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Weekend Acquisitions

Neo@Ogilvy/GSI
Neo@Ogilvy, the digital & direct media arm of Ogilvy, acquired Global Strategies International, “a leading search marketing consultancy,” they announced Friday. GSI specializes in SEO, brand reputation management and training.

In their press release, Neo@Ogilvy said of the merger:

“Search marketing cannot live in a silo anymore,” said Nasreen Madhany, Global CEO of Neo@Ogilvy. “It needs to be part of a 360 strategy for delivering marketing solutions. When managed holistically, search marketing can deliver branding as well as business results. The integration of GSI into Neo@Ogilvy will allow us to deliver end-to-end digital marketing solutions to clients throughout Neo’s global network.”

GSI will keep its founders, including recently elected SEMPO board member Bill Hunt, to “maintain its own identity within Neo@Ogilvy.”

Google Listing Duplicate URLs in Site Search

There have been some funky things going on with the site: command at Google lately. Last month the “Results 1 – 1 of about 260 from domain.com” started popping up for many sites across the web. Some speculated this was due to increased duplicate content filter settings but I personally believe it’s a bug. Now I just noticed something new.

Doing a site command search for Snowboarding Land returns the exact same URL twice. See the screenshot below.

ScreenHunter_07 Mar. 02 11.17

With most sites I would have never noticed such an occurrence because they are too large but since this site is has only a handful pages these listings jumped off the page at me. Doing an allintitle search for that page title returns only one result. That is what leads me to believe this is a site command bug.

Google’s Lasnik Wishes "NoFollow Didn’t Exist"

I had a chance to chat with Matt Cutts’ right-hand man, Adam Lasnik (yep, that aspirin guy), about Google’s stance on paid links, before he took the stage for Australia’s Search Summit today.

After telling today’s audience that Google is “perfectly fine with people buying and selling links” (which he later qualified with a “we prefer them to use nofollow”), I managed to grab some time with him to discuss what many feel is Google’s backdoor abuse of the “nofollow” tag.

The Must-Buy Book on Web Analytics

I’ve not actually read Avinash Kaushik’s new book “Web Analytics: An Hour a Day“, but it’s definitely going on my recommended list.

If you’ve ever met Avinash or read his excellent web analytics blog, you’ll know that he’s an expert on all things web metrics related and has a great personality too!

If you’re an internet marketer or web designer, you should head over to Amazon.com immediately and place your advance order.

Not only will you learn a lot about web analytics, but you’ll be helping to great causes. Avinash is donating all of his profits from the book to two charities.

You can learn more at the official book web site.

Google Gains Foothold in China

CNC logoChina’s second largest fixed-line (“telephone”) operator, China Networks Communications Corp., has signed an agreement with Google for broadband users’ Internet search services. Google will provide a search bar on CNC’s broadband start page, CNCMAX.cn. CNC serves 16 million broadband customers through its subsidiary, China Netcom Broadband Corp.

The announcement come after Baidu’s 2006 gains, reported in February, and Google’s deal with China Mobile in January. Last September, China’s largest fixed-line operator, China Telecom, inked a deal with Microsoft. CT serves 25 million customers.

News coverage
didn’t indicate whether Google.com or Google.cn would be used for search results.

Google Confirms Click Fraud Rate is 0.02%

Back in December, I caused quite a storm, when I published data from Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder that suggested Google’s click fraud rate was less than 2% (and actually less than 0.2%).

Speaking with Ghosemajumder last week, it appears that story helped form Google’s strategy for coming clean on the actual numbers for click fraud.

Google has now confirmed that user-identified click-fraud (the clicks not already filtered by Google) is actually less than 0.02% of all Google clicks. In addition, the average rate of invalid clicks (Google’s term for clicks that are filtered automatically and not charged to advertisers) is less than 10% of all clicks.

Not publicized by Google – but I certainly stressed to them they should make a deal of – is that their click fraud numbers are vetted and audited by an outside company. These numbers are not just plucked out of the air by Ghosemajumder.

CBS Poaching Interactive Marketing CMO

The AP reports that CBS has hired Patrick Keane, a Google ad sales executive, as the Chief Marketing Officer of CBS Interactive. Keane was in charge of Google’s ad sales strategy. He’s now in charge of marketing CBS content on ‘emerging media platforms.’

From the AP article: “Keane . . . will be responsible for both monetizing CBS’ digital content and heading its online research, sales training and search engine optimization.

I googled Keane and oddly enough, the #1 result was a post from July 2004 on Search Engine Lowdown, by none other than our own Andy Beal. Its title? “Google’s Patrick Keane Afraid of Search Engine Optimizers.” Back in ’04, Keane spoke at AD:TECH. From the post: