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July 9, 2008

SEO Headlines – adCenter Rising

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Google’s New Keyword Research Tool

Our PPC guru Nick Guastella was all aflutter this morning over the news that Google has added search counts to its keyword research tool, thereby turning on another light for SEOs and search marketers. According to Google:

When you use the Keyword Tool to search for relevant keywords to include in your keyword list, you’ll be able to see the approximate number of search queries matching your keywords that were performed on Google and the search network. These approximate numbers are intended to provide better insight into keywords’ monthly and average search volumes than previously provided by the tool.

The new data will help search marketers with keyword choices, spotting trends, budget planning and will help them outline their account structure. I supposed props go to Google for being so aggressive about pushing out new tools to give search marketers more data, more numbers and more insight into optimizing their campaigns. I’m going to do my best to avoid the conspiracy theories and be excited about the new data. Nick seemed to be.

For more details, Google has an extensive guide to its Keyword Tool. I don’t think many are still mourning the loss of Overturn’s keyword research tool.

But Srsly, WTH is Lively?

Yesterday afternoon word started to spread about Google’s new virtual world nicknamed Lively. It’s a browser-based virtual environment that will tie in to social networks like Facebook, OpenSocial, and MySpace. Okay. The whole think smells of Orkut. It’s just another social networking attempt that Google’s audience never asked for, doesn’t want, and will likely never use (or at least not here in the States). I’m not impressed; in fact, I’m confused as to why they even bothered.

It feels like not even Google knows what it wants to do here. As GigaOm notes, in a recent Virtual World News article Google’s Head of 3D Operations (I love that a 3D division even exists) Mel Guymon makes it sound like they’re only in the virtual space because it seems like that’s the place to be. That’s a great way to induce Product Fail. The obvious assumption would be that Google developed Lively as a way to (in time) get users to generate content that they can then place ads on. Lively has integration with Google products like YouTube and Picasa so that may be another way to generate more clicks and ads, but that’s not nearly enough to make it exciting.

It seems that if you’re going to release something like this, it darn well better be superior to its nearest competitor. In this case, though the missions are different, that’s Second Life. And Lively’s not even on the same wavelength as SL. People in virtual worlds demand complete control of their surroundings and freedom to explore. Lively fails to offer that. So where’s the incentive to switch? There isn’t one.

Google, I know you’re all excited about another chance at monetizing something, but next time try and do a better job of masking it behind something that’s maybe useful.

adCenter Makes Impressive Strides Against Y!SM

Barry reports on the buzz that Microsoft’s adCenter seems to be on the rise much to Yahoo’s dismay, with advertisers reporting more spend on adCenter than with Yahoo Search Marketing. Over at Search Engine Watch one member noted that adCenter as outperformed Yahoo in both conversions and CPL over the last month. At Sphinn, Kate Morris argues the same. Barry says the “tide is turning”. Is he right?

I certainly hope so. I’m not a fan of much of what Microsoft puts out there, but adCenter has long been touted as the superior platform despite its pea-sized traffic. Maybe with search marketers starting to see rewards, they’ll be more likely to increase their spend over there. But if they do, it doesn’t curb adCenter’s major hurdle – the fact that the audience isn’t there. And the audience isn’t there because the Live search engine is…nowhere near where it should be. Maybe the folks in Redmond could stop bullying Yahoo and get on that. They just may have something here.

Fun Finds

I’m a huge fan of Patrick Winfield’s recent article The 10 Best Ways to Find the Perfect Image for Your Blog Post. Some seriously good stuff in there.

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One response to “SEO Headlines – adCenter Rising”

  1. AsiaLV writes:

    re: Google’s new Keyword Tool

    The Keyword tool is quite amazing actually, but it can also cause for much grief for the average PPC customer. Something I sat in front of customers yesterday, to explain in detail.

    For example, the #1 key phrase for our market is at 4.6 million a month with an average of -1% buying product. The #1 targeted keyword phrase in our industry – gets an average of 635,000 searches per month with a 1.7% conversion. The top converting phrases are between 3-8% of the total top phrase average, respectively. (oh my!)

    Ultimately, the demand for #1 is high, ranging in price at $10-$25 per click depending on season, whereas the high conversions are $1-$3 per click season or not. We looked at the numbers, and then threw them aside, knowing the actual numbers doesn’t change the real worlds buying habits.

    I find the tool useful in determining new keywords that we might have overlooked, as well as useful to determine what idiot competitor is buying out of sheer panic. But overall, just because the phrase gets 100 times the number of searches does not mean that it will gain 100 times the results. I advise that others don’t go into panic over actual numbers, but instead take inventory of past conversions and if it needs change, do so – but if you’ve been through the route of buying highly competitive keywords to gain nothing, don’t let a few 0’s alter your former decision.

    Typepad really needs to upgrade comment code to support Safari Users…

    One more thing!!
    CONGRATULATIONS! On being selected as one of the Most Dependable Search Marketing Companies in the US.

    You all deserve that!



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