Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Google Video Ads

Google has begun offering video ads on public sites. In the coming days Google will be adding click-to-play video ads to the link of text. At launch, videos will be available to AdWords advertisers in the US, Canada, and Japan. According to the New York Times, advertisers can buy the video ads either on a cost per click or a cost per thousand basis. The video ads will appear as static images until users click on them. Then the video will be activated. The videos can last up to two minutes.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Anonymous Comment

Today Anonymous left a really “smart” comment on my blog. Now, there is one thing that troubles me; why is it that the creator of such enlightened commentary did not want to take full credit for his/her masterpiece? Certainly someone with such a high IQ would like to be recognized publicly. I don’t care if someone has a problem with anything I write on my blog, but please if you want to express your opinion back it up with your name. Otherwise you are just wasting everyone’s time because I delete all anonymous comments left on my blog. By the way, my name is Francisco.

Google's White Paper

Last Year I took an Internet Marketing class at BYU from Paul Allen (Provo Labs CEO). And I just wanted to share with you ten interesting things I learned by reading The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.
1- Page rank is thought of a model of user behavior. Imagine a surfer hitting on links without coming back to any of them, now the probability that the same random surfer visits a page is its page rank.

2- Anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves.

3- Metadata efforts have failed with web search engines. Any text on a page which is not directly represented to the user is abused to manipulate search engines.

4- How the whole Google system works, which sounds pretty complicated to me.

5- Goggle uses a hand optimized compact encoding since it requires less space than the simple encoding and less manipulation than Huffman coding.

6- Google’s system can crawl over 100 pages per second using four crawlers.

7- Page rank can be personalized by increasing the weight of a user's home page or bookmarks.

8- The use of proximity information helps increase relevance a great deal for many queries.

9- Google really struggles to come out with high quality pages for every query. That’s something I had not thought about before.

10- Google's data structures are optimized so that a large document collection can be crawled, indexed, and searched with little cost.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Blog Success Stories

In recent months, TV executives have increasingly started to advertise online--specifically on blogs. This year PBS has promoted some of its shows (documentaries about Robert F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and a series called Frontline World) via blog. According to PBS this strategy has been a success. BlogAds displayed more than 12 million impressions for the documentaries about Kennedy. Lauren Prestileo, the national publicist for PBS said that “To get 12 million impressions with print would be very, very expensive, and it would be a much less targeted audience." PBS spent only $2,000 in this campaign, but the revenues were much, much higher. PBS is planning to continue blog advertising to promote its programs.

Sun Microsystems estimates that between 1,500 and 2,000 employees are engaged in the popular practice of blogging. Sun Microsystems is working to boost even further its corporate blogosphere by strengthening the backend infrastructure of its blogging system and facilitating the posting of multimedia content. According to the company, blogging has been a business success. For example, blogs have helped salespeople get in the door of potential clients that in the past had been hard to approach. Moreover, blogs have become conduits for feedback and ideas from clients that otherwise Sun Microsystems might not have received.

Blogging played a mayor role in distributing and sending help to the areas affected by hurricane Katrina. I found an article about a law professor, Glenn Reynolds, who through his blog directed his readers to donate to the Red Cross. In just one week 480 people answered his call for help and donated about $90,000 to the Red Cross. That’s pretty powerful.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ethical Question

According to online marketing firm eROI the highest email click rates during the first quarter of 2006 were on Sundays (6.6%) the open rates were (25.9%), which is the second highest open rate for the week. The highest open rates were on Tuesdays (26.4%). This makes total sense to me since Sundays is the only day of the week where people have actually time to sit in front of their computers to browse the internet, open emails, and buy staff online. I have seen this trend myself when working for mendigshed.com conversion rates for our keyword campaigns went up by almost 1% on Sundays. As an LDS, I personally avoid work on Sundays and try to make it a family time, a time of service, a time of learning and worship and doing good. However, I am aware that while I rest on Sundays, the keyword campaigns I manage during the week are still online on Sundays inducing people to buy things on the Sabbath day. So, the ethical question is, should I pause all keyword campaigns during the Sabbath day? Or should I keep them running to take advantage of one of the most profitable days of the week?

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yahoo's New Look

Yahoo has redesigned its homepage. This is the first time Yahoo has made any changes to its website since September 2004. The new homepage is clean, crisp, and modern, although according to Jupiter Research analyst David Card, it won’t impress the younger online crowd. The new design won’t show up for several months yet though. Yahoo is hoping the new look will attract new advertisers

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bidu's Wikipedia

A China version of Wikipedia has garnered more than 100,000 search terms and has 300,000 registered users as of Wednesday, 20 days after its soft launch last month.Baidu.com now receives a new search term every two seconds and an average 5,000 of approved entries every day. The service is basically Chinese based, but users can still get some basic information about some American Celebrities, like Madonna, in English. However, to find out information about former President Bill Clinton users have to enter his name in Chinese characters Ke Lin Dun. Anyway, when it comes to the Internet China is no longer undiscovered country. A country with more than 60 million bloggers represents a growing revenue opportunity that can’t be ignored

Friday, May 05, 2006

Entrepreneur Academy

Provo Labs is getting ready to launch an entrepreneur academy to help individuals take their businesses to a higher level by offering them professional advice in marketing Internet technology from Paul Allen (Provo Labs CEO), as well as providing them access to new technologies, office space, and social networking events.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the entrepreneur academy, please contact Michael Eagar at michaeleagar@gmail.com

MIchael Eagar is the Director of Business Development at Provo Labs

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Contextual Advertising

I got an email from a friend of mine this afternoon who read an article stating that contextual ads generally deliver a lower ROI that pay-per-click ads and wanted to know my opinion on the subject. I actually agree with the article. Contextual ads generally have a lower ROI because these ads tend to be clicked on by visitors who are in a different stage of the buying cycle. Some of these visitors may not even be interested in purchasing a product at all. On the other hand, pay-per-click ads are more often clicked on by visitors who are in fact interested in purchasing a product. Many of these visitors may still be in the research phase, but they more often have a purchase in mind. The key point here is the intent of the visitor clicking on the ad, and in my opinion, the pay-per-click visitor is one step ahead in the buying process.

Monday, May 01, 2006

First Day at Provo Labs

I have been very blessed to start working two days after graduation (I just graduated from BYU last Friday) and I have been very blessed to become part of Provo Labs LLC. Provo Labs is a web incubator with a unique culture in the state of Utah. All Provo Labs employees have official blogs; know the importance of networking and stay current with what’s going on outside of the office. The long term goal of Provo Labs is to help infuse Utah with the knowledge sharing and networking culture of Silicon Valley, and to train hundreds of creative inventors and entrepreneurs who will benefit the world by creating sustainable enterprises around great new ideas. This is a goal worth working towards. From this blog I wanted to say thank you to all Provo Labs employees for their warm welcome today and for letting me be part of your team.

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