Google To Offer "Click-to-Play" Video Ads

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Google To Offer 'Click-to-Play' Video AdsGoogle has taken the next step in what they believe is moving-forward and now offers "click-to-play" video ads. Unlike many video ads that automatically play when a visitor goes to a web page, Google's ads will not start until the user clicks on them. Viewers can advance the video, pause it, adjust the volume or click through to the advertiser's site.

Google To Offer 'Click-to-Play' Video Ads

Up until last week, Google sold text, flash, and image-based online advertising to online merchants and those looking to buy a little bit of search traffic to their websites. This week Google has taken the next step in what they believe is moving-forward and now offers "click-to-play" video ads which are set to show throughout its publisher network (but not its own sites).

Unlike many video ads that automatically play when a visitor goes to a web page, Google's ads will not start until the user clicks on them. Viewers can advance the video, pause it, adjust the volume or click through to the advertiser's site.

Via Google's automated auction system, advertisers will bid on a cost-per-click basis, where they pay when a user clicks an embedded link, or on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis. Fees on a CPM basis are expected to range between $5 to the low double-digits, compared with the current online video prices, which can run as high as $100.

Are Video Ads The Next Big Thing?

There's no question that video is becoming more and more popular on the Internet as the success of YouTube and viral videos illustrate. However, I'm not yet sold on the fact that video advertising is necessarily the next generation of online advertising.

I mean do people really want to be bothered by video ads? I don't believe they do. I think people want to find the information they are searching for and find it quick... not watch some 15-30 second "online commercial" that may or may not help them in their search.

Does Google believe that people want to see video ads, or that video advertising is even at all helpful to its users? Well, I'm not a spokesman for Google, but I'd say no, they don't. If they did, than one must ask why aren't they placing these ads on their own site (search, local search, maps, news, etc.), instead of just their publisher network? My guess is that Google had discovered during early testing that people aren't all that interested in clicking on video ads as often as is seen with text ads, and their probably not ready to disrupt their gravy-train to know for sure - which, by the way, pulled in more than $6 Billion last year.

What do you think? Is video advertising the next phase in online marketing?

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Yahoo! to Update to Paid Search Platform

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Yahoo! to Update to Paid Search PlatformYahoo! announced their plans for implementing a new ad system, which is said to offer enhanced ease of use, advanced testing features, geo-targeting, and automated analytics. This new ad system is designed to let marketers target prospective consumers not only by the search terms that people use, but also by their demographics and location.

Yahoo! to Update to Paid Search Platform

This past week Yahoo! announced their plans for implementing a new ad system, which is said to offer enhanced ease of use, advanced testing features, geo-targeting, and automated analytics. Yahoo!'s new ad system, scheduled to launch in the third quarter, is designed to let marketers target prospective consumers not only by the search terms that people use, but also by their demographics, location, and most importantly what they do on other areas of the Yahoo! network.

Yahoo! plans on leveraging its millions of registered users and broad network of services to improve its advertising sales. There are so many things a person can do on Yahoo!'s network with a Yahoo! ID, and with that there is so much the network can tell Yahoo! Search Marketing about each of its users. The new ad system will allow Yahoo! to analyze its users, based off of information found on its network, and then distribute advertisements according to each user's intent to buy products and services.

For instance, if a registered Yahoo! user were to search "things to do in Illinois", Yahoo! Search Marketing will now be able to consult with Yahoo! Travel, learn that this user is planning a trip to Chicago, and thus provide him/her with advertisements tailored to Chicago, Illinois.

My Thoughts

I believe this is an excellent idea, not to mention innovative, for 2 important reasons:

1. Online advertising is estimated at more than $30 billion a year and growing.

2. Yahoo! has more users than any website on the net.

This new kind of advertising targeting, if harnessed correctly, will outdo every other PPC advertising model available and deliver relevant advertising better than keyword searches ever could. Furthermore, we're no doubt seeing the beginning of what we can expect in the future from PPC search advertising and individualized / personalized searching. However, I would have thought it to come from Google, not Yahoo!. This should make things interesting.

