Archive for January, 2011
The top three paid positions on Google attract more visual attention than the top three links on Bing, according to a new report from research firm User Centric.
Study outcomes showed a comparable number of participants viewing top sponsored links across both search engines. However, these participants spent 22 percent more time looking at Google’s top sponsored links than Bing’s. For right sponsored links, Bing and Google didn’t significantly differ in the amount of attention.
Comparing sponsored links on top to those on the right in general, the study found the “eye hit rate” on the top to be at least three times higher and gaze time to be at least five times longer than on the sponsored links on the right.
Before making the first click, participants spent 27 percent more time looking at organic search results on Google than on Bing.
“While more gaze time is good for sponsored results, the opposite is true for organic results,” said Aga Bojko, User Centric’s Chief Scientist.
“Taking longer to make a decision and scanning more results may suggest lower perceived search results relevancy on Google. According to past research, users tend to scan search results until they find the first suitable link to click, so more time spent on Google could mean it took longer to find a link worth clicking.”
Under the deal, Triad will provide display advertising management to offer more customized ads that will better highlight listings and improve the experience for buyers and sellers on the site.
eBay-Triad Key features of the agreement include:
*Banner advertising will be more customized, with category-specific content embedded directly into the ad so customers can view content without clicking off the site.
*eBay and Triad will also integrate new experiences from popular brands and cross-category “content centers” – sponsored landing pages on eBay that will highlight seasonally relevant and interactive content.
“As eBay continues to focus on innovation and new ways for eBay shoppers and sellers to connect, we are driving even better experiences on eBay.com,” said Christopher Payne, vice president of eBay North America. “Our new agreement with Triad puts our customers front and center as we deliver more relevant, customized advertising content to them.”
If you go to someone’s Twitter profile, it will display a section in the right-hand pane, just under the account info that says “Connections”, and displays people that are following that person and people that both you and that person mutually follow.
It’s a simple and subtle feature, but one that could help build relationships on Twitter. As others have pointed out, its’ similar to what Facebook does when it displays mutual friends.
The feature could actually help people use Twitter in a more social manner, as opposed to as a news reader.
Google has launched a new extension for its Chrome browser, called Keep My Opt-Outs. It is essentially a Do Not Track mechanism that lets users opt out from receiving personalized advertisements as they browse the web.
“Recently, the Federal Trade Commission and others have expressed interest in a ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism that could offer users a simple way to opt out of personalized advertising,” write Google product managers Sean Harvey and Rajas Moonka on the company’s Public Policy blog. “Advertising companies that are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) already let you opt out of tracking for the purposes of personalizing advertisements, and many online advertisers and trade associations have also joined a major self-regulatory effort to enforce a uniform privacy icon for ads, as well as opt-out guidelines.”
Chrome Extension launched for Do Not Track50 companies including the top 15 ad networks offer opt outs in the U.S.
The timing of the announcement is interesting, considering Mozilla just announced a proposal for a Do Not Track mechanism for Firefox, with the intention of having it adopted as an industry standard throughout the tech and advertising industries.
If you use Chrome, you can get the add-on here, but Google warns that using it will mean you are likely to get ads that are less relevant to you.
Google is open sourcing the extension, and is working to make it available for other browsers.
YouTube is inviting users to submit questions to President Obama for an exclusive interview that will take place two days after the 2011 State of the Union Address.
The YouTube Blog offers details. “Go to youtube.com/askobama to submit your question now, or watch the speech on Tuesday night with your webcam or video camera nearby so that you can record and submit your question as soon as it strikes you.”
“This year, you’ll also be able to ask your question via Twitter: just include the hashtag #askobama in your tweet. And be sure to have your say in what should be asked by voting on questions submitted by others, too.”
President Obama’s answers to a selection of the top-voted questions will be streamed live from the White House on youtube.com/askobama at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday January 27.
Users have until Wednesday, January 25 at midnight ET to submit their question. YouTube said video questions are preferred but it will accept text. Video questions should be about 20 seconds and asked directly to the president.
The interview is the first in a series of world leaders in 2011 as part of YouTube World View. YouTube said within the month it will hold a similar interview with a prominent Republican leader.
Facebook users’ messages, likes, and photo uploads may at some point have very tangible effect on Prineville, Oregon. It’s starting to look like Facebook – which is already building one data center near the city – could also build a second facility.
To be clear: nothing’s been confirmed, and no timeframe’s even been hinted at. But people have at least gone on the record.
Prineville City Manager Steve Forrester told John Letzing, “What the Facebook have indicated to us is they would like to continue with expansion, which would require a second building just like the one they just built.”
Then Ken Patchett, who Facebook put in charge of the first data center, semi-confirmed, “If our business requires it, we’ve made the plans to do that.”
Facebook’s been on something of a data center spree since early last year. First it announced the Prineville data center. Later, the company decided to double the facility’s size. Then in November, it committed to building a data center in Forest City, North Carolina, as well.
So we’ll keep an eye out for announcements regarding a second groundbreaking in Prineville. With the 120 or so acres Facebook owns in the area, the company could definitely make something happen.
Gordon Zhu, an associate product marketing manager, wrote on the Inside AdWords blog, “If you’re signed into your account while previewing your ads, you’ll now see integrated keyword diagnosis results. In this example below, we’ve entered our keyword red roses to see if it’s triggering ads in New York.
The Preview Tool now specifically confirms whether your ad is showing and links to the relevant campaign and ad group. If your ad isn’t showing, the Preview Tool will tell you why, helping you understands if you need to adjust your bids, location targeting, daily budget, or optimize your account.
And as you may have noticed from the screenshot, it’s now possible to check the results for specific mobile devices, along with different mobile carriers.
These tweaks are sure to come in handy, and could indeed prove quite valuable to marketers. Google, in turn, probably hopes the marketers will then be more inclined to pay it more money.
Last year, Google invested in Zynga and Ngmoco, acquired Slide and Jambool, and unveiled games intended for the Chrome Web Store in rapid succession. Now, the search giant may be ready to take another game-related step, as its hired Kinect developer Johnny Chung Lee to join a special projects group.
Additional details are scarce. Indeed, with respect to his new position, Lee only wrote on his blog, “I have left Microsoft to join a special projects team at Google.” Then Lee’s “About Me” section indicates his new official title is “Rapid Evaluator.”
We take that to mean he’ll be in a position to approve or veto lots of different ideas or products.
Here’s a bit more info regarding Lee’s previous achievements and goals, anyway. He wrote, “In 2008, I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction. My research interests are in exploring novel interface technology that can influence the lives of many people.”
Also, if you run a Google search on Lee’s full name, some interesting stuff involving Wii hacks comes up.
It should be interesting to see what happens next. Although Google hasn’t accomplished much in terms of gaming, Lee may be able to help the company make some significant strides.
In 2001 Apple launched what would be one of the most iconic products of the 21st century’s first decade. The iPod changed music and consumer electronics – but it also led to one of the most counterintuitive marketing strategies of the modern age as well. As the iPod grew in popularity, Apple began to sell $1000 computers as accessories for a $200 gadget. The ecosystem of the iTunes store and the ability to manage your music easily and seamlessly with your iPod started a revolution that led millions to consider getting a Mac as their primary home computer. By locking customers into their ecosystem – Apple grew using a basic strategy of cross-selling to get customers to buy multiple devices and making sure that they all worked easily together.
Aside from a few minor examples like synched remote controls between televisions and DVD players or shared external memory card platforms, the rest of the consumer electronics industry was very slow to realize the value of this strategy. As a result – buying gadgets became a very individualized experience. It simply didn’t matter that much whether you stuck with one brand for all your gadgets or not. If there was one theme to emerge clearly from CES this year, it is that those days are over.
Nearly every manufacturer of large scale consumer products is investing in the value of selling an ecosystem instead of a single product. LG, Sony and SHARP all have launched their own App stores for mobile devices and smart connected televisions as well. The early leader, Sony’s Qriocity, features a large content archive and integrates both music and video together. LG’s smart home appliances can be accessed through multiple other devices.
Samsung’s latest wirelessly enabled digital camera, called the Samsung SH100 can also be synchronized with the Samsung Galaxy Smartphone and then operated remotely by the phone as a remote control. The vision for more and more of these products is to make them work together at the touch of a button and finally demonstrate a real value for consumers to motivate them to choose to stay with a single brand for multiple purchases.
This is the locked in world we are headed for – where brand name will do more than just reinforce consumer confidence in the product. The brand will be the ecosystem that consumers buy into, just as they have for years with Apple. Most likely it will work for consumer electronics, and we are already seeing other industry segments start to follow. Financial services organizations want to lock you into banking, credit cards and mortgages. GE wants your home lighting and security to work with your home appliances.
In this new future, the brand you choose will determine the products you consider buying. The barrier to switch will be the inconvenience of having a device that no longer fits the ecosystem of your life.
As SEO industry has come in just a short time years ago on-site optimization would allow your website to be visible almost immediately and now some industries truly have to spend a great deal of time and energy to become visible in their search categories but don’t let that scare you. Over time what will happen is that all the bad apples will get weeded out of the system and the businesses and website looking to do it right will be left behind.
If you are not happy with your search engine optimization or marketing let’s take a look as to why things are happening?
The search engines are changing and so are their algorithms keeping the SEO industry on their toes at all times. What might have worked last year might not work next year. The technology of what we do is rapidly evolving to the point where many business owners are simply having a hard time just keeping up with everything. You have to roll with the punches of the industry otherwise you will be left behind. Education is key to what we do.
There are continuously more and more websites, web pages, content and social platforms creating more and more distractions online in the search results causing more clutter to cloud a website visitor’s vision. Some people are under the impression that they need to put out more in order to stay competitive and that thought process is what is bogging down our online space.
Plain and simple people are changing also. The way people shop around and make purchases have evolved into something much different than it was 3 years ago. People and business mindsets are in a cost cutting mode and have been for a while so it is not entirely your lack of visibility in the search space that might be causing problems for you.
You have to be able to change with our industry otherwise you are going to have a hard time keeping up with all the advancements. Don’t get left behind and start educating yourself on everything that is occurring in our search marketing industry.