Twitter’s Shark Leap: A Nauseating Display Of Self Importance.

Twitter-Election I've heard no greater example of self indulgence than Twitter CEO Dick Costolo’s nausea-inducing claim that 2012 was going to be the year of the Twitter election. (He spoke at the recent All Things Digital event in Southern California.) Amid the Google/Twitter separation mishigas (read: Twitter’s finger pointing) the notion of Twitter as a communication vehicle should have taken a back seat to Twitter as an advertising vehicle. But it didn’t. The question isn’t whether Twitter can survive without Google, it’s whether Twitter has already jumped the shark by selling out its core c [...]


How To Make Millions From Losing Tests

I’m often amazed at how naive companies can be about their online testing efforts. The bigger the company, it seems, the more disconnect there can be between the talented optimization team and the senior management. And that, as you might guess, often ends up undermining the revenue and efficiency improvements that come from continuous testing. This is part 1 of a multi-part column. In future columns, I’ll discuss why you want to celebrate every time you “lose” when testing -- which is really what I wanted to write about. But I realized it’s important to lay the groundwork for why [...]


Google: “Impractical” To Comply With IE’s P3P Privacy Controls; Microsoft, Facebook & Others Also Fail

microsoft-google-logos Google's been taking fire for Microsoft accusing it of overriding Internet Explorer privacy controls. But Google's now out with a response: the controls are out-dated, "impractical" to follow and ignored by other companies besides Google, including Facebook, some of Microsoft's own sites and over 10,000 others. I'm on vacation this week, so I won't be doing a deep dive into all of this, though someone else from Marketing Land will in the near future. For now, I'll just share a few short comments along with the full statement that Google sent us about the issue. Not The Same As The Safari B [...]


Marketing Day: February 20, 2012

Here's our daily recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. From Marketing Land: Microsoft: Google Is Bypassing Internet Explorer Privacy Settings, TooMore trouble for Google today on the privacy front: Just days after revelations that Google is ignoring privacy settings on Apple’s Safari web browser, Microsoft says Google is doing the same thing with Internet Explorer. Microsoft shares its findings in a blog post this morning: When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user [...] Pinterest Takes A Small [...]


Microsoft: Google Is Bypassing Internet Explorer Privacy Settings, Too

microsoft-google-logos More trouble for Google today on the privacy front: Just days after revelations that Google is ignoring privacy settings on Apple's Safari web browser, Microsoft says Google is doing the same thing with Internet Explorer. Microsoft shares its findings in a blog post this morning: When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too? We’ve discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protecti [...]


Pinterest Takes A Small Step Toward Fighting Copyright With Opt-Out Meta Tag

pinterest-copyright-featured As the noise continues to grow surrounding Pinterest and its potential legal headaches, the image-based social network has taken a small step toward placating website owners concerned with potential copyright violations. As LL Social pointed out yesterday, Pinterest is supporting a "nopin" meta tag that will prevent users from pinning images directly from the site where the code is installed. The meta tag can be found at the bottom of Pinterest's Help page, under a heading that says "What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?" It's a simple piece of code: meta name="pinterest [...]


Will Google Latitude Succeed As A Loyalty Platform?

While Google will tell you that Latitude has millions of users, what the company doesn't generally talk about is how many of those people are actively engaged with the product. The consensus appears to be that Latitude is languishing. However Mountain View has been tweaking, enhancing and updating Latitude to breathe new life into it. A year ago Google added check-ins to Latitude. In April, 2011 Google added deals to Latitude. Then last week, as widely discussed, Latitude was given a check-ins leaderboard (Android only). As part of that new leaderboard feature users are awarded points fo [...]


Budgeting For “Free” Social Media And The Need To Rebalance

Fire your marketing department! Social media is free! Have you heard the news? It’s been trumpeted recently in no end of misleading, link-baity headlines such as these: P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It's Free To Advertise On Facebook P&G slashes marketers in lieu of free social media P&G CEO Discovers Social Media Marketing Is Free! P&G to cut 1600 staff after CEO discovers digital media is free‎ In Internet marketing, "free" is a dirty enough word to be a serious deterrent to email delivery when used in a subject line. Apparently, this doesn't hold [...]


The Return Of The Publishing Genius

There’s nothing like a white-hot economy, or a white-hot sector, to create marketing geniuses. Notice that there are a lot of well-known social media geniuses these days. The financial service sector seems to have a shortage of them. Which is not to say there are none. It’s my belief that the very smart executives shine in tough times. They may not get the publicity, but the executives that have deep skill sets understand that businesses have cycles. They live and breathe; expand and contract. So it is with publishing. It’s easy to point to the decline in print ads for 2011. Easy to f [...]


Facebook To Offer Verified Accounts & Higher Visibility To Top Users

facebook-verified-featured From the beginning, Facebook has been about a community of real people and has used everything from .edu email addresses to mobile verification for support.  Now Facebook is helping top users (those with the most subscribers) gain more prominence by verifying their account with physical IDs.  TechCrunch announced that Facebook is inviting "prominent public figures" to verify their accounts and display a preferred nickname. This verification process will help users be found easier as well.  While no verification badge will be shown, verified users will appear in the Facebook Subscribe [...]


