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Mar 22, 2008

Feeds, Weeds, Reads, and User Needs

I need news feeds to keep me informed. I also need feeds to keep subscribers informed.

Do I need hundreds of feeds and dozens of robotic agents to filter the weeds? Who's taking care of my needs?

Emerging Chaos

ReadWriteWeb identified 35 lifestreaming sites. Guy Kawasaki advises Alltop, Feedhub, and Spokeo. Yahoo has alerts, bookmarks, buzz, del.icio.us, desktop widgets, geocities, groups, mail-beta, mybloglog, myweb, myyahoo, pipes, 360, shortcut, toolbar widgets, ... what am I missing? Google, Microsoft, and AOL have taken the similar shot-gun approach to many beta projects. (Aside: these paragraphs are good examples of flypaper writing.)

Browsers like Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, Opera, and Safari offer tools for RSS feeds. Portals like AOL, Google, Microsoft Live, New York Times, and Yahoo want their personalized page to be your feeds. Email services like alerts, groups, mail readers want the same.

Social media sites like Del.icio.us, Digg, Furl, Mixx, Newsvine, Reddit, Sphere, Spot, Stumble Upon, Techmeme, and Technorati advocate community rated feeds. As feeds integrate with social networks, thousands of applications and widgets bring relevant content to social circles.

It's chaos.

Weed and Feed for Me

I've used Google and Yahoo alerts, iGoogle and myYahoo pages, Google readers, Digg and Stumble Upon, and FriendFeed and Blog Friends at Facebook. Do they take care of my needs?

Dave Winer has been writing about the river for years. Despite hundreds of shared media projects, nothing has changed.

  • Each alert, feed, or filter produces 1 of 10, at best, relevant post that I read.
  • Discovery of interesting feeds never ends.
Contextual and behavioral targeting has not solved these problems. Is the problem fundamentally solvable?

Weeds and Feeds for Me Readers

RSS distributes content. Tools like AddThis and FeedBurner simplify reader subscriptions. Outsourcing this integration with emerging hot sites makes sense for writers and creators.

A few sites support self-subscription (i.e. a magazine rack or river delta) This brings your content closer to your circle of readers at each community. Facebook, FriendFeed, MyBlogLog, Technorati, and Tumbr allow subscriptions.

The Mississippi River delta-extending the river/stream analogy.

Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace, Stumble Upon, and WordPress do not. Like groups and forums, manual postings are needed for community participation.

OpenSocial will open the opportunities for more automated magazine racks.

About Lifestreaming

Lifestreaming reports details of my Internet travels to my friends. FriendFeed and MyBlogLog are two of 35 lifestreaming sites. Twitters from a cell phone, ratings at a social media site, postings at a blog, and beacons from commerce sites - do boomer friends want to know these details?

The news-feed at Facebook has been useful for discovering old friends, groups, and new applications. Shared photos are cool. The two page news feed takes seconds per day to scan. Clicking notes or posted items shows the writings from friends. Facebook seems to have the right stream rate from friends.

Gen-Y matured from instant messaging to SMS to social networks. Is there momentum for lifestreaming? Are boomers too old for this emerging trend? Without first hand need, it's best to feed, weed, and read from the younger generation.

Mar 21, 2008

Text links trades

Cross links: HelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelpHelp

NEWS: Federated Media’s Battelle Slams Rival, Hints At Investing In Publishers

clipped from: www.techcrunch.com

The truth is the networks have significant strategic differences. Glam owns a few properties of its own, which helped in the early days as anchor properties. Federated Media does not own any major publishing sites.

Glam also guarantees revenues to partners. MyYearbook is rumored to receive a guaranteed CPM on page views, and many of the blogs get guaranteed monthly payments of $10,000 or more. Those guarantees resulted in a loss for Glam of $3.7 million last year on $21 million in revenue. But it also accelerated growth and allowed them to raise a massive round of financing.Federated Media, by contrast, doesn’t guarantee revenues but is profitable. They’ve raised just $7.4 million.

The weak point of Federated Media’s model is that they don’t control their own publishers. If a better deal comes along, those publishers will bail - which is what happened last year when Digg left the network for a big, three year guaranteed revenue deal from Microsoft.

What do you mean individual sites need financing? You want to fund some of the sites you represent?
Battelle: I’m not saying that we’ll necessary do that. I’m saying that it might not be a bad idea to be ready, should that become something that those sites are looking to do. In a fast-evolving model, it pays to have a strong balance sheet.

NEWS: So You Want to Be a Blogging Star?

clipped from: www.nytimes.com

Yet his site, blogmaverick.com, is one of the top 1,000 Weblogs, according to the search engine Technorati. Thousands read Mr. Cuban’s posts every single day. If he can do it, why can’t you?

“Don’t go into blogging to make a living,” Mr. Cuban warned in an e-mail message. Still, he and other top bloggers with day jobs agree most people could attract a following on the Web. And whether a person blogs to make a little money, to influence opinion or just for sheer ego gratification, amassing a large audience is the goal.

But Philip Kaplan, president for products at AdBrite, cautions that only one in six blogs draws even 500 page views a day. At that pace, you would make at most $45 a month, even if the site were decked out with full-page ads. Mr. Kaplan estimates only 3 percent of active sites make more than $1,000 a month from advertising.

“In 3.5 months we made $9.47,” complained one blogger, Ted Dziuba, who yanked the automatic ads off of his site, Uncov.com.
Ed: AdBrite's implied eCPM is maximum of $3.00 (=$45/15k). Mean is $0.50 or lower.

How to Grow Your Blog with Viral Copy Blog Promotion, Writing Content

Blog-Promotion - Viral ContentThis week I’ve been exploring five strategies that I’d employ to promote my blog if I were starting all over again.

