Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The design mirrors that of the recently released Twitter iPad app. While followers, favorites and trending topics still appear in the right-hand sidebar, frequently accessed features such as mentions, retweets, searches, and lists have been relocated to the top of your timeline.
Twitter users no longer need to leave the site to view photos and videos. Thanks to partnerships with YouTube, Flickr, USTREAM, Vimeo, Dailybooth, DeviantArt, Etsy, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, Twitvid, and Yfrog, multimedia content is now integrated into the Twitter stream.
You can also learn more about other users without having to leave your Twitter homepage. Clicking on a username will pull up details of the person’s profile in the right panel of the screen and clicking on a tweet will display additional tweets from that user, as well as other related information.
This has the overall effect of increasing the amount of time each user spends at Twitter.com, making it easier for Twitter to deliver impressions for its advertisers. The updated interface’s similarities to Facebook should also get a warm response from Twitter newbies who have often complained that Twitter is too hard to use.
To learn more, please visit: http://twitter.com/newtwitter
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
It's just two quick questions and should only take a minute or two.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Google is also extremely talented at finding new ways to squeeze additional profits from AdWords. The jury may be out as to whether or not Google Instant is an improvement to search usability. It definitely has the potential to be a headache for paid search advertisers.
First of all, ad position will fundamentally change. Ads will still be in a top box and right column as they are now, however, those results are all pushed down by the query prediction drop-down. Ads that were previously above the fold may now be below the fold, reducing visibility and click through rate. Bidding for top positions becomes more important. Google makes more money.
Recorded impressions will also be affected. According to Google’s Inside AdWords blog “an impression is counted if a user takes an action to choose a query (for example, presses the Enter key or clicks the Search button), clicks a link on the results page, or stops typing for three or more seconds.” While the first two parts of that statement pretty much fall in line with the way impressions are generated now, the “stops typing” impression is problematic. This will very likely result in bloated numbers of unqualified impressions, reducing click through rate, and thus negatively affecting Quality Score. This, in turn, hurts quality discounts, and forces the advertiser to bid more for better placement to compensate. Google makes more money.
Finally, while Chicken Littles are once again proclaiming the death-knell of SEO, what this truly represents is an assault on the long-tail. A well structured paid search program contains lots of highly detailed, specific keywords. Typically these keywords are high quality and low cost. The Instant method of serving ads will result in more matches on broader keywords which are more competitive and of course, more expensive. Google makes more money.
Google controls the search market and can dictate how the industry develops. If the advertiser doesn’t have the knowledge of AdWords inner workings and experience to adjust to Google’s changes in real time, then they’ll be the ones Google makes more money from.
Though it is supposed to help with search experience, it could drive the average search user crazy.
So far, I have seen many complaints from users such as these:
- Using Firefox 3, and occasionally getting blank screens when I search and then hit enter/right click/"search." Go back, enter search term again, hit enter, get blank screen.
- When correcting a search using the backspace key, I am being slowed down by pages results being displayed again.
- Google Instant limits the search results to 10 (even when I have set the preferences to show more that 10 results in one page)
So, there is some “getting used to” needed from the searcher, and some tweaks needed from Google to improve user experience.
Impact on SEO
Google Instant only affects the searcher’s experience, and does not affect SEO. While the searcher gets a preview of many search results as the query progresses, websites need to stay optimized in order to get better rankings with Google.
One minor issue I anticipate is with the keyword research process. If you are using the Google tool to get the keyword search frequency, beware that Google might inflate the numbers due to the way it calculates search frequency. I.e, Google might count it as a search if a user takes an action to choose a query (for example, presses the Enter key or clicks the Search button), or clicks a link on the results page, or stops typing for three or more seconds. As we have always stressed, Google search frequency numbers should only be treated as directional, and not as the absolute.
If you don't want to see results as you type, you can opt out by clicking the link next to the search box on any search results page, or by visiting your Preferences page.
But you need to note that, when you opt out, Google saves that preference on a cookie, so you'll stayed opted out until the cookie is cleared. Also, the preference will only apply to that particular computer and Internet browser, and it is not tied to your Google Account.
If you're concerned about seeing inappropriate content, you can enable SafeSearch at the "strict filtering" level to help avoid sites that contain pornography, explicit sexual content, profanity, and other types of hate content.
Finally, if you have any questions or thoughts about the impact of Google Instant on search marketing, be sure to contact your search marketing partner. As always, the team here at DBE, our team is prepared to answer our clients’ questions and help them navigate the ever-changing search arena safely.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Instead of just doing predictive text as you type your query, Google will deliver predictive results.
Say, for example, you were super-excited about the new Kings of Leon song (and you wanted to drag the example out an extra step or two). Here’s a succession of screenshots of what it would look like:
(If you are interested in the song, it’s here: http://radioactive.kingsofleon.com/)
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Step 2 involves the paid search results. Yahoo has already run tests delivering Bing ads for a small percentage of the search queries that occur. This transition is being rolled out to all US advertisers over the next two months. Staging in Microsoft’s adCenter management program should occur in September, with ads being completely converted and live in October.
If you haven’t worked with adCenter before, or you’ve never considered advertising anywhere other than Google, there’s a lot to catch up on. The Search Alliance will make up almost a third of the search landscape. That’s still only half of Google’s search share, but it’s enough that you should at least consider diversifying. If you don’t know where to start, check out the Search Alliance Readiness checklist we created for advertisers who aren’t sure how the upcoming merger will affect their paid search campaigns, then tell us how we can help.