Tag: search

Get Ready for Google+ Games

Get Ready for Google+ Games

Interesting article from mashable about the possibility of Google+ Games…

Amplify’d from mashable.com

It looks like Google has some big features planned for Google+, including a Google Games product.

Engadget dug up some interesting pieces of the Google+ code. Specifically, I was interested in the references to “Google+ Games.”

The references to game invites and Google+ Games seem pretty clear. And while Google could always choose to scrap a Google+ Games product before its launch, we don’t think that’s what will happen here. The reason being Zynga, the creator of FarmVille, CityVille and many more social games.

Google invested more than $100 million in Zynga last year. The investment was designed to be part of a larger partnership, sources have told us. That partnership, we believe, will culminate with the launch of Google+ Games. And you can bet that Google+ will prominently feature games from the social gaming giant.

We doubt it will be long before we learn more about Google+ Games. Zynga is expected to file for its IPO in the next few days, and we bet there will be a few references to what kind of partnerships it’s exploring with the search giant.

Read more at mashable.com

 

10+ Points About Google +1

10+ Points About Google +1

Google +1 launched earlier this week, here’s the details!

Amplify’d from searchenginewatch.com

10+ Points About Google +1

Google +1 hit the press yesterday and many are wondering whether Google can get a truly social product off the ground. However, the product announcement is more of an invitation to join an experiment rather than a Google-wide launch.

The success of Google +1 really is in our hands. Here is a summary of the fundamentals:

1. It’s just a voting button for search results pages.
In line with Google’s latest social strategy, Google +1 is a social layer for search results pages, rather than a proper social network.

serps-plusone.png

2. Everyone needs a Google Profile to use it.
Yet, it sort of is a social network because it can only be used by users with a public Google profile. Anyone who uses any Google products, already has a Google Profile, but it has to be upgraded to be made public.

Strictly speaking Google +1 is not a social network. At this stage it is more like a collaborative set of tools for users of Google products.

However, pay attention because, the bad news is that regardless of whether you want to use Google +1 or not, all Google Profiles will go public or be deleted July 31.

Read more at searchenginewatch.com

 

8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business

8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business

Quick takeaways:
1. Position yourself as an expert.
2. Share experiences and information.
3. Keep it fresh and mix it up.
4. Encourage interaction and feedback.
5. Use schedulers and update apps.
6. Make your blog the central hub.
7. Link back to your website.
8. Use a personal touch.

Amplify’d from www.inc.com

Use continuous updates and punchy messages to heighten interest and keep your customers informed about products or services which in turn can boost sales.

Social networking. The big corporations have bought into it. Smaller companies, too. Even independent consultants use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to do business. It is a great way to get the word out about your product or service. It boosts brand awareness, it builds loyalty, and it attracts and retains customers.

But more companies are exploring ways to get a bigger pay off with social media. The next frontier of social networking and weblogging is social blogging. This ever-changing construct represents a way of communicating for people who like to inform each other about their daily activities and share common points of interest, according to Wikipedia authors Lambert M. Surhone, Mariam T. Tennoe, and Susan F. Henssonow. This is usually done through continual updates that often include text, pictures, audio, or video.

In general, you want to use social media to increase your visibility, improve your search engine results, and drive more traffic to your company’s website, which stands a good chance of increasing sales and growing the business. Social blogging is simply another tool to add to your overall social media strategic toolkit.

Business owners whose companies are at all levels of growth, from promising start-ups to established and mature firms, are looking for effective promotional tools that are also cost-effective, says Gail Z. Martin, author of 30 Days To Social Media Success. “Though social media is one of the most exciting new communications tools to emerge in the last twenty years and can provide cost effective marketing, it’s one of the most misunderstood mediums,” says Martin.

Social media, be it weblogging, microblogging (i.e., Twitter), or posting status updates, is a different kind of marketing. It’s not about creating a sales pitch for your product or service. Instead, it’s about generating interest and keeping your audience current on news, events, and the latest product developments. A social blog is essentially a form or combination of microblogs (short posts) and status updates. Users post content such as short sentences, images, or video links to large groups of friends, followers, or co-workers. As with traditional weblogging, users can write messages on topics that range from “what am I doing right now” to thematic ones such as “best places to eat sushi.” These messages can be transmitted via posting, text messaging, or e-mailing.

Businesses can use the concept of social blogging to provide up-to-the-minute news as they will find the need for quicker, current, and condensed information far more useful to their audiences, say social media gurus. But social blogs and status updates on Twitter and Facebook, for instance, aren’t just limited to news content, businesses also can use these as effective forms of communication to reach large groups of consumers and associates instantaneously to learn about their needs and wants.

