Free Traffic from Google’s Blog

I apologize to all of you for the little secret I am about to reveal, but things have gotten out of hand.

If you’ve ever linked to a post at the Official Google Blog, you’ve noticed that each post displays a list of blogs linking to it. Popular posts can send a nice chunk of visitors to your blog – all for just including a link back to the Google blog.

Unfortunately, I think we’re about to see the end of this free traffic, as spammers have also figured this out.

Spotted at this post.

Carrie Underwood posts – which leads to a spam site. Just about every recent post has at least one spam link.

Ditch Expensive Analytics, Invest in People Instead

Avinash Kaushik has some good advice for companies looking to get the most out of their web analytics tool. Ditch the expensive subscription and instead hire a dedicated person to analyze the data.

Avinash suggests a 6-part recovery plan for those of you blowing money on Ominiture, WebTrends, HBX etc.

Steps include ditching your high-cost analytics and instead getting a free Google Analytics account. Then?

…Cancel the contract with your favorite expensive analytics vendor and take that $50k or $100k or $200k and: 1) Hire a smart analyst for between $50k to whatever maybe your areas great salary 2) Put the rest of the money in your pocket.

Sound advice. We install GA for all of our clients, and it’s the first place we examine when trying to determine the success of a campaign.

AOL Acquires Lightningcast, Adds to

According to CNET, AOL has acquired Lightningcast, an online-advertising company that specializes in the placement of streaming video and audio content. The company plans to merge it with its existing subsidiary.

In addition to video and audio advertising creation and insertion, Lightningcast also handles ad campaign management and results reporting. AOL has had a working relationship with Lightningcast since 2002 and has used its services for AOL Radio, AOL Video and In2TV ventures.

Blogs Reaching “iPod” Status

The USA Today has a feature on the rise of blogs as a platform for social interaction.

A snippet that would interest Malcolm Gladwell

…a study done for Jupiter Research says that blogs have a “disproportionately large influence” on society. The reason? It’s not how many people read a blog, it’s who reads it.

The Jupiter study, which focused on blog use in Europe, found that while “active users” of the Internet make up a small portion of overall Internet users, they were starting to dominate public discussions and even have an impact on people’s buying habits.

What are bloggers saying about your company?

Yahoo Knows How to Gain Market Share

The WSJ, has an interesting snippet from Yahoo’s analyst event. Could it be their secret weapon for gaining market share from Google?

The company is betting on social media, especially their Yahoo Answers initiative.

In Taiwan, where Yahoo first brought out an Answers-like service, Yahoo was able to take market share from rival Google, Mr. Weiner said. Yahoo’s market share reached 65%, and Google’s fell to 30% in April, compared with 50% for Yahoo and 45% for Google in December 2004, he said.

You know what, makes sense when you think about it. Give people the opportunity to contribute to the quality of search results and they’ll take pride in them. Which means they’ll likely stay loyal to a particular search engine, because they know they’ve had input. The only problem for Yahoo is that Google has learnt this secret too, hence Google Co-op being launched.

Yahoo Outlines Plans to Beat Google

It seems like everyone wants a piece of Google these days. Not only has Microsoft laid down the gauntlet, but Yahoo has now picked it up, slapped it on the side of Eric Schmidt’s dimpled cheeks, spat on it, and thrown it back down again – get the picture? :-)

At Yahoo’s recent analyst day, we hear from Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel about their plans to leapfrog Google.

By using a variety of techniques, from encouraging users to “tag” information they find useful on the web to getting them to answer questions from other users directly, Yahoo hopes to make its search results more relevant and so reverse the slip in its share of the global search market.

Meanwhile, Tim Cadogan, vice president of search, explained how their improving their ad platform.

Google Guys Make Ten Billion Dollar Bet

Well, kinda…