Traffick - The Business of Search Engines & Web Portals
Blog Categories (aka Tags) Archive of Traffick Articles Our Internet Marketing Consulting Services Contact the Traffickers Traffick RSS Feed

Monday, November 25, 2002

From the Duh! Department

It appears that AOL might soon begin featuring Time Warner content exclusively on AOL. That means you freeloaders soon won't be able to access articles from Entertainment Weekly, People, and other Time Warner mags unless you have an AOL account. This move was supposed to have happened not long after the companies' merger, but it never got done for some reason. Read more about it on MSNBC.

The motivation comes as a result of the sagging revenue of AOL, and company execs think this content strategy may give AOL the boost it desperately needs. Makes sense, at least. I don't read those mags online, anyway, and as much as I dislike AOL, I'm all in favor of anything that will help stabilize the fortunes of online publishing.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




Friday, November 22, 2002

The Un-Reporter

This Forbes writer must have been drunk when he made this false dichotomy between Overture and Google. See if you can pick out the stupid bits in this short article: Overture is a "search company" (not really); Overture is better than Google because it's in the advertising business (now we're getting somewhere, but, ah, can you say 'Google AdWords Select booted Overture off AOL Search'?); Overture signed a great deal with Yahoo Japan (uh, so did Google).

So, basically, Google has all the things going for it that the reporter says are great about Overture, and plus they have the runaway world-leading search engine technology that generates unheard-of levels traffic that Google can and does sell advertising on without having to share revenues with a portal partner.

You get the feeling that when Google finally does trade on NASDAQ, the financial press' and Wall Street analysts' heads will explode when they get to see the first couple of quarters of ad revenues. "Uh, so tell us again, how does this search thing make money? Cuz that Overture is a shopping deal you know, and that's all about money... and we really like money... money is great... and y'see, these nerds never.... What? Google makes HOW MUCH?? I told you, honey, I TOLD YOU we should have encouraged the boy to finish that computer science degree instead of dropping out to play arena football..."

Posted by Andrew Goodman




Tuesday, November 19, 2002

LOL @ AOL

Too many people are putting stock in the traffic rankings and user reviews at Alexa these days, it seems. The reality is, Alexa's traffic rankings are wildly inaccurate, and they tend to favor busy message boards with no business model. If you see a site out there with tons of posts and a pleading "DONATE!" logo at the top, chances are, Alexa thinks it's great.

The user reviews are unreliable, too. Because there are so few of them (many sites in the top 5,000 have no review at all), they can be manipulated by people working for the sites in question (if you really wanted to waste your time doing that). By any objective measure, sites like Slashdot are "must reads" for their loyalists, and companies like Yahoo are wildly popular with real users. But Alexa's random reviewers typically give big sites like these an average of say three out of five stars, while crummy sites you've never heard of get five. (One of the common complaints about Slashdot is that it's "biased." Actually, many of the user criticisms revolve around bias. The site you're on now, Traffick.com, was accused of being "overbiased" [sic] and having a "vendetta against certain companies." No, I'm not on any kind of vendetta, I do this because it's fun and informative, and I calls 'em as I sees 'em. Problem?)

All that being said, you have to laugh at the treatment AOL gets by the random Alexa reviewers. Of the 90+ available reviews, the first thirty are almost all negative, with nearly all assigning AOL.com one star out of five. One poster asked, "can I submit negative five stars?" After reading the first 20 of these (no doubt underbiased) comments, I burst out laughing, thankful that most of the planet agrees with my vendetta-driven overbiased opinion that AOL sucks.

See for yourself: The Alexa people have spoken: AOL, you are the weakest link. Goodbye!

Posted by Andrew Goodman




Must... get... oxygen...

I was about to blog something about MyWay's relaunch, but I got bored before I came to the end of the

Posted by Andrew Goodman




Thursday, November 14, 2002

It's gettin' better all the time...
Don't you just get the feeling that the dot-com shakeout is finally forcing web-based companies to get their acts together?

One of the biggest headaches in the Net world used to be dealing with the dreaded Network Solutions. After being acquired by Verisign, it seems that the good old registrar of domain names has finally got it right. You can now log in with a user name and password and manage your old domain names registered under the old regime of complicated forms, NIC handles and so on. Jolly good.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




Wednesday, November 13, 2002

First Kurt, Now This

A-propos of nothing, it seems that Courtney Love's dog recently died from choking on her discarded breast implants. There's a recording we'd all love to play backwards.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




Monday, November 11, 2002

ClickZ Executrix Ed. at it Again

She's on her high horse again. Fresh from her summarily-rebuked, Gator-defending email to the online-ad-industry-enfant-terribles-du-jour, AdBumb, Rebecca Lieb opines (and I paraphrase slightly out of context) that if Coke, Nestle, P&G, and other "allegedly unethical companies" had a hard time finding places to advertise, "there probably wouldn't be society as we know it."