Mar 20, 2008

NEWS: Analyst: Apple appears ‘recession proof’

Mac news from outside the reality distortion field
Type Size  -  +
MARCH 20, 2008, 11:40 AM

Analyst: Apple appears ‘recession proof’

apple-logo.jpgWith less than two weeks before the end of Apple’s March quarter, Shaw Wu of American Technology Research expects the company to shake off the doldrums that are dragging down the rest of the U.S. economy.

“Our sense is that the Mac business is recession proof,” he writes in a report to clients issued Thursday morning. Based on his supply chain checks, Wu sees good news throughout Apple’s (AAPL) product line:

  • Rather than the 38 percent year-to-year growth in Macintosh unit sales he had earlier predicted, he now thinks growth may be closer to 42 percent.
  • After a strong start and then a lull, he sees Macbook Air sales picking up rapidly. “Customers are attracted to its super thin form factor and do not seem to mind some of its limitations.”
  • He’s seeing a bump in iPod sales following the shuffle price cut, and now expects iPods to come in at the high end of his 9.5-10 million unit range (but lower than the Street’s 10.8 consensus).
  • He sees a pause in iPhone sales following the well-regarded SDK announcement as customers wait for the June release of iPhone 2.0. He’s modeling 11 million iPhones for the year, slightly ahead of Apple’s 10 million target.
  • Falling prices in component parts should sweeten Apple’s March report, due out April 23, and Wu is raising his estimates accordingly. He writes: “For the March quarter, we are now modeling $7 billion and $1.10 in EPS (from $6.9 billion and $1.02) vs. consensus of $6.92 billion and $1.05 and its guidance of $6.8 billion and $0.94.”

NEWS: Google's Challenges Echo Yahoo's Struggle To Remain On Top

clipped from: money.cnn.com

Google's Challenges Echo Yahoo's Struggle To Remain On Top

SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- In 1999, it would have been presumptuous to compare the fledging online search company Google Inc. (GOOG) with the world's most popular Internet portal, Yahoo Inc. (YHOO).

"People felt these companies could do no wrong in 1999 and 2008. Now that Google's stock has fallen 40%, the tough questions are starting to manifest themselves," said Scott Kessler, analyst at Standard & Poor's. "I'm not sure that they are prepared for this kind of environment."

But as happened to Yahoo, Internet users again are shifting their behavior - they are now searching less and spending more time on social networks such as News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace and startup Facebook, where they bypass search engines and seem to ignore ads. (News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.) Google was quick to recognize the threat, and the opportunity, but its early attempts to monetize ads on MySpace haven't gone well.

Google, which declined to comment for this article, is by no means standing still. It is attempting to expand its advertising base by developing and buying technology that will enable it to serve up display and video ads on the Internet - and eventually on mobile phones as well. The search giant is also rolling out a platform that lets marketers place ads on radio, television and in print media. But Google has little to show for its efforts so far.

Yet, Hering said Google has a long way to go to prove that its multiplatform approach will work. Elizabeth Ross, president at Omnicom Group Inc.'s (OMC) Tribal DDB interactive advertising agency, added that it has been relatively easy for Google to count when Internet users click on text ads, but she said measuring how consumers respond to brand messaging will be far more difficult.

STATS: Younger, Heavy Online News Consumers are Not Newspaper Readers, According to comScore Plan Metrix

clipped from: www.comscore.com
Study Highlights the Importance of Extending Traditional News Brands to Online

Younger News Consumers Less Likely to Read Print Newspapers
Heavy print newspaper readers show a strong skew towards older age segments, while the non-newspaper reader segments skew younger. Those age 65 and older are nearly 3 times more likely (index of 296) than average to read the print edition of newspapers 6 times per week, while those age 18-24 are 38 percent more likely than average to not read a print newspaper at all during a typical week.

STATS: Paid versus Natural Search Clicks

The Search Marketing Advisor Newsletter Article: 
June 2004, Volume 3, Issue 2

LIST: Sequoia Capital’s Elements of Sustainable Companies

Sequoia Capital’s Elements of Sustainable Companies.
  • Clarity of Purpose - Summarize the company’s business on the back of a business card.
  • Large Markets - Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.
  • Rich Customers - Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.
  • Focus - Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.
  • Pain Killers - Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.
  • Think Differently - Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.
  • Team DNA - A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. “A” level founders attract an “A” level team.
    AgilityStealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.
  • Frugality - Focus spending on what’s critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.
  • Inferno - Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.

Sequoia’s Gospel of Startups More True Than Ever

Mar 19, 2008

NEWS: AdBrite Opens Up to Other Ad Networks

AdBrite has cut deals with numerous ad networks, allowing them to sell inventory into its auction-based marketplace for mostly small to mid-sized sites. A dozen networks including Advertising.com, Burst Media, AdPepper Media, PrecisionClick and CPX Interactive are now trafficking ads with AdBrite, the company said.

AdBrite has worked with ad networks as part of a pilot program since fall 2007, a year after it embraced greater transparency into its audience stats and inventory avails. It was then, fourteen months before Facebook introduced a nifty audience configuration tool for marketers as part of its Social Ads program, that AdBrite created its interface letting media buyers plug in audience characteristics and immediately generate a count of available inventory.

Mar 18, 2008

NEWS: Earning Money from Contextual Ads

March 18, 2008 Earning Money from Contextual Ads

This session looks at the way publishers can generate revenue by carrying contextual ads offered by major networks. Learn about some programs out there and tips on getting more from the ads you carry.


