Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Google Adds Diagnostic Tool to AdWords

Barry reports Google has gone live with a diagnostic tool – which it began testing back in October – and can now be accessed by all AdWords users.

The tool helps advertisers quickly identify which ads are running and which are not, with suggested recommendations for fixing non-running ads.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt at Web 2.0 Summit

Dan Farber has a good summary of John Battelle’s chat with Eric Schmidt at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit.

Here’s what stood out for me.

1. On why Google acquired YouTube…

“YouTube was growing faster [than Google Video] and video became fundamental data type on the Internet, so that’s why we bought them.,” Schmidt said.

2. On potential copyright issues with YouTube…

“We have visited with as many media companies as we can,” Schmidt said. “We have to respect copy right.”

3. On allowing Google users to have access to their own search data…

“We would like to do that, as long as it is authenticated….If users can switch it keeps us honest.”

4. On not competing with Microsoft Office…

Text Link Ads Acquired

TechCrunch reports TextLinkAds.com, which sells text links, has been acquired by New York advertising firm, Media Whiz.

Details of the deal have not been released.

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.