Friday Photos

Author: Gab Goldenberg

I’m starting a new column, Friday Photos, featuring observations from around the web. This week, we have some interesting advertising, analytics, email and ranking factor material. I left the ranking material stuff for the end, because, like any mother will tell you, save dessert for last!

Want to promote your content? How about running display ads trying to encourage people to read you?
Ad With Conversion Being User Generated Content
In a related vein, I’m seeing more and more sites offering cash for UGC providers. This sort of thing has been around since I got my guest writing start back in the day with Sitepoint and ISEdb, it’s true, but my feeling is that it’s accentuating and getting mainstream. See e.g. Helium.com’s ads all over the content network.

Ad With Conversion Being User Generated Content

The following ads are interesting because they’ve been running all over the place (the first and third ads). When you see particular copy repeated all over the place, you know that it’s successful.

The next screenshot features Google’s own advertising on the NYT, which ironically violates their own policy banning capitalization of every word.

Illustrating an experience I’ve had myself when bidding on an acronym, these advertisers bidding on the keyword ‘wow’ are not getting their money’s worth. The email correspondence was my ‘wow’ reaction to someone’s behaviour, and nothing to do with the Sham-wow product (which some are calling a sham, period), nor with World Of Warcraft.

Would you like to become a fan of Sun Life? Why? So you can have the power to advise others on their finances? This has to be the cheesiest, least compelling ad I’ve seen. Not to mention that it looks like they’ve got the Raisin Bran plastic figurine (they used to give it away in cereal boxes) for a mascot. There are better ways to build your brand.

For example, a great way to build your brand is with quality content. When people want to reread, link to or share it, they’ll search for it again. Here are just a couple of recent examples of that. While ‘link buying 2009 is arguably generic, an intitle:link intitle:buying intitle:2009 search shows only 22 other results, none of which are about the topic, so my feeling is that someone read the post first and wanted to return to it.

Now, onto some interesting direct marketing stuff. First, you fail if your thankyou page is public. That’s no way to track anything.

Second, you win if your thankyou page has a contact-us-immediately-for-emergencies phone number.

Third, Air Canada’s admitted to spamming me with various BS newsletters I never opted-in to (they got my email because I had the misfortune of flying with them to SMX).

Fourth, my student union sent an email out whose subject line looks like something from a Nigerian viagra spammer with Eur Mi11i0n$ for me to inherit from Kink QuasiM0-dough.

Finally, we get to some search-specific stuff.

Did you know Google doesn’t know what good content means? Maybe that’s why they’re indexing tracking URLs.

On a related note, I saw this quirky result in Google Maps, which methinks be geotargeting. Some hotel on Quebec street, in Leeds, UK, was shown to me prominently, which I would guess has to do with my being in the province of Quebec, Canada. That said, it has a bunch of positive reviews, is in the city center, has an image, so it’s pretty well optimized for local search and this may be nothing to do with geotargeting.

Last, but certainly not least, did you know that different folders can constitute different sites, where Google’s rankings are concerned? And that may apply even when the two folders don’t constitute separate websites (as is sometimes the case with hosted blog providers, who let people blog at provider.com/yourblog or provider.com/hisblog). Separately, I think that this SERP domination indicates that Google sees Adsense as a pretty big money keyword…

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Comments

  1. Gab, this is a sweet idea for a regular post! Love it. Digestible, funny and lots of actually useful nuggets of info. The last one (Google Adsense) actually annoys me a lot - If you see this for any non-google sites do let me know since I've usually taken the approach that it's 2 SERPs per site plus any additional subdomains you can build authority on!

    Comment by Lindop - March 16, 2009 @ 5:28am
  2. I've yet to see it with non Google properties, but if I do, it'll probably be in an upcoming Friday Photos column. Analyzing that serp for more should be pretty interesting, imho :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - March 16, 2009 @ 10:51am

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