While I'm on the subject of Lieb's column, there is a factual error in it. She refers to "Google's list of allegedly unethical companies." That list is in fact an Open Directory category overseen by one Robin Lionheart with input from subcategory editors like Bruce Richardson. Rebecca, if you mean to dispute the viewpoints of these self-appointed Masters of Ontology, look out! You don't know who you're up against! (From Lionheart's bio: "I bought a PlayStation video game console just to be able to play Bust A Move: Dance & Rhythm Action.")

These Kings of Kapricious Kategorization have managed to maintain subcategories for Yahoo's alleged lack of ethics while leaving AOL out entirely. DO NOT CROSS THESE PEOPLE.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




I agree with Overture's bid hiding, Cory

The larger point - Overture's many self-serving rule changes are beginning to grate on loyalists' nerves - is well taken. An increasingly-creative Match Driver, monthly minimums, questionable affiliate traffic... where does it end. Still, irritation for me does not add up to complete exasperation. Overture has improved many aspects of their interface and reporting.

I'm not against the practice of hiding bid amounts to the general public. Google has done this from the beginning. Large visible bids are just an invitation to click fraud, and will tend to distract the customer, as well.

Overture competitors *can* see one another's bids if they simply enter the Overture interface and, as you say, type in the security code when they go to "see all bids." This makes it difficult to look at bids, but far from impossible.

In my view, this turns this ad medium into one that looks more dignified to the general public. On TV, you might hear "brought to you by" - but they don't literally tell you the amount paid for the 15-second spot for Pledge shown during "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Sorry to throw cold water on a good rant...

Posted by Andrew Goodman




Friday, November 08, 2002

Overture's going Overboard

First, they made us enter a 4-digit code every time we log in to manage our listings. Now, they're making us enter another 4-digit code to see other advertisers' maximum bids! Of course, they say that it will benefit advertisers by reducing server load from automated scripts querying Overture's database or some such crap, but I wonder if they're really telling the truth.

I'm surprised that no one has written about the motivations behind this change yet (what do you think, Andrew?). It seems to me that there has to be some other motive working behind the scenes that relates to Overture making more money. Remember, folks, that Overture is a Big, Profitable Company now, and their goal is to increase the average cost per click of their listings (last time I heard, it was about 35 cents), so anytime they make a change, it is likely motivated by their mission of increasing profitability.

Dont' get me wrong; as a publicly traded company, I know they have to keep increasing profits or suffer the consequences, but these 4-digit codes are really grating on my nerves. It is almost becoming too cumbersome to manage one's listings. Who knows what they'll come up with next to "improve" their service.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




Monday, November 04, 2002

Hurry into AltaVista's Discount Warehouse Blowout Clearance Event! (rerun)

For those stumbling into the Traffick Weblog from Search Engine Watch's mention of the AltaVista issues, the following is what I wrote on September 27, since it got shunted deep into the archives of this blog before we got the permanent link feature turned on. (Thanks to Danny for his intriguing update.)

--

Ever since they invented a story about 100,000 ISP subscribers to a UK Internet service that didn’t exist, we’ve suspected AltaVista weren’t straight shooters. Hey, we’re prepared to forgive and forget, but subsequent gaffes used up just about any goodwill this formerly-respected search index had left.

In recent months, I’ve received many unsolicited sales pitches from AltaVista sales reps, most of them wanting me to buy advertising for low, low prices.

A recent exchange blew my mind again, and I thought I’d seen it all from this company. A salesperson cold-contacted me to inquire if I would be interested in reselling AltaVista Express Inclusion and Trusted Feed to “my clients.” The bait on the hook was the claim (in an email entitled “A Great AltaVista Reseller Opportunity”) that if a corporate client signs up for trusted feed, not only do their pages get spidered and included in the index (guaranteed), but that Trusted Feed clients “get indexed much higher.”

Wait a minute, I thought. Other paid inclusion services, such as FAST’s and Inktomi’s, do not guarantee high rankings – just inclusion and regular respidering. Everyone in the search engine world (including the colleagues I shared this episode with) assumed AltaVista was the same.

