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Australian Budget 2009 Online

By | Free tools | No Comments

With only 2 weeks to go until the Federal budget is announced, newspapers are already speculating about the make up of this years spending. Seeing as we are so far in the red already, I would have thought the budget would focus on savings, but Kev has already been hinting at more stimulus for our economy.

Nearly everyone in Australia probably feels as I do – that no matter what the budget turns out like, they should have done something a bit different.

For all us armchair politicians (and ex-Finance Department employees), news.com.au has a fab new application, Instabudget, which helps you develop the budget for yourself – to see how you would really go.

Instabudget

After having a go on it, I realised I was hugely in the surplus – even though I reduced taxes for everyone! This could be because I left $0 in many of the categories, which really isn’t realistic I know. However, this is no place for me to have a political rant.

Anyway, this application is fun to waste 10 minutes or so, and news.com.au also has a dedicated area of their site for all budget related news, which will include breakdown and analysis after the announcement.

Australian Budget 2009 Online

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

With only 2 weeks to go until the Federal budget is announced, newspapers are already speculating about the make up of this years spending. Seeing as we are so far in the red already, I would have thought the budget would focus on savings, but Kev has already been hinting at more stimulus for our economy.

Nearly everyone in Australia probably feels as I do – that no matter what the budget turns out like, they should have done something a bit different.

For all us armchair politicians (and ex-Finance Department employees), news.com.au has a fab new application, Instabudget, which helps you develop the budget for yourself – to see how you would really go.

Instabudget

After having a go on it, I realised I was hugely in the surplus – even though I reduced taxes for everyone! This could be because I left $0 in many of the categories, which really isn’t realistic I know. However, this is no place for me to have a political rant.

Anyway, this application is fun to waste 10 minutes or so, and news.com.au also has a dedicated area of their site for all budget related news, which will include breakdown and analysis after the announcement.

Changes to the Google Keyword Tool

By | Search Engine Marketing | No Comments

The Google Keyword tool is now no longer comparing last months search volume to the average monthly search volume (which I thought was useful). It is now comparing last months local search volumes to global monthly search volumes.

new keyword tool

While you can’t compare the volume to the average as a number, you can compare it as a picture of the last 12 months.  Go to Show/hide columns, and choose “Show Search volume trends”, which will bring up a little column graph for every search term you choose.

search trends

As you can see in this picture you can also “show highest volume occurred in”, which will tell you the month which has had the highest volume. This might be useful when planning campaigns, if you wanted to bid more in certain months when you think the volumes might be higher.

If you compare the global search to the local search for Australia there are some surprising results:

Australians searched 20% of the ‘Easter’ searches, but only 0.4% of the ‘christmas’ searches. We also contributed more than 100% for ‘easter holiday’ searches apparently… which I think means that the global volumes are actually monthly averages.

Another feature in the show/hide columns, which I am not sure if it was there previously, is the average CPC column. If it did used to be there I kick myself for not knowing, because how great is this for sorting for relevantly priced clicks and seeing what kind of search volumes (not clicks) are out there for them.

Behavioural Advertising

By | Internet News | No Comments

Behavioural advertising uses cookies to target ads at internet users based on previous pages they have viewed or personal details handed over when registering for something, somewhere, on the web.

This is one step beyond search marketings ‘behavioural’ advertising – which is similar because of the fact that ads/brands/products are promoted depending on the search term you have typed or the content on a page you are visiting.

This new behavioural advertising records and remembers your previous online behaviour.

The benefits of behavioural targetting for advertisers is obvious – targetting your ads at the most likely respondents increases your chances of a conversion. There are some advantages for consumers as well – perhaps it will increase your awareness of providers, thereby improving competition for products or services in which you are interested.

However, the negatives for consumers are also as obvious – internet privacy. Concern is being raised by privacy activists regarding the recording and ‘monitoring’ of internet users behaviour.

While it is easy enough to disable cookies, the worry is that most people are unaware of this – a benefit of which advertisers are probably fully aware. Perhaps as well as fighting the use of cookies by those sites which issue or use them, privacy activists should also be raising general awareness of cookie-use so that internet users can decide for themselves.

In the UK, a company called Phorm has caused a storm of controversy when it was discovered that they had conducted a trial which monitored the online behaviour of thousands of British Telecom users for behavioural targetting purposes.

The system Phorm invented, Webwise,  is basically an advertising system which categorises users so that advertisers can better target the ads they serve. The EU has accused the UK of inadequate protections for UK internet users following complaints regarding the use of Webwise, and has announced that they will commence legal action over it.

Amazon UK is the first large website owner in the UK to announce that it will bar the use of Webwise on its sites.

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