Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Yahoo SearchLight Awards Next Week

Yahoo asked us nicely – so we’re obliging – if we’d let all search marketers know about the upcoming Searchlight Award Show.

The 2007 Yahoo! Searchlight Award Show celebrates the best and brightest in search advertising. A panel of industry experts will evaluate four agency campaigns and the audience will vote for the winner. This is an exclusive event for marketers and advertising agencies, featuring a keynote address by Laura Desmond, CEO Starcom MediaVest Group, on industry issues and the opportunities facing today’s marketers. The event will be an enjoyable and entertaining celebration of creativity in marketing.

The event is Feb 22 at the Time-Life Building in New York. You can register here.

Note: No tchotckes or logoed apparel were exchanged as part of this announcement. We did it ‘cos they asked politely. ;-)

Yahoo Leaks Continue; Why Doesn’t this Happen to Google?

OK, so TechCrunch has acquired a copy of an email sent out to all Yahoo employees, by CFO Susan Decker. It’s a long-winded memo highlighting restructuring and promotions (congrats to Tim Cadogan).

I’m not going to re-hash the entire email, but I do want to ask this (not so) rhetorical question:

“What does the leaking of internal emails say about the morale and unity at Yahoo?”

It’s interesting that while getting this kind of stuff from Google is like getting blood out of a stone – Google employees are very loyal to the vision – Yahoo employees are leaking this stuff out to the public.

If Yahoo is going to make a legitimate attempt to gain ground on Google, it needs to look within the core. It’s going be tough to fight the battle, if you don’t have the loyalty and support of the troops.

Omniture Acquires Touch Clarity

ClickZ is reporting web analytics firm, Omniture, has acquired Touch Clarity, a site-side behavioral targeting and analysis firm.

Utah-based Omniture said the deal should be completed before the end of the first quarter. In addition to spending up to $51.5 million to acquire the privately held, London-based Touch Clarity, Omniture will spend about $8.5 million for assumed vested stock options, the company said.

The acquisition will give Omniture the ability to analyze user behavior, alongside their existing analytics, and bring 50 employees and clients such as AOL and British Telecom to the mix.

Google Invests in Venture Capital Funds in India

Google has already gone on record that India is going to be a country to watch over the next few years. Now it has literally put its money, where its mouth is, and invested in two early stage Indian VC funds, Seedfund and Erasmic.

“While the rush of large amounts of venture capital into India is well-documented, very little of this trickles down to small firms – the early-stage startups. Our effort is to build this gap by investing in these funds,” said Samir Sood, head (corporate development – South Asia), Google.

India is reportedly one of the first countries to receive this kind of investment from Google.

Wall Street Journal Gives Thumbs-up to Link Baiting

Hat’s off to Kelly Spors for helping to keep WSJ readers up to date on the latest marketing buzz. In today’s weekly roundup of news, she explains the art of link baiting…

Here’s a new catchphrase in search-engine optimization these days: Link baiting.

Time to Say Goodbye to the NoFollow Tag?

Over at SEJ, Loren provides 13 reasons why the NoFollow tag simply sucks. My favorite?

Linking to someone with a NoFollow attribute is a sign of not trusting them. It’s like reaching to shake someone’s hand, but stopping to put on a pair of latex gloves.

Loren’s also turned off the default nofollow for links in comments. It’s a bold move, and I’ll be watching to see if it impacts the amount of spam or quality of comments.

We’re also going to be testing a new plugin which will reward loyal commentators with a link without the “nofollow” attribute. Stay tuned!

Google Sharing AdWords Quality Score?

According to an email received by Shimon Sandler, Google is gearing-up to start letting AdWords advertisers see their Quality Score.

…we’re making improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score to set minimum bids for keywords. First, we will be launching an optional Quality Score column to provide you with more transparency into the Quality Score for your keywords. Second, we made improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score for all keywords. This change will allow us to more accurately set minimum bids for keywords where the system does not have a significant amount of data.

Sharing the quality score of ads is something that Yahoo decided to do, with the launch of their new platform. It’s interesting to see Google following Yahoo’s lead for a change.