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A Reluctant Google Looks at Ad Agencies

You don’t see a lot of traditional advertising from Google. Their philosophy is to build great products and develop amazing technology and let it sell (and support) itself. Their marketing strategy has relied mostly on word of mouth – and its worked well. It just may not be enough for a company their size.

That is slowly changing. Google looks to be shopping for an ad agency. They’ve looked at Madison Avenue agencies like Wieden + Kennedy and Taxi New York. They’ve hired an agency for a campaign in Japan called “100 Things You Can Do With Google.” However, unlike many top brands Google ads aren’t running on prime time.

Yahoo Defends Google Ad Deal, Too (And Again)

Almost three weeks ago, Yahoo defended the Google ad deal with executive vice president Heather Schneider. Maybe it’s just a postmortem twitch of the old competitiveness, but now that Google’s stepping up its defense of the deal, so is Yahoo, this time bringing in President Sue Decker.

Friday’s post on the Yahoo Anecdotal blog, entitled “Myth-Busting and the Yahoo!-Google Agreement,” highlights the reasons why Yahoo wants in on the deal:

  • Yahoo! will use this agreement to help us become a stronger competitor in all aspects of online advertising; and
  • Yahoo! is not exiting the sponsored search business. We plan to remain a strong player in sponsored search.

Search Engine Watch’s Nathania Johnson says that this Yahoo-centered explanation doesn’t offer much persuasion to critics, who include some current AdWords advertisers:

Yahoo Ditches its AMP; More APT to Go Acoustic

Back in April we reported on Yahoo’s planned AMP advertising platform. Yahoo has now officially launched the platform, but has apparently decided that “AMP” didn’t quite make the cut as a cool brand–so it’s changing the name to “APT” instead. (yeah, I don’t know either)

The official press release spares no enthusiasm:

As a Web-based solution with the potential to allow unprecedented ease of cross-selling across the largest open network of publishers, advertisers, ad networks and agencies from a single integrated interface, APT is a single platform for connected digital advertising, including ad serving, ad network and ad exchange. It is designed to streamline advertisers’ ad-buying process for multiple accounts across multiple publishers, and enable creative testing and campaign optimization. It is also intended to help advertisers precisely yet easily identify audiences through geographic, demographic and interest-based targeting while enabling publishers to better monetize their content as well as making better connections across the Web.

DIY Ad Targeting from MySpace

myspace diy ad targeting programYet another way for a social network to monetize itself—MySpace is launching a do-it-yourself ad targeting program. Currently in beta at advertise.myspace.com, the program is designed to help MySpace advertisers promote their business or their music.

The ad program runs on a CPC basis with a minimum $0.25 bid ($25 campaign minimum). The program enables advertisers to target MySpace users based on gender, age, region, city/state, and interests. Naturally, as there’s nothing new under the sun, this brings to mind Facebook’s own ad targeting program. Indeed, this may not be terribly different, other than the fact that MySpace has more users (yes, still).

According to Social Times, the banner ads can be either 728×90 or 300×250 and MySpace provides several templates if you don’t have one of your own. The interest-based targeting is somewhat limited:

Bryan Eisenberg Answers Questions on Multi-Variate Testing

Last week we gave you an opportunity to win a copy of Bryan Eisenberg’s new book “Always Be Testing.” The response was so overwhelming, I asked Bryan if he would mind answering a few questions about the book and the concept of mult-variate landing page testing.

Here’s the interview:

For those that are not aware, what are the main differences between A/B testing and multi-variate testing?

Bryan Eisenberg: A/B testing is where you test the impact of one value of a particular variable (“A”) versus another value for that same variable (“B”). For example, does a green button have a bigger impact on your clients than a red button? Here the variable is “button color” and the values are “green” and “red”. Do customers respond better to a coupon with “Buy One, Get One Free” or do they prefer “50% off”? Again, one variable (coupon pricing) and two different values. Of course you can have more than just two values: obviously you can also test blue, yellow and orange buttons, or “Free with $10 purchase” or “spend $300 before November 15 and get your Thanksgiving turkey free”.

The Real News About Online Advertising

As noted by Andy Beal earlier today there appears to be some unnecessary alarmism regarding the current state on online ad spends. I say unnecessary because as we have noted on another occasion the media really has a twisted sense of when the sky is falling. According to the Wall Street Journal today there is actually cause for celebration from the 2nd quarter numbers for Internet advertising rose 20%. So what’s your take? Should we panic and go back to smoke signals or just struggle through a sluggish 20% growth cycle?

Search Spend Growth Drops Below 30%; Mocks the Recession

Take a look at these two headlines:

U.K. SEM Spend Slows, Signaling Market Maturity

JPMorgan analyst lowers online ad forecast, says economic weakness hurting Internet

Time to call it quits as an online marketer and find a new job? Hardly!

Whenever you see headlines like this, be sure to read the entire article. In this case, you’d see that the "weakness" and "slows" in online advertising are still much healthier than other industries; say real estate or the auto industry.

So, what’s up with the state of the online advertising industry? Well, in the UK…

[E-consultancy’s] 2008 search engine marketing buyer’s guide, released this week, predicts that SEM spend in the U.K. will rise by 24 percent in 2008, down from 58 percent year on year growth in 2007 and 65 percent growth in 2006.