Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Google ads not as interesting as Ask Jeeves?

Once again, Google has ended up king of the hill on customer experience in a recent search engine survey, with 89% of users reporting positive experience of using the search giant; second best Ask Jeeves managed just 68%.

YAWN - tell me something I didn't know

How about this:

"Google tripped up on the report's 'ad activity index' with users more likely to click on sponsored links on Ask Jeeves and Lycos....Ask Jeeves also generated the most 'click-throughs' while Lycos generated the most awareness to its sponsored links according to the survey."

Google infighting?

Is Gmail in violation of Google's own policy on spyware?

Scanning private emails to trigger targeted advertising could indeed be found to violate Google's own policy.
Monday, May 24, 2004

Bill Gates loves blogs.... its official

Bill Gates is now championing the use of Blogs as marketing tools. Choosing to extrapolate on how RSS Feeds can be used to increase reach of one's own blog, Gates feels the RSS+Blog method will eventually supercede email marketing as a way to influence buying.

Google vs Spyware

Google have put a lot of thought into improving the online experience of its users. They are alarmed at the growing disregard for computer user's rights by unscrupulous spyware software that tricks you in order to serve you pop-up ads, connect your modem to expensive toll numbers or hijack your browser from the site you're trying to visit.

So what are they going to do about it? Google has stepped up to the pulpit and pledges to do their best to remove spyware from the internet through a new "set of principles we[Google] believe our industry should adopt and we're sharing them to foster discussion and help solve the problem."

Sounds good? Hang on, why are Google doing this on their own. Surely they should be lobbying the internet advertising trade bodies first? Maybe they have, maybe Google believes as internet pioneers they need to set an example for others to follow, regardless of the well-meaning agendas of the trade bodies?

Perhaps not - it looks as though Google is tapping into the democratic nature of the internet and realising it not just an audience of consumers at the mercy of marketers. If they spread the word amongst the internet populace then the people can rise and put an end to the "spyware" oppression.

Google Corporate Information: Software Principles
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Search Engine Dos and Donts

I do a lot of travelling, and tend to book the hotel and transport sepereately. No packages for me at all. Quite often sites such as Expedia or Travelocity give me all the info I need to make my purchasing decision. Last year I went to Merano in the Italian Alps. I found a nice looking hotel on Expedia, but I really wanted an objective review. I googled said hotel and was presented with many travel sites offering me reviews - the search listing even named the hotel, so I thought I had found the info I needed. Not so. I clicked on each URL only to be told that the info did not exist.
I was slightly annoyed at having my time-wasted like this. Initially I blamed Google for giving me bad referrals, only later realising that Google was duped into believing these sites contained the info I needed by adding hidden text, etc. including products(hotels) they did not actually offer. Naturally some sites offered me hotels that "might be of interest", except these were all in Rome or other Italian speaking parts of Italy (Merano is actually a German speaking town). As a result I made a conscious decision never to click on links to these travel sites in future holiday research.

They alienated me as a customer before I even had a chance to consider them.

WhenU were unceremoniously dumped from Google and Yahoo last week for using "unethical" SEO tactics. Perhaps these tactics where similar to those adopted by my friends in the travel industry. WhenU blamed the SEO consultant - who does the SEO consultant blame?
Monday, May 17, 2004

Mumbai Dreams part deux

I do not agree with the ethics on this one.

Unscrupulous CPC vendors could use it though:

India's secret army of online ad 'clickers' - The Times of India

Interview with Iraqi Web Marketer: Internet to Help Reconstruction

While it is not that remarkable to see how the internet can help rebuild an economy with a crippled traditional infrastructre, it is interesting that the media war will morph into a media solution....

Interview with Iraqi Web Marketer: Internet to Help Reconstruction � MarketingVOX
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Mumbai Dreams

There is always a big press when major companies, such as Google or Microsoft set up a research hub or call centre in India. The labor market is cheaper and there is a highly-skilled workforce. The world renowned business consultancy Mc.Kinsey and Co. have their presentation packs created by a company in the sub-continent. The consultant makes some graffiti on a whiteboard, the scribbles are scanned in and sent to Madras; the next day said consultant comes back and has a Powerpoint sitting in his inbox. Voila.

Wouldn't it be great if one could do the same with traffic instructions for an agency or publisher? How many times have you (I am talking to the account managers here) been faced with an issue at the end of the day, only to be told by traffic: "sorry, no can do" either for reasons of understaffing or time constraints.
Wouldn't it be great to do the same as the guy from McKinsey? Give the traffic brief to a team that will not demand overtime and work overnight? Furthermore would it not be great to just cut the cost of a traffic head when it is not a customer-facing role that needn't be in the office 24/7?

The administrative side of the Media Sales business has almost always been kept in-house. Except now that is. Companies such as Trafficmac offer cost-effective alternatives to a costly in-house traffic team. How do they do this? Their traffic dept. is based in Mumbai. The economics are simple: the average desk space in London (England) costs $7K, whereas Mumbai (India) offers desk space for less than $1.5K.

Agencies have recently been through cost-cutting exercises, and Media Week explores the idea of exporting ad buyer jobs to Bombay. They can do their jobs based on recorded information (pricing, performance indexes, etc.) so why not sit them next to the traffic guys in Mumbai?

Of course the media buyers will be on a higher floor than the traffickers, but that's another story....
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Pass Notes No1

Noo Meeja Ads makes comment on why it is so hard to get a job these days...

Unstatic released an insight into Location Based Advertising....

Seth Godin released his latest ebook: Bull Market 2004 - "Companies that help you make something happen".....great book....great guy....

....keep those Bulls running.