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Safa Rashtchy Leaving Analyst Firm Piper Jaffray

Danny’s reporting Safa Rashtchy’s announcement that he will be leaving his role as financial analyst for Piper Jaffray on June 30th. Here’s part of Safa’s announcement…

My last day at Piper will be June 30, although I will be on vacation for a good part of the time between now and then. I am planning to take at least the second half of the year off, before I decide on my next activity. I remain interested in global investment opportunities in the media, consumer, and technology sectors. In the meantime, there are many interests and causes that I would like to devote more of my time to, during the rest of this year and for as long as I can continue.

Increase PPC Conversions Based on Audience & Searches

There are loads of cash to be made in affiliate marketing using PPC but it takes time, experience, and a lot of testing to do it right. No one that I know does more testing than Diorex.

He not so recently posted about some of his findings that I thought I would share. To sum it up:

  • For Content Match ads, landing pages should be informative and sell the visitors on why they need the product.
  • When targeting competitors, give the user ad copy that differentiates your product from competitors.
  • For Exact Match ads, give the users the “Get it Now” landing page and the “Get it Now” ad copy.

Using these three steps his company managed to turn a loosing account into a winner.

Google Site Command Clarification & Bug Fix

On the Webmaster Central blog, Google has made some clarifications on how the site command works. By adding excluding the www in front of the domain you are doing a site command search for, you can include subdomains in the results.

A search for www.site.com returns URLs that begin with www and a search for site.com returns URLs for all subdomains. (So, site:google.com returns URLs such as www.google.com, checkout.google.com, and finance.google.com).

To demonstrate, site:www.marketingpilgrim.com returns 3,110 results and site:marketingpilgrim.com returns 3,180 taking into account the subdomain jobs.marketingpilgrim.com

Unfortunately, if your site either purposely or through bad planning has non www pages indexed such as http://domain.com/page.html, then those pages will not be returned in the www search and you cannot get an accurate reading of your main domains index. You will either need to fix the issue through a 301 htaccess rule or through the Google Webmaster Central backend.

Tracking Potential Google Killers

Read/WriteWeb continues to monitor the second tier of search engines. Last month, they published the top 100 alternative search engines. This month, they’ve updated the list for February, with 32 new additions.

The criteria to make the list:

1) The Search Engine should exhibit superiority to Google—not as a whole, but in just one particular area. . . . We are not arguing that any one of the 100 list members is a “Google killer”. Rather, that they should be matched against the appropriate corresponding part of Google. For example, TheFind is a shopping search engine and therefore should be compared to Google’s shopping search engine, Froogle. . . .

Radio Ads Enhance Internet Ads

The Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab has released a study on the effectiveness of Internet ads. “Are they confused?” you ask yourself. No, no: it’s the effectiveness of Internet and radio ads. Specifically, it’s how memorable these repeated ads are.

The “Radio and the Internet: Powerful Complements for Advertisers” study (Executive Summary) found that:

Recall of advertising is dramatically enhanced (27 percent versus 6 percent) when a mix of Radio and Internet ads is used compared to website ads alone.

Overall, the study found that an effective radio+Internet ad (compared to two Internet ads) can influence visitors to:

  • better recall information
  • visit the site
  • increase the likelihood of buying from that site
  • increase the likelihood of describing the brand as one which they like or love

Alexa Adds New Traffic Details

I noticed a change to the Alexa traffic reports late Friday, and have now found the official announcement from Alexa. They’ve added new data points including:

  • Geographic location of visitors.
  • Your site’s traffic rank in different countries.
  • Audience reach percentages.
  • Changing terminology to reflect latest data is from “yesterday” and not “today”.

Trusted Software Downloads Get in with Yahoo, Microsoft

TRUSTe logoTRUSTe has issued its first Trusted Download whitelist. The criteria to gain “Trusted Download” status included that the software is required:

to clearly communicate key functionalities, to obtain informed consumer consent prior to download, and provide an easy uninstall with clear instructions, among other requirements.

The Trusted Download program has already developed a receptive marketing plan. The press release (dated yesterday) states that

AOL, CA, CNET Networks, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo! will use the whitelist as a tool to help make business decisions related to advertising, partnering and distributing software products. By providing a whitelist of trusted applications, the program aims to provide attractive market incentives to software publishers to meet the requirements and earn certification.