Adam Lasnik Interview on Paid Links & Duplicate Content

Eric from Stone Temple Consulting has published a great interview with Adam Lasnik from Google discussing both paid links and duplicate content issues. Anytime Adam talks, I listen. He is honest and to the point unlike some from Google who prefer to say just enough to leave everyone wondering what is really going on.

Adam clears up much of the concern with the call for paid link reporting. As with any spam report, it’s not going to be used for direct action. Link reports are there to use as a benchmark when modifying the algorithm in an attempt to thwart similar spam actions.

Adwords Changes Google Checkout Buttons Above the Fold

Google has been running small checkout icons next to Adwords ads above the fold and large buttons with the sidebar ads for awhile now. They are now placing the large button next to the above the fold ads. I am seeing the large icon on all searches with all browsers so I am not sure if this is a test or something that’s permanent.


Google Checkout Button


I wonder if the Paypal / Yahoo partnership prompted the change. Information arms race anyone? Or maybe it’s in response to dropping CTR rates.

Is Feedburner Siphoning Your Link Juice?

While browsing today’s SEL SearchCap I noticed a pattern. Out of the 58 external stories linked to, 28 of them linked directly to a FeedBurner feed and not to the actual content on the site. That’s 40% of the stories that did not receive any link juice from Search Engine Land.

Some may ask why SEL would link that way. It’s not their fault. The 28 blogs blogs in question have click tracking enabled on their FeedBurner RSS feed. It’s a very nice feature but unless the feed click stats are a life and death stat for your business model I would recommend you turn it off.

Flooding Your Link Profile

With the recent brouhaha Matt Cutts raised over webmasters reporting paid links, I’ve had a few customers ask me how they might protect themselves. Since I was on the subject, I wanted to give you all some real world examples of how to cover tracks from the prying eyes of your competitors.

There are limited resources for webmasters to do competitive intelligence on another website’s link building activities, and of those resources, all of them return only limited results. Yahoo for example returns a maximum of 1,000 backlinks. You can pull a few tricks out of a hat and get maybe 2,000-3,000 backlinks if your lucky. That doesn’t help for a site with 20,000 backlinks.

Google Releases Detailed Content Network Reports

Google has released a new type of report named “Placement Performance Report.” With this report you get detailed statistics of where and how ads performed on sites within the content network. From Google:

Google is testing a new report type called the Placement Performance report so advertisers can view performance metrics for ads that may be running on URLs or domains within our content network.

Google has always provided full online statistical, conversion, and financial reporting for the Google AdWords program. Now with the Placement Performance report, you can gain greater transparency about your campaigns’ performance on the content network for the first time. This report is intended as a tool for you to make informed decisions on improving your campaign’s return on investment.

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 11 09.54


If You Game Digg You Will Get Banned, Unless…..

There’s a little buzz surrounding the newest pay for Diggs service called Subvert and Profit with both the Online Marketing Blog and Tech Crunch have covering it. It’s not the first website created specifically to game Digg and it won’t be the last.

I’m not going to debate the ethics involved with gaming Digg or any other social media site. It is what it is. I do want to warn anyone thinking about using such a service. Digg is very aware of them and actively monitors their actions. If you’re going to use one make sure you understand the possible repercussions.

The S&P blog claims their system is setup so you won’t get banned from Digg.

First Look at Google Audio (Radio) Ads

Back in December Google ran a very limited beta test of their new Audio Ads product. They recently began expanding the beta and I was able to get my hands on an account.

Below are a few screenshots and an overview of the Audio Ads system setup. For more detailed information you should read the Audio Ads help section.

The campaign view looks much like the normal Adwords interface. Instead of clicks and CTR% you see ad plays (number of time an ad airs) and impressions (estimated number of people who heard your ad).

audience estimates (impression estimates) are delivered by Google based on Arbitron’s copyrighted and proprietary audience estimates. They are not estimates produced by Arbitron. For details on survey period & audience type, please refer to your campaign reports.


Audio Library
The audio library is where you upload, store, and preview your radio ads for current and future use.

  • When uploading, you are asked to include a written transcript of the audio ad.
  • Your ad is sent to Google for pre-approval before it can be used live.