Uncategorized - 18/36 - Digital Marketing Agency

Google – It's Getting Too Much

By | Google News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Ok, even I am starting to get a bit sick of this. Nearly all of the new developments in search engines, online media and digital marketing seem to be coming from Google, and so every week I have at least one post dedicated to this giant.

This despite the fact that Google late last year sacked a lot of engineers and supposedly cancelled a lot of their upcoming projects and R&D. If the Financial Crisis hadn’t happened, perhaps I would be writing about Google every day!

Either Google has the most amazing PR people, other tech companies aren’t doing much, or Google really is the worlds biggest online monopoly, but today has Google announcing yet even more new developments.

Christine Varney, of the US Government, has voiced suspicions of Google being the overwhelming monopoly in the online search market, and it is starting to get more and more obvious.

Anyway, what is this new Google tool? Well, if I am honest, it isn’t really brand new – Google actually bought Grand Central Communications two years ago, but yesterday they re-branded it Google Voice, adding it to their arsenal of Google products.

Google Voice is a service which manages incoming calls on phones, and is apparently used by hundreds of thousands of people in the US (available only in the US). The new upgrade released yesterday, takes this one step further by utilising Google technology to automate transcripts of voicemails and even offers discounts on international calls.

Is this outside Google’s normal remit? A Google  representative said this:

“Google is all about helping you manage your information and one of the big holes right now is in the management of voice communications,”

I thought Google was all about managing online information, but I guess in this day and age, if you can put it online, then Google can have a go at managing it. While all these tools are kind of free for us to use, I guess it doesn’t bother the average consumer too much. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but Google’s overwhelming expansion, now into almost an offline area, raises even my suspicions.

As a post script, another Google product, Google Reader, also got an upgrade today, but I am quite sick of writing about Google products now, so all I will say about it is that they have enabled comments in Google Reader, the place where you share your articles and blogs, as another way of helping organise online information.

OK, next week I am going to focus on reporting stories and developments from other online companies…

Google – It's Getting Too Much

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Ok, even I am starting to get a bit sick of this. Nearly all of the new developments in search engines, online media and digital marketing seem to be coming from Google, and so every week I have at least one post dedicated to this giant.

This despite the fact that Google late last year sacked a lot of engineers and supposedly cancelled a lot of their upcoming projects and R&D. If the Financial Crisis hadn’t happened, perhaps I would be writing about Google every day!

Either Google has the most amazing PR people, other tech companies aren’t doing much, or Google really is the worlds biggest online monopoly, but today has Google announcing yet even more new developments.

Christine Varney, of the US Government, has voiced suspicions of Google being the overwhelming monopoly in the online search market, and it is starting to get more and more obvious.

Anyway, what is this new Google tool? Well, if I am honest, it isn’t really brand new – Google actually bought Grand Central Communications two years ago, but yesterday they re-branded it Google Voice, adding it to their arsenal of Google products.

Google Voice is a service which manages incoming calls on phones, and is apparently used by hundreds of thousands of people in the US (available only in the US). The new upgrade released yesterday, takes this one step further by utilising Google technology to automate transcripts of voicemails and even offers discounts on international calls.

Is this outside Google’s normal remit? A Google  representative said this:

“Google is all about helping you manage your information and one of the big holes right now is in the management of voice communications,”

I thought Google was all about managing online information, but I guess in this day and age, if you can put it online, then Google can have a go at managing it. While all these tools are kind of free for us to use, I guess it doesn’t bother the average consumer too much. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but Google’s overwhelming expansion, now into almost an offline area, raises even my suspicions.

As a post script, another Google product, Google Reader, also got an upgrade today, but I am quite sick of writing about Google products now, so all I will say about it is that they have enabled comments in Google Reader, the place where you share your articles and blogs, as another way of helping organise online information.

OK, next week I am going to focus on reporting stories and developments from other online companies…

Attempt to Make Internet Advertising More Interesting

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Today, (or yesterday seeing as it is in the US), Google announced changes to its ad serving platform which aims to increase relevance of online ads. This beta version is called ‘interest-based’ advertising, and will be used on Google’s partner sites and YouTube.

The ads will associate categories of interests with your browsers, based on the types of pages you generally visit, and serve ads accordingly. E.g. if you are interested in cars, you won’t only get car-based ads when you are on car pages or sites, but you could see car-based ads on any Google Partner site you visit. Google is also proposing that you can tell them what categories you are interested in, so they can tailor the ads to you.

The obvious question people will be asking will be about privacy. Google supposedly allows you to opt out of the advertising cookie (if you don’t ‘already disallow cookies), by going here.  They have also designed a plug-in for your browser that maintains your opt-out choice. However this is probably not much use for the majority of users who don’t know what a cookie is or even suspect that Google is tracking them anyway. (They might notice the relevance of ads and get their suspicions up, but still probably wouldn’t know what to do about it).

As an internet advertiser, I understand and appreciate the reasoning behind these changes from the corporate point of view.  Companies want to better target their ads, because better targetted ads have a higher conversion rate.

But what are the benefits for the consumer? You get your activity tracked just so that they can try to sell you more appropriate things? Well, like Google says, a lot of the free online content we consume would not be available were it not ad supported, like email, YouTube, search or even Facebook. In that case, if you have to have ads on all these sites, it might be slightly preferable to be served ads that are relevant to you, rather than the generic ones.

AdTech Sydney – Twitter Pro's and Con's

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There was a lot of talk yesterday at AdTech about Twitter, and how people would be twittering at the conference about what was going on. this was supposed to be a good way of keeping people who weren’t able to attend the conference up to date.

One of the (many) tags for following it was AdTechSyd#. However, when you search that in Twitter , like most Twitter streams, you get a lot of random thoughts which are not easy to read and the disjointed manner makes it difficult to identify and hold onto the useful or interesting pieces of information.

The Tweets include such useful lines as “at AdTech”, “Big night last night at AdTech”, “, “Wifi isn’t working”, “Great comment by Matt”.

While others had longer comments, and even coherent sentences, they were either taken straight from the speech or were a random thought of the writer, both of which need context for understanding. A bit like trying to read the doodlings in someone else’s lecture notes, you try to guess what they are talking about.

Which begs the question – when it comes to wanting to know what went on at a conference – do I really need a real-time stream of random sentences, or would it be better to read a thoughtfully composed (after the fact) blog post? I suspect strongly the latter.  Real time isn’t a necessity for some situations, such as reporting on a speech at a   Digital Marketing conference!

There were some good tips for those agencies who could be bothered trawling through all the Tweets. For example, some comments along the lines of “Why do agencies always have to be the leaders, why can’t they be team players?”.

This was rebutted with the line “Because agencies want to say: we are gurus of the bleeding edge, instead of gurus of the bleeding obvious.” It was also echoed with other comments in agreement from, I assume, Client companies, not agencies.

This is a good insight into the disenchantment clients might feel with their agencies, and shows how Twitter can let you know about mood or opinions on your brand/industry, and from replies, how widespread those opinions might be.

With all the different information sources on the web nowadays, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each, and for Twitter it seems to be:

  • Good for ascertaining mood/vibe
  • Suboptimal for getting the facts
  • Good for multiple-opinions in one place
  • Good for real time updates on time-critical topics
  • Lacks context
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