Viral Contest Campaign Case Study

I’m a huge fan of case studies. I find it inspiring to hear success stories. Sverre Sjøthun of SEOBomb has posted about his most recent viral campaign success for Crestock.com.

Sverre coordinated a photoshop contest with some very high profile judges and the results were amazing.

Crestock.com got 200,000 unique users from the contest, went on Digg, doubled their average daily traffic after the contest, got over 5000 new customers and increased their organic search engine traffic by 1258% – in one month!

With so much talk about linkbait and social media marketing lately, we tend to forget there has always been that traffic magnet for the web, viral campaigns. They are separate but the same. Most viral campaigns are linkbait but very few pieces of linkbait can be considered viral campaigns.

Search Engines Working on Human Rights Charter

The Register reports Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Vodafone are among a group of tech companies looking to create a code of conduct to protect freedom of expression online.

The companies announced their “intention to seek solutions to the free expression and privacy challenges faced by technology and communications companies doing business internationally”, according to a joint statement. Later this year the group of companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will produce “a set of principles guiding company behaviour when faced with laws, regulations and policies that interfere with the achievement of human rights”, said the statement. Those that commit to those principles will be held accountable to them, it said.

As the Register suggests, it will be interesting to see how this will work, in light of Google and Yahoo’s apparent willingness to concede to oppressive governments such as China.

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Overture Suggestion Tool Obituary

Over at DM News, Sara Holoubek has written an ode to the Yahoo/Overture keyword suggestion tool. For years it was a vital part of any search marketer’s toolbox, but with the upgrades to Panama, it looks like it’s headed for the grave – or at least retirement to the land of misfit search engine tools.

Sara sums-up its demise…

It wasn’t until I held a recent Search 101 seminar that I realized just how much the tool had aged. Like an elder relative, the tool fell asleep frequently at the table. Sometimes it just didn’t make any sense at all. On a call with some Yahoo employees, my greatest fears were confirmed: The tool would not longer be supported in the near future.

Campaign to Reduce Wikipedia’s PageRank to Zero

Stop Wikipedia's NOFOLLOW! When news spread that Wikipedia was going to add the “NOFOLLOW” attribute to all external links, in an effort to reduce spam, I suggested that the issue could be resolved if everyone linking to Wikipedia, added a NOFOLLOW and effectively reduce the value of a Wikipedia link. That would take care of the issue in the same blinkered way that Wikipedia deemed appropriate.

That sentiment appeared to resonate with a few other bloggers, so I’ve decided to turn it more into a campaign. Until Wikipedia realizes that its popularity (and link value) has only come about because hundreds of thousands of lowly webmasters linked to the site without using the NOFOLLOW tag, I plan to include NOFOLLOW on any future links to Wikipedia and will display the above logo on my site as a battle-cry to rally others.

Removing MyBlogLog Widget – Too Slow Today

Just an FYI, the MyBlogLog widget is not loading well today and is causing extremely slow page load times. I’ve removed it from the page, until they fix the issue.

If anyone from MBL or Yahoo wants to leave a comment once it’s fixed, I’ll gladly add it back.

In the meantime, anyone else noticed the slowdown today?

UPDATE: Thanks to Eric for stopping by and explaining the lag was due to a server issue. All is well again, so I’ve put back the widget.

Google Releases Confidential User Information

Google's Security Guard While last week’s suggestion that Yahoo was switching browser preferences without explicit permission, was a black mark for the company, it doesn’t come close to the allegations that Google has revealed confidential information about its users.

TechCrunch is reporting that Google’s anti-phising blacklist contained confidential usernames and passwords of individuals, including logins for bank accounts etc.

Google has not publicly discussed the error, although they quietly removed the offending data. They have, however, acknowledged it in email correspondence with Finjan, which was forwarded to me. Google has since removed the confidential data.

Ok, I can take a search engine switching my settings, but dumping my username and passwords on to the web? Very bad! Especially as Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Marketing Pilgrim how AOL’s screw-up would not happen at Google.

The Godfather of Search? What About the Godmother?

Last week I received a quick email from Jeremy Shoemaker, asking me who I thought the “Godfather of Search” was. Shoemoney explained that he had heard many difference responses to that question, so wanted to blog about it. Seeing that “Search” has different connotations in our industry – “search marketing” or “search industry – I asked him which he meant. Wanting my initial gut reaction, he didn’t want to clarify his question any further. Fair enough, so I gave him this answer…

I’d have to say Larry Page. Assuming “godfather” means the person that controls a specific industry and has all the power, you’d have a hard time finding anyone with more power than Page (and sidekick Sergey Brin). Without PageRank, we’d have no Google, and without Google, search would not be what it is today. Google controls search, Page and Brin control Google.