Convera Plans to Enter Web Search Marketplace
Convera, a company with US government agency ties, including the FBI plans to enter the commercial search fray next year as pointed out by Gary in the SEW blog post threadlinked above. The source of this info comes from this Washington Post artcle and they may very well be something to look out for in 2005.
Yahoo Bolsters Local Search Business Listings
Thursdays searchday article at SEW looks at Yahoo Local's quiet roll out of paid inclusion, enhanced listings and tools for businesses to alter some of the infomation in their free basic listings.
Chris Sherman has the scoop and it boils down to this:
Limited editing on basic listings (free)
Up to 5 listings in the Y! local directory
Enhanced listings which add additional info like: tagline, descriptions, promo links, photos (up to 10) etc
The enhanced listings cost $10 a month and are straight up listings, no ppc involved
You can see an example of a local listing here
Pretty neat huh?
Chris has all the details, check out his write up...
The 6 Myths Of Creativity
FC have a story, threadlinked above on some very detailed and extensive research into creativity in business - if you run a company, or even a one man band, this is gooooood stuff! Check it out for the full details, here's the bullet points:
The Myths of Business Creativity
Creativity Comes From Creative Types
Money Is a Creativity Motivator
Time Pressure Fuels Creativity
Fear Forces Breakthroughs
Competition Beats Collaboration
A Streamlined Organization Is a Creative Organization
I tend to have my most creative thoughts whilst in bed, at the end of the day. Many a time i've gotten back out of bod and sat back at the PC to jot them down :)
Threadwatch member grnidone kicked off a beautiful discussion on cart abandonment and conversions a few days back, it's now ripe for your enjoyment:
She got the ball rolling with this little nugget:
As far as how we combat it, on one site, we place a cookie so when someone comes back to the site, they are offered a pop up window that tells the person they have something in their cart, and if they finish the purchase, they get 10% off their cart. That has worked well, we have a 13% conversion rate from that pop up alone. I think that could go up if we switch to dhtml to get around the pop up blockers out there.
Christine Churchill one of the founding members of SEMPO has resigned her seat on the board.
Founding and rearing SEMPO has, as many of you know, been a bumpy road. We've all learned a lot. It's been a good, if sometimes challenging learning experience. The SEMPO of today isn't the SEMPO I envisioned when I first started with it.
She goes on to say that the industry may require several marketing associations, a statement that looks very like the beginings of the long awaited admission that SEMPO has failed.
Threadwatch sends it's best wishes to Christine however, nobody would wish the personal trials and grief expressed in her last paragraph on anyone. Good luck Christine, and all the best.
Click Fraud and How to Stop It
Here's a nice little list of clickfraud solutions from the se journal threadlinked above. Most of the article is probably wasted on Threadwatchers but if you dont know what click fraud is then certainly check it out.
ClickDetective allows you to track return visitors to your site and alerts you if there is evidence that your site may be under attack. Its reports show you every click in real time rather than a summary hours later.
This fraud detector tracks all PPC search engines, detects multiple IP’s, and even pops up a “ClickMinder” after a potential abuser clicks repeatedly over five times.
BogusClick can help advertisers determine competitor IP addresses, originating PPC search engines and/or partner sites involved, as well as keywords used.
Clicklab employs a score-based click fraud detection system that applies a series of tests to each visitor session and assigns scores. Calculations are made to indicate bad/good sessions to show an advertiser the quality of traffic.
The Business of Blogging
Everyday business moves a little closer to blogging, slowly in most cases but very, very definately surely. There are an awful lot of people taking a punt on blogs finding interesting and viable business models and business continuing to move toward them with $$$'s in fists.
Now advertisers are realizing there is a market emerging in the blogosphere. Already, the growth in regular online advertising, estimated to be about 35% this year, will far outpace the spending increases for any other sector of the media world. Add to all this the fact that about 11% of Internet users today are inveterate blog readers, and the blogging scene starts to get mighty compelling for marketers.
Theres a lovely short post over at adverblog on one of the great missed opportunities of online marketing: The message board.
I agree with the general principle that communication with clients via forums and other social media is a massive missed opp for most companies - in the post, they talk about fixing a customer problem: The guy complains about the product, then gets a nice response saying "right! I'll talk to our design guy about that and come back to you ok?" - It's the little things that count.
