Archive for the ‘ Google ’ Category

Edinburgh Festivals tops the 2009 ‘fastest rising’ search league table

There was an interesting article on the Daily Mail website today. It lists the fastest rising search topics on Google across the UK during 2009,  breaking them down by country. As part of our comprehensive digital marketing activity for Festivals Edinburgh, we are conducted a fully integrated paid search campaign. It’s gratifying to see that Edinburgh Festival was one of the most searched for terms in Scotland in 2009.  Although why  ‘Pistonheads’ was one of the second most searched for terms in Scotland is perhaps more of a mystery!

The importance of online driving offline

Online is obviously one of the most important channels of our lifetime and it is a channel in which I have worked for just about most of my career. Online is fab – it is completely transparent – you know who is doing what, when, and how much it costs. That’s why I love it – all of it! Every single online channel is just exiciting and interesting – if we do it this way, will our audience respond? Let’s change it and see if they respond more. How did we generate best response the last time? What did we learn? It’s a constant test and learn ethos that we apply to everything.

Recent stats from IAB tell us that just about every channel is on the decline, apart from online (and mobile):
* Online adspend in H1 2009 reached £1,752.1m
* Spending on internet advertising grew by 4.6% (on a like for like basis) when compared with H1 2008
* Online’s share has grown to 23.5% for H1 2009, 18.7% for H1 2007
This make online the UK’s single biggest advertising medium.

So, we know online is an ever expanding treasure trove of ways to interact and generate business, but what about offline?
For some of our clients, online also plays a big role in generating offline actions – such as brochure requests (though online download is preferred, some just like to flick through a brochure with a nice cuppa), call back requests etc.

We track all offline actions that are generated from online. How do we do this? Clients that have call centre teams also usually have access to many inbound telephone numbers to which campaign codes can be attributed. Now this has been the case for years and the first major client I implemented this additional tracking for was way back in 2003. Nowadays it’s just as important.

PPC, online ad placement, emails – can all have dynamic numbers associated. What that means is this – say you are in Google and you search for a specific product, you then are presented with a list of paid and natural results. If we are doing our job correctly, we should see some ‘double hitting’ – i.e. good PPC listing and a good SEO listing. So, you click on the paid listing (PPC), you click through to our client site and find out more about the product you were interested in.

It’s a bit of an investment for you so rather than sign up online at this point, you’d like to chat about the options available. You look around the site and see at the top of the page a local call or a freephone number. Great, I’ll give them a call you say. So when you make that call, the number is logged on the reporting system as being generated from Google. When the lead or hopefully sale is made, it is attributed to Google PPC spend and overall cost per sale from search spend. If you had clicked through from Bing, Yahoo, a site we were running content and ads on, an email, voucher code – wherever you happened to come to the site from – likelihood is, we’d have applied a dynamic number to it. So when you click, the number changes so we know where you came from online, even if the sale or action is completed offline. Easy to set up and the data we get from it is vital to the refinement of the ongoing activity.
We have also found that reducing PPC spend or other activity, can really impact on leads and sales being generated offline. So even if there is a seasonal trend expected where online sales dip, don’t just pull back on spend, as this can really effect offline activity too if you are clever enough to have it tied to your online activity in the first place that is!

If you are interested in any of what I’ve said, get in touch or indeed let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

Google acquire another Ad Display Company

For the second time in less than one month Google has acquired another display ad company.
Earlier this month Google captured the Display Company Admob for in the region of $750 million, Admob delivers display ads to mobile platforms, including iPhones. The recent acquisition for Google is Teracent. Teracent amends adverts according to computer analysis of early reaction to different elements of a particular advert banner. Attached to this is tracking software that produces accurate numbers of the adverts.

The official Google blog highlighted “Teracent’s technology can pick and choose from literally thousands of creative elements of a display ad in real-time — tweaking images, products, messages or colors. These elements can be optimized depending on factors like geographic location, language, the content of the website, the time of day or the past performance of different ad”

The second acquisition of display Ad Company’s enforces Google’s focus and determination to dominate online advertising.

Mobile Search – The future of web browsing?

The term mobile search refers to information retrieval via mobile devices. Mobile search requires interactive user input and most search methods also require a mobile Internet connection (with the exception of search by SMS).

This blog post will broken down into three parts to provide an overview of important mobile Internet and search statistics followed by a comparison of desktop and mobile browsing. The various methods of mobile searching are also presented before the final chapters take a look at mobile advertising opportunities and potential next steps.
Mobile Internet Statistics.

Global Mobile Phone Usage and Browsing
Global mobile usage has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years, with over 47.5m mobile phone users recorded in the UK 2008 (Source: Nielsen Mobile). As a result of mobile phone penetration, lower mobile broadband costs and the introduction of increasingly user-friendly mobile handsets, mobile Internet browsing has equally seen a steady rise. According to Nielsen Mobile, 7.3 million people accessed the net via their mobile phones during the second and third quarters of 2008 while report that 20% of all mobile phone users in the UK now make use of the mobile Internet. Mobile web browsing as a percentage of total web browsing is also growing, and currently stands at 0.72 % (Source:

Mobile Search Engine Usage
Google is the current leader in the mobile search space with 4.75 million users globally. Google leads worldwide via deals with leading telecom companies in China, India, Japan and Europe which are all emerging markets in the mobile search space.
Yahoo! has 3.65 million users worldwide while MSN Mobile has less than 1 million.
Other mobile search providers worth mentioning include Jumptap, Medio, 4Info and Infospace.

