Google as a Tool to Communicate with Alien Life?

Thread Title: What Do You Say to An Extraterrestrial? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Interesting article on that suggests uploading the Google datacenters to aid extraterrestrials in understanding our language and society - kind of funny, but waaay cool aswell :)

So here’s my take on message construction: Forget about sending mathematical relationships, the value of pi, or the Fibonacci series. Rid your brain of the thought (no doubt borrowed from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind") that aliens are best addressed with musical arpeggios. No, if we want to broadcast a message from Earth, I propose that we just feed the Google servers into the transmitter. Send the aliens the World Wide Web. It would take half a year or less to transmit this in the microwave; using infrared lasers shortens the broadcast time to no more than two days.

City Search Launch Pay Per Call Ad Service

Thread Title: Citysearch, local company promote pay-per-call Thread Url: Thread Description:

Siliconbeat in the threadlink above report on Citysearch's launch of their new Pay for Performance - Pay Per Call Ad service - Essentially, tracking calls aswell as clicks on the local search engine.

Less than a year old, pay-per-call is an alternative to the pay-per-click ad model popularized by Google and Overture. With pay-per-call, the merchant-advertiser only pays for its ad or listing after someone has picked up the phone and called them. Because phone calls are often considered better sales leads than someone clicking on your web site, advertisers will usually pay more for them, typically a few dollars per call. It's an ad model that's being marketed especially hard to local merchants.

Now if someone could just do that for affiliate merchants a lot of us would be very, very happy...

German Court Rules in Favor of Generic Domain Speculation

Thread Title: German Supreme Court rules in favor of 'generic domain grabbing Thread Url: Thread Description:

The Register report in the threadlink above that the German Supreme Court have ruled in favor of "generic domain buys". This comes in light of recent regional courts ruling in favor of Axel Springer - the 2nd largest publisher in Germany who sued over the registration of "generic" terms that resembled thier publications.

So, it's okay to stiff companies and ransom domains in Germany, all i gotta do now is brush up on miene deutsch! :-)

The Lure of the Mobile Virtual Network

Thread Title: Rise Of Virtual Wireless Firms Thread Url: Thread Description:

Paidcontent point to the investor article threadlinked above and have this to say on the lure of the mobile virtual network:

The announcement that ESPN is starting a mobile phone service put the increasingly popular business strategy in the spotlight. Virgin (with co-partner Sprint), supermarket chain Tesco, Carphone Warehouse and 7-Eleven are already in the business; Investors Business Daily speculates that Wal-Mart and pro sports franchises will follow. But, Dan Schulman, CEO of Virgin Mobile USA,cautions, "It's a lot harder to make an MVNO work than one might assume on the surface." A good overview with one jarring note in the risk category: "Some studies show cell phone use could cause tumors."

Search Year In Review

Thread Title: Search Year In Review Thread Url: Thread Description:

The year in review according to Matt Hicks at Eweek pointing out all the major events of 2004 and what is expected in 2005.

Mike Grehan on Quality vs Quantity in Search Marketing

Thread Title: Search marketing: Cart? Horse? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Mike Grehans article threadlinked above looks at the way search marketers can spin the results they achieve for clients over the actual benefit to the clients bottom line.

He argues that often, SEM's sell clients on taking their small amount of indexed pages on a dynamic site and fixing it so the the site becomes spider friendly. As a result of the fix, the client soon has thousands of pages indexed, but is that actually worth having?

Mike argues that having thousands of pages indexed does a company no good unless those pages rank and that as a measurement of ROI on hiring a search firm, it's a poor one.

It's well worth a read, and certainly worthy of discussion. He has made some obvious ommisions though:

What about the value of internal linking? About the thousands of unique phrases such pages can rank for - even if they are not money terms they often have value in less immediate areas.

From the article:

Some may say: Well if you have thousands and thousands of items in a search engine index, you have thousands more chances of being found. However, if conducting a search at Google, for instance, doesn't bring back one page in the top 20 right now, what makes the other thousands you've just fed in stand any more of a chance?

Which is damn good point right? It's a good read, go check it out and then air your opinion...

If Search Engines Started Inserting Affiliate Links...

Thread Title: Affiliate Links in Search Engine Results Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jeremy Z at Yahoo! has some thoughts on feedster's rayg's suggestion that search engines put affiliate links in their results:

Here's a reality check: If a search engine just started dropping those codes in their results, they'd be crucified. Crucified by the technical press, the SEOs, and a bunch of bloggers. Imagine the conspiracy theories!

Definately go read the rest of Jeremy's post, threadlinked above, it's quite funny :)

The question of disclosure and seperation of "editorial" from advertising is raised in the context of search results also which has been a bit of a thorny issue of late. Certainly food for thought, as we've debated aff. links and SERPS for years now..

Do you think they could get away with it under the right conditions?

BBC to Offer Programming Online - Catch-Up-TV

Thread Title: BC to offer Catch-up TV? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Just a rumour as yet but it does look like the BBC may offer the previous weeks programming for download online.

