Friday, May 12, 2006

Veterans-Related SERPs Well-Covered

I was going to start running a ppc campaign to drive traffic to websites raising funds for U.S. veterans and families of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but realized that many, many people have already plastered AdWords with links to the organizations that I would've drove traffic to. Examples here, here, here and here.

Try as I might, I was unable to find a single related keyword for which 1-5 charitable organizations weren't already driving traffic from AdWords.

This is on area of paid search that is well-covered - as it should be.

Google Inverts Exchange Rates in AdSense Payouts

For the month of March, it appears that Google mistakenly inverted the exchange rate it uses for making payments to AdSense publishers in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, UK and a number of other countries . This means, for example, that if USD$0.88 is worth $1 Canadian dollar, Google paid Canadian AdSense publishers as if USD$1 = Canadian$0.88.

Google has been quick to address the issue, including sending remaining $$ owed. It's worth noting, however, that no overpayments seem to have been made; if that was the case, though, I don't expect those AdSense publishers would talk about it much on the forums.

Google outsources AdSense publisher payment processing, but I believe in this case the calculations are done by GOOG employees, not the contractor. In any event, heads will roll on this one, and it highlights the stresses that hyper-growth have put on Google's accounting systems, processes and personnel.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Are We Heavier Than Heavy Search Users?

I attended Gian Fulgoni of Comscore's presentation at Web 2.0 in October 2004, wherein he said that 'heavy' search users conduct 109 searches/month vs 26 for moderate searchers and 6 for light searchers; something tells me that 109 searches/month is now what light to moderate searchers do, and that truly heavy searchers do far more. In order to test this hypothesis, I thought I'd try and encourage others to add up their Oct-May Google queries so we can see how much we use Google. Being that my readership is 100-200 [mostly SEM] folks, perhaps if you're as interested as I am in the answer you could spread this poll around?

If you click on 'Search History' at the upper right of your Google home page (this assumes you have a GMail account), you can then click on 'Trends' and look at how many searches you've done on a monthly basis. Me:

October: 195
November: 312
December: 250
January: 430
February: 262
March: 338
April: 245
May: 268 (to date)
Total since May 19, 2005 (when I first enabled 'Search History'): 3351

How about you?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Search Wars - Vinny Nails It

Just read a great blog post by Vinny Lingham, Chief Strategy Officer of South African affiliate/search arbitrage & technology incubator firm incuBeta. In it he clearly explains what it is about Google's model that Yahoo and MSN are missing. Rather than me trying vainly to paraphrase, just read what Vinny has to say.

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