Google AdWords To Offer Click-Fraud Stats

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Google AdWords To Offer Click-Fraud StatsGoogle's "kicking it up a notch" in their PPC click-fraud efforts and has now decided to reveal some of its key click-fraud stats to its advertisers. As of last Tuesday, Adwords advertisers have been given the option to view the number of invalid clicks (that's right... invalid) that Google finds within their account, as well as the percentage of overall clicks deemed invalid.

Google AdWords To Offer Click-Fraud Stats

Google's "kicking it up a notch" in their PPC click-fraud efforts and has now decided to reveal some of its key click-fraud stats to its advertisers. As of last Tuesday, Adwords advertisers have been given the option to view the number of invalid clicks (that's right... invalid) that Google finds within their account, as well as the percentage of overall clicks deemed invalid.

For those of you not familiar with Pay Per Click advertising, click-fraud occurs when website publishers click on ads on their site to boost their revenue or when companies click on rivals' ads to eat away at their advertising budgets. Obviously, click-fraud is a very big thorn in the sides of PPC advertisers, and until now they have not had a great deal of data to use in defending their accounts from fraudulent click activity.

Industry reports say fraudulent clicks range from about 14 percent to as high as 20 percent of total clicks. Without relevant click-fraud data from Google and other search engines, advertisers have had to rely on estimates from third-party companies. Under this new system, AdWords customers will now have a better understanding of the amount of invalid clicks that exist within their campaigns, as well as being able to compare Google's information with that of their third-party provider.

The following image highlights the newly added click-fraud options in which users can select to see "invalid clicks" and "invalid clicks rate"

Google AdWords To Offer Click-Fraud Stats

This next image is a sample of how the "invalid clicks" and "invalid clicks rate" sections will appear in a report after one has been generated.

Google AdWords To Offer Click-Fraud Stats

There's no doubt that this is a step in the right direction for PPC advertising. As PPC advertising continues to be an effective way of marketing websites, advertisers will continually need more and more click-fraud support from search engines, in terms of reports, tools, and other resources. Hopefully other PPC search engines will realize what Google has - the need for releasing invalid click information - and will follow in their foot steps.

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Yahoo! Partners with Motorola: "Yahoo! Go Mobile"

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Yahoo! Partners with Motorola: 'Yahoo! Go Mobile'Yahoo! announced this past Wednesday that it has inked a deal with Motorola. The new multiyear deal calls for tens of millions of new mid-priced and high-end Motorola phones to run an integrated set of services known as Yahoo! Go for Mobile. This service will feature mobile versions of many of its premiere services including Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, and more.

Yahoo! Partners with Motorola:

Yahoo!, the world's largest Internet media company, announced this past Wednesday that it has inked a deal with Motorola, the second-largest maker of mobile phones. The new multiyear deal calls for tens of millions of new mid-priced and high-end Motorola phones to run an integrated set of services known as Yahoo! Go for Mobile.

Yahoo! Go, a software system designed to make Yahoo! services as easy to use on mobile phones and TVs as they have become on computers, will feature mobile versions of many of its premiere services including Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, photos, calendar, address book, web and image search, news, sports, and finance.

My Thoughts

I had first Blogged about "Yahoo! Go" back in January of this year, but only then Yahoo! was striking a deal with Nokia, the world's largest mobile handset maker. Here's an excerpt from that post:

"Dubbed Yahoo! Go Mobile, these communications and media applications are expected to be preloaded on Nokia Series 60 mobile phones and available in 10 countries worldwide, including Cingular and AT&T customers in the United States. Additions and updates to the information in the applications are said to be automatically synched between the mobile phone and the user's account on Yahoo! servers."

These new ties between Internet companies, such as Yahoo!, and hardware makers, such as Nokia and now Motorola, promise to provide consumers with easier and quicker access to personal Internet information. As mentioned in my January post... Yahoo! Go is a monster of an idea. Yahoo! has near 500 million users or more accessing their website (services) each and every month, and until now their lives have been literally locked into a PC browser. Yahoo! Go is the first step, of what I believe are many to come, in the direction of a more-mobile Internet.

With both Nokia and Motorola, the #1 and #2 companies in mobile phones, under Yahoo!'s belt I can't help but wonder what the company has in stored for future distribution of their mobile services.

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Book Review: "Purple Cow"

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Book Review: 'Purple Cow'Purple Cow is about the why, the what, and the how of remarkable. A Purple Cow is a metaphor for a remarkable, interesting, and revolutionary idea or product. This book highlighted many of today's Purple Cows and shares in-depth ideas and concepts of how a company can become one, while teaching that companies can't simply continue to hammer out the same ideas.

Book Review: 'Purple Cow'
"My goal in the Purple Cow is to make it clear that it's safer to be risky - to fortify your desire to do truly amazing things. Once you see that the old ways have nowhere to go but down, it becomes even more imperative to create things worth talking about."

This past week I finished reading "Purple Cow," written by Seth Godin, and was very happy that I did. Seth Godin is a renowned public speaker, and, in my opinion, one of the best authors to ever touch on the subject of marketing. I am a big fan of the the man and his books.

