Googlewhacking is the game where you try to find "that elusive query (two words - no quote marks) with a single, solitary result!"
Playing a variation on the game, I asked Carolyn how many results would come up under the query "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling," using the quote marks. She guessed one. I guessed two.
The answer: 698. Including sales copy from a cubic zirconia rock available at Dealtime.com.
I feel hackneyed for even playing.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
While there's still time! Check it out! I'm still a Lord to Amazon UK! Anglophiles, do tell: will this increase or decrease sales?
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
If Amazon.com is ten years old, that brings up a bit of search engine marketing trivia. It must meant that linking campaigns, once thought to be the quintessential form of Internet PR, are now more than ten years old! Eric Ward famously helped Amazon get linked all over the web, which was a big part of its early success.
Linking campaigns got a further boost when Google rose to the forefront. "PR" in this sense meant PageRank, and it allegedly got a boost if you went out and got the right kinds of links to your site.
All of that is still important in online marketing, but as with any tactic, it's been overdone and faked to the point where it begins to lose effectiveness. You need a real pro (like, ahem, Eric Ward) if you expect to get it right.
Speaking of Amazon, did I mention you can pre-order my new book there?
Speaking of Internet trivia, I wonder if anyone's tried to pinpoint the first instance of "search engine optimization" or "search engine marketing" efforts. Given the evolution of the search business, of course, it was all seen as a technological playground because paid search didn't really show up in earnest until 2000 or so. Search engine "marketing" came late, when clever optimizers finally adjusted to the emerging reality that "optimization" is just a subset of broader fields of interest to the companies who pay for services: marketing and web development based on usability standards. Eric Ward's savvy was evident from Day One; he always recognized that linking campaigns were a subset of public relations, and he always taught us to focus on the intrinsic benefits of getting good links, rather than seeing them as a mere means to the end of getting Google to rejiggle its index in your favor.
So to try to bring this rambling post full circle: Amazon's evolution, too, has been truly amazing. From a narrow model of selling books from an online catalog, the company has become a full-fledged modern corporation, pioneering new approaches to logistics and e-commerce and setting a standard of usability that most other e-tailers can only dream of matching. They expanded into music and other product lines, and then became a middleman working with retailers in nearly every field. They've pioneered new search technologies -- search inside the book, cross-indexing, prodigious internal site search technologies, personalization/recommendations, and much more. So what's next for Amazon? Possibly a knock-down, drag-out fight with companies like Google who try to move in on a core service, the delivery of digital content?
You've come along way, Amazon. And so have the rest of us!
Sunday, June 26, 2005
You'll have trouble winning an argument with Eric Goldman, because like any good lawyer, he seizes on logical inconsistencies and factual shortcomings in arguments, and uses them to get spurious charges thrown out of court. Perhaps this reporter found the only crackpots in the world who affirmatively, intentionally and voluntarily chose to install spyware/adware on their systems [see update below], but I don't think so. In fact, I think there's a pretty large group of people who went through the exact same thought process. As a result, the foundational assumption of most anti-spyware zealots--that "spyware" is, by definition, unwanted--is false. In turn, all arguments predicated on this inaccurate assumption are tainted.
And he blogs (in this case, on the spyware issue) like I imagine he speaks in court!
A bit of background: formerly legal counsel for Epinions.com and now a law professor and author, Goldman has defended so-called spyware purveyors, like WhenU.com, in court. He has published and spoken widely about law and Internet marketing. A recent lengthy article he wrote for the Emory Law Journal, "Deregulating Relevancy in Internet Trade Law," went over the entire history of search advertising and offered a strong defense of Google's and Yahoo's right to show ads triggered by searches containing so-called trademarked keywords.
If you haven't checked out his site, I'd recommend it highly. Apparently there is a shortage of legal expertise in the fast-moving world of Internet business. One of his many published articles is "Do Internet Companies Overuse Nondisclosure Agreements?" Not a tough one to answer.
Perhaps this reporter found the only crackpots in the world who affirmatively, intentionally and voluntarily chose to install spyware/adware on their systems [see update below], but I don't think so. In fact, I think there's a pretty large group of people who went through the exact same thought process.
As a result, the foundational assumption of most anti-spyware zealots--that "spyware" is, by definition, unwanted--is false. In turn, all arguments predicated on this inaccurate assumption are tainted.Is your head spinning yet?