Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Google Checkout Now Free

As we reported last week, Google has indeed made Checkout free until the end of the year.

According to the Google Checkout site…

  • From November 8 through December 31, 2006, we’ll process all of your Checkout transactions for free, even if you aren’t an AdWords advertiser. If you’re already an AdWords advertiser, we’ll process your Checkout transactions for free regardless of what you spend on AdWords.*
  • Valid Checkout orders you receive during the promotion will automatically qualify.
  • There’s no limit: we’re processing all of your Checkout sales for free.
  • You can take full advantage of this promotion by encouraging your buyers to use Google Checkout on your site.

Google Expands Print Ads

Just because Google’s initial effort to bring its bidding platform to print ads failed, doesn’t mean the company is giving up.

ClickZ reports Google is taking another shot at the lucrative print ad space with the “alpha” launch of a new system that connects advertisers with more than 50 traditional print publishers. Print publishers already lined-up include The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gannett, The Seattle Times, The Philadelphia Enquirer, and The McClatchy Company.

Publishers will have final approval on which ads they accept and Google claims the system is targeted at smaller advertisers who would not normally use a newspaper’s direct sales channel.

Turn.com Hopes to Challenge Google’s AdSense

A new ad network called Turn has launched, and it’s hoping to bring some sophisticated technology to the contextual advertising space.

With $18 million in VC backing and more than 1,000 advertisers and 30 publishers already in place, Turn offers a unique twist on a channel that is dominated by Google’s AdSense.

According to the Turn website, here’s what they believe sets them apart:

  • Automatic targeting. Whether you’re an advertiser or publisher, all you have to do is submit your ad or URL. Turn will automatically analyze it and select the most relevant and effective placement. Turn eliminates the complexity of manual targeting and managing keywords and bid prices with technology that automatically selects the best graphical or text ads for any placement.
  • Blended targeting. Turn uses sophisticated algorithms to blend more than 60 relevance variables rather than just one or two, the common practice of most networks.
  • Bidded CPA pricing model. Turn lets advertisers pay only for the actual performance they want.

SEM Scholarship’s Four Finalists Go Before Judges

So, we now have our four finalists for the $6,000 Search Engine Marketing Scholarship contest. Congratulations to:

Each of the four finalists did an excellent job in writing and promoting their article, achieving the most unique views for their respective week. Now the contest switches from “who can get the most views” to “who can impress our expert judges”.

Yep, the four finalists will now go under the scrutiny of some of the world’s most respected search marketing experts. Each judge will select their favorite article based purely on merit.

Final SEM Scholarship Finalist Announced

Week 4 of our SEM Scholarship contest has concluded and we have our fourth and last finalist.

Congratulations to Ben Wills who wins the third round with his entry – “The Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing“. Ben’s entry carried the most unique views of all our entries in week 4, with a huge total of 1,153 unique views to his page, winning by 400 unique views! It was a close battle again this week, with a couple of entries making a mid-week challenge to Ben’s, but his entry had the stamina to attract views all week.

Ben wins a copy of “Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Dayâ€? and “Please Ring Bell for Serviceâ€? and qualifies as one of four finalists, who will face our expert panel of judges, to determine who will win the $6,000 grand prize package.

Amazon Launches PPC Ads

Amazon’s realized that it’s about time it launch its own sponsored search product for Amazon.com. With the beta launch of Clickriver Ads, Amazon will offer pay-per-click advertising using the “bid + performance” model made popular by Google and soon to be adopted by Yahoo.

Clickriver Ads provides the opportunity to advertise services and products that complement the selection on Amazon.com, via sponsored links that display on search result pages and product detail pages. With this advertising program, you can engage online shoppers during the entire shopping experience — as they shop, browse and search on Amazon.com.

We welcome service providers of all types to apply to join the Clickriver beta — in travel, finance and investment, training and education, entertainment, insurance, healthcare and physical fitness, IT assistance and consulting, photo printing and more. We also welcome retailers, who want to advertise products that complement those sold on Amazon.com, to apply.

Yahoo Listens to Advertisers Launches Food Site

Give Yahoo credit for listening to the needs and requests of their advertisers. The company has launched   in response to growing demands from advertisers.

The new site will have content supplied by partners such as Allrecipes.com, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Everyday with Rachel Ray and Wolfgang Puck.

 

According to ClickZ, Yahoo Food launches with sponsors already in place.

The site goes live with Kraft as the premier marketing partner. Additional advertisers include Masterfoods USA, Sheraton Hotels and LendingTree. The food category attracts both endemic advertisers and those outside the category, according to Brown, due to its lifestyle and life-stage relevancy.

Yahoo plans to utilize its behavioral targeting tools to deliver relevant ads.