google (ironically) and a robot to write links on millions of smaller WikiAsPIMs whose owners will not revert the vandalism since they won't notice. Millions of links from smaller sites is better than a few links from larger sites.

Affiliate Marketing in 2005 - Where to next?

Thread Title: Affiliate Marketing 2005 -- Do Merchants & Affiliates Have Unrealistic Expectations? Thread Url: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2878 Thread Description:

A MarketingSherpa survey/report has some interesting findings from 2004 and predictions for affiliate marketing in 2005.

One of the areas covered is "worrisome tactics" of which i'll post a brief summary, there is lots more detail at the threadlink above:

Worrisome Tactics

Search Marketing 30-40% of respondants use paid search placement to drive traffic 49% of all said they'd not work with a merchant that banned paid search 27% said they'd not work with a merchant that banned trademark terms 51% of merchants had restrictions on search marketing 21% had banned paid search Search driven revenues to decline due to: Googles "death stance" - the active chipping away at affilate avenues of revenue generation Increased trademark protections

The list goes on to include email, popups and spyware. They also list things merchants can do to better their affiliate generated revenue but, the above is the most interesting to Threadwatchers i think.

So, what do the Threadwatch boys and girls think the future holds for affiliates?

Google Engineer Exposes non-profit Site as a Fraud

Thread Title: Help-Stop-Smoking Site Rankings Drop Out Of Google - Non-Profit site - Please Help! Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showpost.php?p=27220&postcount=21 Thread Description:

In the post above a google engineer, GoogleGuy exposes a website that was stated as being a non-profit quit smoking site as a clumsy blackhat affiliate fraud.

It's the funniest thing i've seen in a very long time and there is much to learn from it. First, here's choice quote:

Interesting, I didn't realize that SEW was okay with people posting specifics. bobmutch, you're saying that quitsmokingsupport.com is a non-profit site? Here's what I see when I look. Last time I checked, I saw dozens of links to quit-smoking-quitting-smoking-stop-smoking.com. Oh look, from quit-smoking-quitting-smoking-stop-smoking.com, I'm able to take care of my other health needs, from friendly vendors such as pheromones-perfume-cologne-attract-woman-man-human-androsterone.com, attract-woman-man-androsterone-human-pheromone-perfume-cologne.com, better-orgasms-sexual-dysfunction-libido-enhancement-enhancer.com, and of course diet-pills-natural-fast-weight-loss-supplements-fat-product.com. That's quite a bit of help.

ROFLMFAO!

He also goes on to point out that the website in question, for a "non profit" is linking out to a whole stack of blackhat agressive affilate scum sites... and that on at least one of them, it's easy to spot some very amateur hidden links using CSS.

So, what can we learn from this?

Dont post your sites on forums - well, duh... Sites you link to can affect your rankings - well, duh... Google aren't stupid - well, duh... Think before you post - well, duh...

That one has made my week, it's an absolutely corking thread - killer funny!

Brands need to Follow Consumers - VC $$$'s fund Spam in 2005

Thread Title: Where's venture capital headed in 2005? Spam, for starters Thread Url: http://www.siliconbeat.com/entries/2004/12/14/wheres_venture_capital_headed_in_2005_spam_for_starters.html Thread Description:

SiliconBeat in the threadlink above discuss where VC money will be going next year. Spam (loose definition) is one key area as brands are forced to follow a TV abandoning consumer.

One VC from Mobius said:

Advertising as we have known it is over. Brand owners need to go where you are, and that isn’t on network television or the newspaper. In order to promote their brands and attract and maintain relationships with consumers, brand owners will have to come to you, on your wireless device, with your media stream, on your pc. In addition, they’ll have to follow you wherever you go -- into the retailer, the entertainment venue, or your place of business. As this revolution occurs, it will create huge opportunities for those companies who have created compelling in-venue experiences that can incorporate brand messages in a seamless manner. Also to benefit will be those companies who have created new and interesting ways to make brand advertising fun, unobtrusive, personalized, relevant, and continuing for the consumer.

It's an interesting read, and provokes speculation on where brand advertising is headed over the next few years.

Will we see brands die on TV and will they chase us wherever we go? Will it intude upon our online habbits and media consumption as it stands now?

Yahoo! & Nextel Team up for Yahoo! Mobile

Thread Title: Yahoo! and Nextel Join Forces to Launch Yahoo! Mobile Internet Across Nextel's Digital Wireless Network Thread Url: http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20041214005282&newsLang=en Thread Description:

Yahoo! and Nextel have reached an agreement to provide Yahoo Mobile services on Nextel handheld devices.

This will inlude email, messenger, news and games.

Doug Garland, vp of Y! Mobile said:

"Our new relationship with Nextel and the launch of Yahoo! Mobile Internet across their network is further proof of Yahoo!'s appeal to our carrier partners, and we are pleased to continue to develop solutions that drive adoption and usability of mobile data services in the United States."