* Chris Boggs, Search Engine Watch Expert and Manager, Search Engine Optimization, eMergent


* Bryan Vu, Manager, AdSense Online Sales and Operations, Google
* Cynthia Tillo, Product Evangelist for Advertising Services, Adobe Systems
* Jennifer Slegg, Owner, JenSense.com
* David Singh, Head of Search Practice Area, Underscore Marketing

JenSense is up first.

What are the most common sites for monetization? COntent rich sites, blogs, business sites, UGC, social media sites, forums, password protected pages, and searches

How do you want to monetize? You need to balance user experience with monetization. If your goals are that you want repeat visitors, you need to make user experience the priority. If you just want to make money, your priority is monetization. It's difficult to achieve both but it can be done.

When shouldn't you monetize with contextual advertising?
If you're a business selling products, why would you entice customers to click ads rather than buy from you? Similar, business sites that sell services have the same problem.
Any sites with content that is against AdSense polices: hacking, gambling, adult, designer imitations, weapons, etc.

Beyond AdSense text ads - there are more than just text ads: image ads, video ads, link ad units, CPA and referral ads, AdSense for search, and AdSense for Mobile.

Common AdSense problems and solutions:
- Section targeting - emphasize a section on your site and deemphasize navigation, for example
- Add meta tags - this can be helpful
- Proximity keywords 
- Contact Google: use this as a last resort (only if you're seeing golf ads on a site about knitting, for example)

Low CTR Rate - how can I ge a higher CTR rate?
- Get better positioning but consider user experience priority
- Change title colors - hyperlink blue and same as other outgoing links
- Borders vs. no borders: it actually works better sometimes. 
- Image ads: especially on pages that are very text heavy.

AdSense Secrets
- Enable image ads on AdSense for an image-only secondary placement. Add a second ad unit that is image only - not many text ads on the page - different visual for people on the site.
- Also helps you take advantage of CPM ads.

Ensure that the ad unit with the highest CTR appears first in HTML code. 
- This ad unit will generally have the highest earing ads. 
- Use multiple channels to confirm highest
- Don't confuse appearing first on the page with appearing first in HTML - look at your code
- In a case study, there was a 25% earnings increase

One ad unit a page can make more money than two or three combined
- More is not always better
- People end up clicking on the 2ndand 3rd ad units, it may mak less EPC than if they clicked on the first ad unit
- Longer pages are the exception
- Do A/B testing

Be aware that your filter list will cost you revenue
- Blocking ads will result in lower paying ads appearing, it will not free up ad space for more higher paying ads to appear
- Use the filter to block ads that are competitors, are grossly mistargeted, advertising something inappropriate for audience
- Case study: publishers with 150+ sites on filter list increased earnngs by 35% when he reduced the list to 14

Use your allowed sites with caution
- Will no longer show ads on cached pages
- Adding google.com and yahoo.com will not work
- IP addresses only for all cache IPs
- Only use in specific cases

Show AdSense on pages hidden behind a login: if you have a members only or premium content section, you can allow the media partner bot to view the content to display targeted ads. 
- "Site Authentication" 
- Fairly new feature

Using Ad links on your sites
- Navigation 
- Footer

Carefully selected referral ads
- Must be extremely targeted
- Don't simply select high $ CPA

ALWAYS do A/B testing
Experiment with different placements, colors, sizes, styles
Consider impact of being too ad heavy
Look beyond traditional AdSense text ads and experiment with other formats

Ed: I'm speachless!

NEWS: 35 Lifestreaming Applications

Ed: Why do we need 35???

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick / January 21, 2008
If you could capture and use the names, ages, genders and demonstrated interests of the specific people who visited your website - would you? A whole lot of people providing services online would. While we've covered the movement for standards-based Data Portability a lot here lately, the newly announced MyBlogLog API is an alternative path to similar ends being taken by a proprietary company. Announced last week just before the Yahoo! OpenID announcement, the MyBlogLog API could end up being of even greater importance. Really.
35 Lifestreaming Apps

See the ReadWriteWeb primer on lifestreaming from January and our list of 35 lifestreaming apps from last month.


Below are screen shots of my Lifestream at various online services. I thought
this would be helpful to get a snapshot at the different formats each of these
sites offer to help people decide which ones might be right for them.

FriendFeed gets interesting
Thursday, March 13, 2008 by Dave Winer

After opening to the public a week ago, a lot more people are showing up on FriendFeed, and it's got features the others don't have. The others? Yeah -- it's competitive with things like: Twitter, Facebook, Jaiku and Pownce. And it's simple and minimalist like Twitter, yet it fully embraces everything else out there that has a feed. Can you post to FF? Yes, and you won't see those posts on Twitter. Not sure about the other places. http://friendfeed.com/davew

NEWS: Facebook adds granular privacy controls

clipped from: blogs.zdnet.com

Lookout LinkedIn, Facebook adds granular privacy controls (IM to follow)

Posted by Steve O'Hear @ 1:43 pm

At a press event today (Techmeme), Facebook unveiled new privacy controls for the so-called social utility, along with an official Instant Messaging application.

The improved privacy settings enable users to have much greater control over who in their social network can view specific content. One group of “friends” can be given access to certain content, a photo gallery for example, while another group will be restricted. Another setting allows more granular control, whereby profile information is visible to second and third-degree contacts rather than the site’s members as a whole (reports news.com), not dissimilar to the way in which LinkedIn or Multiply works.

Toward a universal identity on the Web clipped from: www.mercurynews.com

The fast-growing social-networking site unveiled new privacy features this week that allow users to group their Facebook "friends" into different categories, such as family or business associates. Users can then give each group a different level of access to photos, videos, phone numbers or the "news feed" that details their latest activities on Facebook and its partner Web sites.
Ed: Privacy settings updated to allow friends of friends to see your profile.

