Tag Archive: Google

  1. Google Street Map Fleet

    I read this post some time ago talking about Google’s fleet of ‘camera cars’ which were setting out to take 360 degree views of streets to integrate with Google Maps. The idea is to give people actual street-level photographs of their destinations so that they might know where they are once they get there!
    I then came across an article in today’s Orlando Sentinel announcing that the new technology is available and that Orlando is one of Google’s test markets. The actual photos within the maps are of very high quality…and you can use your mouse to pan in 360 mode and even advance down the street the way the actual vehicle must have traversed. Amazing technology!
    You can try it out here. But be aware that the street view technology is only available in a few markets…

  2. Orlando PRSA Links

    I had the chance today to address a large group of public relations professionals at the Orlando chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (www.prsaorlando.org). As part of my talk, I promised to post some links of some of the sites we discussed. Here is a brief run-down:

  3. WordTracker
  4. – a great resource for keyword research

  5. Seth Godin’s Four Things Worth Doing
  6. – Core Web principles to keep in mind

  7. Google Analytics
  8. – powerful analytical tool for marketers

  9. Web 2.0 Wikipedia Entry
  10. – a general description of the concept

  11. Threadless
  12. – an oft-touted Web 2.0 concept in action

  13. Apple iPhone
  14. – likely game-changer in Web mobility

    Thanks again to the group for having me…I genuinely enjoyed the exchange!

  15. Link Rundown

    If you have a minute, check out http://www.bubbl.us. It’s a pretty cool Web-based productivity application for diagrams, brainstorming, etc. This is the type of Web-based app that the world has been warning Microsoft about for some time (i.e. Google Apps).
    Also, check out the new release of Google Analytics, something every marketer/business owner/Web site operator should find the time to do. Google just released a new version and the reviews are starting to come in. Check out reviews by beconfused, Mashable, and Mydeology. All seem to be relatively positive, save a few errors that still remain in the new site.

  16. Social Networking’s Gold Rush

    The New York Times has an interesting article today about social networking and its next phase. Most have followed the meteoric rise of social networking sites like MySpace.com, FaceBook, and others. They became so very popular when users discovered that they could not just read content, but congregate with others around the content, communicate with others about the content, and in some ways actually become the content. Advertising dollars and investment capital have quickly followed.
    At this point, it seems like countless sites are trying to figure out how to tap into the social networking phenomenon (and capital pool). You hear fairly often that we’re going to be “the MySpace of X” or “the MySpace of Y.” While this isn’t necessarily a bad goal, I wonder how realistic it is.
    The article in The Times brings up two good points. First, it’s tough to convince users to join a social networking site when there are few other members; starting from scratch has even proven difficult for Nike’s Joga.com. Second, it is inconvenient for users to go through the registration process for more than one or two of these sites.
    It’s almost a necessity for every corporation to be thinking about social networking and how to integrate it into a marketing and/or customer service strategy. But I think that most would do better to explore joining existing ommunities instead of creating new ones.

  17. Google: Getting to the Top

    Almost every day I entertain the question of how one can snatch a number one listing on Google for a particular keyword or keyphrase. As anyone who has worked with search engines know, this is not at all a simple answer. There are too many variables to consider in terms of industry, stature in the marketplace, target market, and longevity. My typical tact is to try not to give a definitive answer (because, often, one does not exist) but to help clients think about how Google functions and how it might work for them. Similar to the ‘training versus educating’ line of demarcation, the first step toward Google success is learning how to think about it.
    In my conversations with clients, I try and help them think through several concepts related to how Google functions with a Web site and how it assigns rankings. Many of the mechanics of Google are trade secrets (think the Coca-Cola recipe) and unknown by anyone outside of a select few employees. There are several widely accepted principles, though, that guide search engine marketers in how to cozy up to high Google rankings.
    For the sake of simplicity, let’s think of these accepted principles in two categories:
    1. On-site factors: Google takes a look at the content and structure of your Web site to determine how relevant it is to a particular keyword or keyphrase
    2. Off-site factors: Google looks at the greater Internet (factors external to your Web site) and how it relates to your site
    Once you understand this delineation, you’re on the way to understanding higher rankings. Let’s take a look at some of the invididual principles within each of these categories.
    On-site factors
    1. Google cares about your content, how original and genuine it is, how often it is updated, and how many times a particular keyword/keyphrase is used.
    2. Google looks for specific, descriptive tags (called META tags and TITLE tags) and the keywords therein.
    3. The presence of a site map (similar to an outline) within your Web site denotes structure, organization, and a specific hierarchy to Google.
    4. Google evaluates your site to determine how structurally sound (i.e. strong coding) your site is as a measure of its relevance.
    5. Google can’t often interpret images and FLASH content, so the site must contain a balance between readable text and graphics.
    Off-site factors
    1. Google counts the number of sites that link to yours.
    2. Google determines how relevant/important those linking sites are; a link from a heavily-visited site is more valuable than a link from a site with little traffic.
    3. Google looks to see how long your domain has been existence and in its database; as a rule of thumb, domains with longer lives are seen as more legitimate.
    4. Google evaluates the text within incoming links as a way to characterize what words are associated with your site.
    5. Google looks to other closely-related sites like a corporate blog or other affiliated site as a way to determine how relevant your site is.
    This list isn’t meant to represent a be-all / end-all. Anyone who tells you that they have such a list is likely exaggerating (or violating a Google patent protection). It hopefully is, though, a start toward helping you to strategically think about Google and how to find your way to the top!

