Google “Tip” at Top of Search Results

While doing a site search today that included the word “blog” in the domain I noticed something new. At the very top of the search results was an ad disguised as what Google called a “Tip.”

Blogger Ad

I tested additional keyword searches for which Google has related or competing services but they seem to be drinking their own koolaid and running Adword ads for their other branches. Blog searches seem to be the only results which contain this type of ad.

I find it deceptive on their part to call this a “Tip.” This is a blatant ad which I’m sure is getting some amazing CTR due to having the only other image on the page besides the logo.

Anyone else see this type of ad for any other Google service?

Google Shutting Out Tool Developers with API Removal

You may not have heard but Google has closed their Google Search SOAP API and replaced it with a new Google Ajax Search API.

What’s the big deal? The new API doesn’t easily allow third-party tool developers to utilize Google search results. So why in the world would Google take such a backward step? One reason, the new API allows them to better control how developers use Google’s search results.

Existing users of the API will still be supported.

Channel Sponsors

9 Cost-Effective PPC Branding Strategies

Pay-per-click advertising can be very effective channel for increasing your brand’s reach but PPC branding campaigns are often cost prohibitive. Bidding to top positions for your industry’s core terms is an excellent way to expose your brand to new audiences but the “short term ROI be-damned” strategy is usually risky business. Below are 9 strategies to help you build your brand without burning through your spend.

  1. Start with the campaign structure and creatives. Separate your branded terms from your other terms so that your ads’ creatives can be more easily controlled. Searches for your branded terms should always trigger ads with strong brand-based titles and messaging instead of your more traditional ads for industry terms.

Arbitrage Defined

Arbitrage is a hot topic these days. American Heritage Dictionary defines arbitrage as “The purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on another market in order to profit from a price discrepancy.”

A YouTube video titled Adwords Abuse which was uploaded back in April has begun re-circulating. The video highlights some of the issues surrounding arbitrage but it only discusses one form of the problem. Arbitrage is not a one size fits all practice.

So let’s look at the different types of arbitrage.

PPC / Adsense Arbitrage 1.0
A website or web page which contains no content. The page is filled with PPC ads such as Adsense or Yahoo Search Partner Ads. This is the most blatant form of Arbitrage and the one the majority of people are talking about.

Ask.com Testing New Interface at Ask X

Read/WriteWeb has discovered a secret interface being tested by Ask.com. Ask X takes normal search results and applies the same 3-panel design we first saw with their new Ask City tool.

PayPal Has No Answer to Google Checkout

The NYT takes a look at Google efforts to take market share away from eBay’s PayPal. The two are in a battle for the right to process credit card payments of companies looking for an alternative to merchant accounts.

What’s interesting is that PayPal doesn’t appear to be concerned with Google’s onslaught. Despite Google offering free payment processing until the end of 2007 and consumer incentives such as $20 off a $50 purchase, PayPal isn’t responding. Why? Well for one thing, it doesn’t need to…

Checkout’s gains have not necessarily heralded a PayPal decline. A Goldman Sachs report this week said that based on conversations with various merchants, Checkout appeared to be making gains against traditional payment options and that PayPal’s share of online transactions was also growing.

Welcome Jeremy Luebke and Scott Woodard!

I told you to expect some fresh faces at Marketing Pilgrim. We’ve already announced Jordan will be adding her expertise to the blog – even Ben Wills is threatening to come out of retirement – and today we announced the addition of Jeremy Luebke and Scott Woodard as contributing bloggers.

Both Jeremy and Scott entered our SEM scholarship contest and both bring strong experience and writing talent. Jeremy has his own blog, so is not new to blogging and I’ve known Scott for years (we worked together at WebSourced).

Here’s a little about them…

Jeremy Luebke