Monthly Archives: March 2007

Google Adwords Launches Pay Per Action Beta Test

Inside Adwords recently posted about the new Pay Per Action model for it’s Adwords advertisers. They are calling advertisers to participate in Pay-Per-Action beta test. The detailed description of the post can be found here.

Rob K. who is the product manager for Pay-Per-Action at Google describes in more detail about the new model. The important thing here to notice is that the new model is not applicable to search network but instead it is only available for content network. Another important thing here to notice is that they have used the word “Publishers choose specific pay-per-action ads“. This means that publishers are given more control about whether or not to select the “Pay-Per-Action” ads. This means that if your cost per acquistion is kept at very low level then most of the publisher may refuse to display your ad on their inventory.

Pay Per Action is a model where you only pay when a visitor takes desired action on your website. As an example let’s say if a bank website gets a lead from it’s contact us form or lead form then it can be considered as an action or conversion. Similarly for an online store if someone purchases online then it can be considered as an action or conversion. So the action can vary from website to website and from industry to industry. It’s more closer to affiliate kind of model where you pay only for actions and not on number of visitors or clicks.

Let’s see the pros and cons of the new AdWords model:

Pros:

1) You pay only for actions and not on number of clicks. So if your AdWords campaign is turning out to be expensive then this is a good model to give it a try.

2) No more worrying about the number of junk clicks you have been getting from content network.

3) Tracking is made simpler by using the Google AdWords conversion code.

4) More encouragement for quality traffic with Pay-Per-Action model.

Cons:

1) The Pay Per Action model is available only for content network. For users using only search network will still have to rely on the regular pay per click model.

2) Publishers have more control. This may or may not be a good thing for advertisers. For certain advertisers who are working on low margins will keep low Pay Per Action price. The publisher will favour higher pay per action ads which means, advertisers with low margins will face difficulty in finding publishers to display their ads.

3) You have to pay fixed price if the desired action takes place on the website. So it is imperative that the fixed amount is selected appropriately. In Pay per click model the bids are adjusted so that you pay only 1 cent higher then your next competitor. So even if you set your maximum CPC (cost per click) to $1 but in reality you may be paying less than $1 per click.

It is a good move from AdWords point of view. The program is limited to only Content network so this will encourage advertisers to use more of Google content network. Since there has been lots of complaint from advertisers in the past for Google’s content network, a lot of advertisers now a days completely turn off their content camapigns and keep their ads running only on Google search network.

Secondly this program encourages competition to pay fixed amount for a particular action. This means publishers will only favour ads with higher cost per acquisition amount. This in turn will compell advertisers to stretch to their maximum to stay in the competition. Maximum fixed amount means more dollars for publishers as well as Google Adwords.

Google is just asking advertisers to participate in beta test. For interested users who wants to participate in this beta test can fill out the following web form here. Even after you fill out the form, Adwords will later send invitations only to few selected advertisers. There are two conditions for beta test. First you must be an advertiser located in USA and you must already have installed the AdWords conversion tracking code on your website.

Microsoft Corp. Makes a Deal with Lenevo Group Ltd.

On March 14, 2007, Yahoo News reported an agreement between Microsoft Corp. with Lenevo Group Ltd. Lenevo agreed to pre load Lenevo computers with Microsft’s windows live search toolbar.

In a way Microsoft can take some pride out of this deal since they replaced previous deal which Lenevo had with Google Inc. Prior to this deal with Microsoft, Lenevo had similar deal with Google Inc. to pre load Google toolbar in Lenevo computers. This deal can mean significant move from Microsoft point of view which comes at a time when Microsoft is trying to gain search engine share.

Lenevo is the world’s third largest PC maker and making a deal with Lenevo can bring some boost to their search engine share. However industry experts believe that most of the corporate users tend to remove all pre installed software and load the computers or notebook with their list of softwares.

This is considered true for advanced users who only prefers operating with their choice of software. However there are lots of users who continue to use with whatever software the notebook provider has pre installed. They can be advanced users or naive users who know only basic knowledge of operating computers.