Sounds like a great move to me, i know were the service available to me, i'd most likely use it. What do you think?

Predictions for 2005 - Where is Internet Marketing Headed?

Thread Title: Buzz-Informed Predictions for 2005 Thread Url: http://www.clickz.com/experts/brand/cmo/article.php/3446711 Thread Description:

Pete Blackshaw has a small piece at clickz talking about the future of advertising and specifically, predictions for 2005 - The main points are:

Blogs continue to trail blaze, monetization becomes key Cinema adds to get squeezed as consumer backlash breaks out Product placement makes it BIG as traditional ads continue to catch flak More integrated branding cock ups. TV ads failing to sync with the company website become more and more common Noisey ads get ditched in favor of sponsored quiet time: "this moment of silence was bought to you by..." :-)

So, with those general ad predictions out of the way, what do we think is in store for internet advertising / marketing in 2005?

Here's a couple off the top of my head:

Podcasting breaks all possible rules and becomes the no.1 viral ad form for companies aiming at the younger markets Viral becomes much, much bigger RSS ads: Overture's contextual RSS ads prove a success, google follows suit Yahoo launch a contextual ad network We see at least another 100 (well, maybe not..) contextual ad networks spring up and the 80/20 rule sets in leaving just Adsense, Overture and Kanoodle as the main players Towards the end of the year, we see the first real examples of mobile advertisng that normal websites could use

Come on, embarrass yourself by trying to predict the future...

Search Engine Filters and Penalties

Thread Title: Google, filters and penalties Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3267 Thread Description:

This one gets asked a lot but there is some decent advice and comments on this one.

Marcia

The discussion about whether or not there is such a thing as "filters" being applied by Google has come up several times, so it seems it would be good idea to examine the issue and get a clear picture about how filters operate.

Good idea Marcia :)

DaveN

some google penalties

Banned

“Slow Death”

-30 ( )

PR0

Guestbook / Links Pages

Site Has PageRank but will Not Pass it On

Prime Keyword Penalties ( oop )

Other Factors Redirects, Duplicate Pages or very simalar Pages

I wonder how many of these Mr DaveN has encountered personally? hehehe

All in all a top thread, one for the bookmarks to show people. Knowing the faces present here, would anyone care to add? Perhaps even suggest some known Yahoo ones?

Google Library: Google Adding Major Libraries to Database

Thread Title: Indexing 15 Million Books Thread Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/14/technology/14google.html?oref=login&pagewanted=all&position=top Thread Description:

Google is on it's way of indexing the worlds information with an estimated 15 millions books with a indexing cost of around $10 a piece! Question is how they going to monetize it.

Note: It's a New York Times Article so you need to register to read full article or use Bugmenot :)

Google, the operator of the world's most popular Internet search service, plans to announce an agreement today with some of the nation's leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web.

Although Google executives declined to comment on its technology or the cost of the undertaking, others involved estimate the figure at $10 for each of the more than 15 million books and other documents covered in the agreements. Librarians involved predict the project could take at least a decade.

ICANN: .jobs & .mobi given Preliminary Okay

Thread Title: Two domain names get preliminary OK Thread Url: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2945077 Thread Description:

ICANN have given the sponsor proposed TLD's .JOBS and .MOBI a preliminary nod of approval.

I tend to agree with techdirts point about the .mp domains not really being needed and although i can see more use in it than .mobi, the .jobs tld is well, superfluous to say the least.

The .jobs domain situation is even worse. Were people really having that much trouble finding the "jobs" pages on various company websites? That seems unlikely. In fact, the stories we've seen suggest recruiters are being inundated with resume spam from undeserving candidates. All this really means is that all these companies will now feel the need to go out and register their company name with the .jobs registrar, even if they have no real need for it.

This from the AP story threadlinked above:

Sponsored by leading mobile phone and technology companies, including Nokia Corp., Microsoft Corp. and T-Mobile, the ".mobi" domain would set apart Web sites and other services that are specially designed to work around the limitations of cell phones, including their smaller screen size and data capacity.

and this:

The ".jobs" suffix, meanwhile, would go to members of the human resources community.

A company might keep job postings at "Company.jobs," rather than force visitors to navigate the main site, whose home page tends to have only general information about a company and its products.

You can also find the ICANN .job & .mobi prosal details here

Well, what do you think, are they useless or fantastic? I'll be getting a .mobi for sure but im not convinced on either tld...

SES Chicago Covarage by Barry Schwartz

Thread Title: Live from SES Chicago 2004 Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3261 Thread Description:

Barry Schwartz has started his covarge of SES Chicago. Catch the updates in the threadlink above at SEW and do stop in and say hello if you're at SES this week and reading Threadwatch...

Minimo Interview with Doug Turner - Mozilla for Small Devices

Thread Title: Mozilla aims for mobile browser market Thread Url: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/13/1812229&from=rss Thread Description:

"We can be ported to many platforms that Opera can't," he said. "Mozilla has been developed to work on every flavor of Unix and every type of processor, chip or widget set."