Starbucks Corporation is a social media giant when it comes to engagement, including incorporating blogs, status updates, tweets, and forums. When the trendy Seattle-based coffeehouse chain realized that its sales were stagnating and that competition was becoming fierce, it had to find ways to solidify and expand its market share. In 2009, Starbucks launched the interactive MyStarbucksIdea website and corporate blog. While some industry analysts doubted whether the site would catch on, well over 100,000 internet users had visited the site by the end of its first week online. The site allows users to submit ideas for new drinks, food items, packages, even store designs. Suggestions are voted on by Starbucks consumers with the most popular ones getting highlighted.

But Starbucks took it a step further, adding an “Ideas in Action” blog that gives updates to users on the status of suggested changes. Starbucks doesn’t just communicate news and business developments with its audience, but it also lets them know which of their suggestions the company has really taken to heart. Starbucks also has fully embraced Twitter beyond notifying consumers about bargains; @Starbucks focuses on sharing interesting events and music information or brand- and charity-related topics the company would like to address. It’s not a one-way monologue. Followers are not just entertained. They are being engaged in a brand and conversations around it.

Like Starbucks, Zappos embraces microblogging to manage customer relations. Tweets @Zappos are used to highlight interesting facts, and to talk to customers in a way that is friendly, helpful, funny and trustworthy. The Brooklyn Kitchen keeps foodies up to date on events from notices about the new book club in full swing to the next skills knife class kicking off. Amateur chefs Taylor Erkkinen and Harry Rosenblum opened The Brooklyn Kitchen in 2006 after scouring the neighborhood for kitchenware and coming up empty-handed. Today, their homegrown shop is crammed wall to wall with tools for both serious cooks and hobbyists. The duo focuses on providing useful and targeted information in their posts whether it’s through their website, weblog, or twitter account. From videos on how to shuck oysters or saber a champagne bottle, Erkkinen and Rosenblum always provide real value for enthusiastic cooking fans.

Dig Deeper: 5 Ways to Actually Make Money on Twitter

This type of added-value and engagement translates to increased brand awareness and direct sales. These companies demonstrate the effective use of compelling and condensed content aligned with ta
ngible business objectives. Here are some tips to help you make the most of social blogging:

1. Position yourself as an expert. When people are looking for a product or service, oftentimes they will first look for information about the subject on the Internet. In general, blogging is about having conversations in a public space that position you as a subject matter expert. “The type of discussions you ideally should have ought to be answering questions that people out there on the Internet are searching for,” says Adria Richards, Organic Technology Consultant and blogger. “For me, social blogging is a way to have conversations with potential customers and to draw traffic to your site.” For instance, you can answer questions from consumers via Twitter, which is a popular thing to do.

2. Share experiences and information. Social blogging is often used to share experiences in addition to business ideas and concepts. Always seek unique opportunities to share your ideas and offerings with not only your readers, but their associates as well, which will eventually bring in more prospects. Announce upcoming events, awards, and other news. But do it in a conversational tone. Hopefully, your target audience will retweet or share your story. Don’t overlook Tunmblr, which is popular in the microblogging realm. Users can post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows and “Tumble” other posts. Tumblr provides the option of custom domains. You can auto-syndicate to Facebook and Twitter. Users can track stats with Google Analytics.

Read more at www.inc.com

 

The uncanny valley of advertising. Ads too-targeted, not targeted enough, or just poorly targeted.

The uncanny valley of advertising. Ads too-targeted, not targeted enough, or just poorly targeted.

Amplify’d from blogs.reuters.com

The uncanny valley of advertising

From an economic point of view, improvements in ad-targeting technology seem as though they’re pretty obviously Pareto-optimal: everybody benefits. Advertisers get to waste fewer of their ad dollars putting messages in front of people they don’t want to reach; publishers get to charge more money; and consumers get to see only things which are germane and relevant to them.

So why is it that many people hate ad targeting, and hate being served targeted ads?

Part of the reason, I think, is just that targeted ads are better at getting our attention than non-targeted ads — but they’re still an unwelcome distraction from whatever it is we’re wanting to read. Most of us have become pretty good at unconsciously ignoring advertising, especially online. (Often I find myself looking hard for a big special report on a website, because it’s presented on the home page in much the same way as an ad might be, and so I ignore it, in much the same way as it’s easy to miss the big letters spelling out continent names on a world map.) Every time there’s an improvement in targeted advertising, it cuts through that wall and annoys us anew before we slowly learn to ignore it over time.

Eventually, advertisers will be able to get much smarter than they are right now, and the ad-serving algorithms will stop being dumb things based on keyword searches, and will start being able to construct a much more well-rounded idea of who we are and what kind of advertising we’re likely to be interested in. At that point, when the ads we see are targeted to us based on much more than the content of our emails or the goods that we shop for online, they probably won’t feel nearly as creepy or intrusive as they do now. But for the time being, a lot of people are going to continue to get freaked out by these ads, and are going to think that the answer is greater “online privacy”. When I’m not really convinced that’s the problem at all.

Read more at blogs.reuters.com

 

Can Brands Maintain Engagement on Facebook?

