Slowly but surely the admen and prguys are moving in on Search. Time to start circling the wagons has probably been and gone...
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MarketingSherpa have an interesting article with JCPenny's Richard Last on convertion stats and techniques. Last year they did about $600M - within 2 more years they want 1BN
Tactic #1. Expand your metrics
If you're going to think outside the shoppers-to-conversions box, you need a new way to measure success. "It's a challenge going forward," notes Last. For example, "What are the levers that truly point to multi-channel success? We should understand the impact of conversions online vs. shop online and buy in-store, especially when she is buying other products in addition when she gets there."
Last's team has begun to focus not only on immediate conversions, but more on how to measure "if we helped her with her buying decision" with the ultimate purchase to follow in any channel. Currently they use the following tools prior to the launch of any major site change:
An in-house usability testing
An outside usability lab
A/B real-time testing on the site
Monitoring trends in fashion and style relevance
Talking with customers and with top selling associates in brick and mortar stores
In my view, MacGuru is / was one of the kindest most generous hearted folks i've met online - he was the first to speak to me at wmw when i made my first newbie post about cloaking and was *always* around when i needed him.
Sometimes, he was there when I didnt know i needed him - the man is a superstar
I resigned from moderating WebmasterWorld a while back for personal reasons.
It has been a very pleasent ride along with the finest team on the greatest board on earth about webmastering.
I will still be around to learn the latest trick and also keep you posted with stupid jokes, and toilet related stuff, promise!
Sad news, good luck with whatever you're doing Vincent...
Let's Test Hijacking A Google Listing
Following on from DaveN's threat of unleashing the "how to hijack" guide if Google dont sort themselves out Lots0 give us some more to think about:
The Nigitrude Ultramarine SEO contest that SearchGuild promoted, proved in public, beyond any doubt, that anyone can harm your site in google, if they know how. In fact there are several ways (not just one) to accomplish this.
A few twists and turns and even Marcia wants to see some action:
I was sitting on the edge of my chair in anticipation with my fists and teeth tightly clenched. It was getting as exciting as waiting to watch a rocket get launched!
And you thought AdSense had tough T&C's... you haven't seen Chitika
TW member Jenstar takes a close look at new contextual ad network Chitika that launched this month.
Some interesting things caught my eye when I took a peek at Chitika's terms and conditions. Things started to sound familiar... very familiar... So familiar, in fact, that it turns out Chitika decided to take the February 18, 2004 version of Google's AdSense terms, and use the entire "Prohibited uses" for themselves. What did they change? Google to Chitika, "ad unit" to "paid listing unit", and other minor specifics like that.
Makes for very interesting reading for contextual ad guys and girls..
The Mobile Internet Arrives with the Launch of jbag.net
A new service to enable content providers and ecom companies to utilize the fast growing mobile web has just been launched. Jbag, threadlinked above, provides a "white label" java or WAP solution.
From their "quick facts" page:
jbag.net® is the white label, ready-to-go solution enabling your business to create & deliver branded mobile Java or WAP applications to consumers.
just connect to jbag.net®, select your options and make your service mobile.
For any business that can add value to new or existing content or services by offering an ‘anytime anywhere‘ mobile channel to their customers and markets
And by the way, say hi to Threadwatch's new mobile section :)
Living legend maybe an exaggeration...but not by much
Word reaches me, in true TW style from an anonymous source that Greg Boser, President WebGuerrilla, LLC has resigned as both an Admin and Moderator at WMW.
I'm sure I'm not on my own in viewing this as news, let me state a few reasons why.
Greg has always been at the leading edge of the industry. I remember as an extreme newbie [just a newbie now] following the pagejacking stuff which is summed up here http://www.webguerrilla.com/pagejacking/
One of the guys that is and was a huge "draw" on the conference circuit, arguably one of the cornerstones and main drivers of the SES conferences.
A guy that seems to have the intellectual capacity to straddle between the SE's and webmasters, having a foot in both camps without falling over is a rare skill.
I have two complaints re: Mr Boser though:
1. I don't see a "thank you" thread at WMW, he deserves one without doubt.
2. It seems Greg is used sparingly on the European SES circuit, I think thats a shame. I'm torn between trying to organising a boycott of SES London next year and trying to let the powers that be know that if he is speaking it will be the sell out of all sell outs.