If a company is seen to take swift action on customer problems, and to take customer suggestions and feedback seriously it inspires confidence in all who witness the exchange. In the context of a message board, that exchange can be refered to again and again by linking to it in future cases. How could interacting with your customers and being actively involved with them possibly be a bad thing?
Also, there's the benefit for search marketing, thousands of highly specialized search terms in the titles of your pages, and the noticeable benefit dynamically grown and organic looking site content provides. Ok, so that's pure(ish) speculation on the boost to rankings but im not the only one to have remarked on this lately, Mikkel has also said he's noticed it and so have a few others around the community.
So what do you all think, is there ROI in communities?
Rumous are coming in anonymously via firstname.lastname@example.org that the "big two" PPC providers in UK (Google & Overture) may be pulling lucrative agency kick backs in 2005.
Agencies with large ad spends are currently enjoying up to 15% commissions on ad buys from the larger players and that may all be about to go POOF!
Currently, Google apparently say that Agencies must be a member of the IPA to get agency discount but according to Threadwatch sources this is known to be not the case. Overture and Google both discourage strongly any talk of agency discounts.
This could impact agencies in more than just the immediate and obvious financial sense as many agencies are reported to be sharing the kick backs with their clients in order to close the deal. One top industry exec was quoted:
"I am lead to believe that agency discounts are to be pulled in q1 05 by
the big 2, change of business model needed for many people."
Information is still coming in so if we get more, you'll see it here.
Following on from Shaks comments about the demise of affiliates in adwords, my gossip tree tells me first week of Jan 2005.
My Google ad rep told me... though he got spoken to about it... he had been told to let his big advertisers be aware it was coming... he did not realize they were supposed to be told to keep it under wraps....
I don't do any affiliate advertising but we do have a couple of products others affiliate market though luckily not as yet on Google.
So it is not a rumor it will be happening early in the new year. We even discussed that the reason it was not being done prior to the holidays was the bad taste over Florida last year - though that was pure speculation on both our parts.
Anonymous tip off i got last night, Barry also has a write up on this
Yahoo Aims to Move Beyond PC
Yahoo is coming to your mobile in a big way !
Yahoo said Monday that it had acquired WUF Networks Inc., a small start-up whose technology aims to let consumers move their songs, photos and other digital content from their computers to devices such as mobile phones.
The deal underscores Yahoo's strategy of trying to make its dozens of services — including digital music, instant messaging and streaming video — more widely available not just on personal computers but also on any device connected to the Internet.
The Ten Commandments of Keyword selection
Good foundational article regarding keyword selection. The pearl I think is
the formula that is used to calculate the worth of certain keywords. It would be interesting
to know if anyone else has developed a similar formula.
Doubleclick are to drop SiteAdvance their web analytics solution completely, once customes have migrated to the Omniture's SiteCatalyst as part of the new partnership between the two firms.
Jupiters Eric Peterson had this to say:
My feeling is that while many talk about the idea of a "360 degree view of the customer" integrating advertising and marketing with CRM and analytics, few actually deliver on the promise. If Omniture and DoubleClick are successful in this partnership, and if Omniture is able to get a critical mass of existing DoubleClick customers to migrate instead of going to RFP and looking at established commerce offerings from Coremetrics, Fireclick or WebSideStory, this partnership could be another big step towards the promise of the universal marketing interface.
On the basis that Firefox users are clearly superior beings of vast intellect and thus more likely to use the tools provided than their cranially challenged cousins the IE users, I'd say it was a no brainer that less ads are clicked by the FF boys and girls...
NYTimes.com Seeks Fresh Talent as it Preps for Redesign
Steve at MP in the threadlink above has the scoop on the New York Times putting out an internal call regarding the first site redesign in 4yrs with special attention given RSS and G news:
"Next year, the site will embark on its first redesign in four years in an Internet environment that has changed dramatically. Back then there were no Google News or RSS feeds, or even much broadband outside the workplace. Also, video's time on the Web hadn't really arrived. The growth of new technologies like Google News and RSS represent major challenges and opportunities for our storytelling. How we respond will be critical for the long-term health of NYTimes.com."
btw, untill i get a page up for this, anonymous rumour can be sent to email@example.com