2009年10月31日 星期六

Test Yourself: Which Tabloid Headlines Are Actually True?

Can you separate fact from fiction when it comes to tabloid news? http://tinyurl.com/yez4wvw

Halloween ‘09 From Google, Yahoo, Bing & Others


Coyotes Attack and Kill: They're Everywhere ... Should You Worry?

Despite more coyotes, statistically they're far less dangerous than pit bulls. http://tinyurl.com/yk6ppwn

125.5 Million Americans Watched 10.3 Billion YouTube Videos in September

Normally, announcements made on a Friday afternoon are bad news. But yesterday at 4:21 p.m., comScore Video Metrix announced that more than 168 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 26 billion videos online during September 2009 -- an average of 154 videos per viewer. That's good news, isn't it?

To put this in perspective, Super Bowl XLIII achieved the largest television audience in U.S. history with a total audience of 151.6 million viewers, according to official national ratings data released by Nielsen Media Research.

In other words, more Americans are watching online video each and every month than watch the Super Bowl once a year. Get it? Got it? Good.

logo_halloween-vfl129017.png YouTube accounted for close to 40 percent of the 26 billiion videos viewed during September, to remain the market leader by a wide margin.

According to comScore,

-- 84.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in September.

-- The average online video viewer watched 9.8 hours of video that month.

-- The duration of the average online video was 3.8 minutes.

-- 125.5 million viewers watched nearly 10.3 billion videos on YouTube.com -- which is 82.4 videos per viewer.

-- 45.6 million viewers watched 424 million videos on MySpace.com -- which is 9.3 videos per viewer.

Now, let's compare these numbers to ones that search marketers should know by heart.

According to comScore qSearch, Americans conducted 13.8 billion core searches in September 2009. They watched nearly 26 billion videos online that month. This means Americans are watching almost twice as many videos as they conducting searches at the five major search engines.

So, is your video marketing budget twice as large as your search marketing budget? Hmmm. Maybe that's why the news was buried on a Friday afternoon.

Let's drill down a little deeper.

There were almost 9 billion core searches conducted on Google in September. There were 10.3 billion videos viewed on YouTube that month. That's right, Americans are watching more videos on YouTube than then are conducting searches on Google.

But wait! There's more!

According to comScore qSearch, there were 21.3 billion expanded search queries conducted in September. This counts searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites as well as searches at the major search engines.

Who were the leaders in expanded search?

Google was #1 with 9.4 billion expanded search queries.

YouTube was #2 with 3.5 billion.

Yahoo! as #3 with 2.7 billion.

Bing was #4 with 1.2 billion.

So, even if you put blinders on and say you are only interested in "search" and not interested in "marketing," then YouTube belongs on your A-list. It is the #2 search engine.

If you want to see what other marketers are doing on YouTube, check out Coldwell Banker's channel. And for the backstory, check out my interview with Michael Fisher, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Coldwell Banker, at SES San Jose 2009.

Michael Fisher of Coldwell Banker discusses Coldwell Banker's successful viral marketing campaigns

And there are advertising opportunities on YouTube, as well. For example, check out my interview with Matthew Liu, YouTube Product Manager, at SES New York 2009. He talks about Sponsored Videos, which has since been renamed Promoted Videos.

YouTube Product Manager, Matthew Liu on YouTube's Insight and Sponsored videos at SES NY 2009

Now, many search marketers measure the success of their campaigns in terms of conversions. In these cases, it's not just about views or clicks; it's about what the user did next: Buy something, fill out a form on your website, or take some other action.

These marketers want to be able to incorporate these kinds of conversions into their campaigns so they can "close the loop" and drive traffic to off-YouTube web pages. Back in June, YouTube launched this feature as an option for all Promoted Videos, allowing anyone who runs a campaign to specify a "Call-to-Action" for users, helping them generate engaged, well-targeted traffic for their websites.

Adding a Call-to-Action overlay to your video is easy. First, run a campaign to promote your video on YouTube. Then, go to the Video Details page under My Videos and fill out the fields in the section marked "Call-to-Action overlay." All you have to do is include a short headline, ad text, a destination url, and upload an optional image, and the overlay will appear whenever someone watches your video. Clicks on the overlay will be tracked in YouTube Insight.

Get it? Got it? Good.


Gamers: Dream Your Way to a Better Score?

Studies suggest dreaming and learning are intertwined. http://tinyurl.com/yfgby7h

2009年10月30日 星期五

Asian, Arabic and Russian Characters In Domains Soon: What Does It Mean

ICANN announced it will start allowing domains to be registered using non-Latin characters (English etc.) starting Nov. 16. The news was released during a meeting in Seoul on Friday, Reuters reported.

