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Few Homebuyers Say the Internet Influenced their Purchase

Just what we want to hear – bad news about the housing market, but this time online. Turns out online searches didn’t have as significant impact on homebuying or renting decisions as we may have hoped. That doesn’t necessarily mean real estate sites should pull back their budgets though.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey, September 2007 found that buyers even more than renters used the Internet most to search for real estate (links to a PDF summary of the study). They surveyed 2,400 adults about how they use the internet to research homes or apartments.

Google Pimping Big Ad Spender Trademarks

Several major Google advertisers seem to have adopted a common war cry – “Get these pigs off of our backs!”

The tactic is called “piggybacking” and major corporations are tired of Google pimping out their valuable trademarks to smaller companies.

With piggybacking, smaller and lesser known advertisers use a large corporation’s well branded and recognized trademarks in an effort to enhance their ability to draw more qualified traffic from Google Adsense listings. The problem is not a new one. In fact, it has been occurring for several years despite Google’s written policy against the practice.

The question is “If Google has a policy against the practice, why does it continue to occur with such frequency?” Can you say – Moolah? Yes, the “do no evilers” at Google seem to be turning a blind eye, lest they disrupt that free flowing revenue stream called Adsense.

Newspaper Sites Profitable with Online Advertising

A study by Borrell Associates found that almost all newspaper web sites are profitable – thanks to online advertising. Advertising revenue accounts for over half of revenues locally, and 57.3 percent, goes to online advertising like Google.

They studied 3,100 sites owned by newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and independents to find out where they are making the most ad revenues.

According to Borrell, there are some important “firsts” in the newspaper industry. For the first time, newspaper online local ads topped more than $2 billion. Also, web sites of the biggest newspapers have switched from print or radio ad revenue to more than half of their revenues coming from non-print advertisers.

More Best Practices Talk, This Time from the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently set their “Interactive Campaign Setup Best Practices,” out on the world.

For those of you not familiar with the IAB, their site’s about page defines them as:

Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau represents over 375 leading interactive companies that actively engage in and support the sale of interactive advertising. IAB members are responsible for selling over 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the continuing growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research, and educates marketers, agencies, and media companies, as well as the wider business community, about the value of interactive advertising.

Optimizing for Indented Listings

The devil is in the details and sometimes it is easy to overlook opportunity even when it is staring you right in the face. Thankfully not everyone misses the obvious opportunities to take advantage of the hard work they have already done.

Andy Beard has an excellent nearly step-by-step explanation as well as links to a video, from Stomper Net made by Andy Jenkins, showing how to take an existing Google listing and work to get an indented listing to go along with it.

In short here is what Andy says to do and it is so simple as to be comical when you really think about it but it is amazing how many people don’t take the time to do this or even know how.

Review: MarketingSherpa’s 2008 Online Advertising Handbook & Benchmarks

How much do you spend on online advertising each year? $5,000? $50,000? $500,000? Or perhaps $5 million?

Let’s assume you spend $50,000 per year on ALL of your online advertising. What if you could spend just 1% of that budget and potentially increase the visibility, clickability, and conversions of all your online ads?

Enter MarketingSherpa’s 2008 Online Advertising Handbook & Benchmarks. (affiliate)

I’ve just finished reading this great guide from MarketingSherpa and it’s a valuable companion to The Landing Page Handbook we reviewed back in January.

The handbook’s 200+ pages are packed with a wide selection of industry stats, best practices, and tactical information to help increase the effectiveness of your online advertising. Here’s an outline of the handbook’s chapters:

  1. Online Advertising Business & Budgets.

What Do Yahoo’s Sponsored Search Tweaks Mean?

Apparently, “Things continue to be busy here at Yahoo!, and not just because of any on-again/off-again courtship by a company from a rainy land.” Yahoo announced yesterday a few minor adjustments in their Sponsored Search program. Among the changes:

  • Status for offline objects (campaign, ad group, keyword, etc.) displays in red. Objects that are online are displayed in blue or black letters.
  • The “Top Campaigns” and “Watched Campaigns” tables on the Dashboard page now include a “Status” column.
  • Minor updates to the “Campaigns” page, including adding a “Status” column.
  • Minor updates to the Ads table on an Ad Group page.
  • The ability to export (using the “Download” buttons) at the account-level Ad Group and Keyword pages, under the Campaigns tab.