Tag Archives: AdWords

7 sources of link intelligence data and key link analysis considerations

It may seem like a cliché but on the web no website is an island. Any site worth its salt will have accumulated inbound links and will most certainly contain outbound links to other resources on the web. Indeed, one can easily say that without links to interconnect websites, there wouldn’t be a worldwide web.

For search engines, such as Google, incoming links provide a strong signal as to the authority of a website. If multiple websites link to a specific website for a given topic, there is a good chance the website cited by others is deemed to be highly relevant for a good reason. Google and other search engines identify the theme of a website page by analyzing a page’s content and the text of the incoming links – the underlined text you click on to arrive at a page. Links, especially inbound links, are thus one of the most significant in the over 200 factors Google considers in its ranking algorithms. Inbound links from related sites in a business’ sector are also an excellent source of highly qualified direct traffic.

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Google AJAX Search results, tracking in Google Analytics and, um, an API rant

As many may know by now, Google has been experimenting for a few months with Ajax (JavaScript) based search results. One problem with the initial trial was that no referrer information was passed when a user clicked on a search result, “breaking” the historic ability of Web Analytics systems to track search traffic from Google. Google has more than one service on each of it’s domains which may send traffic to a website, such as the Google Reader, so just knowing traffic is from Google isn’t so informative.

Keyword information from search referrers is in particular very important as we want to know not only where our visitors came from, but what was their intent, intent indicated though the keywords they use to express their need or desire while searching.

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My website has disappeared from Google. What do I do now?

One day you note a fall off in the traffic Google sends your website. As Google is the main source of your traffic, as is the case for many websites, alarm bells naturally start ringing. Investigating, you realize that the site does not appear at all in Google or has poor visibility at best in search results. What is a poor site owner to do? Did someone say panic?

Understand why the site disappeared from Google

There are several reasons why a site no longer appears in typical Google search results.

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Page views value little in the monetization of a website

The title might be a bit provocative, but the topic is important for companies which want to insure their website is a profit center rather than a cost center. The number of page views tracked by a web analytics system is often a weak indicator of website monetization potential. With the advent of monetization programs such as Google’s AdSense, the specific content of a web page has become much more telling in this regard. Let’s see why.

In this article we will restrict ourselves to advertising as the monetization tool.

The success factors for the monetization of a website depend on the advertising model used. The traditional approach is to sell banner space, historically at a cost per 1000 impressions (CPM). In this model, the greater the number of page views, the better. Life is all rather straight forward. Yet over time many advertisers have become more sophisticated, offering to pay just for the traffic actually received, e.g. the click-through model where the site carrying the ad receives a fee only if a user clicks on the banner, arriving at the advertiser’s site.

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So many aspiring SEOs! – the SEO Quiz results are in

15 questions, 5 weeks and 5 books: almost 700 people took the 2008 SEO quiz challenge.

Note to the reader: this article was originally posted on our Italian blog on December 2nd. The quiz targeted an Italian audience; we’ve published this translation in order to allow a wider audience to follow search marketing developments in Italy.

Why a SEO quiz

The idea of the quiz came from reflections on the state of SEO knowledge and usage in Italy, observed from the perspective of a SEO practitioner.

Search engines, with Google in particular (question 1), are the gate keepers between us and the net. We use search engines not only to search for information that we imagine is out there somewhere, but also to navigate to a specific site, such as Fiat, or to perform a task, such as buy a ticket for a Tiziano Ferro concert (question 15).

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Search engine detection in Microsoft adCenter Analytics

Microsoft is the other main player, after Google Analytics, in the area of free Web Analytics tools for the analysis of browser centric web data. Microsoft’s adCenter Analytics is the successor to the former LiveSTATS thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of DeepMetrix in April 20061.

