What Paul considers SEO spam is really just Google RevForce in action.

Here is an example

Would Wash U engage in SEO spamming? I think not. Google has tweaked its organic results to push down commercial sites. Its a great way to encourage users to click on the paid links surrounding the organic listings.


Hooray for Diller

February 28, 2006

The Ask.com launch is great and all, but count me as one who just doesn’t think it matters.

Henry “This is not Investment Advice” Blodget points out that he uses Yahoo for search largely because as a MyYahoo user, Yahoo search is the most convenient. This highlights the fact that the ‘search’ battle is actually a battle for the desktop. Yahoo is competing because it has an existing relationship with users via IM, MyYahoo, and any number of the other Yahoo products. Google is competing with its toolbar, its Pack, and its deal with Dell. Microsoft is attacking the market with both Live and Vista. The access guys have an opportunity as well, but they are all in partnering with others and only AOL has a strategy to truly reap the benefits. I don’t know what Diller has in his arsenal that will make him competitive here. IMO, if you are looking for a 4th player Apple is your best bet.

Search CPMs

February 28, 2006

I’m not sure I understand John’s comment fully about the ratios, but there is definitely a point to be made about the high search CPMs.

The search engines, their SEM counterparts, and the analysts with $600 price targets would like you to believe that search, as an advertising vehicle, will ultimately take big branding dollars from other mediums, but I just don’t see it.

These CPMs are way too high for the value you get from a branding perspective. Why would a rational media buyer pay $50 for some text links that will show up next to a half dozen competing products? It just doesn’t make sense.

The Performics 50 was published yesterday. As a marketing tool this probably is worth the effort, but I’m just not sure that you can draw any meaningful conclusions about search in general from this report.

About the only interesting takeaway is that when Google churns out a new poilicy it has wide ramifications for advertisers as Performics so eloquently put it:

In Q3, we reported on the shrinking segment of “Pure First Place” keywords and how
that might be a reflection of changes in policy regarding trademarked terms or affiliate
bidding. In Q4, we see price pressure coming not just from the top of the range –
typically attributed to increases in competition – but also from the bottom, likely due to a
significant shift in how bids are addressed on Google.
With paid search still being a youthful industry, these sorts of abrupt changes are going
to happen while the business sorts itself out. In order to respond to this kind of dynamic
marketplace, marketers need to be flexible with their programs, their expectations and, in
some cases, their budgets.

If I’m reading this right what they are saying to advertisers is “you need us (and probably more money) to help you navigate times when Google’s needs a quick lift in revenue, otherwise you may end up like FTD or Blue Nile.”