Playing Blog Tag – 5 Things You Don’t Know About Andy Beal

OK, so when I first heard about “blog tag”, it sounded like one of those chain-emails, you know the ones – “Pass this on to someone else and you’ll receive good luck.”

After being tagged by blogging-buddy Avinash, I figured it might be fun to share the requisite five things you don’t know about me. So here goes…

  1. Not many people know that I didn’t go to college. Growing up in England, there’s not quite the pressure to get a college degree. Even so, I just couldn’t stand the thought of sitting still in a classroom over a 4 year period. So I grabbed my A-levels and scarpered.
  2. You can trace my ancestors back to Sir Christopher Wren – he being the famous architect who designed England’s St. Paul’s Cathedral and helped rebuild London after the great fire.

Searching Patents Now Easier Thanks to Google

Patent searching has always been a pain, but Google’s hoping to make it a little easier with their Google Patent Search.

According to ZDNet, the service…

…is designed to sift through the approximately 7 million U.S. patents by a variety of parameters including filing date, issue date, patent number and inventor.

It’s not exactly at full speed yet, as Google’s still working on some functionality.

…software engineers are still working on functions that allow patent searchers to easily save and print the patent information that they look up…In addition, Google’s site does not currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued since mid-2006.

Who knew that lipstick was patented?

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Do You Know Your SEO Myths From Your Facts?

SEO guru Lee Odden must be getting tired of hearing the same old objections to implementing an SEO campaign, as he has posted five myths of SEO.

Here’s the list:

  1. “Search Engine Optimization is a collection of tricks to fool search engines“.
  2. “People in our market don’t use search engines.”
  3. “SEO is a single event”
  4. “SEO is a function of IT”
  5. “Our site doesn’t get a lot of visitors, so SEO wouldn’t work for us.”

Read the full article for detailed insights to each myth and some bonus stuff too!

Does Your Blog Have a Disclosure Policy?

With more pressures on bloggers to disclose their business relationships, Weblog Tools Collection points to a neat WordPress plugin that helps bloggers set up their own disclosure policy.

Just last week, I added a disclosures page on Marketing Pilgrim, so there would always be a place where you could view my relationships with any company discussed (in case I forgot). With pay per review becoming a hot option for bloggers, it seems that if you want to blog with integrity, you should disclose who you’re in bed with.

So, what do you do on your blog? Do you have a disclosure policy? Do you keep partnership details a secret? What should be included in a good disclosure policy?

Virgin Mobile Taps JumpTap for Mobile Search Technology

Virgin Mobile and JumpTap have announced a partnership that will see JumpTap’s mobile search engine technology powering Virgin’s cell phones.

Launching in February, this new search functionality will make it simple for Virgin Mobile customers to quickly discover the broadest amount of content they’re looking for, both within Virgin Mobiles own suite of content (i.e., on-portal), as well as out on the mobile Web (off-portal).

The deal not only enhances the search experience for Virgin Mobile’s cell phone users, but also opens up new advertising options with relevant sponsored links being delivered alongside organic search results.

Hat-tip to Ben Wills.

Can Yahoo Really Surpass Google in 2007?

Venture capitalist Paul Kedrosky is predicting Yahoo can outperform Google in 2007. His reasons include:

  • Yahoo needs to grow earnings faster than Google to regain investor interest
  • It can do that by cutting costs, growing audience, acquisitions or improving monetization (or some combination of all four)
  • It is easier to drive monetization than to increase audience markedly, and acquisitions are a mug’s game without better monetization tools. Cutting costs is a non-starter.

I agree that Yahoo’s likely hit the bottom and is ready to bounce back, but I’m not convinced they’ll be able to gain enough momentum to outperform Google in the next twelve months. Looking beyond 2007, they could just do it, especially if the backbone of their new search marketing platform (Panama) is as robust as the front-end interface.

The Twelve Ways of Click Fraud

As I mentioned previously, while I’m more skeptical than most, when it comes to talk of click fraud rates being over 20%, I still like to provide balanced posts. Along that theme, I asked long-time reader, and resident click fraud aficionado, Mike O’Krongli, to share his thoughts on Google’s click fraud filtering and balance out my original post.

If you’ve read Mike’s scary post describing how click fraud “zombies” could inflict massive amounts of click fraud, without being detected, you’ll appreciate his “Twelve Ways of Click Fraud” (sung to the tune of 12 days of Christmas, how festive!).

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The 12 Ways of Click Fraud

     This week while humming along to the 12 days of Christmas, I counted 12 reasons to question Google’s estimate of only 2% click fraud.

     1. Google earned $ 1.52 per month last quarter for every internet user over the age of 4 that use the internet 1 day a month (109 million)  Less than 50% of internet users use the Google search engine.  When you consider that many users do not click on PPC ads at all, the ones who do must click on a larger number.

     2.  There are many other things occupying the time of internet users besides search.  Video has become very popular and in the first year of YouTube.com’s life, over 9,000 years of video had been watched.  Email, Instant Messaging and sites like MySpace would also take time away from clicking on a PPC link.

     3.  I question the steady increase in PPC revenue quarter over quarter.  Other forms of internet advertising have always experienced a drop in interest over time.  One of the main reasons I don’t click on PPC ads is because I find them to be ineffective.  Any that I have clicked on turned out to be disappointing.