Uncategorized - 13/36 - Digital Marketing Agency

Newspapers Get Told

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SiliconAlleyInsider today printed an article about Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote speech at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual convention. As we all know, newspaper publishers have been whinging long and hard now about the fact that their traditional business model is becoming obsolete and that their content is being hijacked and reprinted around the web.

Well, at the convention, in front of all the newspaper big wigs and professionals, Eric Schmidt gave a simple message – that their business model is going to have to change, and that Google can help them with the way forward.

Now, I am all for the reinvention of business models. Newspapers traditional model is no longer working, but they can’t complain that technology is making them obsolete, they have to move with the times. I think the same thing about movie and music downloading – new technology and business models need to be created, because no matter what you do, the technology cannot be ‘undid’. It has been created, it is going to grow, there isn’t a way back. Learn how to move with it.

At a conference earlier this year I heard one of the managers of Kodak speak about the impact of technology on their business model. How for nearly 100 years they had only one product – film, and that that one product built them up into an international company. In the last 10 years or so, that one product has obviously been impacted by advances in technology, and so Kodak moved with that, and now film is only a very minor part of their business. They are still a multinational company with a healthy bottom line, but a lot of that new revenue is now coming from new technology and new products.

Search Engine Lands Danny Sullivan has also published a rebuttle regarding newspapers complaints about the stealing of their content. His rant turns the tables on particular established media – like the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph – and points out how they regularly steal content and images for their own use, all in the name of  ‘news’.

As a journalist himself, previously in traditional media and now for his own ‘blog’, Danny Sullivan knows the story from both sides. I hope that some of the newspapers actually read it.

Australian Government to Build the New Broadband Network

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This morning, Kevin Rudd announced that despite the tender process that has been going on for more than 6 months now, the national broadband network contract will not be going to any of the tendering companies, or any existing company at all. Instead, the Government will oversee the project in partnership with a private company, and the Government will be the majority owner, until completion in 8 years.

Rudd updated his Twitter account this morning, announcing this historic infrastructure decision, to which you can now see the backlash, here.

Optus and the other tendering companies must be furious today. Telstra is likely to be quietly optimistic.

Telstra was the only one of the big providers who submitted a ‘tender’ for the National Broadband Network without spending lots of time and tonnes of money on it – which got them disqualified initially, but in hindsight was a genius saving of time and money now that the tenders are obsolete. Also, Telstra will be allowed to participate in this new idea – an infuriating turnaround which has not taught Telstra a lesson at all.

There are many pro’s and con’s to this idea, and the Opposition hasn’t even had a chance to rebut yet, but my concerns are:

  • A non competitive cost to the consumer that needs to also build in the cost of Government bureaucracy
  • The same Government bureaucracy meaning it is unlikely it will be completed in the 8 year time frame
  • A concern about the proposed filter, and how this will be implemented in a Government owned broadband network
  • The long time frame, and did I mention Government Bureaucracy, which is unlikely to be able to take into consideration upgrades and advances in technology – of which we are already quite far behind
  • The fact that Telstra is likely to get involved, and that they therefore did not get the comeuppance that the rest of Australia thought was due
  • Did they just use the long, expensive tender process to grab the ideas of Optus, Sing-Tel, etc. ? And did Telstra know this?
  • Telstra Mach 3

Advertising Through Twitter

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Advertising Age today ran an article about Google syndicating Twitter updates for advertising across their content network. The example being used for this testing is the Twitter stream of a company called Turbo Tax.

After looking at the Twitter stream there, I can understand Search Engine Lands comment that they can’t understand the advertising value of this. The most five recent posts (which is supposedly what Google would be using across their content network) were:


However, I do think there is a lot of value for companies, for example –

An airline/hotel/theatre company/restaurant/anything that sells tickets, could constantly update their stream with discounts or freebies for undersold tickets.

If you were a specialist in finance, tax, law, etc, then you could do expert Tweet updates (obviously with links to the more comprehensive article/advice)

If you were a fashion label or media company, you could use the Twitter stream for your usual PR plus any deals.

I see a lot of opportunity for this, brands just need to make sure that you are syndicating the useful advertising-based stream, and not your general corporate one, which might contain Twitter updates which are spammy or unnecessary.

Google Improves Search for Local Businesses

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Despite talk recently of the Vince Update helping big brands, and Google publishers trying to get their original content (from big brands) given a boost in the rankings, it is nice to see some changes being made in Google which are aimed towards helping searchers which don’t necessarily skew the results towards big business.

For the last week or so there has been discussion on the web regarding changes to the search results, which more often now show local business locations. What seems to be happening, is that more and more often, Google Maps results are showing within the search listings for many more queries – not just when they include local terms.

I first noticed this on Monday when I Googled MooMu Media, and quite near the top was the Google Maps results showing our office in North Sydney. Unfortunately, the results seem to have since been tweaked, and I cannot replicate this now -I didn’t get a screen shot back then (must remember to get screen shots when things are looking odd!).

However you can still see these with branded and non-branded topics. Here is Domino’s…


And here is a non-branded, hairdressers.


Only a week or two ago my colleague Tracy was complaining that she couldn’t get good results for hairdresser in Google, and now she has a list of 10 in her area to choose from.A quick quote from her on these results “Thats good if they have websites I can check out, and I guess a good lesson that you should be using Google Maps more often when looking for a local service”.

Not that you will need to go separately to Google Maps now that Google is serving this up for you on their home page.

The algorithm is hopefully still undergoing improvements, because if I use the term National Parks, the top result is Google Maps, with only one suggestion – National Parks in Tasmania…and I am in Sydney. So that is strange, considering the multiple national parks close to me here, particularly one at the end of my street.

Also, other online marketers are wondering if there will be further refinements to the algorithm to better identify local searches. Search Engine Land used the example of the word burger. They say that this isn’t necessarily a local search. However, with 9 other options to choose from on the results page, even if it isn’t a local search, searchers are still getting other options.

What does this mean for search marketers? Well, your local business listing is now going to be much more important. You should make sure your business is in there, because suddenly your small business could be getting exposure for a lot of the more generic terms which you may have thought were out of your reach.

Also, your ISP, and that of your customer, is now of great importance. It might not be a big deal when you are searching using an ISP that is quite close to you, but what about people whose ISPs aren’t? For example, in China, many people use ISPs in Hong Kong.  Their search queries are maybe going to have to improve, to include the word Beijing, or Shanghai, to make sure they don’t get given Hong Kong map results.

It will be interesting to see the Google search volumes for these terms in a couple of months  – must keep our eye on Google Trends, or record some volumes now in the keyword tool and see how they change later.

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