Still Running the MyBlogLog Zune (iPod) Contest

Despite all of the grief that came my way yesterday, the MyBlogLog contest is still alive and well.

All you need to do is join our MyBlogLog community and you’ll automatically be entered to win a Microsoft Zune – or if you hate the idea of owning anything MSFT, we’ll send you an iPod instead. Also, don’t forget, if you’ve blogged about the contest, and win, we’ll give you some $100 Shure headphones too!

In the meantime, we’ve updated our MyBlogLog avatar to keep everyone happy…

Note to Danny Sullivan – stop lurking, start your own MyBlogLog contest, you know you want to. ;-)

Take advantage of “thank you”

In response to Matt McGee’s list of the four most underutilized pages on your site, Brad Geddes at eWhisper.net blogged today on what he thinks is the most underutilized page on your website: the “Thank you” page. Brad says of “Thank you” pages:

[D]o you give someone the ability to continue to interact with your site? Or are you saying ‘Thank you very much, now go away’? Don’t just lose that customer interaction, continue to engage them towards other aspects of your website or business.

Brad’s on to something here: once you’ve acquired a lead for your business, are you taking full advantage of their interest? Do you offer them more opportunities to find what they need from you or other things that might interest them?

Google Q4 Profit Triples, Beats Wall Street Estimates

Google has just released their Q4 numbers and it looks like they’ve blown away estimations.

Fourth quarter net income surged to $1.03 billion from $372 million during the same period in 2004!!

Sales (excluding payments to ad partners) grew 70%+ to $2.23 billion.

Wall Street had been expecting $2.92 per share and got $3.29.

TheStreet.com adds

Google-owned sites generated 62% of total revenue and posted a gross revenue increase of 80% from a year ago. Google’s partner sites generated 37% of total revenue and showed 50% growth from a year ago.

Despite all that growth, the stock is taking a hammering in after-hours trading.

Beano to Brighton

While Del-Boy and Rodders may have had their “Beano to Margate“, I’m looking forward to my trip to England on Friday.

I’ll get the chance to visit my family in Brighton over the weekend, then meet with a client in London, on Monday.

Posting will be a little erratic next Monday and Tuesday, as I’ll be on a different time zone and obviously busy with a client.

If anyone wants to grab a beer near Victoria Station on Monday night, leave a comment or drop me an email.

This time on Saturday, we could be millionaires I’ll be eating fish and chips!

[For all US readers, there’s probably at least a couple of references that will be lost on you. It’s ok, I miss out on all the Seinfeld jokes, so it’s a fair trade.]

Google AdSense Spills the Beans to Shoemoney

Jeremy Schoemaker was lucky enough to have Google AdSense product manager, Brian Axe, live on his Net Income show. As Shoemoney points out, getting any search exec to appear on a live show is a coup, let alone someone from Google.

There’s a lot of juicy stuff to be found in either the podcast, or Jeremy’s recap. Here are some snippets:

Search Engine Arbitrage – During the interview Brian said that Google was not against arbitrage and infact they respect it as a business model. Brian clarified more by saying it was about the user experience.

YouTube Revenue Sharing - Brian confirmed what I suspected that Google AdSense would be the avenue in which the YouTube revenue will be paid out. So you will need to be a AdSense publisher in order to get YouTube Payouts. He also talked about the time line for the release.

10 Traits of Highly Successful ECommerce Companies

[Editor’s note: With this article, we’re welcoming guest contributor, Gareth Davies of GSINC, to the Marketing Pilgrim team.]

How come some ECommerce websites flourish but many just drift along or even fail altogether?

Having worked with many websites that have grown to turnovers of £1m GBP (and more) we have been able to observe common traits that apply to almost all of them. As a result we have compiled our list of the ‘Top 10 traits of highly successful ECommerce companies’.

1. A clear vision and goal
They know exactly what they want to achieve. This ‘laser like focus’ helps form an unshakeable conviction and dedication to building a successful online business.

2. Patience and a long-term view
They constantly measure if they are gradually getting there. And they can live with the paradoxes in online retail. For example the Internet changes quickly but organic SEO is a relatively slow process. Every day, every week, every month gives feedback measured in many ways against targets.

3. Taking calculated risks
Taking necessary risk and being prepared to invest is key. Investment is the fuel of a business so choosing where to spend money is critical. Successful websites invest money in activities that generate growth or make them more efficient – ideally both at the same time.

4. A commitment to ‘Kaizen’ or continuous improvement
Winners know this and delight in every little enhancement they make. Whole redesigns are common every 6 – 12 months. The search engines love it. These websites never rest on their laurels because within a few weeks someone could come along and take some of their business. Which is not part of the plan.

5. Successful sites employ good advisors
No one can be expert at everything and having specialist advisors you can trust and follow (and measure results from) is essential. ECommerce does not get simpler as time goes by. Winners pay for the best advice when it comes to strategy, tactics and growing the business.

Blinkx It? I Don’t Know What the Heck to Do With It!

I’m with Pete Cashmore on this one. Popular video search engine, Blinkx, had launched a widget for blog owners and social networks (MySpace etc) that allows them to display relevant videos on their site.

But why?

Ok, so the videos are targeted, and the widget is not very intrusive, but where’s the benefit for me? Us? Bloggers?

I already have a number of widgets on Marketing Pilgrim – each already slowing down load times. In order to convince me to add another one, a widget needs to offer either:

  1. Some kind of revenue for me
  2. A strong value to my readers – so they’ll come back, tell others etc

I fail to see where Blinkx It meets either of these criteria. Anyone seeing a benefit, I’m missing?