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Book Review: "The Google Story"

written by
Friday, May 12, 2006
Book Review: 'The Google Story'
"Blue-chip venture capital firms, Yahoo!, AltaVista, and many other major search engines and technology companies approached by Stanford University turned down the chance to buy Google's search system for $1 million. Their refusals forced Stanford Ph.D students Sergey Brin and Larry Page to reluctantly drop out of school and start the firm. By the summer of 2005, each of the founders had a net worth of more that $10 billion."

I finished reading "The Google Story" by David Vise, a book that takes readers inside the creation and growth of Google, and enjoyed it very much. The book isn't like the traditional Internet marketing books that I read and review, but rather it did help me to understand how Google came into existence and why the search giant is the hottest leading business, media, and technology success of our time.

The Google Story covered such stories as to how Larry Page and Sergey Brin met, the days leading up to Google's billion dollar IPO, and everything in between. Other highlights included Google's future plans for expanding into the field of biology and genetics and a section on how Matt Cutts became known as the "Porn Cookie Guy".

I have to admit that my favorite section of the entire book was when I learned that Larry, Sergey, and Stanford University were shopping the Google search technology to Yahoo!, but were turned down. To think, Yahoo! had an opportunity to own Google search technology for a million dollars and passed, only to spend hundreds of millions in the future attempting to now compete against it. It's all so fascinating.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about Google and how they came into existence. While the book won't help marketers to rank better in the search results, it will help them to better understand the company who's stock is worth more than Disney's and General Motor's combined, who's staff eats for free in a dining room that used to be run by a former chef for the Grateful Dead, who's employees travel their colorful Silicon Valley work campus on scooters and inline skates, and who's mantra is simply "Don't Be Evil".

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Color Schmere's ColorPix Tool for Website Design

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Color Schmere's ColorPix Tool for Website DesignHave you ever been browsing online and come across a website or a graphic that features a color that you can't live without. Maybe you've found a color that is perfect for the project you're currently working on, or maybe it's one that you want to save for future use. Well, I am happy to report that I have found a helpful tool for capturing colors.

Color Schmere's ColorPix Tool for Website Design

Have you ever been browsing online and come across a website or a graphic that features a color that you can't live without. Maybe you've found a color that is perfect for the project you're currently working on, or maybe it's one that you want to save for future use. I am sure have. Usually, I open up Photoshop and tweak color scales and pallets until I am able to recreate the color, but this can be very time consuming. Well, I am happy to report that I have found a helpful tool for capturing colors.

ColorPix is a very simple and useful little color picker that grabs the pixel under your mouse and transforms it into a number of different color values (CMYK, RGB, HEX, and HSB), allowing users to use that color in their design efforts. For example, let's assume that you wanted to use Coca-Cola's trademark color red in a personal project that you were working on. With the tool active, hover your mouse over the logo on Coca-Cola's logo and you'll find that it has the following color properties:

RGB: 232, 0, 1
HEX: #E80001
CMYK: 0, 100, 100, 9

Color Schmere's ColorPix Tool for Website Design

My Thoughts

I absolutely love this tool, and use it daily! I've tested multiple color-picking tools, but feel that this is the best fit for me as it is easy-to-use and understand. In fact, my favorite features include:

Easy Handling

The tool's unique small size, and its ability to stay on-top of all other applications and out of the way make handling the tool very easy.

Color Lock

When hovering over a desired color, the tool's ability to lock-in colors by pressing any keyboard key is very helpful. This function allows users to find a color and preserve it until their ready to use it.

Easy Copy Function

Users who've capture their desired color can click the color value of their choice thereby coping that value to their clip-board. With a color copied, users can quickly paste the color value into their design programs and editors for easy implementation.

Magnifier

The tool comes equip with a built-in magnifier and has the ability to zoom in on your screen. This makes it very easy for users to snag the precise color they desire.

I 100% endorse this design tool, and encourage graphic and website designers to give it a shot

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