Turner said there are two mobile phone companies that are already using Minimo. He would not reveal the names of the companies that it is working with, but he said there will be at least one announcement in the near future regarding a partnership with a television manufacturer.

Some nice insight from Doug Turner on the future of mobile browsing.

More on Minimo here

Serve the public only really, really old news -MSN vs Google

Thread Title: Serve the public only really, really old news Thread Url: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6706772/site/newsweek/ Thread Description:

Microsoft's ace in the hole is the ability to put its search tools in Windows and Office.

This angle was covered to death in the forums months ago. In a way, I'm glad to see JohnQ getting a (small) reality-check, but I'm not sure if I can stomach too much of it.

A good quote or two, though. OK, well, one good quote:

"previously neglected with the complacency only a monopolist can muster"

IBM wants to be the Google of Entreprise Search

Thread Title: IBM is building software it hopes will make it the Google of corporate-search technology Thread Url: http://news.zdnet.com/Can+IBM+be+Google+for+business%3F/2100-3513_22-5488008.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdnn Thread Description:

As IBM dumps it's PC biz it's making a play for a higher margin software / solution model:

The new database-related software will let corporate customers store documents in XML, or Extensible Markup Language, format, which will greatly speed up text-related queries, she said. An early, or alpha, version of the tool is being tested with about 30 customers and is expected to be completed in the second half of next year. IBM has not named the product or decided how to package it.

MSN Desktop Search Beta - Now Live

Thread Title: Msn Desktop Search Live Thread Url: http://beta.toolbar.msn.com/ Thread Description:

Msn has got their sights directly targetting Google on this one. Havn't managed to give it a go yet because download seems down atm.

Find anything on your computer Documents, photos, music and more! Find email messages in seconds

From Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express Try the new MSN Search

Search the web smarter and better Block those annoying pop-ups

Surf without interruptions Fill out forms online F

Fill out forms and web site passwords in one click

Added: Official Announcement David Dawson, the group program manager for MSN Desktop Search just blogged the official announcement.

Added: More.. blog coverage Charline Li and Gary Price have just put out reports including additional information and a link to the press release - Ok, that's it for updates, im sure the rest of the search blogs will follow shortly, but this is old news to Threadwatchers now :)

Purchase Stats Relating to Search Queries

Thread Title: comScore Study Reveals the Impact of Search Engine Usage on Consumer Buying Thread Url: http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=526 Thread Description:

Some interesting stats from a new comScore survey on the influence of Search on consumer buying in the consumer electronics / computers category point out by Gary.

Here are the highlights:

Vast Majority of Search-Influenced Buying Occurs Either Offline or in Subsequent Internet User Sessions 25 percent of searchers ultimately purchased a CE/C product 92 percent of these purchases occurred offline Among the 8 percent of post-search purchases that were made online, the vast majority occurred in subsequent user sessions Only 15 percent of online purchases following a CE/C search occurred in the same user session as the search itself With 85 percent of conversions occurring in a latent (or non-search) session Nearly 40 percent of all purchases occurred 5 to 12 weeks after the initial CE/C search was conducted.

There's quite a bit more at the threadlink above...

Yahoo! Domains less than $5 till end 2004

Thread Title: Yahoo reduce domain cost Thread Url: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/12/13/yahoo_domain_name_price_promo/ Thread Description:

Just spotted this on The Register that Yahoo are cutting the costs of a domain name to under $5!

This is almost definately being undertaken as a loss leader as the wholesale cost is $1.50 higher. Will Yahoo become the dominate force in hosting and domain registrations if not search?

AOL's Garden Walls Crumble as Ads Move in

Thread Title: AOL Abandons Exclusivity in Favor of Ads Thread Url: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/041212/aol_s_crumbling_walls_2.html Thread Description:

The walls surrounding America Online Inc.'s well-manicured gardens are crumbling. In a move both risky and essential, AOL is abandoning its strategy of exclusivity and will free much of its music, sports and other programming to non-subscribers in hopes of boosting ad sales.

Jeremy Z said

Welcome back to the world of the relevant, AOL. It's a bold move, but it's about time you woke up and noticed the World Wide Web.

Can't help but agree, the walled garden approach is tried and tried again from forums to content networks to ISP's and it (surprisingly enough) seems to enevitably backfire in the end...

Find Unique Domains Linking to You - And their IP's

Thread Title: We Build Pages Tool # 9 Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3253 Thread Description:

Threadwatch member jimsthoughts pm'd me this little tool sometime today. As im not generally keen on linking to ranking/link check tools (cos everyone and his dog has one) it took me a little time to get round to looking at it (been a busy day :-)

It's a cracker though, really nice work. It'll find all the unique domains that link to you and then grab their IPs - now, if it could sort those IP's by unique C-blocks jim...

You can find some discussion of the tool over at the SEW post threadlinked above.