Marketing

Who would you consider the best internet marketer?

Lars over at Webanalyst.info send me and probably a few others a question about who I consider to be the best internet marketer. To answer this it is pretty difficult, but here are my top picks:  1. Bob Parson from Godaddy.com

Who hasn't heard of Godaddy? It is a household name and even that I have only 2-3 domains with them, they always come up with a great upsell/after sale email- and phone campaign.

2. Markus from PlentyoffFish.com

Markus started his free dating site Plentyofffish.com only a few years ago. He grew his site as a one man show (not sure if this is true!) to one if not the biggest dating site in the world. With more than $1million in monthly Adsense revenues, he still  is "attacking" the big dating sites like Match or Eharmony.

3. Craig Newmark from Craigslist

I estimated the Craigslist revenues 2 years ago at about $40-70 million/year. Still Craig remains as the poor "David" who is fighting all the big Goliaths.

Who do you consider the best internet marketer?

Clickable - new PPC management tool

Clickable Clickable - new PPC management tool from New York

Union Square Ventures just invested in new PPC management company Clickable.

Clickable manages all PPC campaigns across multiple search engines. Clickable’s proprietary technologies monitor search

marketing campaign performance, providing actionable alerts and analytics that allow advertisers to maximize their

advertising return on investment (ROI). Currently Clickable is only available in private beta.

I wonder why a large VC company would invest in a company that provides a service that other companies already have

taken care of. In order to figure that out, I would need a beta account...

Using Digg clones to generate traffic for your site

It's getting tougher to get on Digg's homepage and many Digg optimizer complaint and accuse Digg to manually edit the homepage. Luckily many international clones with good traffic are out there and are ready for your story. Over the weekend I ran a small test with one of my sites and ended up with a story on the homepage of some Digg clone (Alexa 10k range). I did not monetize the traffic, but the amount of clicks was pretty good: Dailyreach

(It's the spike at the end and not the one in the middle of the page. The spike in the middle happened Nov. 2006, which was a result of some major TV/Internet/print coverage. )

The science of disgust

I've always been interested in adapting proven "offline" marketing ideas in online ideas. Not only the placement of  branded products on Eye level, but also price points, wording, text size, light, smell and even sound of offline stores are incredible interesting to me. Walmart, Macys and other companies analyze their customers for decades and there are so many tricks that probably work online as well, but never have been tried. A Time magazine article about "the science of disgust" is just another eye opener to me. There is so much to learn and often an online store is not so far away from a "real" store around the corner.

"In a series of studies, the researchers [Fitzsimons and Morales, Duke and Arizona State University] found not only that some products--trash bags, diapers, kitty litter, tampons--evoke a subconscious feeling of disgust even before they're used for their ultimate messy purposes, but they can also transfer their general ickiness to anything they come in contact with...

Any food that touched something perceived to be disgusting became immediately less desirable itself, though all of the products were in their original wrapping. The appeal of the food fell even if the two products were merely close together; an inch seemed to be the critical distance. "It makes no sense if you think about it," says Fitzsimons. More irrationally still, the subjects were less comfortable with a transparent package than an opaque one, as if it somehow had greater power to leak contamination."

The Market Function of Piracy

For some time, I was thinking about publishing and selling a web analytics guide (in print!), but never had the time to do it. After reading a post from Jerry Kirkpatrick, I am actually glad that I didn't publish it yet. Jerry Kirkpatrick is a professor of international business and marketing at California State Polytechnic University and posted an interesting text about "The Market Function of Piracy":

"One of the most dramatic recent instances of this was the strategy of science fiction writer Cory Doctorow who, over the course of three years, gave away 700,000 electronic copies of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Sales of the hard copy went through six printings and surpassed his publisher's expectations. Many of the downloaders, Doctorow said, did not buy the hard copy and probably would not have regardless, but the giveaway created considerable buzz and a significant minority did buy the hard copy. Compare this to the experience of the Mises Institute with Omnipotent Government.

Free — no matter where it comes from — can help sell."