Can Brands Maintain Engagement on Facebook?

Amplify’d from www.emarketer.com
Can Brands Maintain Engagement on Facebook?

“Likes” can go down as fan bases increase

FBLI

Growing a base of Facebook fans is often a major objective for social media marketers. Whether through special offers available only to fans, the promise of exclusive content or simply through a compelling campaign that reaches already-loyal customers, marketers are building up their presence on Facebook pages and hoping consumers flock there as well.

But as fan bases grow, the danger increases that the larger community will be less close-knit and engaged than before. Link-sharing solutions provider Visibli analyzed Facebook pages with at least 100,000 “likes” and found that for brands and media organizations, pages with more fans received fewer “likes” on each individual post. Engagement went down as the number of people involved went up.

And overall, brands are behind both artists and media organizations when it comes to average number of “likes” and comments per post.


There are many posting strategies brands can pursue to boost engagement on pages as the number of fans increases, however. Research from Buddy Media found that tweaking the length, timing and wording of posts could raise engagement.

In addition, the research from Visibli points to how brands should space out their posts. Half of all “likes” happen within 1 hour and 20 minutes of posting, and 70% happen within 4 hours. “Likes” taper off over time, until about 95% are received within 22 hours.


Furthermore, once a new post is up there’s less chance of “likes” on an older one, so brands should give messages time to play out and maximize engagement before updating.

Read more at www.emarketer.com

 

Google Product Search launched in Australia

Google Product Search launched in Australia

Google secretly launched their shopping comparison site here in Australia: http://www.google.com.au/prdhp
http://google-au.blogspot.com/2011/05/google-shopping-arrives-in-australia.html

Merchant Center, advertisers need to list their products: http://www.google.com.au/merchants/default

Getting Started: http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=188493

Be interesting to see how this goes down under.

NASA finds evidence of alien life.

NASA finds evidence of alien life.

Amplify’d from news.yahoo.com
“Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis,” writes Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientist Dr. Rudy Schild, who serves as the Journal of Cosmology’s editor-in-chief. “No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published.”

Read more at news.yahoo.com

 

Google AdWords Description Line Appearing in Headline

Google AdWords Description Line Appearing in Headline

Update (June 2011): Google has now enabled embedded sitelinks.

Update (May 2011): Google is now putting the URL after the headline if there is space.

Update (Feb 2011): Google wrote a post about it for more information.

I was doing a test search for a campaign I was setting up today and noticed that the description line 1 was showing up right after the headline on Google Adwords. Apparently they’ve been testing it around the world for a while and is now showing up intermittently here (see this article).

Update: It looks like your ads will do it if description line one is a complete sentence (i.e. ends in “.” or “?” or “!”).

Good to see one of my clients (GetPrice) getting a good wrap for our SEM campaign

Good to see one of my clients (GetPrice) getting a good wrap for our SEM campaign

The traditional retailers didn’t come off to well, but sites such as GetPrice with millions of long-tail keywords and targeted ad copies across multiple search engines are getting a great wrap for consumer experience and visibility.

Amplify’d from digitalministry.com

Google AdWords – Aussie Retailers Behind the Eight Ball

Written by Sean Wyld | January 31st 2011 What is your opinion?

With the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on advertising by the major electrical retailers, why do the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith, Myer and Co seem more interested in complaining about GST then utilising Google AdWords effectively? And why aren’t the leading online retailers like Deals Direct and OO.com.au maximising the opportunity?

Walk into your local JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman or Dick Smith and tell them you’re interested in buying a Samsung UA55C9000.  The sales person will take you to the TV section show you a shiny new Samsung UA55C9000 55” LED TV, tell you the price and tell you how much better your life will be with it sitting in your living room.

Now try the same thing online.  Go to Google.com.au and search for Samsung UA55C9000:

Out of all of the retailers in Australia, how many are interested in selling you a Samsung UA55C9000 TV, e.g. how many have an Google AdWords ad? Only one, the Electrical Discounter.  An honourable mention to price comparison sites, Get Price and Price Dumper and a thanks for playing to Optus with an ad for the right brand but wrong product.  With the hundreds of millions of advertising dollars spent each year by the major electrical retailers, where are the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith and Myer?  Or for that matter, where are the leading Australian online retailers like Deals Direct, OO.com.au and Dstore?

Read more at digitalministry.com

Good article explaining retargeting/remarketing

Good article explaining retargeting/remarketing

This is a good article explaining retargeting/remarketing. We use it regularly on EF & AdWords through Search and Display with a lot of success.

Amplify’d from searchenginewatch.com
If you spend “a lot of money” on your clients’ paid search programs or any other marketing program, this is your opportunity to increase their campaign ROI by making an effort to recapture the missed opportunities a second, third, or umteenth time. In most cases retargeting campaigns outperform search marketing campaigns (in a silo).

Read more at searchenginewatch.com