COMPILATION: Help finding Search Engine Optimization & Web Design Resources.

Stanford GSB Alums,

My firm recently invested in Sacramento's largest plumbing company and we're interested in increasing their internet presence, improving their website's design, and performing an appropriate amount of Search Engine Optimizationon the existing site.

I'm sure there are folks out there with a ton of knowledge about how to do this or whom we should contact for this. We have one quote for a 12-mo contract on just the search engine optimization piece, but we'd like a better idea of (a) the services that are available, (b) the cost/benefit ofthe various solutions, and (c) the price of said options.

If you have any suggestions or can put me in touch with someone you'd recommend, I'd appreciate it. Alternatively, feel free to forward this along as appropriate.

Collin R. Hathaway, Skylight Capital

Compiled Responses

Anonymous Advice:
- Revitalize website with better code, meta-tags, etc.
- Ensure strong links to website and from website
- Enter key words for your site in directories
Anonymous Advice:
- Don’t hire anyone that costs too much—there are a lot of phonies out there promising to help you and then just recommending things you have to do for yourself/on your own
- Add sites to
o Yelp
o CitySearch
o Facebook
o MySpace
o MerchantCircle
- Update Site

Hi Collin,

I head up a business unit we call Version 1.0. This offering provides conceptualization and software development services, along with a dedicated executive advisor and access to GlobalLogic's ecosystem of client partnerships, technology alliances and investors. Version 1.0 will enable these companies to design, build and launch software products without any internal engineering staff in a fraction of the time it might take to build alone.

If this makes sense, I am located in the bay area and would be happy to meet the company.

-- Sachin
Sachin Saxena VP New Venture Services Global Logic Inc.
The Global Product Development Leader
Mobile +1-510-517-0365

InfoWorld Award Winner for Agile Innovation
Disclaimer: http://www.globallogic.com/email_disclaimer.txt
About GlobalLogic Version 1.0sm, please visit this link: http://www.globallogic.com/indus_diff/ver_overview.shtml
Version 1.0 in the media and industry blogs, such as this one: http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2008/02/new-delhi-to-ba.html

Darci Rosenblum

Crafty Marketing 415.279.8999 http://www.craftymarketing.com/


My company, Scout Metrics, provides better visibility for companies into their SEO performance, social media coverage, and web presence.

We provide an SEO dashboard that shows how your company is doing vs. competitors across all the major search engine metrics (keyword performance, coverage, backlinks, etc.) over time.

It doesn't replace SEO consultants, but is a very easy and reasonably priced (@ $50/month) way to get better visibility into a space that lacks transparency.

For a demo, contact jimyu@alumni.stanfordgsb.org

Andrew Shotland SEO, Local Search & Web Strategy Consulting

Read http://www.localseoguide.com/ for local search optimization tips & trends310.902.7370 andrewsho@yahoo.com 4048 Sherry Ct., Pleasanton, CA 94566

The site for a quick evaluation is: http://www.blogger.com/Local%20Settings/Temp/www.websitegrader.com. They provide a free, basic level analysis with a few key recommendations.

Mental Models helped me out on these projects when I was working at XDx. They did a great job for us, were easy to work with and reasonably priced ($50-100/hour depending on the type of work). Contact aaron@mentalmodels.com.

2 Firms with just names—no recommendation:
http://www.bgdi.com/ --- Steven Donaldson, Principal 510-843-0701

http://www.bloofusion.com/ – Andreas Mueller (contact info on website for Santa Cruz office)

I don’t know if you have heard of M Squared but we were cofounded by a classmate of mine at the GSB 20 years ago. We have a network of over 14,000 consultants that we partner with to do projects for our clients and what you are describing fits right in with our capabilities. I have been building teams of people to help early and midsized companies with all of the generic needs that are transferable between industries (graphics, website development, search engine optimization, sales acceleration, HR, compensation, IT support, marketing, project management, etc.)

Tim Tight – GSB ‘83
VP Business Development – Silicon ValleyM Squared Consulting, Inc.Work: 650-329-8861
Cell: 650-291-8862 ttight@msquared.com http://www.msquared.com/

- check out ingenio -- pay per call
o http://www.ingenio.com/

you should look into people that are doing a good job on the local services market and use them as a platform to raise awareness. Yelp, Citysearch, MerchantCircle, etc.

I recommend Red Bricks Media, http://www.redbricksmedia.com/. Beth Morgan is a GSB alum there and part of their management team. I don’t know who leads their sales team, but you can contact their CEO, Ed Kim.

You should contact Celeste Bishop of Bishop Market Resources. She is cc'd on this message and can be reached by phone at 866-844-7968.

My wife, Mindy, may be able to help you. She works with a number of local companies on the issues you describes and takes a "real world" practical approach to the issues.

She can be reached at 408.984.4600 (Morgan Multimedia).

I'd recommend that you talk to GTI: http://gotrafficinteractive.com/. It's a relatively small firm (about 10 people), but they know their stuff, they're in Northern California, and they won't overcharge you. I think they charge about $3500 to get a company completely up and running with an SEO review, online marketing plan, PR plan, etc.

I’m forwarding your message to my friend Steve Tsai and his affiliates at OuterJoin. They can give you an overview of all aspects of internet and viral marketing that is so exciting but somewhat still elusive. OuterJoin has developed creative tools for generating and tracking buzz that you might be interested in. Good Luck.

Context Control, Ltd. is a focused pay-per-click agency that provides customized PPC (aka, paid search) management of mid-to-large campaigns.