Exploring the Ebay crowd

Social media marketing became really popular over the last 24 months and a lot of "experts" explore traffic from Digg, Myspace, Facebook and all the other great Web 2.0 networks. Usually most experts get caught by spam filters, algorithms or hand-editing after a while, and the screaming after the storm is usually immense. Especially when it used to be a great and easy revenue stream. What most of these experts forget is that there is a large online savy Ebay crowd, that still can be easily explored. E.g. 14.5% of the overall internet usage is spent on Ebay in Germany (unfortunately couldn't find numbers for the US, but I doubt that it is below 5%).

Unlike other social networks , the Ebay crowd is also not just "hanging out" for fun, but most probably have the intention to buy a product.

What can be better than having millions of people waiting in a mall and ready to buy pretty much anything?

I still explore the Ebay crowd for some of my sites with great results. It's one of the easiest and cheapest ways to receive quality traffic. Especially when you can use Ebay tracking solutions like Infopia.

Google - Doubleclick deal leaves a bitter taste

Google bought Doubleclick for $3.1 billion, which you probably already know. The deal is not really surprising, but it leaves a bitter taste to advertisers, agencies, competitors and the webanalytics industry: - Doubleclick owns SEO company Performics, which also became a part of Google now. - Last week Google's Matt Cutts posted, that he wants users to report paid links in order to keep Google's index clean. Besides that about 2-3 weeks ago Google announced a CPA/PPA network, which includes links as "creatives". - Doubleclick and Google are not the smallest data collectors. Both of them don't have a clean record when it comes to privacy issues. Wired magazine picked up the story today and more and more people around the world (link is in German) are concerned with their privacy and are ready to take actions (already today Cookie deletion rate in Europe is about 15%) Overall I believe this deal and recent Google activities and statements are contra-productive for the the entire web and especially the web analytics industry. Some of the issues above can be easily fixed (e.g. Performics), but others don't bother Google at all (e.g. report of paid links). I am usually a big Google fan hello my friends from the NYC Adwords team but latest developments are just not thoughtful enough for a company called "Godogle".

AOL withdraws $900 million bid for affiliate network Tradedoubler

Once more offtopic, but Reuters reported that AOL withdrew an estimated $900 million cash offer for Swedish online marketer TradeDoubler after failing to gain the approval of 90 percent of shareholders. Tradedoublers shareholders representing about 20 percent of TradeDoubler shares opposed the deal, demanding a higher price than the offer of 215 crowns per share. Good call Time Warner! You did the right thing withdrawing the offer. I launched one of the first merchant affiliate programs in Germany and worked in European affiliate marketing for several years. Besides in Scandinavia, Spain, UK and Switzerland, which certainly is only a small part of Europe, Tradedoubler is not the market leader and faces serious competition! So TW, stop wasting your time with a handful Scandinavians, learn German and French, and go after the 160 million Zanox or Affilinet customers.

Google Adwords professional

Qualified professional I finally re-newed my Google Adwords professional certificate. Below a few tips and tricks how to pass the test.

In order to get the certificate it is necessary to answer 75% of the answers right. The test consist of 111 questions and takes about 90 minutes. I got 89.2% right, which is ok with me, but there are a few chapters that I failed. Especially when you work in webanalytics or online marketing you are not always aware of the following things:

1. Reports 75% 66.67% - I guess that I didn't read anything about the reports. I usually pull the data in the webanalyics solution and not bother with the Google Adwords reports.

2. Advanced Conversion Tracking 75% 0% Fail - No sure why I did bad on that. I guess for the same reason as above.

3. Invoicing 75% 50% Fail - I don't wonder about that. Before taking the test make sure to know all about Google adwords billing. The quesions were kind of a joke and I don't feel bad failing this part.
4. Selling AdWords 75% 66.67% Fail - I guess that I am a bad salesman. Not too bad. I don't plan to have a career in Adwords sales anyways.

SEO is rock(et) science

seo.gif caveman2.gif

Sadly, negative stereotypes and characterizations of SEOs continue to persist.

You have seen them, portrayals of SEOs as inarticulate and dimwitted.

Cartoons showing SEOs wearing Shoemoney shirts and carrying thick laptops.

Recently Dave Pasternack has been running a serious of print and online campaigns

that completely perpetuate a negative stereotype - that SEOs are unsophisticated

simpletons, that have inferior intelligence. This could not be more insensitive or offensive.

We hope you'll join us in our fight for respect. SEOs are smart, thoughtful, intelligent,

cognitive, amibitious, social beings. We may not look like you, but we are just like you.