If there is no "thank you" thread at WMW looks like we will have to have our own here.
New Forms of Online Communication Spell End of Email Era in Korea
In a study conducted in Korea of over 2000 middle school students it was found that two thirds either rareley used email or did not use it at all.
The webs foremost "killer app" is dying, slowly for sure, but it is dying as a medium of less formal communication.
Korea is the most technologically advanced nation in the world and what the teens and younger adults are doing over there could be taken as a fair indicator as to what we will soon see elsewhere in the world.
The ebbing of email is a phenomenon peculiar to Korea, an IT power. Leading the big change, unprecedented in the world, are our teens and those in their 20's. The perception that "email is an old and formal communication means" is rapidly spreading among them. "I use email when I send messages to elders," said a college student by the name of Park. For 22-year-old office worker Kim, "I use email only for receiving cellphone and credit card invoices."
Sheesh, im getting old, i'm now making my 4th attempt to get my anti-social head around IM and have always found SMS to be the most annoying form of communication existent. Ivana also spotted my first grey hairs last week heh.. link via acv
Robin Good, Marc Canter, and Marqui: Blog Shills
We talked about this silliness of "product placement" aka affiliate marketing on influential blogs recently.
I said it was a stupid idea then, and i'll say it again now: This is the most ridiculous thing i have seen in quite some time. Words fail me (almost) at the sheer naivety of the farcical nonsense.
Now stowe boyd is taking a swing at it:
That aspect of the Marqui deal is what unnerves me about it. A blogger (notwithstanding the disclosure of the relationship) writes a sentence about Marqui, or other subsidized products, right in the flow of his/her opining about technology, or communication, or whatever, and gets compensated for each click that leads to a sale. This is basically turning blogs into nothing more than those aggregated websites slapped together by affiliate marketing folks. No offense; they may serve a purpose, and people may find them useful to search for various products, but they are not serving the same purpose as blogs. And candidly I believe that they are less worthy of attention.
I dont think this is the first time he's mentioned it but i dont get to read him as much as id sometimes like...
I couldn't think of a more inept and ill thought out marketing ploy for bloggers if i tried. Oddly enough, i picked up the link via marc canters blog - marc is the man behind this scheme.
This thread over at v7n has been building since thursday last week and is turning out to be a great resource of information on the ergonomic chair.
I suffer from back pain continously and the logical next step for me is to try one of these babies. Think this isn't important techie stuff? - Wrong! If you aren't protecting your back and your sitting for 16+ hours a day it's a big deal indeed.
So, tell me, what are you sitting on? - links and descriptions welcome :-)
Seem Google will chase SE spammers with new remote workers
Danny Sullivan, a man generally held to be in the know, provides some insight into the reasons behind the major SE's hand tweaking certain result sets as well as a practical example of Yahoo! doing this (alledgedly :-)
It doesn't take a search genius to realize that hand tweaking goes on quite alot, particularly on the kind of queries that were they to be poor, would attract negative media attention. Greg Boser made a good post about this detailed here.
Although TW is hardly a search engine, i often hand tweak the recent posts list by choosing which posts to reply to in which order :) It's a natural enough thing to do when the normal algorithms or mechanics of a system fall short of ideal.
It's a great technical post by danny, go check it out.
the BBC are running a story on the IPPR (institute for public policy research)'s research into an "ebay style" public commons community.
"A single publicly funded and run online community in which citizens can have a single place to go where you can go to engage in diversity and in a way that might have a policy implication - like a pre-legislation discussion."
Don't just stand there, go check it out! Feedster rich media finder - im off to play with it....
Right now, the only way to watch videoblogs is to go to each individual blog and watch each individual video.
As of November 2004, there is no way to see videos all in one place.
It's as if when I want to hear a story, I got to run around town to each person's apartment to hear the story.
I want a stage where we can all come together and tell stories to each other.
Research on corp. branding and home page
bragadocchio provides an outstanding set of links and commentary on the subject of creating credibility on the web in the context of photographs of real employees vs stock images.
I'm prone to believe that photos that people can believe are the real people behind a site can improve trustworthiness, and the standard stock images of attractive people that many use in their sites don't normally add to a site. It's the real world view of a company that builds trustworthiness and credibility.
And to think i was going to hire a male model to pose as me for this sites about page eh? - Now i guess i'll just stick a pair of underpants on me head and be done with it...