So what is a Purple Cow? Well, a Purple Cow, as described by Godin, is a metaphor for a remarkable, interesting, and revolutionary idea or product.

Imagine for a second that you and you're family are traveling across country on vacation. As you continue to travel towards your destination, you begin to drive past several farms where cows can be seen grazing in the pastures right next to the highway. For the first few miles you and your family would no doubt be intrigued, finding every cow amazing and fun to watch as you continued to drive past them. Now, fast forward a bit to the 20th farm or the 25th farm down the road... are you and your family still watching the cows? Are you still intrigued? Probably not! The new cows are just like the old cows and what was once amazing is now common. Worse than common. It is now boring.

The same can be said with many of today's products and services. Many are indeed so similar to their competitors that they themselves have become boring. Take the aspirin industry into consideration... a quick visit to the drugstore turns up Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Bayer, Motrin, Alka-Seltzer, and so many other brands of aspirin. They're all pretty much the same, aren't they? They all claim to relieve head-aches and head-ache related symptoms, and all promise to do so quicker than their competitors can. Aspirin and the aspirin industry are boring.

Now, going back to you and your family traveling down the road, what if you happen to spot a Purple Cow at the 30th farm? That would be interesting and intriguing... wouldn't it? Sure it would... it's a freaking Purple Cow on the side of the highway. It is so different, so uncommon that you and other travelers would no doubt pull over for a closer look. You'd begin to ask questions, take pictures of it, and even go as far as telling someone else about it. Wouldn't you?

The same can be said for an idea, product, or service that is truly remarkable and different... one so remarkable and different that it gets us to take notice of it, to ask questions, to tell someone, and to actually invest in. Such an idea, product, or service is what Seth Godin refers to as a Purple Cow.

A coffee stand was just a coffee stand... until there was Starbucks. Starbucks is the now purple cow of coffee shops.

A donut was just a donut... until there was Krispy Kreme. Krispy Kreme is the now purple cow of donuts.

A search engine was just a search engine... until there was Google. Google is the now purple cow of search engines.

The same can be said for many companies within many industries both online and off.

Book Review

Purple Cow is about the why, the what, and the how of remarkable. It highlighted many of today's Purple Cows, and shares in-depth ideas and concepts of how a company can become one. Needless to say, I was able to learn quite a bit from this book, and feel that the information shared was definitely well worth the price.

Furthermore, the book teaches that a company that is looking to be successful can't continue to hammer out the same ideas, products, or services. It's both boring and dangerous. In order to be successful, a company needs to be different, innovative, and remarkable. So, let me ask you. Is your company a Purple Cow? If not, this may be the book for you. Reading it may just help you to discover new and innovative ways to think about your business.

A marketing book was just a marketing book... until there was "Purple Cow." "Purple Cow" is the now purple cow of marketing books!

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MSN Ends Paid Search Partnership with Yahoo!

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Monday, July 03, 2006

MSN Ends Paid Search Partnership with Yahoo!Yahoo and MSN are partners' no-more. As of July 1st, the MSN / Yahoo! agreement regarding the distribution of Yahoo! paid search listings has ended. That's right! Yahoo! Search Marketing advertisers will no longer have the luxury of having their PPC ads reach MSN's search result pages. Instead, MSN will be employing their own PPC program, MSN adCenter, to fit the bill.

MSN Ends Paid Search Partnership with Yahoo!

The time has finally arrived... Yahoo and MSN are partners' no-more. As of July 1st (this past Saturday) the MSN / Yahoo! agreement regarding the distribution of Yahoo! paid search listings has ended. That's right! Yahoo! Search Marketing advertisers will no longer have the luxury of having their PPC ads reach MSN's search result pages. Instead, MSN will be employing their own PPC program, MSN adCenter, to fit the bill.

Here is an official quote from the Yahoo! Search Marketing division:

"MSN's U.S. search distribution agreement with Yahoo! Search Marketing ends this month, and Yahoo! Sponsored Search listings will no longer appear in MSN's U.S. search results. Although we regret the loss of MSN as a distribution partner, it was not unexpected, and we do not anticipate a significant change in the total amount of traffic to our advertisers as a result."

My Thoughts

This shouldn't come as that big of a surprise to many... the MSN / Yahoo! days have been numbered ever since MSN first announced its plan to create a PPC program. In addition, for the past few months MSN has been serving many of its own adCenter ads, in place of Yahoo! ads, on its search results pages. This was most likely done to help search users and advertisers adjust to this weekend's transition.

So what exactly does this mean for Pay Per Click marketers? Well, if you haven't done so already, you should definitely consider breaking-down your overall Pay Per Click budget to accommodate MSN's new program. Most likely you've already split your advertising budget between Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Adwords but now you really should consider making a third slice. Even though MSN's reach is no where near that of Google's and Yahoo's advertising networks, they still rake in over 40 million searches a month. That's traffic that no one should be missing out on.

What do you think? Does MSN have what it takes to compete on the frontlines with Yahoo!'s and Google's already established PPC programs, or do you think that they'll fall short? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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