  18. Playing Defense

    I’d hate to be running for office in the age of YouTube. First, there was John McCain taking a snooze during President Bush’s State of the Union address last week. Now, it appears that Hillary Clinton’s singing voice was caught on tape during the national anthem during a recent appearance. This is nothing new, of course. Howard Dean had his fair share of difficulties a few years ago for the same kind of thing. One could argue that his scream did irreparable damage to his political career.
    Politicians need to think defense at all times when it comes to what they say and do. Putting out a hundred press releases (i.e. offense) doesn’t get you a fraction of the impact that one of these does.
    As the YouTube effect continues to proliferate, corporations will need to do more and more to follow suit.

  19. Keyword Research & Search Engine Marketing

    Many of the marketers and business owners that I speak with are highly interested in being highly ranked in search engines–especially Google. Many have gone to the trouble of performing some surface level research on the basics of search engine success: things like meta tags, title tags, and incorporating keywords and phrases into the site’s text.
    But one of the key issues that is surprising to people involves keyword selection. I have found that those keywords and phrases that you assume will be successful are often not. Using software tools, we often explore the real data reflecting the words/phrases that searchers are using and how often they are being used.
    I’m usually surprised when I look at the search volume of various terms (which I assume to be popular) in contrast to those phrases which are similar in nature. For example, I once saw that ‘personal injury law’ didn’t have close to the level of search volume as ‘auto accident attorney.’ Humans search differently than that of the marketer’s perception. Keyword research is essential to search engine success.
    Brian Clark has a great piece on his blog describing the art of keyword research and why it is important.

  20. Google Image Search

    Most businesses are very interested in being at or near the top of the list when a user searches for an associated or relevant term on Google. Many users often use the ‘Images’ search within Google to look for various images, logos, or photos. Chris Pearson has an interesting post about the trends he is seeing regarding this delineation. Marketers should be aware of the increasing popularity of image search. Designers and developers should take note of the importance of using specific terms within the ALT field of image tags; the more descriptive, the better.

  21. Google is Sorry.

    Google is sorry. This message says so.
    For the third time today, I’ve gotten an error message from Google telling me that my query is suspicious–perhaps eminating from spyware or a virus. It is forcing me to validate that the search is authentic through a simple random character display and dialog box.
    What’s peculiar is that all three of my searches were fairly innocuous: one was for a Compaq server model number, another for movie listings, and a third for a piece of software.
    If this is to be the trend, the positive attributes that made Google #1 (simplicity, speed, etc.) will quickly reverse.

  22. How do you tell a customer from a click?

    Microsoft is asking this question in its campaign to win advertising dollars from Google. The campaign is built around a recent study by Web analytics specialist, WebSideStory. The study compares major search engines/portals where pay-per-click advertising is utilized. Surprisingly enough, Google comes in dead last among major search engines in terms of the percentage of conversions derived from its pay-per-click ads.
    The possible explanations are pretty interesting. WebSideStory commentary on the study suggests that portals (where rich content and hand-holding are prevalent) appeal to a more purchase-hungry demographic. Google, on the other hand, is built upon a foundation of simplicity and speed; perhaps this audience is less inclined to buy. More likely, however, is the rising prevalence of click fraud: pay-per-click’s dirty little secret (which isn’t so secret anymore).
    For those who don’t know about click fraud, check out the Wikipedia entry for a quick explanation. Mark Cuban has a pretty good take on how big the problem is becoming. Intuitively, my hunch is that Google takes the biggest hit from click fraud because of its size and reputation…almost the same way that Microsoft is the largest target for viruses/worms from would-be hackers. Apple fans have always bragged that they’re better at virus protection than Microsoft; not much of a claim, though, when the overwhelming majority of viruses are written for Windows–not MacOS.
    What does all of this mean? Things are clearly heading toward the pay-per-acquisition model instead of the pay-per-click model. Google appears to be testing something along these lines that would limit click fraud severely. I have a hundred questions in terms of how this would be implemented, but I love the direction.