Top Google+ Brands See 1400% Follower Lift In February

As Google+ keeps on growing, brands are now reaping the benefits of getting involved early.  In a recent report from BrightEdge, a massive growth spurt for top brands was uncovered.  Compared to December's numbers, the number of people with top 100 Google+ brands, in their circles was up over 1400% in February.  In December the top 100 brands collectively had 222,000 followers.  In February, this number was over  3 million.   Google+ brand pages have only been around since their official launch on November 7th.  Some notable numbers include a 187x increase for Coca-Coca and H& [...]


Move Over Search Box, Google’s Home Page Gets A Share Box

home page box If you still don't get how much Google is behind ensuring Google+ gets everything it needs to succeed, consider the screenshot below, showing how for the first time ever, Google's home page now lets you do something other than search. You can share. Social is now coequal with search. Search, Meet Share OK, perhaps the coequal part is up for debate. After all, the search box remains the largest part of the page. But the new share box is pretty noticeable, showing up in the top right corner of the page: Click on the Share button, and a new box opens up, allowing you to share content out to [...]


U.S. Web Users Averaged Record-High 36 Hours Online In January

comscore-logo The average Internet user in the U.S. spent 36 hours online in January. That won't seem like much to those of us who reached 36 hours online by January 3rd, but comScore says it's a new record for Internet usage. That stat comes from comScore's latest ranking of US web sites, which shows that January was a good month for sites in the Career and Travel fields, along with Tax-related sites. The latter was the fastest-growing category in January; more than 30.7 million Americans visited a tax site in January, a 359 percent increase from the month before. Job-related sites saw an overall increa [...]


Marketing Day: February 17, 2012

Here's our daily recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. From Marketing Land: Marketing Biz: Yahoo CEO Trashes Product Team, Can AOL Patch Patch?, New Searchmetrics Backlink Analysis ToolWelcome to the first edition of Marketing Biz, a new weekly column dedicated to business-related news and announcements in online marketing. Each Friday we’ll deliver the most interesting news items in the past week coupled with a quick take and perspective. Marketing business news for the week revolved around the accelerating [...]


Marketing Biz: Yahoo CEO Trashes Product Team, Can AOL Patch Patch?, New Searchmetrics Backlink Analysis Tool

Welcome to the first edition of Marketing Biz, a new weekly column dedicated to business-related news and announcements in online marketing. Each Friday we'll deliver the most interesting news items in the past week coupled with a quick take and perspective. Marketing business news for the week revolved around the accelerating changes in search, social, local and mobile. Chaos at web 1.0 survivors were mixed with new product launches and startup hopes. Marin Software Raises $30M, Aims (Eventually) For IPO The new round was led by Asian investment firm Temasek, with funding from SAP Ventu [...]


No Surprise: Congress, Consumer & Privacy Groups Want Google To Explain Safari Privacy Snafu

google-g-logo From the you-could-see-it-coming-a-mile-away department: U.S. lawmakers, privacy watchdogs and consumer protection groups want Google to explain why it's been bypassing user privacy settings on Apple's Safari web browser. The story surfaced late last night in the Wall Street Journal, and has spread quickly -- not surprisingly, considering the long-running discussion about Google and privacy and, more recently, the company's new privacy policy that's due to take effect on March 1st. US Congress Gets Involved Politico is reporting this morning that US lawmakers -- who've already been o [...]


5 Tips To Help SEO Based Affiliates Evaluate A Niche

One of the most common questions I'm asked is how to evaluate a niche from an SEO based affiliate perspective before diving head first into it. We all know the obvious - check traffic volume for keywords in the niche using your favorite keyword research tool. But just because there is traffic, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the "right" niche. Over the years, I've learned a lot of lessons the hard way and below, I'll share with you some of the things I research before deciding to enter a niche as an affiliate that is primarily marketing my site through SEO. Check PPC Advertiser Comp [...]


No, FairSearch’s Anti-Google Ad In Politico Wasn’t Pulled As “Inaccurate” (Even Though It Was Inaccurate)

google blog post privacy Earlier this month, Google did a post to bust myths that it felt were being spread about the company regarding privacy. First on the list was from an ad run against Google by FairSearch. Google even later updated its post to say the FairSearch ad had been pulled as  "inaccurate." As it turns out, the ad wasn't pulled as Google claimed, even though I'd agree it was inaccurate. It's been quite the bouncing ball I've had to follow in order to clear all this up. Come along, and I'll explain what happened. Google's Myth Busting Post Here's the original Google post: The arrow marked 1 point [...]


Adding Credentials To Your Google+ Page: A Look At Verification & Direct Connect

Back in November, Google officially launched brand pages for Google+.  While they started were launched with limited features, brand pages have evolved to allow for multiple admins, add users into circles and become verified.  One of the surprisingly underutilized elements pages is the lack of verification.   There still seems to be some confusion around the different verification processes within Google+, so we will help to demystify the various ways to verify your Google+ page. Google+ Page Verification Page verification is Google’s way of showing users the authenticity of a profile [...]


Google Didn’t “Track” iPhones, But It Did Bypass Safari’s Privacy Settings

google-smartphone-code-featured The Wall Street Journal is out with a story about how Google has been "bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people" who use Apple's Safari web browser, along with a headline about "Google's iPhone tracking." More accurately, Google's been bypassing Safari's default privacy settings that block certain types of cookies rather than overriding what people specifically set. But that still doesn't make the revelation less of a body blow to Google's reputation. By default, Safari doesn't accept "third-party cookies." The Wall Street Journal reveals that Google found a way around this. Goo [...]


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