Tuesday, 29 June 2010

WMW become Google AdWords Certified Partner

We are pleased to announce that Web Marketing Workshop has become recognised as a Google AdWords Certified Partner.

Although we have been an AdWords Qualified Company for several years, Google recently updated the qualification to include more detailed exams with a high pass rate of 85%. We successfully passed these exams, with specialisation in Search Advertising and Reporting & Analysis, which together with our broad experience of managing many AdWords campaigns for clients, gives us the depth of experience and knowledge to provide an expert service to our clients.

You can find more information about our certification status by clicking the link on the logo below:

Google AdWords Qualified Company

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Friday, 25 June 2010

Sitelinks now available in all AdWords campaigns

Following a previous announcement by Google last November that they were starting to add 'Sitelinks' to the AdWords options, their blog has now confirmed that this feature is being rolled out to all advertisers.

Google says that the initial test has shown advertisers seeing huge gains with Ad Sitelinks, driving clickthrough rates up by more than 30% on average (and of course boosting Google's revenues at the same time!). The Ad Sitelinks option is now available within the campaign settings for all accounts and enables advertisers to create more links to relevant content pages from the AdWords listing.

Therefore when a user's search query matches a keyword in an Ad Sitelinks-enabled campaign, Google will automatically determine if the advert qualifies to show Ad Sitelinks and whether to show the two-line or the one-line format based on the quality of that ad. Since this feature is a campaign-level extension, the links that are created by the advertiser should be relevant to any advert in that campaign.

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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

YouTube wins copyright case with Viacom

As widely reported in the media - including by the UK's Independent - YouTube has successfully won a legal battle with Viacom over copyright on the video sharing website. After a long-running case, the US judge threw out the copyright lawsuit filed against YouTube by the US entertainment giant, which marks a significant legal victory for the Google-owned business.

The ruling was made that YouTube was protected against Viacom's claims of copyright infringement by the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The judge decided that YouTube qualified for the protection of the act against all of Viacom's claims for direct and secondary copyright infringement.

The article quotes Google's general counsel Kent Walker, who said in a blog post: "This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the Web to communicate and share experiences with each other".

US movie and television giant Viacom had sued Google and YouTube in March 2007, arguing that they condoned pirated video clips at the website to boost its popularity. They claimed that YouTube was a willing accomplice to "massive copyright infringement" and sought more than one billion dollars in damages.

Viacom said it planned to appeal.

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Friday, 18 June 2010

Twitter Places target locations

The Twitter blog has announced a new feature for the micro-blogging site, with the launch of Twitter Places. This now allows users to tag their 'tweets' with specific place locations, so that readers can see where the tweet was made.

Users can also click a Twitter Place within a tweet to see other recent tweets posted from a particular location. There is also integration with the Foursquare and Gowalla services, which are increasingly popular location-based services, plus an API to allow developers to integrate Twitter Places into their applications.

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Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Google AdWords introduces competitive analysis

The Google AdWords blog has announced a new tool for advertisers to monitor competitive activity for their market. Aiming to create more transparency to AdWords, Google has launched 'Analyze competition' in the Opportunities tab, initially available to a small number of advertisers using the English language AdWords interface, but this is likely to be rolled out soon and should help to add an extra layer of data and knowledge to allow advertisers to improve their campaigns.

The 'Analyze competition' option enables advertisers to examine their account activity over the past two weeks and it lists categories that represent the products or services being advertised. These categories are based on actual Google.com search terms and are matched up against the advertiser's keywords, ad text, and landing page text. For each category associated with their account, the advertiser will see a bar graph displaying the campaign performance compared to the average performance of other advertisers in the same category.

By hovering over the data in the 'Competitive Range' column, advertisers will be able to see more details such as the exact size of the competitive range, the mean and median performance levels for this range, as well as data on the absolute top and bottom performers. This data can also be exported to a .csv file.

Google stresses that the 'Analyze competition' data is anonymous, and as part of their commitment to privacy, they don't reveal information about any advertiser's identity. However, the data can be very useful to get new ideas for an account and to consider how advertising goals are being achieved to allow a better focus on the most relevant metrics. If one or more AdWords campaigns are performing poorly in comparison to the competition, an advertiser can now get some more insight into changes that could help to improve the campaign.

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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Using Twitter's real-time search for marketing

An article by PC World looks at the use of Twitter's search tool to promote websites and brands.

At the very basic level, the micro-blogging site can be used to search for mentions of a company name or brand, and then following those users or responding to them directly in an appropriate manner. However, smart marketers are also using Twitter to search for more generic words or phrases to find potential customers and then contacting them with valuable information or offers that might be of interest.

Twitter users tend to be more responsive to this type of approach, although if the practice becomes more widespread or abused, that particular channel could be closed. There are also new services appearing that try to automate this process, such as Replyz, which the article says aims to make it easy for marketers to find relevant questions that Twitter users are asking.

Marketers can also use Twitter APIs (application programming interfaces) to create tailored tools to monitor Twitter queries and automatically send direct responses to people, or to constantly monitors trending topics, looking for matches with keywords important to a company.

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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

SEO / AdWords training courses in Perth

Our sister website, Web Training Workshop, has announced some new training courses to be held in Perth in July. These include a full-day introduction to search engine marketing course on 15th July, followed by tow half day courses on Friday 16th July - one for Advanced Google AdWords training, and the other is a Google Analytics course for those who want to get more from their website activity data.

All these courses will be held in Perth's CBD and bookings can be made through the Web Training Workshop site, with an Early Bird price offer running until 18th June.

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Friday, 4 June 2010

Facebook advertising sees rapid growth

Despite all the recent problems Facebook is having over privacy concerns, Bloomberg's Business Week reports that the social networking site saw a four-fold increase in the number of advertisers using the site since the start of 2009.

Facebook has been opening offices around the world to serve its growing base of advertising clients who are targeting the growing base of users - now said to be more than 500 million. According to figures fro comScore, Facebook ran 176 billion display ads in the US in the first quarter of 2010, up from 70.7 billion a year earlier.

The advertising options available allow for targeted campaigns which have led to some of the privacy concerns by users who feel that too much information is being made available. Facebook sells ads on either a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click) basis, with them being placed on the home pages of users, where the latest comments, pictures and links from their friends are posted. The ads also show up next to profile pages, which may include a person’s information such as gender or birth date.

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bing gains market share over first year

The ClickZ website has reviewed the progress of Microsoft's Bing search engine in its first year and reports that it has made some progress in terms of search market share, as well as its share of marketers' paid search spend in the US. However, most of this gain has come at Yahoo's expense, instead of from the main competitor and market leader Google.

The articles reports on the latest market share figures for the US, which includes comScore's data showing that Microsoft sites (Bing, Windows Live and MSN) accounted for 11.8% of searches in April 2010, up from 8% in May 2009. Research by Nielsen shows the figures as slightly higher, with Microsoft's search products reaching a 12.9% share of searches compared to 9.4% during the same period.

Data from Hitwise, which specifically tracks activity through the Bing website estimates that the search engine accounted for 9.4% of US searches in April 2010, compared with a 5.7% share of searches for Microsoft's MSN and Live properties in April 2009. Therefore all three data providers do show a growth from Microsoft / Bing but this comes at the expense of Yahoo's search product, instead of Google.

The articles also reports on recent search advertising spend data from Efficient Frontier, which shows that Bing's share of paid search spend rose from 3.8% in Q2 2009, to 7% in the second quarter of 2010, whereas Yahoo saw a decline from 21.3% to 17.8% in the same period and Google saw its ow share remain consistent at around 75%.

There is some question as to whether Bing has actually prevent Google gaining more share over the past year, but it must also be disappointing not to have made more of a dent into the market leader's position. Microsoft and Yahoo are still working towards a combined search product towards the end of the year and that will then need to work harder to combat the apparently unassailable position being held by Google in the search market.

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Web marketing newsletter published for June

The latest issue of the monthly Web Search & Marketing newsletter has been published for June, covering some of the recent stories on web search and online marketing trends.

This month's edition looks at the new broad match modifier feature that Google has added to their AdWords service, allowing PPC advertisers to bridge the gap between broad and 'phrase' match types when targeting search terms.

It also reports on the top 5 social media scams and the steps recipients can take to avoid them. Finally the newsletter reviews the updated design and layout of Google's search home page and results listings, plus some of the reactions to this.

If you want to sign up for future issues of this newsletter, please do so by using the form at the bottom of this page. To view back issues of this regular newsletter you can see the archive by date or by subject.

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