We provide daily keyword generation, ad design, bid management and account optimization and regular reporting and analytics for organizations that have integrated pay-per-click as a part of their dynamic and sizable sites.

Our cost is normally a percentage of the PPC budget with some minimum to establish a "retainer" relationship. A good example of a well-matched client is The New York Times Online, for whom we have managed PPC for several years. We have also provided similar services to commerce-oriented clients with dynamic catalogs and an ongoing stream of promotions.

Contact me at rian@contextcontrol.com for more information.


this happens to be exactly up the alley of ReachLocal, a portfolio company of ours. They are the leader in planning and executing online spend for local businesses. Great ROI, straightforward to do, etc.

Stephan Cesarini, National Sales Director for ReachLocal

Hi Collin – I provide search marketing services for B2B companies, but it’s something that’s still relatively new to me (about a year and a half) and I’m still working out the mix of services (paid search/SEO/web analytics), so it may not be the right level of experience you are looking for.

As far as firms to recommend, a good place to start is with some of the full-service firms with national reputations. These would include Enquiro (enquiro.com), iProspect (iprospect.com), and Smart Search Marketing (smartsearchmarketing.com). For SEO only, Bruce Clay (bruceclay.com) has a good reputation.

If you don’t mind, I’ll also make a few suggestions:

SEO in an ideal world would be a part of the marketing and web development function. Pages would be optimized for search at the time of development and writing. Marketing analytics staff would include reporting on search in its web analytics. In reality, marketing and web developers often are unskilled in SEO. Therefore, the SEO firm you hire should focus its efforts on initial optimization of the site and then on teaching/coaching the team how to be more self-sufficient in the ways of SEO. All reputable SEO firms will share their methods with you. If they have a secret sauce that they don’t want to discuss, beware.

I would be careful about SEO contracts with ongoing directory-insertion and link-building activities. Better to get natural linking into your site through other online marketing activities like articles, blogs, videos, etc.

A good way to measure the effectiveness and ROI of SEO is to measure the increase in natural search traffic against some baseline. But keep in mind that results from SEO take time.

Paid search (pay-per-click or PPC) can be a way for sites to improve their search traffic right away. It is also a service that makes sense to outsource for many companies because it is a specialized service and because bidding requires constant management after the campaign is established. It only make sense for a company to do paid search on its own if it is very small or very large.

PPC agencies have widely varying fee structures. Try to get a fee structure that aligns both companies interests. One good way is when the agency charges a % of ad spend (in the range of 10-20%, depending on how specialized the keywords are) with a minimum (protects the agency) and a maximum (protects the client).

PPC results should be tied to sales, or at least in the case of B2B marketing, to some website conversion like newsletter signups or requests for a whitepaper.

SEO and PPC are related, so it’s good if these two functions aren’t too siloed. What you learn about keywords in PPC ads can inform how you optimize the site and subjects you write on. What you learn about optimizing pages can be used to improve your Google Quality score in PPC.

In general, investing time on Web and PPC analytics has a high ROI. Study the data, look for trends, improve bidding logic, refine your keyword lists.

I’m hope I’m not creating more confusion than clarity. As I said, I’m still learning this skill myself, but I’d be happy to discuss further or point you to articles on selecting Search Marketing vendors if that would help.Good luck,

David Crankshaw
Menlo Park, CA

My company, Simple Dynamics, focuses primarily on website design and development. We often build complex, transactional websites that require a lot of UI engineering. I imagine your current needs with the plumbing website are more visual and require less transactional functionality, but I would be glad to speak with you about what you are looking for. If we don't make a good fit for this one it could turn out in the future with a different project. We often get work helping new companies or new departments get on their feet with their IT development processes and frameworks.

If you want to discuss, let me know a good time to call you.
Otherewise, have a good day and good luck.
c 510.333.9219
h 510.482.2307

Collin, I want to add to your list. Don Shin is a close personal friend of mine and the Founder / CEO of CrossComm (http://www.crosscomm.net/), a web agency that is highly competent in the areas that you're talking about. You can check out his firm's website, which has links to their portfolio.

this site has a pretty good list of other search gurus, strategists and SEO firm folks, a lot of Google people - http://www.webguild.org/meetings/2007/searchnomics/speakers.php


A couple of interesting sites that Nathan covered:• Yahoo Site Explorer -- To see an analysis of the links to and front your site• Live Search Webmaster Center—Nathan’s site

He also mentioned the upcoming free AdCenter Analytics tool that we are working on.It's now in beta; stay tuned for more info.

Have him check out Covario which has SAS products for search optimization.

Collin, A different point of view on SEO:
HOW-TO: SEM or 'Flypaper Effect' for Attracting Readers

What draws more readers: search engine optimization or the 'flypaper effect'?...

What Is Marketers' Biggest Challenge When It Comes to Social Networks? by Advertising Age

-Dash MBA 76

New Economics of Advertising http://adecon101.blogspot.com/

You might not be looking to hire out for this, but Rosemary Brisco, ToTheWeb, http://www.totheweb.com/search-engine-marketing.html, is the place togo for search engine marketing.

These WIC members are experts in what you want to accomplish and canprovide you with outstanding advice and assistance.

Rosemary Brisco, http://www.totheweb.com/

Erin Ferree, http://www.elf-design.com/

Their websites have excellent articles answering some of the questionsyou are asking, and some of Rosemary's articles are also self-help,giving resources (website and instructions) on search engineoptimization and key word searches, etc.

