Google Code - Updates: The Value of Google Gadgets

Google Code - Updates: The Value of Google Gadgets

Bambi Interviews Greg Sterling

Bambi Francisco of MarketWatch interviews local search expert Greg Sterling. Greg is the author of Screenwerk, a blog I consult daily.
Bambi asks some very good questions and Greg's responses are spot on as you would expect. I could tell he gave Bambi fairly basic answers understanding her audience is the investor set.

Greg offers how slow the merchant is to come to local search marketing, that Google's self-serve options are not grabbing their attention. When asked if local merchants will come to favor local video in 2007 Greg offers "maybe not this year".
For some reason the embed from Brightcove won't take, but here
is the link to the interview.

Google Video Ad Viewed In The Wild

I've read about them, never seen one in action but today I viewed one and it's pretty slick. The ad can be seen on this Digital50.com page. The Google video ad is for Proximitymedia.com.

AdWords Click-to-Play about page.

Update; Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable and contributor to Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Land was kind enough to inform me the ads have been around for awhile now. As much time as I spend online I am surprised I've never seen one before today. Barry provided me a
comprehensive list of articles from his archive on the subject of Google Video Ads.


Administrative Post

I have neglected Technorati. I have been using Google Blog Search in favor of Technorati for awhile but neglecting Technorati is a mistake. Technorati offers three ways to activate a claimed blog. You can chose a quick claim, post claim or embedded claim (for advanced users). I chose the post claim option.
Technorati Profile


The marraige of communication, community and entertainment says Safa Rashtchy of Piper Jaffray in his must read investment research report The User Revolution.


Small Is The Now; Small Is The Future

According to Matt McGee posting on Search Engine Land;

"Small is the Now: Based on its most recent figures (2005), the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that 99.9% of the country's businesses are small businesses. The U.S. Census Bureau says small businesses employ slightly more than 50% of the workforce.

Small is the Future: The recent Intuit Future of Small Business Report cites a 2005 Gallup/CNN/USA Today survey, in which nearly 80% of 18-29 year-olds questioned said they'd rather start their own business than work for a big company. The report specifically mentions technology as a driving force behind the growth of small business among young adults:..."

Matt reveals Search Engine Land will be starting a new column dedicated to small business search marketing, great!

Local Video Advertising Set To Grow

I have some interesting strategies in development that will help my clients capitalize on this emerging trend. Borrell Associates released market projections,reported here via Yahoo! Finance.

"But as the popularity of online video grows, so will the applications, the "avails" and the money. In five years, local online video advertising will surpass $5 billion, representing more than one-third of all local online advertising.

Where will most of that money go? Not to the purveyors of traditional "word from our sponsor" commercials, but to those who can offer long-form video information that their Web site visitors actually choose to see."

Or short-form video on the landing pages from a PPC or banner ad!

Full report available.


Google 101, A Pioneering Idea

Google employee Chistophe Bisciglia is using his alloted free work time to teach a college class on Google!

"It's not about our competitors," Google program manager Chris DiBona said. Companies have to think about pushing technology forward, he said. Over the years, Lazowska said, he has seen hundreds of his engineering students snag jobs at Google's offices in Santa Monica and Mountain View, Calif.; Kirkland; New York; and Zurich. About half are undergraduates. One undergraduate in the course is fourth-year student Sierra Michels-Slettvet. "I'm so pumped," she said. "This is a different way to solve problems, a different way to think about the world." If students like Michels-Slettvet grasp the new techniques, Google will offer the course at other top schools, including the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University.

"The plan," DiBona said, "is that we try it with one, then three or four, and then hundreds of schools."

Fantastic idea Christophe!

Online Ratings,Reviews And Reputation

Greg Sterling blogs reputation monitoring as it applies to online reviews and ratings. Online ratings will play a huge part in determining how a business is valued by consumers and local search engines in the future. I would like to see an online ratings algorithm that measures positive, negative or neutral reviews strictly.
On my Marketing For Restaurants blog I have a list of review sites linked on the sidebar.


Dex Print Y.P. Reps Hit Colorado Springs Hard

Michael Taylor's informative post on the Kelsey Group Blog points to a Dex report on increased page sells in their Colorado Springs print directory;

"Dex Media announced a rather significant page-count growth in its Colorado Springs directory. While many question the viability of print Yellow Pages, particularly in a tech-savvy market like Colorado Springs, achieving page-count growth is something to take note of. According to the article, “Dex Media Inc. sold a record 1,365 pages of advertising in its 2007 directory, up 14.3 percent from last year"

It's a myth that merchants are flocking back to print. This surge in sales is targeted at one or two consumer sectors and they are hitting the restaurants especially hard.
Until there are enough local search marketing people bringing online options to these businesses the print guys will keep dangling the noose in front of them.

Google Maps Synopsis

Small Business SEM tells the Google Maps/Local story better than any I've read before. I blogged on it the other day but Matt McGee really nails it. Great read.


Another "Best Of" Search Marketing Blogs List

Todd And's The Power 150 Top Marketing Blogs.
AdRants their #1 choice is one I happened upon only today as I was looking for information on Omnicom's pick-n-click product. Zimmerman, an Omnicom company has brought this innovative self serve ad product to their clients but there is no information on the giant Omnicom's site or Zimmerman's site. I found AdRant on a Google search for "pick-n-click".
Pick-n-click looks to be a prototype of the local video ad wave coming soon to the local space according to an article I read on the Kelsey Group blog.