Full details in the post threadlinked above

Word of Mouth Marketing & Blog Marketing - Same Thing?

Thread Title: The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders Thread Url: Thread Description:

This article in the NY Times threadlinked above talks about word of mouth marketing a la BzzAgent where normal everyday people can sign up to become a "buzz agent" and quietly and unobtrusively market the company's clients products by just using them, taking them to parties or whatever.

The example given is one of some chicken sausages that on 4th July weekend this year were taken by hordes of secret buzz agents to BBQ's and parties all over the US.

Isn't this the same thing as the Blog "Product Placement" Scheme? It seems to me that this is exactly the same as the Blogger Affiliates that get paid to talk up products in their popular blogs.

There's a massive hoohah surrounding this as some bloggers take up arms against the scheme for various reasons including the fact that it commercializes blogs at all, disclosure issues and more. In the post linked above I've voiced my scorn of the scheme aswell and added my voice to the angry throng :)

However, reading the NYT article gave me pause for thought. I've not solidified that thought into any coherent opinion as yet but imagine this: That a scheme like that be opened to all bloggers - as widespread as adsense is now. Pick products suited to your blog and write about them...

It's just affiliate marketing of course, but with the right kind of spin and heavy marketing it could provide a real winner for companies wanting to target the online word of mouth which is blogging.


How Much Can You Charge for SEO?

Thread Title: Seo Rates, How much should I charge? Thread Url: Thread Description:

HRF member Paper*Girl ask: "What are the competitive rates for seo and how long does it take for spiders to index? Does anyone have any advice for me?"

Ian (Mcanerin) goes on to provide some excellent suggestions for determining how much to charge. Here's a small taste of it:

Never undercut yourself. If a business can't afford $1500 to start off with, then they are better off doing it themselves, or actually putting together a business plan. If they don't understand you have to invest in your business to make it grow then you are probably not doing them or their customers any favors by getting them to market prematurely, IMO.

Worlds Largest Newspaper to Offer Blogs to Readers

Thread Title: Le Monde offers readers blogs Thread Url: Thread Description:

Le Monde are to open up blogging to readers - citizen journalism, what a frieghtening yet compelling notion :)

Adsense Disabled Discussions - Crippling Forums with Repetition

Thread Title: Account Disabled due to fraudulant clicks. Thread Url: Thread Description:

These "Adsense have cut me off and I cannot understand why" threads have just about ground the Adsense Forum at WMW to a stop, and I scarcely ever read them. This one had grown to around 40 contributions, and I looked at it.

Contributions from martinibuster and jenstar point out to the original poster that

kevlardev, if you thought you had problems before, people who hate you are now aware of your url. Smart move, dude.

"Feel free to stop by, visit my sponsors, and register on our active forums." This was posted by you on another message board earlier this year, after you began running AdSense... and it is against the terms to do this. Perhaps someone reported you, or they found it on their own, but that could very likely be what got you suspended. That, or all the posts you made pointing to your now-inactive mesothelioma site...

Now while it is entertaining, it is a good example of why a forum can deline in value without a policy on cutting out treads of this sort.

This forum funcioned for several months when Adsense launched, interestingly without moderation. It was extremely valuable as we all grappled with how to make Adsense pay. It is an example though of how when things become "run of the mill" then little of value will ever emerge and those making money just move on!

Yahoo! Speaks out on Site Match Conspiracy Theories

Thread Title: Sitematch: Organic Rankings Suicide? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Tim Mayer clears up some issues concerning the Site Match PFI system. Many webmasters are confused by Site Match and theories that once your budget runs out or you stop using the service your organic rankings drop abound on the SEO forum circuit. He had this to say in the post threadlinked above:

We made a slight change a while back as we have been really focused on comprehensiveness at Yahoo. If we dont know about your site and you submit it to Site Match you will be suggested for inclusion in the main crawl and go through all the usual quality determinations to figure out if and to what representation you will appear in the main crawl index. The conspiracy theories that we will knock the rest of your site out of the index or that we will delete it if you dont pay are just not true and if anyone experiences this they should send me a message via forum mail documenting this. The issue is usually a content issue and people usually try to blame Site Match for their problems.

New Google Shopping Related Domain Names Registered

Thread Title: Google Registers Three Domain Names Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gary Price at the SEW blog post threadlinked above reports that Google have registered 3 shopping related domain names in the last week including all top level variations.

Now, whats the first thing that came to mind when you read that list? Amazon? - was for me..

More Public Spam Reporting at SearchEngineWatch Forums

Thread Title: [ thread removed - link goes to TW homepage ] Thread Url: Thread Description:

That idiot Doug Heil is at it again naming two sites he has found using sloppy techniques and gleefully informing everyone about his super discovery as if he's saving the damn planet.

Sheeeesh, now i've got a picture of him in large red underpants and a cape, it just doesn't bear thinking about ...ugh!

SEW - An unsafe place for search marketers? Worse than Dougs silly games though is the fact that board admin Elisabeth is allowing this. As a member of that site im just glad it's not one of my websites put up in the forums for a public execution. Lord knows what that girls thinking of..

