At this week's Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago, Jim Hedger from Webmaster Radio detailedhow Google is serving AdWords ads to terrorist sites within the company's social networking site Orkut. Some think it's malicious. Others think Google can't possibly monitor every single site in the world for content. Hedger also discussed how money earned from click fraud on these sites is "supporting" terrorism. You decide. Is there anything Google can or should do to minimize this?
Today, Bluelithium tells us, "BlueLithium Labs released a new report analyzing online shopping data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This report contradicts the many recent claims that online shopping trends are no different on Cyber Monday than any other day, in fact, this data shows 30 percent higher conversion rates than normal.
The impact of this data on the actual effectiveness of online advertising on both days is significant. Many retailers would be tempted to bump up their online advertising efforts for both Friday and Monday, which are both known to be high shopping days, but this report suggests that they may do better to pull back on Friday and focus their efforts and ad dollars on Monday."
There you have it. Act accordingly next year.
Is your head about to explode with the proliferation of stupid metric buzzwords like "engagement?" Ours certainly is after hearing Scripps Network is tossing yet another into the pot: receptivity, and finding, of course, two of their networks, DIY and HGTV rank tops on the list. Gee, let's just invent yet another metric so that our media property can come out on top. How about "blatant use of cuss words and pics of hot chics?" Adrants, number one. How about "wise-ass commentary you don't necessarily need to get through your day?" Adrants, number one. How about "most typos to piss off readers resulting in the highest level of 'engagement' as indicated by the number of bitchy complaint emails?" Adrants, number one.
Writing on his Micro Persuasion blog, Steve Rubel concisely explains why the online metric mainstay, the page view, is becoming useless and predicts its death in 2010. Citing the rise of navigate-within-page technologies such as Ajax, Flash and widgets which negate the need to leave a particular URL to experience new content, Rubel says the media community will need to face the music very soon and stop the chest beating about the importance of page views. While there doesn't seem to be a replacement metric on the horizon, aside from already existing Time Spent and Unique Visitors, the industry may need to come up with one very soon lest the usefulness of online metrics become as useless as traffic count for billboards.
Reporters without Borders released its 2006 list of "internet enemies," comprised of countries that stifle free speech. Placeholders include China, which reigns supreme in 'net surveillance and censorship and blocks "subversive word strings."
Cuba was also a mainstay. Private internet connections are banned. To get online Cubans visit public cafes, universities and computer clubs. These networks trigger the police when subversive keywords are spidered.
Egypt was a new inclusion for 2006. While they don't do much censoring, several bloggers were recently arrested for rallying for democratic reform. Other bloggers are regularly harassed and websites can be closed if they're suspected of threatening national security.
And apparently the US ranks 53rd in terms of press liberty in general. Finland is #1. But do the Finns actually have anything interesting to report? They're not really big "conflict" people. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Rimm-Kaufman Group released a study about the difference between pay-per-click ads proffered by both sides of the election. Some findings are below. Oh, and we're going to call the Republicans and Democrats Elephants and Donkeys because the animal names are funnier than the euphemisms:
- Political advertisers prefer Google to Yahoo. (We always thought that was just a universal preference)
- Elephant and anti-Donkey ads outnumber pro-Donkey and anti-Elephant two-to-one
- Donkey ads are three times more likely to be negative than red ads
- No campaigns reference Bush
- Donkey ads are longer than Elephant ads
- Donkey ads are more likely to include exclamations; Elephants favour provocative questions
We'd conclude this political digression with something trite but meaningful like, "God, can't wait until this day is over," except we'll probably just drink ourselves to oblivion like any other night. Cheers and may the best heels win. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Yeah, what a shocker.
Some suspect this demographic skew may be partly because attending a live taping means getting dressed up - not, like, $200 jeans and flip-flops dressed up but, like, sequins and silk shirts dressed up. But hey, any show that can get 200 grandmothers and Ron Jeremy in the same room has got to be doing something right. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Because we're all scrambling to work out what to do about all these nebulous algorithms wrapped around SEM, SEO and other components of search and neo-'net advertising, Ad Age has done us the courtesy of releasing a free 52-page guide.
The Search Marketing Fact Pack includes a ranking of search advertising agencies, detailed SEO strategies, ways to extend the life of a :30 second spot, and the definition of that elusive and confusing marketing phrase "golden triangle."
Swoop up that bad-boy right here. We doubt it will make your job less guessy, but you'll at least sound like you know what you're talking about. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
- Research firm MarketingExperiments has acquired research firm and publisher MarketingSherpa. The two will continue to operate as separate entities while capitalizing on each other's assets.
- This morning Dennis Publishing's The Week magazine distributed 100,000 copies to New York City commuters. The promotional issue is part of Philips' "Sense and Simplicity" campaign and was ad-free except for a Philips branded cover wrap.
- Today through election day, when people in Brazos County call 1-800-FREE411 for a listing, they will hear a very brief ad for Justice of the Peace candidate Albert Navarro. It's the first time a political advertiser has used the free 411 service.
- Kooky vodka purveyor 42 BELOW was awarded Cocktail Spirit of the Year for the second year running at the 2006 Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA) in Sydney last night.
Uh-oh. Guess now is a bad time to figure this out, considering social networks seem like rabid acquisitions that go for a pretty penny - like, gazillions of pretty pennies at a time.
But did we actually need to tell you this? Were you really ever under the impression all those ads slathered across MySpace's site were achieving anything? There's only one way to market on MySpace: save some money, throw together a somewhat clever site, and whore yourself out to where the eyeballs really go - the Top 8. - Contributed by Angela Natividad