Rise in Smartphones
The popularity of smartphone devices such as the iPhone 3G, Google’s G1 and Blackberry have drastically furthered mobile Internet usage.
In the US, a quarter of all US mobile phones sold in Q4 2008 were smartphones (Source: In the UK O2 recently announced that it had sold 1million iPhones, confirming this trend. These emerging patterns in mobile Internet usage make it important for marketers to learn about the particularities of the mobile web, browsing and searching.

Mobile versus Desktop
Mobile search demonstrates how search is continually evolving, encompassing new techniques and providing marketers with new multi-faceted ways to connect with target audiences.
Mobile search presents new opportunities and challenges for online digital marketers, based on its unique functionality.

Mobile Web Limitations
Mobile phones are primarily designed for communication through calling and texting.
In terms of Internet browsing, the mobile web is restricted by:
• Smaller screen size which makes screen real estate more valuable
• Harder to use interfaces
• Slower connection speeds

Mobile Browsing
Mobile Internet users will often need information in a hurry which impacts what people search for and how they search for it.

As mobile browsing allows users to access the Internet on the move, mobile Internet search queries are more likely to be informational rather than transactional e.g. Where is? How do you get to? Cinema listings? Restaurants nearby? The localisation of results and provision of relevant local information therefore plays a significant factor in any mobile search marketing campaign.

Mobile Search versus Desktop
The main differences between web search and mobile search are:

Different crawlers
All leading mobile search providers use different crawlers for mobile content indexing.

Different browsers
Mobile devices use different browsers.

Search behaviour
As outlined above, a mobile searcher’s intent and behaviour is different to web searchers. Providing the right content at the right time will entice the users to repeat visits.

Time of day
Mobile queries grow over the course of the day and continue to grow throughout the evening (desktop searches decline in the evening).

Keyword usage
In general, mobile search queries are structured simpler than desktop queries influenced by the fact that it takes longer to type in search queries on a mobile device.

Fewer results diplayed
Due to the size of the mobile screen, fewer search results are generally displayed.

Browser specific adverts
Different ad formats are shown based on the browser used (HTML or WAP).

Check in later in the week to see the Second Part of our Mobile Search – The future of web browsing? Blog Post.

Microsoft Web Based Applications hits back at Google

With the recent announcement of Google Chrome OS, Microsoft has hit back by announcing a free web-based version of its Office Software.

Office 2010 will include versions of Word, Excel PowerPoint and OneNote when Microsoft releases it next year. Similar to Google Docs, Office 2010 will be a direct competitor to the dominance of Google in web based applications. The announcement from Microsoft is underpinning the importance of web based applications to the future direction of the tech giant. With Bing, Microsoft’s version of a search engine already in full effect, the web is now a burning priority for Microsoft.

With over a half billion customers worldwide, Microsoft have an audience that is ready to listen, but will these applications fulfill the online needs of the users? The vision behind the Office web based applications is functionality and quality, Microsoft will not sacrifice on these ethics and the web based applications will carry the same high standard as the static Office Software.

So will there be Implications for Microsoft?
Well, Office 2010 will be available to over 400 million customers who are already embracing the Windows Live application; they will have access to Office Web Applications with no additional cost. This could lead to revenue loses, with Microsoft potentially set to lose around $4 billion from the free Web Based Applications.

Although there will be losses in revenue, for Microsoft the most important factor will be that users continue to use the Microsoft products. Office is essential to Microsoft and this is a new avenue for users to access Office Applications. Microsoft has woken up to the threat of Google and with the threat of the “cloud” to Microsoft’s course business it has chosen to embrace it rather ignore it. Already Microsoft hope to have the Office Web Based Applications online with testers at the end of 2009, with the final version ready for the first half of 2010.

Microsoft v Google, the tech war continues
Both tech giants have made announcements in the last 7 days that reinforces that both intend cross into each others turf as both strive for online domination.

The world expected an announcement from Microsoft in response to the Google Chrome OS, however suggestions have been made the Google’s announcement was actually to beat Microsoft to the punch. Microsoft had already scheduled an announcement for the web based Office applications this week.
These announcements are just another example of the tit-for-tat exchanges from Google and Microsoft, as both try to out do one another. Both the Microsoft Office Web Based Applications and Google Chrome OS announcements are examples of how both intend to cross into each others core business interests.

How will it end? The proof will be in the products; until the world has had a chance to experience the programs the outcome won’t be clear and the debate on who will come out on top, Google or Microsoft, will rage on.

The Google world domination machine moves forth

Google have announced a new service in conjunction with IBM that will collect data about an individual from various health related sources such as heart monitors and medical reports. Don’t worry it is user defined so your personal health issues are not being sniggered at by Google!

For more info check out the article below from Mashable: