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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Inside AdWords: Advertise on more than 1,700 AM/FM radio stations

Back in april 2007 Google inked a deal with Clear Channel broadcasting to tap into their vast network of radio stations and offer their ad inventory to Google AdWords customers. Today, almost 7 months since that announcement was made, Google announced on the Inside AdWords blog that AdWords Advertise could now reach the audience of Clear Channel's 1,700 AM/FM radio stations.

Clear Channel's reach is is far flung and covers all major US cities. AdWords audio ads can now be considered to be a full-fledged product and not just something Google were trying on the side.

Time will tell whether Audio Ads turn out to be anywhere near as successful as Video or Plain Text Ads.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Showing location under your AdWords Ad

Ever wondered why some AdWords ads include the name of the location underneath the ad text?

Well Google has just clarified this on their blog post AdWords Ads: what's your location?

According to the post, the location is included below ads that are regionally targeted when the search query or visitor IP address match the user to the target location of the ads.

For advertisers, this means that they must start by geo-targeting their ads and/or include location names alongside regular keywords in order to have the location included along with the ad.

Having this location show up alongside ads is beneficial because it differentiates your ad (5 lines versus 4) from the rest.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Microsoft Heading For Shopping Comparison

Microsoft announced that they have acquired Jellyfish.com, a Wisconsin-based company that provides shopping comparison search. This announcement comes shortly after Live Search's update that provides special attention to the shopping vertical.

The software giant are relentless in their pursuit of Google. This new acquisition will most likely result in Microsoft developing a competitor for Google Product Search.

Jellyfish provides a good mix of social shopping and discount shopping in one easy to use shopping search site.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Step By Step Calculation For Top Ad Placement

Earlier today the Inside AdWords blog announced an upcoming change to the top ad placement formula. The new formula uses a keywords Maximum CPC rather than average CPC to calculate whether or not the ad will get placed above the organic search results.

The way the placement / bid process will now be worked out is as follows:
  1. Calculate Quality Score using CTR, ad quality, relevance
  2. Retrieve advertiser's Max CPC for the keyword
  3. Is the Max CPC higher than Top Placement threshold?
    • Yes: Eligible for placement above organic results
    • No: Not eligible. Ad will be placed only on right
  4. Calculate Ad Score = Quality Score * Max CPC
  5. Determine ad placement by comparing with other advertisers' Ad Scores
  6. Is ad position within Top 3?
    • Yes: Is ad eligible for placement above organic results?
      • Yes: Place in one of the 3 positions above organic results
      • No: Place ad in the right-hand column
    • No: Place ad as per normal method

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Spanky New Version of Google Analytics

More than a year after its launch, Google Analytics is now being updated to provide a spanking new navigation system and look and feel.

Official announcement of the New Version of Google Analytics!

The prior version's navigation was not always intuitive... i often had to walk clients through it and had great trouble trying to explain how they can view various reports, and most probably never bothered after the first time!

Hopefully, the new version of Google Analytics will be better. I'll blog about it when our account gets updated.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Google Responds To Viacom - Let The Fun Begin!

While the official Google blog has sunny posts about their Sydney and California offices, their legal team have been working on much more serious (or so we would think!) matters...

They have prepared an official response to Viacom's lawsuit alleging that Google's YouTube infringes copyrights by hosting material that users upload, which Google knows to be in direct violation of Viacom's copyrights.

Google's official response was basically "meh!"... Viacom pushed for the DMCA law that limits webmasters' liability for content published by users, so they should now live with the consequences!

Viacom's rather valid response was that Google claims to "organise all the world's information", so they'll be damned if they accept that Google doesn't know what's in it's own backyard! ... in other words, everyone's gotta believe Google can easily detect what's being uploaded to YouTube, and stop it from being published if they want to.

True... hear! hear!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

iGoogle ... Do You?

Google's personalised homepage has been rebranded to iGoogle.

Official Google Blog announcement: You've got gadget mail

They are seriously pushing the personalisation envelope, first with Web History, and now branding the personalised portal for individual promotion.

I suspect we will see a big algorithm change involving personalisation of search results in the next few weeks, if not days.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Froogle Renamed Google Product Search

Some marketing genius realised that Froogle was a stupid play on words and did nothing for the Google brand. So now they have gone and renamed the shopping search engine to "Google Product Search". Yawn! At least the old name induced a snicker the first time it was read.

Official announcement: Back to basics

PS: Someone has to tell the Google bloggers something about appropriate titles for their blog entries. Who the hell woulda thought "Back to basics" refers to rebranding Froogle??

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Optimizer Not Available To Agencies?

Two new features have been launched on Google AdWords:

Preferred cost bidding, which as the name suggests allows users to specify a preferred cost rateher than a maximum CPC or CPM

And integrated Website Optimizer functionality.

However, the first (preferred cost bidding) does not seem to be available just yet, and the second requires advertisers to be logged in as administrators on their own account and not on an MCC (Agency My Client Center). Weird!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Google's Landing Page Split Testing Tool Available To All

The landing page optimisation tool that Google misleading named "Website Optimizer" is now available to all. The tool is still in Beta, and will probably stay that way for long, if past performance of other Google tools is any indication.

The official announcement Website Optimizer now available to all on the Google AdWords blog even includes quotes from companies that trialled the system and were happy with the results.

I don't doubt any of that. My only beef is with the name.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

So That's Where The Cute Googlers Are

Like most high-tech companies, Google is mostly starved of any eye-candy. (No amount of money could make Larry or Sergey look cute!)

But now they have released a photograph of the token eye-candy they have working there, and I must say "well done you, G"

Google were winners at the Relay Del Sol, a 187-mile overnight relay across the Arizona desert.

The team took a break from coding or selling or posing (or whatever it is they do) to live in the real world, and they've shown that they aren't all hobbits or super-nerds who spent last weekend thinking up uber-geeky April Fools' jokes.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Any AdWords Seminars Planned For London?

Given how big the UK market is for Google AdWords, I would've expected to see a few AdWords seminars happening on this side of the pond as well.

However, a quick look at the current schedule that Google have on the site seems to show no planned seminars in the UK.

Then we read this post about AdWords recruiting new AdWords Seminar Leaders and we have to ask: "could they not find anyone in the UK worthy of leading a seminar on AdWords?

Surely not. AccuraCast would make great seminar leaders!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Google Officially Announces The PlusBox

Last month AccuraCast blogged about Google providing financial results in a PlusBox. The PlusBox is essentially a small plus sign that users can click on to get further information about a certain headline or topic. It is currently in use with local / map related results and also on headlines in the Google personalized homepage.

The beta tests with the PlusBox must have gone pretty well, as yesterday, Google officially announced the use of Plus Box with financial search results and local search results.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Another Google feature that no one will use

In their attempt to attract and keep more users, Google have created yet another useless feature on their search product that is likely to go down the trash chute faster than you can say rubbish!

Personalized homepage themes

Yes, the Google home page is becoming a bit of a commonplace home page, or even a starting point for everyone's daily Internet traipsing. However, offering a personalization feature such as themed wallpapers and "skins" is taking it a bit too far. What i'd like to know is which Backstreet Boy (or McFly) loving teenage girl suggested this feature?

Surely the money spent acquiring genius companies such as AdScape and Gapminder must have brought in the hope for more sensible improvements than this!

Friday, 16 March 2007

Namaste! Aap Google News abhi Hindi mein padh sakenge!

The title of this article literally means: "Greetings! You can now read Google news in Hindi!".

Yes. That's true. Coming straight from the horse's mouth:

Google Blog: Google News in Hindi

While the news sources might be limited, and opinions skewed, it's still a very good step for Google, as it could let them tap into a very big market!

Monday, 12 March 2007

More control over local listings for Google

New features make it easier for advertisers to customise their Google Local search listings.

New features for Local Business Center

The impressions count is probably the most handy addition as it provides an idea of actual usage of Google local search.

More information is available on the AccuraCast Search Daily News blog, under the posting about Google Local Search Providing More Customisable Features

Friday, 2 March 2007

Official Google Blog: Suggest a better translation

Google using user input to improve results, again!

This time it's with Google Translate. Users can suggest a better way for a sentence to be translated if Google's automatic translation looks dodgy.

Nice move, Google!

We remember not too long ago Google started relying on user input - that is clieck through rates and bounce rates - to determine relevancy in their paid and organic search results. This is smart, as there's no better way to gain / increase loyalty and improve one's own products for free!

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Google "Disclose" That <10% clicks are Invalid

Google claim that less than 10% of their clicks are invalid.

Most of these clicks get detected by their 3-part click fraud detection system, but there is another 0.02% which get reactively detected when advertisers request an investigation.

Inside AdWords: Invalid Clicks – Google’s Overall Numbers

Does that mean that on average all advertisers should expect a 0.02% rebate on their advertising spend due to click fraud?

If the law of averages applies, then most advertisers who spend big amounts would be well served to investigate and report fraudulent clicks. For example, using averages, an advertisers spedning £100,000 per month on paid search could typically get back £20 per month or £240 a year on account of fraudulent clicks - is that worth spending a few hours investigating them or investing in a click fraud detection system?
... depends how much you trust Google's proclaimation!

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Inside AdWords: Quality Score updates are live

Inside AdWords: Quality Score updates are live

This quality score algorithm update provides much-needed relief for advertisers bidding on new keywords that Google doesn't have a history for. To get a better understanding, read this week's article on AccuraCast's SEO Weekly.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Inside AdWords: Introducing the Retail Knowledge Center

Inside AdWords: Introducing the Retail Knowledge Center

Things I'd like to see in the Retail Knowledge Center:

Real search volumes
Average industry CTR
Average industry conversion rate
Average keyword specific conversion rates.

I know the last one might be asking for too much... but if u dont ask....!