The news is important as it will see the registration of thousands if not millions of language specific domains. Previously, all domains were basically in English - not quite appropriate for a world wide web.

As the Independent noted:

"Considering it is known as the "World Wide web", the internet's reliance on the English language has long been maligned as a hangover from the web's beginnings as a communications tool for the US military."

"100,000 new characters are expected to be added, in a multitude of languages including Mandarin, Russian and Hebrew," according to the Independent.

No doubt there will be a stampede to register domains like the Oklahoma Land Rush of the the appropriatedly named "Unassigned Lands."

This move also shows a loosening of US control over ICANN and "most striking about the development is the symbolic shifting of power underpinning the web, which comes at a time that America's economic power around the world is diminishing. With Chinese web users now outnumbering their American counterparts, commentators will see this change as another step in the gradual de-Americanisation of the internet."


Trick-or-treat Bing, the Dracula Decision Engine

Bing launched a video ads featuring a vampire or dracula few days ago. We posted the video link here to celebrate trick-or-treat festival for American children which is well known as Halloween day. It usually celebrates on October 31. American children proceed in home-made or store-made costume from house to house. Home owners or apartment renters usually give kids who asking for treats such as wrapped candies or chocolates or popcorns, or sometime cash monies. Watch Dracula Decision Engine, click here http://tinyurl.com/ybe2na7

Too Good to Be True? Beatles for Sale Online

BlueBeat.com sells entire Beatles collection for 25 cents per MP3. http://tinyurl.com/ykta6ao

WATCH: Human iPhones Are a Halloween Hit

Two guys in Florida dress up as the Apple product to rave reviews. http://tinyurl.com/y87w33e

Business Wire Conducts Video Interview of Warren Buffet

Last month, after watching HostingYourParty, which told people how to host a Microsoft Windows 7 House, I asked: If you create something so bad that it goes viral, is it a public relations disaster?

Today, after watching "Warren Buffett is Bullish on America's Future, but Says That a Full Economic Recovery Will Take a While," I'll ask a different question: If you create something so good, is it a video marketing triumph even if it doesn't go viral?

In the video, Cathy Baron Tamraz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Business Wire, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, interviews Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Okay, so not every company has the "Oracle of Omaha" as its chairman. But every company has a chairman, CEO or president who their customers, stockholders and the media want to hear from.

Yes, yes, you can always insert a quote from Le Grand Fromage in your next press release. But, imagine inserting a video interview as well.

You'll find the Business Wire press release was posted yesterday. It is entitled, "Warren Buffett is Bullish on America's Future, but Says That a Full Economic Recovery Will Take a While."

And attached to the press release is the video below.

So, even if 590,000 people don't view it in the next three days, I still found it compelling.

Oh, speaking of 590,000 views, that is what a demonstration of Google Maps Navigation (Beta) has received in the past three days. You can see it below.

Google Maps Navigation (Beta)

Okay, okay, so most companies don't have brand names that are verbs as well as nouns. But every company has products that its customers, shareholders and other stakeholders want to hear about.

So, do these videos have anything else in common? They aren't funny, which also makes me think: Why isn't your company using video marketing?


I Vant To Suck Your Bing


Bing decision engine for mobile users using a short URL at m.bing.com

Bing updated its decision engine for people on the go using a short URL at m.bing.com. Aside for searching local info, finding quick answers, and accessing maps, Bing mobile services added several new features, as per to Bing team blog, the new updated services now includes American football data for players and scores, travel and flight status, and search for touch apps. The mobile services is currently available only in 31 selected countries. (photo: bing.com) http://tinyurl.com/yjcfjao

Bing Adds NFL, Flight Information To Mobile Browser


Despite PageRank Dropping In Webmaster Tools, Google Pushes Toolbar PageRank Update


Outside.in Expands Its Hyperlocal Search Capabilities


Search In Pictures: Yahoo Mascot, Google Sleep Ball, Google Kirkland Office


Facebook Wins Big Anti-Spam Judgment


Free iPhone Apps Developed by Students

Navigating campus and checking the course catalog just became a lot easier. http://tinyurl.com/yzdtryb

Hebrew, Hindi, Other Scripts Get Approved for Web Addresses

ICANN gives nod to non-latin domain names. http://tinyurl.com/yftq2bg

Reports: Cyberattacks Traced to North Korea

Cyberattacks that caused Web outages in July traced to N. Korean IP addresses. http://tinyurl.com/yjfyr8t

Google Flu Trends Intense in Canada, High in United States

Okay, so Google Flu Trends has been around since November of 2008. But Google has found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity.

