Monday, September 29, 2008
By offering Android to cell phone manufacturers as an open source OS, Google has the opportunity to get in front of a huge audience. Unlike Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T, Google is not locked in to any one carrier or piece of hardware. This gives them an advantage, but it can present a challenge as well.
One of the key selling points of Android is the Android Market, Google’s answer to the iTunes App Store. Anyone can develop applications for Android and make them available in the Market. However, some developers are concerned about having to code and support software for a variety of phone hardware configurations.
Apple has tried (with minimal success) to quality control the applications made available for the iPhone with a vague approval process. They have taken quite a bit of criticism recently for rejecting apps (MailWrangler, Pull My Finger) and rather than reevaluating their policies, Apple’s solution has been to silence the rejected developers. Since there’s no approval process, innovative developers will have a much easier time making their products available to the Android audience. The drawback is that the lack of an approval process could lead to a glut of useless apps that must be sorted through to find the good ones. Even worse would be buggy or malicious software. Google will have to overcome these concerns.
Ultimately the biggest factor in deciding the success of Android will be usability. The iPhone, for all its shortcomings (lack of voice-dialing, no copy and paste, no real-time GPS navigation, among many others,) is easy to use, provides the best mobile web browsing experience available, and serves as an excellent all-in-one media and communication device. That’s a tall order for the G1 and subsequent Android devices to match or exceed. But the effort will officially push mobile technology into its next generation.
Cell phones aren’t just cell phones anymore. They are rapidly transforming into mobile computers. As prices on these devices drop, and new software makes them easier and more flexible to use, mainstream acceptance will increase. I’m locked into my iPhone until 2010, but as a tech junkie I’m excited to see what develops before I get my next phone.
Friday, September 12, 2008
PR people and search marketers are poised to be able to work together in a way that offers far more value for our joint clients than if we remain as separate entities. Search marketers understand the social media environment, search engine reputation management and online content distribution – all areas that PR professionals need to move into as public relations transitions more and more into the Web 2.0 space. It makes sense to work together to ensure that clients are getting optimal results for both their PR and search marketing initiatives.
Because search marketers are already implementing social media and reputation management programs for our clients, we have the metrics to support their value – something I heard many PR practitioners looking for at the conference.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Here is a recap of search marketing industry news for August 2008:
Yahoo recently announced Search Monkey
Search Monkey is a set of open-source tools that allow users and publishers to annotate and enhance search results associated with specific web sites.
Now, Yahoo announces that it turned on some of the Search Monkey applications built by the developers. So, Yelp, Yahoo! Local and LinkedIn Enhanced Results will automatically appear in the search results.
For example, if I search for my Linkedin Profile in Google, I get the following result:
View Deepamalar Manimaran's professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest business network, helping professionals like Deepamalar ...
The same search in Yahoo gives the following result:
Group Manager, SEM Technical Services, Digital Brand Expressions
Yahoo claims that these kinds of enhanced results lead to increased clickthrough rate and so far, I like what I’m seeing. MSN has made significant improvements to its Webmaster tool
Yahoo claims that these kinds of enhanced results lead to increased clickthrough rate and so far, I like what I’m seeing.
MSN has made significant improvements to its Webmaster tool
MSN Webmaster Tools introduced a number of new features that provide webmasters with more information on their websites’ crawl issues and indexing details, plus new tools like the robots.txt validator. One feature I found particularly interesting is the enhanced backlink data.
While Google WMT also gives backlinks data, data given by MSN also shows how important Live Search views those pages that link to your site. This feature is very useful for analyzing the quality of the links that point to your site.
The crawl issues list is also very useful. While Google also provides this feature, the issues that are listed by Google and MSN are different. By using data from both MSN and Google, webmasters can get a good view of potential issues affecting a site.
Google is going to compute quality score in real time
Google is now set to compute quality score based on the location (where the user is searching) and keyword (for example, “buy books” keyword set to broad match can also be shown for “buy computer books” but now the quality score will be calculated for the exact keyword user is searching for.)
How will this affect advertisers?
If you’re a company that focuses on a certain geographic area, you’ll want to make sure that you have the geo location mentioned in the ad copy and the landing page copy. That way, when the user searches from that location the ad will have a higher quality score, and you will pay less. In terms of the quality score based on the exact keyword, tight management will be necessary. For example, if you have the keyword “buy books” set to broad match and a user searches for “buy computer books” Google will calculate the quality score based on “buy computer books.” As such, you may get a low score because the site doesn’t necessarily sell/have “computer” mentioned on the landing page. So, Google may increase the click cost to show the ad in the top results and in this case your CPC will be higher. You’ll need to stay on top of the negative keyword list and/or adjust ad copy and landing page copy to cover the different keyword variations.
In terms of the quality score based on the exact keyword, tight management will be necessary. For example, if you have the keyword “buy books” set to broad match and a user searches for “buy computer books” Google will calculate the quality score based on “buy computer books.” As such, you may get a low score because the site doesn’t necessarily sell/have “computer” mentioned on the landing page. So, Google may increase the click cost to show the ad in the top results and in this case your CPC will be higher. You’ll need to stay on top of the negative keyword list and/or adjust ad copy and landing page copy to cover the different keyword variations.
By making proper use of negative keywords, adjusting keyword matching options, and carefully managing SEA budgets, advertisers can easily compensate for these changes to the Quality Score system
FYI, our SEA expert,
Doubleclick cookie based tracking
Google announced that they will be utilizing the DoubleClick cookie-based tracking technology to bring more targeted ads and better targeting features to advertisers using their content network.
The enhanced features include:
- Frequency Capping enables advertisers to limit the number of times a user sees an ad.
- Frequency Reporting lets advertisers view the frequency data, including how many people have seen an ad and how many times a user saw the ad.
- Google says the enhancements will also provide "Improved Ads Quality” and better conversion tracking with "View-Through Conversions".
Once these new features are fully implemented, DBE will test them out and let you know our take.