Apart from making such deals with notebook and computer makers, they should also be looking to improve their search engine technology of Windows Live Search which should be comparable to Google search engine. Micorosft made a right move here and they should be looking to have similar deals with other laptop and computer makers. With such deals and improvement in search engine technology they can definitely look forward to increase their search engine share.

Google Testing to Show Number of Previous Month Searches

Adamap reports about Google tool showing the number of previous month searches. Till now Google Keyword tool shows only the volume of searches in term of bar which gives an approximate idea about the popularity of the given keyword.

Overture keyword tool is quite popular among advertisers since it shows the number of searches made in previous month for a given keyword. All you have to do is to type in the keyword and the Overture inventory tool will show the number of searches made for each keyword in previous month. Even Microsoft adCenter displays the number of searches in it’s keyword research tool found in the adcenter account. The number of searches are signifcant from an advertisers point of view because the numbers can vary in different search engines.

As an example the number of searches made for the keyword “payday loans” can be different in Overture keyword tool as compared with Microsoft adCenter tool. These tools gather data from their respective search engine and it’s network. The difference in the number of keyword search is pertinent since there is a difference in search engine share.

Google for quite long time has been protective about disclosing the number of actual searches in Google search. Presently it’s keyword tool offers only an estimate without any approximate figures about the volumes of searches. Google is the number #1 search engine with highest marketing share of approximately 50%. Advertisers will be watching eagerly on this news update. For most advertisers to calculate the number of searches in Google they use Overture or other keyword tools and multiply the numbers by 2 or 3 times. If Google finally offers to even display an approximate number of searches then it can seriuosly decrease the number of advertisers using Overture keyword tool.

eBrandz :: Formal Introduction

This is Milind from eBrandz and I think it’s time I post a formal introduction to our Official eBrandz blog. The purpose of this blog is to keep posting about the news happening in the search engine world as well as in eBrandz.

We had earlier posted here that we have been quite busy for the prepartion of Search Engine Startegies New York 2007. If anyone interested in meeting us at SES can come to booth no. 1229. We can also give 20% discount on SES. More details can be found here.

We look forward to meet you at SES New York. Feel free to get in touch with us if you need any assistance.

Google :: After Print and Radio it’s Television!

Google after venturing into Print and Radio ads, the next logical step for the company would be to tap even bigger market of Television ads. Google through AdWords program has started publishing ads in local newspaper and in radio stations. This program is still in testing phase and from the early repsonse both print and radio folks are quite happy with the program.

In particular newspaper has already started generating healthy revenue from the new proposed system. This can prove beneficial for advertisers, newspapers and of course to Google. Newspaper would be more happy to have partnership with Google since then they don’t have to haggle with small advertisers. If Google generates more business to newspapers then it would be more logical for them to share more of their advertising space with Google at higher cost.

For advertisers, Google AdWords would be a nice one-in-all package solution to target Search, Contextual, Video, Mobile, newspaper and radio ads. In particular it sounds a nice proposition to local advertisers who are looking beyond Google Maps, Yahoo local listings and other online local media. Newspaper is always an effective medium to target local advertising. With the help of Google, advertisers can keep a cap on their advertising budget and at the same time enjoy the benefits of offline advertising without exceeding their marketing budget.

Not all radio advertisers are excited with the new idea. In the Adage Article they have quoted a radio company about being scared of Google. As long as Google creates solution which can match up all the requirements of radio company then they should not have any problems with the partnership.

For Google Adwords, it help their bottomline. They get to earn more revenue from new marketing medium. Google is the first company to target offline advertising medium through online channels. If this program is released on full scale then they would bridge the gap between offline and online advertising. Neither Yahoo! or Microsoft are likely to try offline advertising through their paid search program in coming months so Google can enjoy total dominance. Already Google enjoys more search market share of approximately 50% and is much ahead of their competitors Yahoo and Microsoft. For new advertisers it would be no brainer to select Google AdWords as their first preference to target local ads.

If Google breaks a deal with Television media then we can expect Google to double or triple their turn over. This would also mean that the stock price of Google can rise even further. Started with the stock price of $85, Google currently is quoted at approximately $450. With more revenues expected, the stock price can also be expected to rise from the current value. Of course a lot will depend on the success of Print and Radio ads. Television media is calculated approximately $68 billion dollar industry. Google is estimated as $10 billion dollar company. Television ads can certainly open a crucial gate for Google and the partnership would be more beneficial to Google.