Check out the world map below to see how Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity. It is intense in Canada and Norway. It is high in Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.

Each week, millions of users around the world search for health information online. As you might expect, there are more flu-related searches during flu season, more allergy-related searches during allergy season, and more sunburn-related searches during the summer.

Google flu trends.png You can explore all of these phenomena using Google Insights for Search. But can search query trends provide the basis for an accurate, reliable model of real-world phenomena?

Google has found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms. Of course, not every person who searches for "flu" is actually sick, but a pattern emerges when all the flu-related search queries are added together.

Google compared its query counts with traditional flu surveillance systems and found that many search queries tend to be popular exactly when flu season is happening. By counting how often Google sees these search queries, it can estimate how much flu is circulating in different countries and regions around the world. Their results have been published in the journal Nature.

So, according to the world map, now would be a great time to visit Australia, where flu activity is minimal. Throw another shrimp on the barbie.


Twitter Lists Goes Live


WATCH: Amazon Makes It Easier to Pay

The system will not require users to re-enter information with every purchase. http://tinyurl.com/ykcefkz

Researcher Jim Jansen On The “Sex” Of Search Queries & Personalization


Is Web Analytics Easy Or Difficult?


Google Crawls RSS Feeds to Discover New Web Pages; AdSense for Feeds Now Available in Blogger

Google recently launched a new feature that uses RSS and Atom feeds to discover new web pages. This helps Google index new webpages faster than traditional methods.

As a result, you'll want to make sure that your robots.txt file allows Googlebot to crawl your feeds. To learn more about robots.txt from Google's standpoint, click here.

In other feed news related to Google, AdSense for Feeds is now available directly in Blogger. You can find the integration under the "Monetize" tab in the Blogger dashboard.

AdSense for Feeds allows bloggers to make money from advertisements that are included in RSS feeds. This is important because not all RSS readers click through to visit a site, where bloggers can make money off of display ads.

Blogger is a blogging platform that was acquired by Google in 2003.


Google Tests Mortgage Comparison Ads, Updates Real Estate Search in Maps

Google is vamping up its real estate search offerings with two new announcements. First up, AdWords is testing comparison ads in the mortgage/refinance vertical. The idea behind comparison ads is to help searchers filter what they're really searching for when they type in something like "mortgage." Check out this screen shot of a comparison ad, per the Inside AdWords blog (click for a larger view):


When you click the ad, you get taken to a chart that lists various rates and lenders.


The second real estate announcement is for Google Maps. There are new ways to help searchers find real estate using the mapping service.

The first one involves the "More" menu that's directly on the map (not the one in the sidebar results). When you click on that, you'll see a real estate option. The second one is the ability to search rentals.

What do you think of Google's pursuit of real estate? Let us know by leaving a comment.


2009年10月29日 星期四

Google Homepage Test Now Instructs Searchers to Press Enter

Google has added an element to their latest homepage test that instructs people what to do after they've entered a keyword. The sentence "Press enter to search," now appears under the box where you type in your keywords - where the old submit buttons used to be.

Here's a screenshot. (Click image for a larger view.)


The "Press enter" phrase was not seen in earlier screenshots of the homepage test. I've apparently gotten the test version lately, as I've seen the fade-in and the lack of buttons, but this is the first I've seen the "Press enter to search."


Whiteboard Friday - Future-Proofing Your SEO

Posted by great scott!

When individuals or companies are new to SEO they often wonder if SEO is a one-time thing, or if it's an ongoing process.  In order to stay on top of your game, you need to keep an eye on your rankings over time and adjust accordingly; but there is a lot of core SEO strategy that doesn't change much and paying attention to these fundamentals (along with a little upkeep) can go a long way toward future-proofing your SEO strategy.

In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Rand goes over the key components of three major areas of any SEO strategy--Technical, Content, and Marketing--to show you where and how you can plan your efforts so they won't be obsolete next month or next year.  Whether you're just setting out to optimize your site, or you're already working with an SEO strategy, this video will help you find places to tie-up loose ends and avoid potential frustration down the road.

PS - In the video Rand uses Hitwise as an example of a company that uses unique content effectively, referencing this post about Twitter traffic by Bill "Hold Me Closer Tiny" Tancer.