Google Local PPC Not Being Used By Local Business

I was searching Google Local (I'm not calling it "Maps" today) for eateries in Fresno California
and found these review oriented sites advertising via AdWords for eyes on the Google Local results pages for Restaurants, Fresno CA

Check out these sponsored ads;

Locate a Restaurant in Your Area
Search Locally with SuperPages.

Find restaurant guide here.
We offer local search in your area.

Sponsored Links
Search for top rated restaurants!
Get reviews, ratings, tips & more.

Sponsored Links
Offers & Restaurant Picks from Food
Experts in NYC, San Fran & Boston

Featuring Bay Area Chefs, Food,
Wine & Entertainment!

How long will it be before local restaurants begin bidding these spots up? I have chronicalled how difficult it is to sell restraurants and other local business into these spots. I wonder if Google really cares if mom and pop find their way into view here? I'm not sure, as long as the spots are filled by someone and apparently review sites and some national chains do then they have no worries.
I'll say it until I have no more voice, this online real estate should be snapped up by local merchants and there should be heavy bidding for the spots.

*There was also an ad for MeasuredUp, a rate and review site that launched in December 2006. I wish the folks running MeasuredUp the best of luck but they are burning their angel and venture funds against some very stiff competition. For what it's worth there is not one Fresno eatery (or any Fresno business) listed in their directory.


Penalized By Google? Joe Whyte Offers Solutions

My concentration is not SEO, we can place your local business where it needs to be and do it better than almost anyone in the business using our own techniques that guarantee local visibility. Our clients can testify we crush their competition and promote their business ethically and inexpensively. I do follow SEO news to the extent that I read popular blogs and forums.
Joe Whyte of Joe-Whyte.com posts a great piece on Google filters and solutions to resolve the penalties Google imposes for site optimization violations.


Local Search Tips And Secrets; Interviews

This week we will be treated to an interesting series of interviews of popular SEO and local search personalities on Graywolf's SEO Blog.

In his interview Matt McGee pointed to an article from his blog titled 8 Simple Steps To Make a Page More Local. Pure gold.
Surely the interview series will point to more plums like that.


Official Google Blog: Find and compare local businesses

Here is a link to the Official Google Blog for local.

Google Makes A Local Move Down Under

Soon after I finished my earlier post on Google Maps I noticed the news Google has partnered with Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd's Truelocal.com.au to beef up the local offering on Maps.Google.com.au (live since Jan.20).
The Sydney Morning Herald has early details of the deal between Murdoch's property and Google.

Some have speculated that Murdoch would scoop up Local.com for the local search needs of his U.S and U.K properties. I've wondered why they have not scooped up TrueLocal.com. Maybe it will be Google to make a move on one of those relevant local search sites.

(LOCM parent of Local.com was up 4.5% today on above average volume ;-) )

Google Could Dominate Local, Why Don't They?

Google is in a perfect position to put a grip lock on local search. Greg Sterling's thought provoking post offers in part;

"Google is really in the driver’s seat on many fronts right now. Turning to local, the company recently enhanced it's local one box presentation of results.

Google is not the best local application online by any means. (Yahoo! Local, Ask and Yelp, for example, are better.) It has taken some steps to improve the user experience but it could certainly do a great deal more (e.g., “sort by rating,” “click to compare businesses,” etc.). One wonders why not? Maybe Google is distracted by all the initiatives going on there, doesn't feel it needs to upgrade the application and/or doesn't want to threaten its partners too much.

Whatever the reason, the company is not doing all it could in local. But Google is probably now at the peak of its market dominance (I could be wrong of course). And with a few simple tweaks it could literally dominate local — verticals are different — because of its general search volumes.

There are also a range of things that Google could also do on the revenue side that it isn’t doing to attract more SMB advertisers. (Clearly a $3+ billion dollar quarter suggests there’s no urgency there.) Curiously it hasn’t (yet) done them either..."

I'm with Greg, it's curious why there is not more innovation, more urgency. Big "G" is the aircraft carrier in the sea of search so they don't turn quickly but their labs turn out products like Code Search and other useful (and less useful) tools continuously. Why has local lagged? Why do I have a better local search experience on Local.com with all the goofy ad noise than I do with Google Maps?


SuperPages.com Takes a Page From Yelp

Sort of anyway. Yelp's front page features selected reviewers.

From SuperPages.com;

"Consumers in the same city can now compete against each other to be featured as the Reviewer of the Week, which is located on the SuperPages.com homepage." press release

How hot are local business reviews now? I have to get a post together lining out the numerous sites offering reviews.

Lite Brite Mooninite Marketing Miscreants

Guerrilla marketing practitioner Peter Berdovsky aka Zebbler and a sidekick held a news conference today after their arraignment in Boston. The two made cracks about their hair offering nothing about the criminal charges facing them as instructed by their attorney standing by their side. I've actually never felt sorry for an attorney before today.

What Berdovsky aka Zebbler failed to do is apologize for the trouble their electric mooninite creations caused Boston police and fire personnel. The bomb squad correctly treated the items as suspicious. These guys put there life on the line every day and it's a shame Berdovsky and his partner didn't take a moment to recognize this.

In fairness to Turner Broadcasting the two seem to be third party actors but Turner must share the blame. I suspect someone in the Turner marketing dept. will get fired. Look for Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. to offer full restitution to the City of Boston, this is a pr nightmare they have to put to bed and soon.
The two characters will probably get probation, they are stupid but not criminals.