UPWITHSEO

SEOs are people too!

Web 2.0 entrepreneur meetup

When I thought about Meetup.com meetings I always thought about German housewife meetings ranting about the good old German time, that was so much better than living in New York (Disclaimer: I am a German). That's why I never had the idea about going back to the Meetup.com website until the Webmetricsguru forwarded me an invitation about a meetup group without German houswifes.
Today I finally visited the Web 2.0 New York entrepreneur meetup. Not that I am a big entrepreneur, but I was just curious to see new Web 2.0 startups before Techcrunch does.

First presentation was Team patent. Team patent is not live yet and it is a hosted solution for patent lawyers and average Joes, who need help filing a patent. Very very niche market, so I am not sure if this is something that can kick off. There are probably many others that can judge about that much better.

Second presentation was Clipmarks - Clipmarks gives basicially everybody an advanced "copy to clipboard" function. It allows users to grab specific content (e.g. headline and video) from websites and lets them add it to blogs and/or the Clickmarks.com website. I kind of liked the tool b/c of it's digg-like functionality, but I believe it will be massively used for content scraping and other stupid funny things. With Clipmarks everybody can copy content and add it to his website. SEO's will love this and Matt Cutts will have to upgrade his cluster filter.
Third presentation was Dai.sy - the human side of the web. Dai.sy is pretty much a browser extension that let's every website become a social network. The tool looks pretty neat and if the userbase is large enough it might be interesting to join and chat. Still I believe that people are not interested in chatting about Google.com or any other website unless their is an added value (e.g. shopping together and getting a discount). I also believe that the time for new toolbars is over.

4th startup was Helloworld. It's basicially everything about video. It let's you create, manage, share, broadcast your video. A lot of functionality, that looked very impressive. In order to understand the entire product I need to digg further into it. It definitely was the most interesting product that night.

5th startup was Theplacefinder. I am not sure what's new behind this website and after working in the online real estate market for a few years I clearly think that Theplacefinder is completely on the wrong track. There are already established roommate and rental services out there for about 10 years. Additionally Craigslist, Oodle, Kijiji and others have the market pretty much locked up. I recommend this startup to start over with something else. There is no room for another player. At least not in the US market.
Besides getting to know these new startups, I am glad that I joined the event. I always loved to listen to new ideas and this was a great place to do so. I also enjoyed to get to know new people.

Alexa upgrades tool

Alexa staff upgrades their measurement tool.

Geographic data:

Alexa data

Traffic rank:

Alexa traffic rank

Reach percentages:

Alexa reach percentages

I am really happy to see the traffic rank of webanalyticsbook.com for other countries.

This is very valuable data for any online marketer. Also for online merchants it is was always a very difficult task to figure out if a website is able to send quality traffic.

Regarding the webanalyticsbook numbers, I am slightly confused about my traffic from Romania, b/c my webanalytics solution doesn't show me an Romanian readers.

Every reader from Romania, please be so kind and comment below, so we can check the accuracy of this new feature.

Wunderloop - wunderkind webanalytics

Wunderloop Wunderloop is a new, well-funded behaviroal targeting system, that enables precise advertising.

Luxembourg based Wunderloop continuously analyses users’ current behavior – what they click or their queries in search engines, for example – and compares in real time the wunderLOOP customer’s market research data from AGOF, Nielsen NetRatings and comScore, to name but a few, and, with the user’s consent, in-house data such as CRM profiles.

The real-time targeting allows to show users customized advertising, content or shopping offers.

I believe that user profiling (without tracking actual people) and real-time targeting are in the long-term the way to go for every e-commerce site. It is probably the ultimate solution to maximize profits.

The customized online shopping experience seems to be closer than I thought and e-commerce sites will probably be changing on the fly depending on the customer that enters the website. Content targeting will certainly the next big thing.

Not only content and search, but also advertising is going to change if services like Wunderloop succeed.
Banner advertising is pretty much dead right now and this technology could be the way to create a competitive ad system, which can compete with Google's/Yahoo's contextual advertising platforms.

Personally I am not sure if it will be a great thing for the reputation of the webanalytics industry if massively funded companies like Wunderloop uses various data sources to target users in an pretty much "uncontrolled" way. Especially when it comes to behaviroal (or smart) pricing, I somehow have a bad feeling in my stomach.