Best regards,KathieKathryn A. SmithKAS MARKETINGIdeas to Market408-836-6938 Voice650-649-2312 Faxkathie@kasmarketing.com

I have a great recommendation for Leone Advertising. Menlo Park. They do a fantastic job. Laurel Leone - 650-854-5895 x535 Laurel@leonead.com

Kaye Sharbrough Senior Seasons 650-851-5284 http://www.seniorseasons.com/ Housing Referrals and Resources

We manage Google and Yahoo search engine and pay per click campaigns for small and mid sized companies. I would be happy to discuss your ideas andquestions.

Best regards, Kevin

Kevin A. Dean WSI Internet Consulting and Education"We Simplify the Internet" http://www.wsinetadvantage.com/ (510) 687-9737

Rosemary Brisco, a member of WIC is absolutely fabulous at search engine consulting. Her company is called Web2010 (I am doing this from memory!) Look her up in the WIC Directory.
ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.

Jenny: For google, keywords are "irrelevant". If you need any help in obtaining a high position with your client's website, let me know.


Katharina Steiner-LeutholdOwner, Steiner Marketing
800.442.0657 - 831.588.8473

From: <jennych@sbcglobal.net>
: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 12:15:19 -0700
To: "WIC Community" <wic-community@womeninconsulting.org>
: [WIC Community] Search engine/keyword refresh advice needed

Hello WIC Colleagues,

I don't have much experience in search engine marketing but want to help out a client who has a website that needs to be promoted effectively. They do not want to do paid advertisements but they are interested in following the meta-tag/keyword refresh protocols. Can anyone advise me in the following:

To keep your website on Google's (or any other top key websites) high-ranked search results (not through paid advertisements):

a) Has any of you tried using search engine experts to refresh your sitekeywords once a month for maximum search results?

b) Is is necessary to refresh your site keywords once a month? what is theminimum needed?

c) What other alternatives are available for a small business to keep theirsite up to date for maximum search results?

Always, I appreciate your feedback and will compile if there are significant interests.

Jenny C. Huang Principal Jenny C. Huang Consulting

Your Source for Brand Marketing Solutions Tel. 650-947-9605Email: jenny@huangconsulting.com Web: http://www.huangconsulting.com/

We do "guerilla search engine optimization" meaning we cater to the small enterprise with small budget to implement SEO. You can check out our white paper on SEO at http://www.visionandexecution.com/docs/SEO-Basics.pdf. We wrote it to counter-balance the amount of misinformation that gets published including on the WIC list. It was subsequently published in the WIC Consultant's newsletter. We'd be happy to be of service if there's a fit.

Hi -- try Ace Rankings in SF. They are very good and handle both natural search and PPC.

Kevin Dean, of WSI Internet Consulting: kdean@wsinetadvantage.com or 510-687-9737. Tell him Kathy from powerfully funny sent you...

Rosemary Brisco, http://www.totheweb.com/services.html , and Patrina Mack, http://www.visionandexecution.com/services.html , both WIC members, do this very well.

Creative Lead @ Mastermynde Mediaworks604.889.6883 (mobile) 604.677.5469 (fax)1102-1833 Frances St. Vancouver, BC V5L 1Z8http://www.mastermynde.com/

Erin L. Ferree, Owner and Lead Designer, elf design Building logos and brand identities that stand out.951-2 Old County Road Suite 171, Belmont, CA 94002 phone 650-358-9973 / fax 240-597-1083 http://www.elf-design.com/

Beverly Capwell Customer Mining (.com) bev@customermining.com
Rosemary Brisco, http://www.totheweb.com/services.html , and Patrina Mack, http://www.visionandexecution.com/services.html , both WIC members, do this very well.

Mitch Brandow of Local Marketers 425-256-2136 he used to be with Sony Digital and head of interactive for Segdwick Road (a McCann agency) he now owns his own business. D

Contact Ms. Sulakshana Gopal ("Sulu") at e-Storm (http://www.e-storm.com/), a strategic marketing firm specializing in online advertising, search-engine optimization, and other tools. Very effective, and you couldn't ask for a nicer group of people to work with. In San Francisco at 415 352-1214.

1-866-844-SWOT (7968) Palo Alto/San Rafael CA 1027 Alma Street Palo Alto, CA 94301
Celeste Bishop no contact info sent

Kevin Dean
WSI Internet Consulting and Education
(510) 667-9737

If you're talking about how to maximize your web site (keywords, tags) to get the best organic search listings, then Rosemary Brisco at To The Web is awesome - mailto:rbrisco@totheweb.com.

If you are talking about paid search (Google AdWords and overture), then Barbara Coll at WebMama is the expert. info@webmama.com.

Yes! I can highly recommend Ted Prodromou at Valiss...his web site is http://www.valiss.com/, email ted@valiss.com. Phone 415-485-1796.

Note from the compiler: I am already signed on with him and very pleased

A friend of mine works with Andrew Zack at ZTMC, Inc. He speaks highly of Andrew's work. ZTMC's primary focus is Internet Marketing and search engine optimization but they also offer web development and design work.

Andrew E. Zack
ZTMC, Inc.

SEO or 'Flypaper Effect' for Attracting Readers

What draws more readers: search engine optimization or the 'flypaper effect'?

SEM and SEO Revisited

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Publishers are advised to create long lists of keyword phrases and include them on pages as META tags. This is also called natural or organic search clicks. 

Ranking of pages impact the order of search results. 'Black hat SEO' techniques spam the ranking system. When caught, those sites are banned.

You can also buy keywords to attract readers with that interest. This is paid search. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) attempts to manage hundreds to thousands of keywords; and identify those that have high returns.

Publishers have been intrigued by SEM, SEO as a means to draw users.
Stanford GSB Alums,

My firm recently invested in Sacramento’s largest plumbing company and we’re interested in increasing their internet presence, improving their website’s design, and performing an appropriate amount of Search Engine Optimization on the existing site.

