Alexa Adds New Traffic Details

I noticed a change to the Alexa traffic reports late Friday, and have now found the official announcement from Alexa. They’ve added new data points including:

  • Geographic location of visitors.
  • Your site’s traffic rank in different countries.
  • Audience reach percentages.
  • Changing terminology to reflect latest data is from “yesterday” and not “today”.

Google Reader Changes, Now Every Blogger’s More Popular

It’s been an interesting weekend to watch the blogosphere’s fleeting excitement as one by one, they realize their RSS subscriber count hasn’t actually seen a huge increase, Google’s just made some changes to the way it reports Google Reader and Google Homepage subscribers.

That said, it’s still nice to see your Feedburner stats take a jump. :-)

Darren has more.

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Is Google Overrated? Danny Sullivan Fights Another Battle.

When Danny Sullivan’s not busy protecting the reputation of SEO, he’s off fighting crime protecting the reputation of Google.

In this month’s issue of Fast Company, Danny squares off against Donna Bogatin, and fights against claims that the world’s largest search engine is tapped out.

Google Plans AdWords Algorithm Change; Expects Complaints

UPDATE: It looks like Google’s pushed the button too early – and it could be the wrong button too. Lots of people are complaining that their Quality Score has gone crazy.


I just got off the phone with Google’s Nick Fox, Senior Business Product Manager for Ad Quality, and got the scoop on the upcoming changes to the AdWords Quality Score.

As we reported earlier today, Google is indeed planning a change to the Quality Score, with two major updates.

  1. The addition of a new column in AdWords campaigns, showing the Quality Score.
  2. A change to the Quality Score algorithm.

Fox explained the addition of the new column was Google’s effort to “improve transparency” and “make it easier to understand the quality score.” He also explained that Google hoped the new Quality Score information would “help advertisers optimize their ads.”

The new data will be available as early as tomorrow afternoon, which is a key move in anticipation of an algorithm tweak to the Quality Score in the next week or two. By being more transparent with the scoring, Google hopes to prevent any backlash that may come with the new algo.

While the new algorithm shift won’t be as dramatic as when Google introduced the landing page factors, Fox does expect to hear some complaining from advertisers. He confirmed that the new algo “will impact a fairly large number of keywords”, which might lead to a knee-jerk complaint by a large contingent of AdWords advertisers. However, Fox stressed the “bulk of the impact will be on keywords not driving traffic.”

Trusted Software Downloads Get in with Yahoo, Microsoft

TRUSTe logoTRUSTe has issued its first Trusted Download whitelist. The criteria to gain “Trusted Download” status included that the software is required:

to clearly communicate key functionalities, to obtain informed consumer consent prior to download, and provide an easy uninstall with clear instructions, among other requirements.

The Trusted Download program has already developed a receptive marketing plan. The press release (dated yesterday) states that

AOL, CA, CNET Networks, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo! will use the whitelist as a tool to help make business decisions related to advertising, partnering and distributing software products. By providing a whitelist of trusted applications, the program aims to provide attractive market incentives to software publishers to meet the requirements and earn certification.

Friday’s Links…

It’s Friday, which must mean it’s time to take a look at the Marketing Pilgrim link blog:

Some other notable items:

Lenoir Officials Abandoned Economic Study of Google Tax Incentives

Wow, it’s going to be hard for Lenoir and Caldwell County officials to keep justifying their decision, to provide Google with 30 years of tax breaks, when they didn’t even finish an economic study to see if a data center would be beneficial or not.

Local officials ran a computer analysis that determined a state job-creation grant of almost $5 million would generate more than $45 million in state revenue over 12 years. But they didn’t study whether committing to three decades of tax breaks made economic sense. “Intuitively, the numbers showed it was a good deal,” Lenoir City Manager Lane Bailey said Wednesday.

Oh cool, because there’s nothing us taxpayers trust more than the intuition of our elected officials.

Hat-tip Techdirt.