Exploring offline advertising channels is the right way to increase Google’s ad revenue. However they will have to come up with systems that can uniquely match up all requirements of traditional channels. Newspaper and Radio companies are happy because they have more control. They can reject advertisers with lower bids. As long as Google keeps them happy they can expect to grow their business in offline channels.

Battle of Tools – Google Labs v Micrsoft adCenter Labs

In the most intensely fought battle of Google and Microsoft it seems that advertisers are ending up with most benefits. Both companies have dedicated a research lab which comes up with interesting tools. These tools are fun to play with and some of them are very helpful for marketing research.

Google has it’s own research lab which they call it as Google Labs. They have classified tools into two parts. On left hand side they have listed tools that have not been graduated and on right hand side they have declared some tools as “Graduates of Labs”. The selection of the word “Graduate” is very interesting and shows the penchant of the Google founders to University campus environment. My personal favourite tool is Google Trends . Enter any keyword and it comes up with a graph and statistics of keyword in terms of cities, regions and languages.

Microsoft calls it’s resarch lab as Microsoft adCenter Labs. There are 4 groups divided into Paid Search, Intelligence, Contextual Advertising and Emerging Media. Here my personal favourite is keyword trends. Both Google Trends and Keyword trends present with you some useful data. In fact Microsoft has even integrated the keyword trends with their Microsoft adCenter account.

Comparing both tools apples by apples, I found that Microsoft Keyword Trends is more better. Not only they present you with keyword trend data but also with more useful age and gender data. These can be used to an advantage while targetting marketing segments in paid campaigns.

With whatever tools both companies are developing, the advertisers are only going to benefit. Such positive competition is always encouraging to see and in coming months we should expect more and more tools coming from both companies.

Search Engine Share – January 2007

Nielsen Netratings released Search engine share for January 2007. The top three position are still held by Google, Yahoo and MSN/Live Search. Google continues to show growth of 40% and Yahoo is still not doing bad with the growth of 28%. However MSN has shown growth of only 2.8% which should be a serious concern to them. The report can be found here.

Just keep wondering that sometime back Microsoft was making all the noise about taking on Google and giving them run for their money. Looking at the figures it seems that their first target should be to beat Yahoo! before they can take on Google. Together these three engines handles 85% of user search queries.

It would be interesting to see the figures of how many users, use two or more engines to find relevant information. With that consideration, the actual loyal visitors of MSN/Live search would be still lower. There is no iota of doubt that Microsoft are brilliant in marketing their product. But will they be able to take on Google or even Yahoo! in near future? Or will they be able to increase their search engine share to even 25 to 30% by the end of 2007? That is the thing which would be interesting to see in coming months.

Preparing for Search Engine Strategies New York 2007

Very busy the last few days in preparing myself and others within eBrandz for the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York from 10th to 13th April 2007. We have taken a booth and are finalizing things which we need and things which are optional.

To say that things are expensive would be an understatement (especially when you compare with price difference between Mumbai and New York). We just realized that the cleaning staff at Hilton charge thrice the amount (in terms of man hours) than what we charge to do Search Engine Marketing !!

Plus we are finalizing our brochure which we will use throughout 2007. This is also taking a lot of time. The good thing is that we have done most of the registrations and travel and accomodation reservations. I had gone to this event (Along with Sameer) last year and we scheduled quite a few meetings. Hopefully the event will be much bigger this time around.

People interested in meeting us (and getting a 20 % discount for the SES NY 2007 event) might want to check out eBrandz at Search Engine Strategies New York April 2007.

Indian Budget 2007

Just recovering from the Indian Budget 2007. The bad news :- commerical rentals come under service tax. This will increase cost of operation significantly (specially in a city like Mumbai where rentals are comparable to most expensive in the world).

And the addition of MAT to indian IT and STPI companies. This is going back on the promise to give STPI companies a Tax holiday till 2009. We will have to of course pass on this to our clients and partners.

And of course the increase of 1 % cess. Apart from these direct increase in taxes, there is an indirect increase in overall cost of operation because most other companies will pass on the increase in prices to consumers.