I wrote a long post on why I think public outings of websites on search marketing forums are bad for all members a while back and at the time the admins nodded and made all the right noises but made no firm decision on policy.

As it stands SEW, despite frequent debate, arguments and pleas on both side of the "should we report spam at SEW" contraversy, have still not anchored a firm policy on such posts.

It makes me very, very edgy about posting there at all.

Incoming....! The Blogosphere gets Ethics - Heaven Help us all....

Thread Title: Blog ethics movement afoot Thread Url: Thread Description:

Holy sh!t, when will the madness end eh?

Jason Calacanis has taken it upon himself to police the blogs. Wore, Nick Denton is backing him - Who do these people think they are?

Hey! I've got a popular blog, i guess that means everyone else with a blog is stupid and needs telling that. It's clearly my god given duty to inform the public of bad blogs and blog posts and protect society from evil bloggers! --- Give me a break...

Remind you of anyone we know in the web dev world?

Adwords - Affilates and the Dreaded Feast and Famine syndrome

Thread Title: Clicks Up - Clicks Down - Trend bites Thread Url: Thread Description:

If you're using Adwords for your affiliate programs you might well be familiar with this scenario, member Havok2004 describes how when he starts a campaign, more often than not it does incredibly well for the first few days then fizzles out to nothing...

You have to wade through some obvious waffle but AdwordsAdvisor, a Google AW rep and a few other knowledgable folks are in the discussion so it's certainly worth a peak.

nick3131 has something to say about the problem that may bear looking into:

No youre not the first person to see great sales the first couple of days and then everything goes to #*$!. You're suffering from the same thing that alot of other affiliate bidders suffer from, and its non diversifying ads. Beleive it or not people are way more likely to buy something they have never seen before. So the first days that your ads are run chances are the people who are clicking on your ads have never encountered that product. But as the time goes on you have alot of the same people clicking on your ads. To make matters worse someone else just picked up on what youre selling, now youre competing with yourself. SO chances are that visitor who was once totally new to your product already has seen the product but only clicked on your ad because it was new to him. If you've ever shopped online you tend to go through different merchants before making a purchase. Well if they are landing on the same exact merchant from a different ad, guess what, thats bad for conversions.

Im not a PPC guy so i only understand the basics however, i know we have PPC Heavy Hitters in here so perhaps one of them can give an educated opinion on this here at TW?

Links and the Walled Garden Approach to Forum Management

Thread Title: Dissapointed about Removal of Live Links Thread Url: Thread Description:

Here's a good one for your weekend thoughts:

SEOChat have disabled live links in posts. Randfish kicks the complaint thread off and seochatters express their displeasure or approval. Searchenginewatch have an ongoing poll on the very same subject. Webmasterworld members are scared half the death of even mentioning an outside source. Crea8asite have made their outgoing links search engine unfriendly rendering them less prone to abuse.

So, what is it with all this? On one hand I can understand that live links in an forum environment present some unique challenges for board administrators when the membership is primarily made up of newbie search marketers but on the other, why run a forum if you aren't prepared to put the work in?

Since I started TW and actively got out and about a lot more in order to find good stuff to post here, a few observations that in retrospect seem obvious have come very much to the fore.

Client trolling forums dont care either way about links. Some forums appear to resent the time and effort it takes to run one Some guard their borders so tightly you cant help but pitty the mentality Forum members in a very general sense often appear to not realize there is a world outside of the garden I was once one of those people There are many people that would call themselves a professional search marketer that think links from their forum posts are very, very important I think those people need to re-work their promotional strategies

Open for general debate...

Is Yahoo! WebRank Dead?

Thread Title: Yahoo WebRank Thread Url: Thread Description:

Some speculation over at the dp forums on whether the beta Yahoo! webrank has been abandoned. The thread dates back to July but has just been reopened. I cant say i've heard or bothered to find out much about WR but the thinking in the thread is interesting.

Is it just a gimmick? Is it worth anything to search marketers?

Theories ranging from it was just crap to sailing to close to the standford PageRank patent are aired in response to earlier failings in WR but the debate continues.

Does anyone have the scoop on WR?

Buying Text Links - Who to Trust?

Thread Title: Who are the best Text Link Brokers Thread Url: Thread Description:

Unless you've had your head in a bucket for the last couple of years you will have noticed that one of the most aggressively promoted and fiercely competed over sectors in the webmaster market is text link sales.

I think Threadwatch has had every major brokerage approach them regarding advertising and you cant miss the banners and promos all over the webmaster forum and blog scene. But who do you trust?

As in many aggressive markets there is a certain amount of distrust over some if not all of the major text link houses. It doesn't mean they're all crooks, but perception is often derived from the way a firm markets itself and in a fiercely competititve sector like this that marketing tends to the dark side :)

Seozip have a small thread about who the best firms are, and what makes it worth a visit is the fact that seobook, nandini and Anthoney Parsons all know their stuff and know many of the names behind the brokerages personally.

If you're looking for recomendations, it's a must read.