Why search engines offer Web Analytics

Certainly the name Microsoft choose for its Web Analytics tool says a lot: with adCenter Analytics you know the priority is on advertising. Google has taken a softer approach with Google Analytics; sure there is and will be strong integration with AdWords, yet everyone is welcome to take advantage of Google Analytics even if they aren’t (yet) an AdWords client. The official line is that having experienced the power of measuring business results derived from a company’s web presence, marketing professionals will be more inclined to become AdWords clients. One presumes as well that the data collected by Google Analytics is used inside Google to measure the overall state of traffic on the web (including Google’s competitor’s market share – the benchmarking with other sites feature gives an idea of the possibilities). I hope that Microsoft will adopt a more enlightened Internet strategy and aggressively promote adCenter Analytics usage among non-adCenter clients. Google is a great company but could use some competition.

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Enhance your blog or website with Google’s Site Search. Measure the results in Google Analytics.

You’ve done it. You’ve created a successful web site with compelling content. A loyal community of readers keeps coming back for more. SEO efforts have paid off too, with lots of traffic from Google, Yahoo!, MSN and minor search engines. Time to sit back with a fine Real Ale or a glass of Monteregio di Massa Marittima… but didn’t you forget something? Internal Site Search perhaps?

By Internal Site Search we mean a search feature on your website to allow site visitors to find what they’re looking for, using their own words.

Don’t fret, there are good reasons to deploy site search functionality and it’s relatively easy to do.

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Who’s using Google for their organic and paid search results?

An important consideration for Google AdWords advertisers is to understand just where their contextual ads might appear. Google notes that AdWords ads can appear on the:

  1. Google search engine
  2. Partner search engines (e.g. Aol, Ask.com, Libero / Arianna, Virgilio / Alice)
  3. Google owned web content sites (e.g. Gmail, Google Groups)
  4. Third party web content sites (practically any site wishing to display Google ads)

The following slide, extracted from my PPC with AdWords Course, provides a visual overview of where AdWords can appear1.

Visual Overview of Where Google AdWords Ads may appear
Figure 1: Where Google AdWords Ads may Appear – Italian market focus (click to enlarge)

While Google has recently improved information about participants in the Google content network2, it isn’t so easy to find an updated listing of which major generalist portals and pure search engines rely on Google for their organic and paid search results. The following table aims to rectify this, at least for the Italian market.

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Funny business searching for Milan-Rome flights in Google – AdSense Arbitrage at work.

The traditional August break in Italy is a wonderful time to work on projects which linger on the back burner during the rest of the year. Last August led to the release of a free keyword selection guide (in Italian); this year’s focus is a Course on using the AdWords PPC paid search marketing program.

While capturing some updated screen shots for the PPC Course, I came across an interesting example of a search marketing phenomena known as PPC or AdSense arbitrage.

Search for Milan – Rome Flights

Consider this search for Milan – Rome Flights: Search in Google for Flights between Milan and Rome
Figure 1: Search in Google for Flights between Milan and Rome

Travel is one of the most highly competitive business sectors on the web. It shouldn’t then be a great surprise that we have 3 sponsored results (with the beige background) above the organic results in addition to the standard sponsored results on the right. The results at the top appear when there is a high chance of the ad being very profitable for Google – the maximum bid is high, as is the historic click-through rate.

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Are Italian publishers still diffident when it comes to Internet Book Search?

This was the question posed to Santiago de la Mora, Google’s European Partnerships Lead, Books, at Editech 2008: Editoria e innovazione tecnologica, Milan, 27 June 2008.

In the article that follows, I’ve attempted to paraphrase Santiago’s presentation of Google’s Book Search based on notes I took during the session. Santiago started by noting his agenda would cover 5 points. As the slide set is not currently available and I couldn’t see it very well from my side seat, I’ve added a few screen shots in an attempt to better illustrate Santiago’s presentation. I’ve also inserted a few personal comments, indicated with italics.

1. Challenges and opportunities on the Internet

With about 1 billion users today in Internet, every publisher needs an Internet strategy. 2007 e-commerce sales are estimated at $420 billion globally (I’m not sure of the source, but US only e-commerce sales were at $136.4 billion1). As mentioned previously, books are the number one product sold on the net2, totaling $180 billion3.

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