Monday, August 11, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Tweaking Your Account Without Incurring A Quality Score Smackdown
PPC Hero
The Hanapin Search Marketing team continues its dissection of the AdWords Quality Score (and the factors that influence it) with this post detailing how to make account changes without negatively impacting an account's standing.

"There are two important elements of your account that are actually quite fragile when it comes to your Quality Score: keywords and ad texts," says Joe Kerschbaum. When it comes to keywords, shifting them into better performing, or more relevant ad groups can raise both their CTRs and Quality Scores. Moving said keyword into an ad group with a better performing landing page can also bump up its Quality Score.

But the converse is also true--if the new ad group's CTRs, landing pages or Quality Scores are lower or less relevant, then said keyword (and possibly your account) can incur a Quality Score smackdown. "When moving keywords in the past, we've seen some seriously negative affects within our accounts," Kershbaum says. "Basically, we have restructured accounts in the past (to make them better!) and our performance has tanked. After a few weeks we have gotten every campaign back on track, but here a few tactics we've learned to employ when moving keywords."

First, is to not move all of an account's keywords at the same time. You should also try to move your keywords and their related texts in conjunction. "Your ad texts and keywords have a symbiotic relationship," Kerschbaum says. "If you move keywords out of one ad group into another, copy the existing ad text into your new ad group as well. This is because those keywords have already established a relationship with those ads (in the eyes of Google). If you sever this bond, your keywords are basically starting from zero." - Read the whole story...

How Will Search And Real Life Continue To Collide?
Search Engine Land
Danny Sullivan offers a number of examples of the search world and the "real world" colliding in unexpected ways in this post. For example, a British man presumed to be dead was found to be alive and well when pictures of him and his wife showed up in a Google image search. Meanwhile, a Canadian town has completely wired itself to Google Maps (including posting info like real-time fire alerts) in the aim of generating more tourism. And with the proliferation of the mobile Web, people can always be connected to an increasing amount of search data.

So how is all of this searching affecting an average user's daily life? And how is daily life shaping the way that search evolves? Those are some of the questions that Sullivan is hoping readers will help answer (and pose)--as he's soliciting such feedback as fodder for an upcoming panel he's hosting at the Gnomedex conference.

"While most of my writing is about search marketing, I've been most fascinated with how search collides with real life or society," Sullivan says. "But I'm curious what folks here on Search Engine Land and from anywhere on the web think." - Read the whole story...

Miva Rejects Blinkx's $41 Million Bid
Looks like the search industry has got a mini-Microhoo brewing, as Miva, a vertically focused PPC engine, has rejected a $41 million acquisition offer from Blinkx. The video search engine announced its intention to buy Miva on Aug. 8 for $1.20 per share--a 54% premium on Miva's then share price of 78 cents.

According to Blinkx, the deal would have been a win-win--as the video search engine would have acquired a more broad distribution network for its AdHoc video ad platform, while Miva stood to gain "immediate platform improvements," higher CPMs and new functionality for its toolbar product. Blinkx's top brass also made note of Miva's "deteriorating cash position," as the second-tier PPC provider's income fell by nearly 5% year-over-year in Q1.

But Miva turned down the offer, arguing that it "significantly undervalues Miva's assets, including our technology, brand recognition and network ..." The company has said that it is still open to all "strategic options." - Read the whole story...

Setting Up A Competitive In-House Search Team
PPC Blog
Gordon Choi outlines the roster of players that any in-house search marketing team should have in order to be both competitive and effective. There are seven roles, ranging from overall account management to technology specialists, each bringing a particular advantage to the team.

First up is the head of PPC or account strategist. "This role oversees the entire PPC operations and is responsible for the overall strategies," Choi says. Morevoer, the head of the PPC takes the reins in terms of ensuring that paid search is integrated into the company's overall marketing mix.

Meanwhile, the campaign manager "works with all members of a PPC team and involves in the setup, optimization and maintenance of PPC accounts," Choi says. "He/she is responsible for monitoring account budgets and ensuring the correct daily/monthly spending." Other roles include a copywriter, data analyst, a software engineer and in some cases a keyword database analyst. Choi also says that with the increased usage of the mobile Web and online video, there may be a need for a graphical search specialist. - Read the whole story...

Live Search Offering Enhanced Olympics Coverage
Live Search
The Live Search team has packed a host of new features into the engine to help Olympics junkies stay on top of their favorite countries, categories and athletes while online. For example, searches for "Olympic medals" will turn up up-to-the-minute tallies by country in a box nestled between the sponsored and organic results.

Searchers will also find tallies for specific countries or sports (i.e. "medals for gymnastics," sans quotes), as well as succinct info boxes on particular athletes. Live Search is also providing Olympics-related news, complete with videos and blogs at a glance. The only caveat is that the enhancements appear to only be working for U.S.-based queries--as users from countries like Hungary and Canada are reporting that they aren't seeing the changes. - Read the whole story...

Drive The Most Value From Attending Search Conferences
iMedia Connection

Search Insider - Around the Net for Monday, August 11, 2008


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