Ad Creep Continues in Google SERPs

product extensions
Google continues to increase ad real estate in its search results. First there was the Plus Box and then Product Listing Ads and now Product Extensions are available to everyone as well, through the Google Merchant Center. There are so many ads now available that when I do a search for a term like “copy paper” I only see 2 organic results above the fold, the other 13 links are all either from the Google Merchant Center or AdWords. The importance in ranking first or second in organic results becomes all the more crucial as Google continues to put the squeeze on organic results.

Blog Comments Hack for SEO

XHTML: You can use these tags

I’ve been doing a little link building lately for a project I’m working on and part of that has included writing comments on various blogs related to the terms I’m trying to target. I noticed the other day on one of the blogs I was writing on that above the comment box they had the phrase “(You may use HTML tags for style)” – this means feel free to create your own anchor text, awesome. So now I type this phrase into Google in quotes along with the keywords I’m trying to target in order to find relevant blog posts that will allow me to put in my own anchor text. You can also try the phrase below that’s a WP standard “XHTML: You can use these tags:”

Happy Cheddar is in business.

Happy Cheddar is an officially operating LLC. Good things should be coming soon.

SEM Affiliate Scam – A New Kind of Click Fraud

buy-online-now

I recently started working for an eCommerce site and we use both SEM and affiliate marketing extensively. I was poking around Google Insights and checked out a few of the trending search terms involving our company name. When I did a Google Search for these terms I noticed that a bunch of our affiliates through CJ were bidding on “[Our Company Name] coupon” – a lot of these affiliates didn’t even have our coupons. So not only were we bidding against our own affiliates but they were hurting our conversions by not giving our customers what they were looking for and I’m sure our cart abandonment rate increased as a result.

Then I discovered one of our CJ affiliates, sharesale.com, was bidding on our actual company name and coming up first. So we were paying them for each conversion and they were just milking us by taking advantage of our brand recognition. They were simply redirecting them to our site after getting their referral (to stay within Google’s Terms and Conditions).

My guess is that tons of small eCommerce businesses using Comission Junction and the like are getting taken advantage of by their affiliates who are too lazy to do their job and just park on their advertisers’ keywords. I think this constitutes a new kind of click fraud.

Smart Phone Breakdown

Smart Phone Breakdown

Click on the picture above to see a chart with a full breakdown of the iPhone, Palm Pre and Android.  I was kind of surprised how similar all three of them are in terms of features/specs.  I see now that AT&T is definitely sticking it to me for the voice/data/messaging plan I’m on.  Is it me or does the Pre look pregnant?

Hapnin for What’s Happening in NYC

hapnin' nyc
I went and did a little user testing this past week for a new startup based in Midtown called Hapnin NYC.  The site hopes to be the place to go for stuff to do in New York City and I think they are on to something good.  Lately I’ve been playing around with FourSquare which has tips submitted by users for stuff to do around where you are. Hapnin’s a little different in that they’re trying to show you everything that’s going on around you from art openings to happy hours. They want to help you plan your night on the fly. I’m looking to see them add more content in the near future but so far, so good.

WhatTheFont Mobile

whatthefont for iphone
WhatTheFont is a great website that helps you identify fonts.  You just upload a picture with the font you want to identify, single out the letters and wait for the results.  The software has now been ported over to the iPhone.  You can take a picture with your iPhone, crop the image, identify the letters in the picture and in a few seconds the app will return the results.  It’s like Shazam for typography.

Google Goes Canonical

Google announced a nice upgrade this week for people who have duplicate content on their sites because of catalogs.  Often times the same content will appear more than once depending on how you searched for something.  So you may get the same content for a pair of brown shoes by filtering down to shoes>brown or shoes>men’s.  You can now add a tag <link rel=”canonical” href=”">  inside the <head> tag and Google will understand that all of the duplicate pages refer to this url.  This will also help shore up PageRank to this one particular page rather than it being diluted to all of the pages with the same content.  You can read more about the particulars on the Google Webmaster Central blog.

Obama Logo in the Making Part 2

 

 

The video of Sol Sender from MODE talking about the conception of the Obama logo seems to have gotten lots of play in the last week or so.   What I didn’t realize was that their was a second part where Sol talks about the actual implementation of the logo throughout the campaign.

10 Great Fonts of 2008

new fonts

Found this link today to a French design blog with some truly beautiful fonts that were developed this past year.

(thanks design you trust)