I’m sure there are folks out there with a ton of knowledge about how to do this or whom we should contact for this. We have one quote for a 12-mo contract on just the search engine optimization piece, but we’d like a better idea of (a) the services that are available, (b) the cost/benefit of the various solutions, and (c) the price of said options.
When each page competes with trillions of pages, keywords don't work well.
  • Common words like 'economics' can be used by millions of pages. Thus, they don't differentiate your page.
  • Most keywords have synonyms. Thus, keyword lists become long.
When existing publishers examine the list of terms used by visitors to find your site, they find that it is not keywords, but the 'flypaper effect' described below.

What Is the 'Flypaper Effect'?

Newspaper publishers implicitly understand the 'flypaper effect'.


The basic idea is that people using search engines look first for themselves and then for the subjects nearest and dearest to them. Hence you can use a targeted approach or a general approach to attract the people you want to get in touch with.

With the targeted approach, to reach a particular person and/or particular company, create a simple Web page that mentions that person or company. Say good things about them. Say something about the things you could do to help them. Make a page that you'd really like them to see. Make sure the name is in the HTML title and the first couple lines of text. Then if they look for themselves, they are likely to find you. (There are no guarantees, but it's worth a try; and if they do contact you, the conversation starts on a very different level than if you had tried to contact them first.)

As an example of the general approach, at my Web site I have a list of every book I've read for the last 38 years. It's just a list. When I posted it, I doubted that anyone would be interested. I posted it as a lark, for the fun of it. But because of search engines it draws lots of traffic to my site. I've gotten email from authors, agents, and publishers who found the list either looking for themselves or looking for books they have been involved with. I've also gotten lots of good correspondence from other people who love to read.

And, yes, you can use this approach to try to find a job. Just post your resume at your Web site. But sure that the main characteristics that a potential employer would be looking for appear in the HTML title and the first couple lines of text. And to be sure it gets indexed promptly, go to AltaVista http://www.altavista.digital.com/ and at the bottom of the page click on ADD URL and enter the URL for that particular page.

My wife was recently looking for a job. Newspaper ads and job-focused Web sites didn't get her anywhere. Then she got a call from a headhunter who had found her resume at our little Web site...

-- Richard Seltzer


From: mailto:Shinnick@media-wave.comDate: Fri, 30 Aug 96 12:17 PDT

The flypaper observation is interesting. It is really what community newspapers have done for years to keep their circulation churning and make the paper valuable to the advertisers. In the sports sections they always carry every name of every little league player, teenage football player, etc, knowing that all the kids will look for their names, all the grandmothers and ants will look, as well as dad and his buddies.

I do it to a certain extent with my magazine. I figure there must be five hundred different names in each issue, and all of that is uploaded, eventually, to the web site. It might be one reason I have had reasonable hits since the beginning.

John Shinnick, Editor/Publisher, Media Wave Magazine

Silicon Alley, Techcrunch, and Venture Beat cover new digital media companies. Engadget and Gizmodo cover new gadgets. The steady stream of names draws like flypaper.

This blog's list of hundreds of AdNets is a top draw. Acronyms like AdNet, IChannel, and MaSP work well, especially when used in a compound search of many terms.


Unique lists of names, products, places, acronyms, trademarks, books, movies, music... are more likely to draw visitors than keywords.

What has been your experience?

(c) Dash Chang, 2008

 Fred / A VC:
Where My Traffic Comes From  —  Every once in a while I like to show some analytics about this blog.  —  I get the sense that the sources of traffic to this blog have been changing recently.  Let's start by comparing the high level sources of traffic to this blog in the first quarter of 2007 vs the first quarter of 2008

NEWS: Dusting Off the Archive for the Web

clipped from: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/business/media/17mags.html?bl&ex=1206158400&en=0d1e9305b145f292&ei=5087%0A

Dusting Off the Archive for the Web

As magazines and newspapers hunt for the new thing they need to be to thrive in the Internet era, some find that part of the answer lies in the old thing they used to be.

SI.com already draws more than six million unique visitors each month, according to Nielsen Online (publications insist that the true numbers are much higher than Nielsen’s ratings), and executives of the magazine predict the Vault could add five million monthly readers.

“The real hidden value of this is what it does for search,” said John Squires, executive vice president of Time Inc., the Time Warner subsidiary that publishes Sports Illustrated. The move quadruples the site’s volume, he said. “We’ll have to work our way up the search algorithms over time, but eventually, someone searches Johnny Unitas, and SI.com is going to pop up.”

NEWS: Enterprise Social Networks

What Is Marketers' Biggest Challenge When It Comes to Social Networks? by Advertising Age

Published: March 17, 2008 Marketers still haven't figured out that the interaction between people on social networks is unscripted. And like the people interacting within these networks, marketers have to learn to just react to what's going on...


A number of big-name brands immediately come to mind as probable movers and shakers within social networks. Nike, Coke, Axe and Proctor & Gamble already have found some success in the space. But Forrester's Ms. Li said there's one company using social networks effectively that probably isn't obvious: Ernst & Young. "Ernst & Young does a good job in recruitment on Facebook," Ms. Li said. "They put up a schedule and provide all the recruitment information, and when people write questions, recruiters are there to write them back."

Brand-based social networking: Will it work for Imagini? from Venture Beat

One notable thing about today’s major social media brands — Facebook, MySpace and others — is that they worked their way up to become giant web presences on their own. Imagini, a startup based in the United Kingdom, would rather hedge its bets with a brand partnership with Pepsi, just announced this morning.

