Adware cannibals feast on each other
Cnet are roporting on how one spyware company's program deleted millions of a competitors installs that has cost direct revenue, another so dubbed "spyware firm", $10,000 a day.
Im more than a little behind the curve with podcasting but thanks to Aaron im at least familiar with the general idea :)
Today, in the article threadlinked above, Steve Rubel talks about the possiblility of reaching the streets ahead super early adopters that make up the burgeoning ipod nation.
You can’t walk 50 feet in a major city without seeing them. You can spot them a mile away by the dual white wires that dangle from their ears. They’re young, technically savvy, loyal, enthusiastic card-carrying members of the burgeoning iPod Nation. They represent an attractive demographic of early adopter influencers that marketers covet. And, thanks to an emerging revolution in online audio content called podcasting, there are all kinds of new and exciting ways to reach them through “podvertising.”
So, i have 3 questions for Threadwatchers if I may:
Do you have an Ipod?
Is it cool?
Will the new gen mobiles kill it?
Google News' chief robot speaks out
The Register's Andrew Orlowski's anti-google views are well known, most folks in Search take his comments with that fact in mind. This piece, thredlinked above, is however both very funny and, i think, important.
Is Google News' chief scientist, Krishna Bharat, actually a robot? From an interview in the current issue of Wired magazine, it's increasingly difficult to conclude that Bharat could convincingly pass the Turing Test. Every time Google News is criticized for bias, Bharat is wheeled to field out an identical reply. He claims that humans can't be held responsible for what appears on his website - because machines are in charge.
"The truth is, Google News doesn't have a point of view," he tells the magazine. "It's a computer, and computers do not understand these topics the way humans do and can't be systematically biased in any direction."
So human or algorithm? We're leaning towards the latter. What the Bharatbot doesn't seem to have been programmed with is the experience of ever having being someone who reads the news himself: and experience is often the vital difference between bot and machine.
Does Orlowski have a valid point in that G news should take some responsibility for their content?
Google will test animated ads through its AdSense network, the search company said yesterday.
The animated image ads will appear shortly on Web sites that opted to display Google's graphical ad units, which the company introduced in May. Until now, Google has allowed advertisers to use only static banner ads. A test group will run animated GIF files, though Google said it would keep its maximum file size for image ad units at 50 kilobytes.
Ads on your mobile: Believe it or not, you may welcome them
James Pearce takes an interesting look at how inovative telcos and ad firms will very likely begin to advertise to your mobile in an opt-in viral way. The main problem with mobile ads is the fact that the new-gen mobiles, capable of receiving streaming video are infinately configurable and models to deliver ads via your cell are in their infancy.
One line of thought is the classic viral ad. The system talked about in the article would require users to enter a short code to have your ad streamed to them and one way to encourage participation is viral ad marketing.
It's an interesting read if you're following this sector and a good primer on what the various options for mobile advertising are now, and may be in the future.
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 email@example.com 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.