Easy domain tracking with Domainlogbook

Domain Log Book Domain Log book is a new service that will help you keep track of all your domains. It also shows Alexa Rank, Google Rank and Whois information

Domain log book currently has 293 users and 1,084 domains in their system. The service is a great way to keep track of your domains. I currently own more than XXX domains with different hosting services in different countries and this is exactly what I always needed. It's not only a good way to track domains, but also a good way to combine hosting packages and save money.

What would also be great is if the service would add some other stats than Alexa data  (Compete?) and let's users add comments to their domain.

Coremetrics adds automated bidding

Coremetrics Search 2007 integrates comprehensive LIVE Profiles data and granular keyword analysis with automated bidding and support for Yahoo! V2 online advertising platform

The new version of Coremetrics Search is the first paid search management application to fully integrate automated bidding with in-depth analysis, powered by Coremetrics LIVE Profiles, so that the entire search marketing program can be managed from within a single interface. The company has added a comprehensive Campaign Landing Page Report and detailed Keyword Zoom features to help marketers increase the relevance of their programs. It has also introduced an automated bid management system, which reduces the administrative burden of search management, allowing marketers to focus on more valuable, revenue-generating activities.
Big Big steps for Coremetrics. An integrated bid mangement is what everybody is looking for. SEM, SEO and Webanalytics are one big field! No matter what David Pasternack or others say. Depending on the quality of Comscore's new tool, Atlas bid management just added one more serious competitor.

Hittail - the long tail optimizer

Hittail Hittail - the long tail optimizer that provides
suggestions to boost natural search

Hittail is a great and free tool that tracks your organic traffic and recommends topics that you or your editorial team should write about in order to boost your search engine traffic.

Hittail also offers premium services that include

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Natural vs. Paid Search Comparison
  • Traditional Search Engine Optimization
  • Dynamic Database Optimization
  • Automatic Media Monitoring
  • Writing Assistance
  • Wiki Documentation on Search Philosophies
  • Archived Weekly Reporting and Metrics
  • Monthly Metrics
  • Conversion Tracking

Hittail is well done and any website which has the intention of making profit, should at least install the free beta version. I definitely will use the tool on one corporate site and write about it when it is time for that. It will take a least a few weeks so the tool can aggregate enough data from the engines.

Rumors: MSN Adcenter editor software

Lately many rumors occur…This time
about a downloadable MSN adcenter software

After a friend of mine had a bunch of MSN senior guys in his office today, he overheard them talking about some Adcenter software, which is pretty much and equivalent to the popular Google Adwords editor product.

First of all I would not post this rumor, but after digging an old MSN [Jan.2006] press release, I am convinced that this is true.

" [MSN] adLab’s top-notch group of more than 50 researchers will develop advertising solutions that connect marketers with consumers in more relevant, innovative ways unseen in the industry before now. Today at the adCenter Demo Fest on the Microsoft campus, the researchers gathered to present prototypes of more than 15 of the approximately 40 advertising technologies they are currently working on for long-term implementation, including online advertising solutions, video opportunities, and television and mobile-based advertising products. "

Update: MSN Demo Fest 17th January 2007:

"Developed by the rapidly growing team of more than 120 Microsoft adCenter Labs researchers and engineers, technologies displayed on Wednesday are all designed to help provide the best advertising experiences for users, advertisers and developers. They include the following:

Keyword Services Platform: The platform provides a set of Web service APIs related to keyword technologies, including keyword recommendation, forecasting, categorisation and monetisation, enabling developers to build more intelligent applications for online advertising and beyond."

Not much info from the offical site, except that they stocked up with engineers to about 120. So some of the new guys might work on that stuff. If it is true that MSN comes out with their own tool, it would be another slap in Yahoo's face. I am not sure what Yahoo is doing right now, but it seems that the other 2 big competitors take search advertising way more serious.

Eye tracking in MSN Search

Found via Searchengineland a new paper from MSN Research.

" We [Edward Cutrell; Zhiwei Guan] describe a study that used eye tracking methodologies to explore the effects of changes in the

presentation of search results. We found that adding information to the contextual snippet significantly improved

performance for informational tasks but degraded performance for navigational tasks. We discuss possible

reasons for this difference and the design implications for the better presentation of search results.

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