So I challenged the sales rep on this point. He then sent me an email with the text of AltaVista’s corporate info on paid inclusion – the same stuff you can see on their web site. It says nothing about guaranteeing high rankings to Trusted Feed participants. So I gave the rep an opportunity to distance himself from his claim of higher indexing. I believe my exact words were: “Are you now distancing yourself from this claim?”

He wasn’t. His next point was even more specific: “all of your clients will be indexed on the first three pages.”

If this is true, then AltaVista is telling the public and the press one thing, and search engine optimization consultants and corporate advertisers another thing. If not, then why does AltaVista employ sales reps to make inaccurate claims about the purpose of Trusted Feed?

I have a feeling this is all going to come out in the wash soon. AltaVista needs to make a public statement on this, and it needs to be true. If they intend to deny it (which seems likely), they can’t keep on selling Trusted Feed to large advertisers using higher indexing as bait. Someone is going to find out, put two and two together, and rat on them. So what’s the real story, AV?

--

Postscript: AltaVista made a public statement that claimed they had no policy of indexing trusted feed sites higher. This public statement doesn't ring true at all. I subsequently received email from an ex-employee that basically said that these types of issues (how to sell Trusted Feed by promising higher indexing) were openly discussed in the company, and that he was canned for raising a stink about it. Something still stinks.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




View Posts by Category

 

Speaking Engagement

I am speaking at SMX Milan

Need Solid Advice?        

Google AdWords book


Andrew's book, Winning Results With Google AdWords, (McGraw-Hill, 2nd ed.), is still helping tens of thousands of advertisers cut through the noise and set a solid course for campaign ROI.

And for a glowing review of the pioneering 1st ed. of the book, check out this review, by none other than Google's Matt Cutts.


Posts from 2002 to 2010


07/2002
08/2002
09/2002
10/2002
11/2002
12/2002
01/2003
02/2003
03/2003
04/2003
05/2003
06/2003
07/2003
08/2003
09/2003
10/2003
11/2003
12/2003
01/2004
02/2004
03/2004
04/2004
05/2004
06/2004
07/2004
08/2004
09/2004
10/2004
11/2004
12/2004
01/2005
02/2005
03/2005
04/2005
05/2005
06/2005
07/2005
08/2005
09/2005
10/2005
11/2005
12/2005
01/2006
02/2006
03/2006
04/2006
05/2006
06/2006
07/2006
08/2006
09/2006
10/2006
11/2006
12/2006
01/2007
02/2007
03/2007
04/2007
05/2007
06/2007
07/2007
08/2007
09/2007
10/2007
11/2007
12/2007
01/2008
02/2008
03/2008
04/2008
05/2008
06/2008
07/2008
08/2008
09/2008
10/2008
11/2008
12/2008
01/2009
02/2009
03/2009
04/2009
05/2009
06/2009
07/2009
08/2009
09/2009
10/2009
11/2009
12/2009
01/2010
02/2010
03/2010
04/2010

Recent Posts


Not a Misspelling

The No Advertising Fallacy

Now Pizza Pizza's Messing With Me

Now, Say Something Positive

When Is It Shouting?

How Google's New Ad Formats Depart from Google's O...

No, it's really an OS

Whuffie-Shoehorning (Part I)

Good and Bad Overhead

Thanks Battelle, I Feel Better Now

Posts by Month


07/2002
08/2002
09/2002
10/2002
11/2002
12/2002
01/2003
02/2003
03/2003
04/2003
05/2003
06/2003
07/2003
08/2003
09/2003
10/2003
11/2003
12/2003
01/2004
02/2004
03/2004
04/2004
05/2004
06/2004
07/2004
08/2004
09/2004
10/2004
11/2004
12/2004
01/2005
02/2005
03/2005
04/2005
05/2005
06/2005
07/2005
08/2005
09/2005
10/2005
11/2005
12/2005
01/2006
02/2006
03/2006
04/2006
05/2006
06/2006
07/2006
08/2006
09/2006
10/2006
11/2006
12/2006
01/2007
02/2007
03/2007
04/2007
05/2007
06/2007
07/2007
08/2007
09/2007
10/2007
11/2007
12/2007
01/2008
02/2008
03/2008
04/2008
05/2008
06/2008
07/2008
08/2008
09/2008
10/2008
11/2008
12/2008
01/2009
02/2009
03/2009
04/2009
05/2009
06/2009
07/2009
08/2009
09/2009
10/2009
11/2009
12/2009

 


Traffick - The Business of Search Engines & Web Portals

 


Home | Categories | Archive | About Us | Internet Marketing Consulting | Contact Us
© 1999 - 2013 Traffick.com. All Rights Reserved