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Google’s Additional Discovery Method: RSS and Atom Feeds


Local and Social: It's all Coming Together

Google and Bing strike deals giving them access to real-time social feeds. What does it mean for the future of local search? ... http://tinyurl.com/ylmxknd


本報訊 據英國《每日郵報》10月26日報導,可由非英文字符書寫的國際域名或位址預計將於本周獲得批准,這將引發互聯網創建40年來最大的一次變化。




This Week in Search for 10/28/09

  • Eric Schmidt - What the Internet Will Look Like in 5 Years:

    Google's CEO takes a look into the future and talks about some of the ways the internet will change, such as Chinese language sites outnumbering English language sites, an increase in the number of digital natives in the tech workforce, and the difficulties search engines have around ranking real-time search.

  • Retailers Going Too Far Tracking Web Habits:

    I'm probably the only person on earth who puts items into his shopping cart and intentionally abandons sites in order to get product discount e-mails a week or two later, but the USA TODAY discusses two issues that are hot button topics for more normal consumers: Cookie usage and behavioral targeting.

  • Grammatically Incorrect Keywords:

    In her Search Engine Journal Post, Susanna Speier talks about how even though grammatically incorrect keywords aren't going to win you any spelling bees, they might be the ones that'll make you the most honey, er-um money.

Four Thumbs

  • Amazon vs. Walmart - The Battle of the Books:

    Target is a distant third in the online book sales race, but Compete provides some interesting, in-depth analysis on the toe-to-toe battle this month between Amazon and Walmart. 

  • Halloween E-mails:

    Campaign Monitor's Halloween E-mail Roundup shows some creative, brand specific examples of Halloween e-mails that'll give you some last minute idea fodder for this year or things to think about for next year.     

  • Update on Google Rich Snippets:

    Google has been working on better using structured data and expanding rich snippets for a while, but this week's post on the GWC blog calls attention to improved documentation and tips around their rich snippet testing tool.

  • WSJ - Why E-mail No Longer Rules:

    You may have caught the Wall Street Journal post earlier this month, but if you didn't, it's worth a read. The negative backlash across the e-mail industry continues several weeks later.

  • Integrating E-mail with Other Marketing:

    A well executed e-mail is no different from a fine wine... it's good on it's own, but it's better when given the right pairing. In a useful post centered around e-mail marketing, Joel Book addresses how the most successful e-mail initiatives integrate with other marketing efforts.

  • Google Analytics Qualification Test:

    GA has had a more heavyweight certification for agencies for some time, but now available to individual marketers is a test that gives web analytics users personal certifications.

  • Creating a Multi-Cultural Website:

    If you've ever tried to market a product internationally, Forrester's post about the importance of market research when creating a multi-cultural website might strike a nerve. 

  • Google Website Optimizer API Released:

    GWO rolled out a new API, which, depending on your CMS provider, can allow you to create and launch tests without touching any of your website's code. Pretty useful stuff. Although a major limitation is that the API currently only integrates with two CMS providers.

  • Seth Godin - Some People Are Better Than Others:

    The short post about customer types earns a spot in this weeks roundup for one reason: The use of the word sneezers, which Godin uses to refer to the customers and brand evangelizers who are best at spreading your company's word.

  • Bing It On:

    Google is still going strong, but Bing's share of the search market continues to grow.

  • How SEO and Sex Are the Same:

    In a post with gratuitous use of the word 'sex,'  Joel Leydon's parody highlighting the similarities between sex and SEO is an entertaining read. Both sex and SEO are basic needs, they're both organic, and yes, as Leydon points out, you can also pay for each, too.

Rocking on YOUmoz

Top YOUmoz entries:

  1. *Third-Party Affiliate Programs: Roll Your Own Instead by MichaelC 

  2. Case Study: How Building a Site for Users Improved Rankings by csaliba

  3. Web Analytics and Segmentation for Better Conversion by philou2803

* Indicates blog post was promoted to the SEOmoz Blog

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Google Maps Makes Real Estate Search More Visible


The Yes Men

Take the example of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vs. The Yes Men -- one of America's most powerful business lobbying organizations, which found itself the victim of a some liberal pranksters.

The Yes Men -- headed by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, who have day jobs as college professors -- posed as spokespeople for the Chamber last week, holding a fake news conference to announce a new, more liberal stance on climate change policy. The Chamber didn't think it was funny. It filed a civil complaint. But last night the Yes Men posted a "Statement" in response: 'We've finally made it.' http://tinyurl.com/yhop8oy

Google Launches Comparison Ads, Starting With Mortgages


MapQuest Gets a Fresh Coat of Paint

Earlier this week, Google updated the look of its mapping service and now MapQuest has done the same. The goal is to improve readability and give more accurate details such has a building's proportional footprint compared to the streets around it.

Additionally, MapQuest says they've added new imagery for terrain and vegetation for Levels 4-9. Here's before and after screenshots of Philadelphia, per the official MapQuest blog: