Expanded Product View with Images in Google AdWords

Google’s been using plusboxes in its organic results for quite some time now, but only in the last few months have we begun seeing those in paid results as well. Back in March, we first started spotting video ads in similar Google AdWords plusboxes, and now Google’s added expanded product results with images:

Notice here that the opened plusbox actually consumes the entire window (and for specs’ sake, this is on 1280×800, Firefox with four menu bars (menu, address, links and tabs) and the find bar open).

Steve Rubel also spotted these in the sidebar ads, which are a bit more convenient (read: not blocking organic results) than the top ads:

So far, Bluenile is the only merchant I’ve seen with these expanded ads. Can you find anyone else?

Internet Marketing Video Central: IMBroadcast.com

There’s a treasure trove of Internet marketing wisdom in instructional videos (and, of course, funny ones, too) around the Internet. But that was kind of the problem—they were all around the Internet. Now, instead of scouring SEOmoz, Matt Cutts’s archives and YouTube for all the good marketing knowledge, you can turn to one central source: IMBroadcast.com.

IMBroadcast won’t just be a collection of videos, either. Cofounder Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal says:

We are hoping that IMBroadcast.com will become more than simply a video sharing site, we want it to become a community. Our thought process behind the site is that IMBroadcast.com will become a tool for educating visual learners that are attempting to understand Internet Marketing concepts, as well as a platform for experienced and new marketers to interact. Like YouTube, Google’s video sharing community, IMBroadcast.com will be open to its members to upload all forms of Internet Marketing oriented videos, rants, video blogs and tutorials as well as rank, subscribe to and comment on these videos.

Word of Mouth, Online Reviews Most Influential in Purchase Decisions

UPDATE: The full PDF of the study is available (link via RWW).

A new study by Rubicon Consulting states that word of mouth and online reviews are the most influential factors in consumer purchasing decisions. According to the study, the Internet is also important in providing customer support. The survey also looked at consumer’s use and perceptions of different websites and categories of websites:

  • The Web is the #2 resource for customer support information, after user manuals. It ranks ahead of calling the manufacturer or asking a dealer.
  • Website categories that get the most daily usage are search, social communities like MySpace and Facebook, general news websites like CNN.com and NYTimes.com, and online banking.
  • The websites that Americans value most are (in order), Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Facebook.

Pilgrim’s Picks, October 22

I know what you’re thinking (for it is also in my mind): Andy, come back. We miss linky goodness!

Breaking: Major Upgrades Coming to Google Analytics–Videos of New Features

If you saw the post from the Google Analytics Blog this morning announcing the updated user interface and thought that was all they had up their sleeves—you’re wrong. The UI is just the updated wrapping to go with major upgrades coming to Google Analytics in the coming weeks. (Update: the official announcement.)

The upgrades are part of an enterprise-class bundle of features that will be available to all Google Analytics users. The new features are: custom reporting, advanced segmentation, integration with AdSense, a beta API and motion charts.

Yahoo Optimistic After Earnings Drop, Layoffs: Nowhere to Go But Up?

Yahoo reported its Q3 earnings today, and it’s not all good news. Well, on the positive side, Yahoo’s revenues are up to $1.8 million. The bad news is that it’s only 1% YOY. And the worse news is that their profits were $54.3 million in Q3—compared to $151.3 million for Q3 2007.

And possibly worst of all, Yahoo is trying to cut its annualized costs for this year from $3.9 billion down to $3.5 billion. Normally, cutting costs is a good idea, and this is a good idea—but it really sucks for the 10% of Yahoo’s workforce that will be getting pink slips over the coming weeks. At least 1430 employees will be laid off as the company tries to trim the bottom line.

Early Stage Investment Dollars Are Still Out There

A number of early stage investment outfits have popped up over the last few years, making what would amount to tiny investments in as many as a dozen companies at one time and then recouping their investment plus some as those companies mature and either build viable revenue models or become acquisition targets of other related businesses.

Neil Patel recently announced that he has joined the Founders Co-op. The Founders Co-op has a goal to invest between $10,000 and $250,000 in a number of niche software start ups. Neil has said these startups should be in Seattle or be willing to relocate there if they are interested in receiving the investment.