Google announced today it had officially launched Froogle UK – in beta, of course.
The UK specific version of Froogle features prices in UK Pounds and AdWords ads from British merchants. The company said it hoped the launch would offer a “better online shopping experience” both today and during the upcoming holidays. As with the US version, users can see product photos and links, and can also submit a data feed.
Because of the size of the market, the UK was a logical next step for Froogle. But when the company will continue into other European markets for Froogle, like Germany and France, is still somewhat of a question mark. As this Reuters article points out, heading to Europe means competing with Kelkoo – a comparison shopping site that is one of its largest advertisers. Kelkoo has been buoyed over the past three years by skyrocketing sales as e-commerce finally gains traction in Europe – something that will likely help Froogle UK, too.
Next week (Thursday, Oct. 21), the Canadian Marketing Association is putting one a one-day Digital Marketing Conference. Heady-sounding name, but as far as content goes, it promises to be all meat, no fluff. The a.m. keynote is by John Tory, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and former CEO of Rogers Cable (the wonderful company that is making it possible for me to be connected to the Internet as we speak, while selling the little box that lets me watch Curb Your Enthusiasm and 238 other shows in that other room, somehow managing to fit all those various charges on the same bill).
At lunch, bestselling author Seth Godin is giving the luncheon keynote, which should be worth the price of admission in itself.
Sandwiched in between those are some more detailed sessions. Patrick Keane, head of Google Advertising Strategy, speaks on "The Search Economy," promising to provide solid data and actionable strategies for marketers.
Following that, some panel sessions break out. I'll be moderating "Search Marketing in Canada." Successful e-businesses like Tripcentral.ca will talk about how they aggressively pursued search marketing to achieve rapid growth, and will take questions from the audience.
In the afternoon, Stuart McDonald, a senior VP at Expedia.com, will share insights about fast-growth segments like online travel, but also promises to provide insights as to the overall vision behind Barry Diller's Interactive Corp.
If you are (or plan to be) in the general vicinity of Toronto, and are one of those people who doesn't miss an opportunity to learn more about what makes the Internet economy tick, check it out. Remember, that's the Westin Prince in Don Mills, not the Westin Harbour Castle.
Already, Yahoo Jeremy Zawodny has violated my moratorium on Yahoo people declaring that their products "kick ass." I knew it couldn't last!
Back in May, Zawodny declared the Death of Pagerank. Hardly original, and slightly premature, but holy geez do a lot of people read Jeremy's blog, as they continue to comment copiously and link to it lovingly all around the big ol' family we affectionately know as the dubya-dubya-dubya.
Elsewhere, Steve Jurvetson comments on Jeremy's "contextually relevant belly." Anyway, that's nothing, you should see the beta-test we're doing with Walter right now! I can't reveal all the details, but I will hint that when he opens his mouth to meow, instead what comes out is an ad for "tough-actin' Tinactin"... unless someone outbids them or is more relevant.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Search engines are good for a lot of things. One of them is protest. In a free society, search results support healthy diversity of opinion. Of course the odd "Google bomb" is also fun for a lark.
This activist site against Coca-Cola comes up sixth when you type "coke" into Teoma, for example. Google also ranks it sixth. The top five listings are all Coke's, so the anti-coke site is just barely above the fold.
Not unexpectedly, searches for "bush" and "kerry" turn up similar ferment. After the expected official Bush sites, the first page of "bush" results is littered with protest and parody, including "Billionaires for Bush." At votetoimpeach.org, it appears some basic lessons in optimizing for search engines may be in order. The page's title appears to be "your browser does not support frames."
Kerry's getting an easier ride, algorithmically speaking. The gentle johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com is one of the most innovative uses of the new longer domains that I've seen. I'm sure kerrymayberichbutlookhowkeywordrichthisdomainnameis.com is not far behind.
Two anti-Kerry sites come up on the first page of results: vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com and a page from the National Review site providing running commentary on the TV debates. A small proportion of the mostly partisan commentary is critical of Bush, though. For example, the writer is embarrassed that Bush cited "rumors on the Internets." ["(sigh) Internet. Singular, Mr. President."]
Some related AdWords listings are getting in on it, too. At us-election.org, the world is encouraged to vote in the US Election, just to see how it would turn out if anyone around the globe were allowed to vote. It's worth noting that you aren't limited to the Republican and Democratic Nominees. Why not burn a vote on the nominee from the Prohibition Party, Gene Amondson?
Anyway, onto more mundane matters.
A parody site called SEMPO-Tahoe has risen all the way to #2 on a Google search for "SEMPO." A PRWeb press release touting the would-be search engine marketing industry advocacy organization's accomplishments has sunk to seventh place.
In a terribly earnest age, it's gotta be comforting to Gen-X'ers that irony is making a comeback. It's like rock-paper-scissors. Ironic beats earnest; cute beats ironic. Women tell me this is why Jon Stewart is cleaning up in the ratings.
And on that note we wish all the best to Ms. Smudge and Mr. Finster, who are heading up SEMPO-Tahoe's Asia-Pacific Committee.