Google Knol; Opportunity For Local?

Knol, (short for unit of knowledge) will invite authors on any topic to provide content to Google.

According to Google expect the following;

"Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.

Once testing is completed, participation in knols will be completely open, and we cannot expect that all of them will be of high quality. Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results. We are quite experienced with ranking web pages, and we feel confident that we will be up to the challenge."

I'm interested on the local take.

Is there opportunity for local business within Knol? On first view plenty. Do you know your local real estate market? Post it up, link to your real estate site and invite comment.
Local commercial painters or wedding photographers can take to pen and start talking.

Arborists can write about care of regional trees and trimming requirements. Caterers, whip out the calender and start writing.

If we know anything about Google we know they love scale and this means opportunity will present itself at the neighborhood level.

This is a great move by Google and proves again why they are the leaders in search and online marketing.


Google Enlisting College Students To Sell AdWords

Google today announced an innovative local marketing challenge designed to spread the word about AdWords to local business.

Student groups will receive US$200 of free online advertising and then work with local businesses to devise effective online marketing campaigns. They will outline a strategy, run their campaign, assess their results and provide the business with recommendations to further develop their online marketing.

It’s a great chance for students to gain practical, real world online marketing experience whilst getting all the excitement of competing with other students from all over the world.

What a great idea. This is a win win for all parties. Local businesses that sign on will see what they have been missing in the digital marketing space and students will learn how to craft marketing campaigns for small business.


Yale University Keyword Modeling Study

Oliver J. Ruiz, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Yale School of Management authored this keyword modeling study. Professor Ruiz uses and hotel chain for his study.

It's long and detailed but worth the read if you are into the subject. My initial takeaway is confirmation of what I have found in managing keyword or PPC based campaigns. When dealing with multiple keywords for a service or product there can be no precise measurement of effectiveness per keyword or keyphrase.

This is where many clients get confused about pay per click. It's easy for the small business operator to understand the need to advertise on a TV or radio advertising spot or even a print yellow pages ad because it's traditional. While ROI is not easily quantified it's tried and true, safe though expensive.

Web based advertising is still new and is being sold to them primarily by the same guys that used to sell them old media spots.
If a small businessperson were to read the Yale modeling study above they might come away with skepticism and that would be a shame. For the small to medium business it's the surest way to get above the fold.


Local Online Ads To Double In 2008

Search Engine Land quotes a Borrell Associates study of local online ad sales projections for the upcoming year.

"Local search is expected to grow from roughly $2.5 billion currently to $5 billion in 2008. Borrell expects local video to roughly triple from just over $400 million today to $1.27 million next year".

Other highlights from the Borrell Report;

  • The three largest categories are Autos, Jobs and Real Estate.
  • Dramatic rise in video for local business.
  • Average local business spend was $299 "per location" in 2007. (Range, $18,000 high end to about $100 low end).
  • Independent online ad specialists will be in high demand.


Reviews, Your Key To Clickthroughs

Greg Sterling posts documentation on the importance of reviews at Screenwerks.
It's an education process getting small business to catch on to the importance of reviews.

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