Nice post by Jupiter boss Alan Meckler on, yep, you guessed it - vertical markets..
The fact is that this trend has been going on for years. But it is only in the previous few months that the business press is realizing that vertical "is in." Just as Danny Sullivan is predicting that vertical Search Engines might well be the next wave of Search, vertical shopping is already the next wave of etailing. We are even seeing this in the verticality of auctions sites, event ticket sites, travel sites and and a host of other fields.
Verticality is what has made our JupiterWeb sites more significant than the tired horizontal tech trade print magazines. Going further, our searchenginewatch.com owns the editorial side of the Search ad industry -- an honor that 5 years ago would have been part of the industry weekly Advertising Age
windy city december search conference [WMW Subscribers Only]
Forgive me for posting a link to a "Supporters Only" thread, but I felt it was something worth bringing up.
When I decided to leave WebmasterWorld, I made the decision to go as quitely as possible, but this thread is making that decision a bit hard to stick to.
Sometime yesterday, long time WmW member (and conference speaker) Chicago posted a thread intitled
SES Chicago - who's going?
(Very similar to this thread: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=2744)
At last year's Chicago SES, Chicago hosted a nice private party for WmW members. His reason for posting the thread in the Supporter's section was to try and get an idea of how many members would be in town, so he could plan another party.
Someting today, a Supporters forum Admin changed the title of the thread to read
windy city search conference (without sending a sticky to Chicago)
When I first saw it, I thought it was a new thread announcing PubCon 7.333, but it turned out to just be the SES thread with a new title. Apparently, it isn't appropriate to promote Danny's show in that way. Letting that title stand might result in some WmW members deciding to attend.
I can't even begin to explain how dissapointed I am. Taking such a stance is probably the most disrespectful, rude and childish thing I've ever seen BT do.
New Applications for Behavioral Targeting
There have been a couple of good posts about behavioral targeting today, i've linked to Jupiter analyst Gary Steins one. The other is this clickz piece by Dave Morgan.
Behavioral Targeting is in a pretty interesting space right now--it has becoming a category in its own right. That means:
More than a few vendors have developed sophisticated systems
Publishers of note are integrated the systems
The challenges--such as audience standardization--have been identified and solutions are making their way into the marketplace
Now that the systems are in place, its time for them to be used. That is, time for advertisers to begin to not only understand how the systems work, but also what they can be used for.
Dave points out that the the figure for marketers using behavioral targeting in 2004 is around 16% which seems high to me but he also says, on the subject of: Has behavioral targeting arrived yet?
My answer and those of most people I talk to are the same: No. Today's behavioral targeting applications are still a long way from fulfilling that elusive promise we all signed up for in helping build the marketers' "perfect medium."
and goes on to point out the major disciplines in BT that should see growth in 2005:
Lycos Screensaver Site Blocked by Internet Backbones
News just in: Lycos have been told (figuratively speaking) to f**k right off by internet backbone providers:
Some major internet backbones are preventing access to the new Lycos "anti-spam" screensaver web site at www.MakeLoveNotSpam.com. This controversial site provides Internet users with the ability to participate in distributed attacks against web sites used by spammers, leaving the spammers with slow connections and high bandwidth costs.
We have been talking about Lycos's DDoS attack scheme and how later it was hacked recently and i must say that im glad to see it failing - what a stupid little stunt...
News just in - Viewpoint is to aquire Unicast - a serious development in the ad biz.
Here's the press release
Marking the first true consolidation in the Rich Media space, Viewpoint Corporation is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire Unicast Communications Corporation. The acquisition creates the first company that offers advertisers, agencies and Web publishers every major form of online advertising - from video to Macromedia Flash™, streaming to pre-cached, full-screen to in-page, interactive 3D to high-resolution 2D - all with full creative and campaign management and next-generation tracking and reporting.
Viewpoint currently serve MSN, Yahoo and AOL - there is a pdf to download here
Google Sandbox: solved?
Brian over at Platinax thinks he may have solved the riddle to sandboxing - Im not convinced, but then to be fair, neither is he :)
It's a long, detailed post that essentially boils down to this: High PR links from a wide range of IP addresses will avoid sandbox.
Ultimately, the issue becomes one of considered linking, and attempting to get links on pages according to PageRank value, rather than sheer numbers - or even topic - first.
This, of course, is precisely what Google wishes to frustrate - so until we can reliably gauge PageRank values of specified pages, then it's going to have to be for webmasters to gauge the value of pages for linking purposes based on a combined judgement of old PageRank data - along with some common sense and creative thinking.
Is the Google Sandbox solved by this hypothesis? I'm not convined it would be wise to claim so - but I do suggest the idea to the wider SEO community as some way to explaining what is actually going on, in a way that makes sense to all SEOs when we use the term "Google Sandbox" and "sandboxing".
As im not a techie seo i'll rely on the good boys and girls at Threadwatch to voice their opinions on this one, go have a read then please tell me what you think?
Let's Test Hijacking A Google Listing
In a surprise move on the SEW forums Googles unofficial representative and Threadwatch member GoogleGuy, a well known figure on some of the bigger search marketing forums has granted Amnesty to Spammers in order to get help.
Google have called for examples of the now infamous Google Results Hijacking scandal that has been buzzing through the Search community this week and last. In a thread where members have tried to get help with this problem the unnamed Google search engineer said:
I'll promise that no spam-related action will be taken based on the reports. If months later, the domain comes up for review for an unrelated reason, then that's a different matter, but I'll instruct whoever collects the feedback to only use it to check out how we pick canonical pages.
The reason for the amnesty is due to the fact that when GG called for examples of the hijack problem none were forthcoming - the technique is known to but a few and is being used almost exclusively in highly competitive categories such as pharma and casino. Nobody in that industry plays by googles guidelines as to do so would be a waste of time in such a cut throat environment.
The results of a page hijacking involve the victim site's position in Google being taken over by another competing site through use of 302 redirects and meta refreshes.
MSN Spaces will make blogs communication tools
MSN's new blog service has launched whilst I was sleeping and although it seems you're kind of stuck with their templates I must say it looks pretty damn slick..
I set up a Test Blog for Threadwatch! - please go spam the comments, i want to test it out some more. Does anyone know if this integrates with Messenger in any way?
Forresters Charlene Li has all the details and some interesting commentary on what this will mean:
Notice a trend here? There’s heavy integration of Spaces into the whole MSN communication suite of email and instant messaging. I think this is very smart, especially as MSN hopes to attract a new audience group to blogging. The next wave of bloggers is going to look very different from today’s blogger – their motivation will be on sharing experiences rather than having a place for their ideas and opinions. The integration puts the blog in context of other communications, such as email and IM. If you’re about to email me, you’ll see my latest post/photo – instant context setting and traffic generation to my blog. If you mention the blog posts in an email/IM, I’ll have even more incentive to keep blogging. That integration distinguishes MSN Spaces from other services like Lycos’
Now blogging is going to seriously hit the mainstream and we will indeed see blogs used for an entirely different purpose - to me it's all good, but I can hear the beginnings of outrage out there in the jungle as blogging is opened to the MSN'ing hordes...
Building a Metadata Based Website as Opposed to Traditional CMS System
A real nose bleed job if ever i tried to read one at 1am when i really should be tucked up in bed. This lengthy article serves as both an introduction and tutorial in metadata based IA and site design. Not everyones cup of tea for sure but an interesting read for some Threadwatchers i reckon. Enjoy...
Google Pagerank for entertainment purposes only?!?!
I know Google PR has been pretty wonky now more than ever, but for entertainment purposes only? This comes from a thread over as SEW
"The PageRank that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is for
entertainment purposes only. Due to repeated attempts by hackers to
access this data, Google updates the PageRank data very infrequently
because is it not secure. On average, the PR that is displayed in the
Google Toolbar is several months old. If the toolbar is showing a PR of
zero, this is because the user is visiting a new URL that hasn't been
updated in the last update. The PR that is displayed by the Google
Toolbar is not the same PR that is used to rank the webpage results so
there is no need to be concerned if your PR is displayed as zero. If a
site is showing up in the search results, it doesn't not have a real PR
of zero, the Toolbar is just out of date"
In Chile, instant Web feedback creates the next day's paper
In Chile there's a big media buzz over a 100yr old boring middle of the road newspaper that has been using click stats to determine what the following days edition will contain. THe LUN is currently Chile's most popular paper.
Essentially, clicks are counted per story and the what proves most popular helps decide the next days topics. Clearly any intellectual or stimulating content goes right out of the window with such a system as it quickly devolves to the lowest common denominator - in a week where world leaders gathered in Santiago for a trade meeting the newspapers ( http://www.lun.com ) readers were reading about what Colin Powell had for dinner and about a scantily clad waitress.
Sounds okay to me...
Pop media driven by the people, pretty neat idea i think though the paper insists it's not a tabloid. Story came in via techdirt
Profile spamming, the act of signing up usernames at forums for the sole purpose of gaining the benefit of a link to your website from the profile your new account generates can be a big problem. Anyone that's run even a small forum for some time will tell you it can be a real pain in the arse.
Over at wmw they're discussing ways to thwart the spammers in phpBB - Some outstandign links to mods for the phpBB system and advice from Threadwatch members encyclo and Jenstar - this from Jenstar:
There is a phpbb mod which temporarily disables the website URL field, and if a bot tries to enter something into that form field, it bans the IP and username. The bot doesn't "view" the page and assumes the website url field must be there when it sends the registration information to the server. However, a real visitor would see no form field for website, and instead a note about it becoming active after registration is confirmed.
Another Agency Promising Top Positions, How do they plan to achieve this?
Doug Heil has shown up in a thread over at HR to out do himself in the whiney white knight role he loves to parade around the forums. It's just another of those "this company is promising no.1 spots" threads but the fun is in the debate between Doug and Threadwatch member Jill.
She's currently slapping him about whilst allowing him all the rope he requires to hang himself. He does a fine job without to much rope usually but this is exceptional form from the zealot like Doug.
He's upset becuase jill wont allow the posting ("outing") of specific companies on her forum - damn good policy if you ask me.
Doug enters the thread:
hmm. I come in here to read the "spam" threads just ever so often, and see that "another" traffic power type company is blatantly misleading the industry and ALL people new to the internet, but only to see that this said company cannot be shown to the world?
a couple of posts later
Yes, I know what your rules are. Thanks!
So you would rather wait until this company rips off as many webmasters as they can? And then get banned by Google, and only then will you "post" the company name?
Followed by a bitch slap
You are welcome not to like our rules here, Doug. I didn't like your rules of outing spammers, which is one reason I left your forum.
Feel free to post only in forums where you agree with the rules, that's pretty much what I do.
Eeeeeeow! I didnt know she had it in her! :-)
Get on over their and have a peek, it's killer funny on a dreary wednesday afternoon...
I want to give them content but they wont have it.
Threadwatch member ukgimp raises some interesting debate over at SEW:
Here is my reasoning. I have spent good amounts of cash on decent content and pretty pictures but Google dont want it!
What do they want, well to me is seems like useless API scraped cack mixed in with paid results. Plus other argy bargey that a handfull of serious people know about
Sandbox discussion aside there are people out there that can create monsters than rank for lots. They may only last a month, but they do OK out of it the unleash another beast.
The thread centers around the fact that it seems, at least to some, that to get good listings you have to break "the rules" and worse, produce sub-standard websites.
I think it makes sense for Google and other SE's to slowly push new sites into a corner - just look at the sandbox fiasco. Some webmasters forget that the business of a search engine, is to make money - They do that by selling adwords and premium listings so are we fighting a losing battle by producing clean, easy to use, information rich websites or what?