Imagini is the parent company of Youniverse, a site that offering a few picture-based personality quizzes and some simple social networking tools. Youniverse is so simple, in fact, that it comes across more like an application than a social network.

Pepsi’s version of the site isn’t much more complicated. Centered around six major football (or soccer, in our parlance) stars like David Beckham, the site offers a way for fans to compare themselves to their idols and each other. Pepsi will also run a global ad campaign to promote the brand site.

Obligatory "Hot Mom" Joke Here: CafeMom Raises Another $12 Million by Peter Kafka March 18, 2008 7:25 PM

Last summer we worried that the $5 million Highland Capital and DFJ had handed over to CMI Marketing and CafeMom.com represented some sort of market top. So what do we do now that the same investors have given the same social network another $12 million, bringing the total raise to $20 million? ...

Allen Stern reports that the site is working with "Walmart, Playskool, Disney, HP, Kraft, General Mills, Nestle, Unilever, JCPenney, Johnson & Johnson and Best Buy", selling custom campaigns for up to $500,000 a pop.

'Indiana Jones' Trailer Spreads via Widget -

Paramount's viral video marketing will reward the fans who share the most copies of the upcoming promo... Clearspring supplies creative, widget, and campaign management.

Facebook Pages

Represent your business, band, product and more by creating a distinct and customized profile.

VC confab: Please, no more social networks

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--The consensus here at the Dow Jones Web Ventures conference this week seems to be that the world doesn't need another social network.

Starbucks caters to digital crowd with social-networking site

You know social networking has jumped the shark when Starbucks gets into the act.

Starbucks has launched My Starbucks Idea, an electronic suggestion box where people can offer up their best ideas for making the already ubiquitous coffee retailer even more successful.

Ning, king of custom social networks? Ning, king of custom social networks?

On Working Webware, ZDNet Editor in Chief Dan Farber and Webware.com's editor Rafe Needleman sit down with Ning CEO Gina Bianchini to find out ...

Ning - 150k sites, 2% pay $20/month to earn AdSense fees & resell their own advertising

March 21st, 2008
Companies get profiled on LinkedIn, ZDNet

LinkedIn, the career oriented social networking site, has rolled out a new feature today called Company Profiles, described as “a new research tool that helps you find and explore companies that you might want to work for or do business with.”

Each Company Profile page, of which there are initially 160,000 or so, is deceptively simple, featuring a short description of each company, along with some other size and history (licensed from BusinessWeek’s Capital IQ database). However, the fun really starts (can you have fun on LinkedIn?) with the additional ’social’ data that LinkedIn supplements, pulled from existing user profiles. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 17, 2008

NEWS: Were we wrong about tech and the democratization of media?

From the counterintuitive files, the Project for Excellence in Journalism came out with its fifth annual look at the media, and it's a doozy of a report.

The study contradicts most of the assumptions we've grown to accept about the impact of technology on media and journalism in the last few years.

Among its findings:

• News is shifting from being a product to more of a service.

• The days when news sites were final destinations are over.

• Prospects for user-generated content now appear more limited.

• Madison Avenue does not yet grok the world of new media.

• U.S. media coverage is becoming increasingly narrow.

Digging down further, the study takes specific aim at the belief that audience fragmentation is breaking the grip of "media elites."

"Some people even advocate the notion of "The Long Tail," the idea that, with the Web's infinite potential for depth, millions of niche markets could be bigger than the old mass market dominated by large companies and producers.

The reality, increasingly, appears more complex. Looking closely, a clear case for democratization is harder to make. Even with so many new sources, more people now consume what old-media newsrooms produce, particularly from print, than before. Online, for instance, the top 10 news Web sites, drawing mostly from old brands, are more of an oligarchy, commanding a larger share of audience, than in the legacy media.

The verdict on citizen media, for now, suggests limitations. And research shows blogs and public-affairs Web sites attract a smaller audience than expected and are produced by people with even more elite backgrounds than journalists."

But don't take that to mean all is well in the world of the mainstream media. If the authors are right, advertising isn't accompanying the online migration with the consumer. Translation: Media faces both a shrinking audience as well as a "decoupling of news and advertising."

Happy days. So, what's next--the meltdown of the economy? Oh yeah, I forgot. That's already started.

NEWS: Widget AdNets

Big media in little places: CBS, DoubleClick, expand widget ad options

CBS is offering a local widget ad network where a third-party site located in the same geographic area as a CBS television station can run a widget that features news clips from the station as well as CBS’s own ads. Local blogs and other social media sites are new competitors to local television. This is a way for CBS to make money and gain traffic through these sites at the same time, turning them into partners, not just competitors, with CBS at the center. CBS has been one of the big media companies to aggressively experiment with widgets and social media, such as its widget that shows sports scores, here...
Numerous startups have already been experimenting with running ads within widgets on web sites, including Clearspring (our coverage) and Widgetbox (our coverage), and so have numerous Facebook application ad networks such as RockYou, Slide, Social Media, Lookery and others. But it hasn’t been clear how these companies could find large amounts of advertising revenue — the answer may be brand advertising, because the large advertisers that companies like CBS and DoubleClick serve are hungry for better ways to reach users. John Battelle of Federated Media (which VentureBeat uses for some of its advertising) has more thoughts on the evolution of brand advertising here.
Adify Widget Share transforms online networks from simple advertising vehicles into communities with captive audiences. By providing access to exclusive content and publicizing the most recent updates across the entire network, widgets drive more traffic across all network sites. As a result, media owners can generate higher advertising rates through increased page views and traffic, and better targeting based on valuable information about their sites' readership interests. Different from viral widgets, only publishers whose content is on-target and reviewed by the editorial team of Adify's Network Builders can access and showcase these widgets.

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