Meet Ben Wills at SES Chicago – Free Beer!

Ben Wills has been a busy boy since winning our SEM Scholarship contest. The newly established social media marketing consultant will be at Search Engine Strategies in Chicago, signing autographs and explaining exactly how to take advantage of social networks.

Just in case you don’t happen to see Ben while zipping between sessions, he and I will spend some time propping up the hotel bar, and we’d love for you to join us. As an extra incentive, I’ll buy a drink for the first 25 people that catch Ben and I at the bar – we’re not sure when, so you’ll have to just keep an eye open. You’ll need to find both of us – ‘cos I’ll be the one buying. ;-)

The Best Internet Marketing News this Friday

Things have been a little quiet around here, as I have been onsite with a client. I barely made it out of Indiana before the snow came in.

With little time left in the day, here’s a summary of what caught my blogging-eye today.

Channel Sponsors

SoloSEO.com Offers SEO Project Management Tools

I’m excited to bring you news of the launch of SoloSEO, a brand new project management solution for search engine optimization. I’ve been working with founder, Michael Jensen over the last few months – consulting on the development and launch – and I am blown away by what SoloSEO is able to offer.

While software for search engine optimization has existed for years, there really hasn’t been a solution that allows you to set-up, track, manage and progress your SEO campaign…until now (see screenshots).

SoloSEO allows both the novice, and SEO expert alike, to manage a campaign from soup-to-nuts. It’s packed full of features, comes with a 14-day, no obligation free trial and is just $29 per month (for up to 5 web sites).

Google Answers Closes, No Admission of Failure from Google

Google Answers is a failure – Google has finally admitted it. Well, actually, they didn’t go that far. They’ve announced the closure of Google Answers, but they’re downplaying the fact that it was a big flop.

Google Answers was a great experiment which provided us with a lot of material for developing future products to serve our users.

Actually, by charging a fee for answers, you were actually hoping Google Answers would become a viable revenue stream. And, if it was just an experiment, why did it come out of beta? Why not admit that Yahoo Answers kicked your butt, because they decided not to monetize their service?

Just Say "No" to Voluntary Blogging Code

I’m sure someone like Robert Scoble would be all for the UK’s Press Complaints Commission’s suggestion that bloggers should hold themselves to a voluntary code of conduct, but I say “hell no!”

The BBC is reporting the Press Complaints Commission director, Tim Toulin, suggested the idea.

He said a voluntary code of practice would allow content to be checked without government involvement, stressing: “We’re not in favour of regulating the internet. The flow of information should not be regulated by any government.”

It shouldn’t be regulated by anyone or anything, period! If you want to go ahead an keep professional journalists – those that report for newspapers etc – on a tight leash, go ahead. But, how in the world do you apply standards to bloggers, when they range from 13 year olds talking about the teacher they hate, to retirees who happen to favor a particular political party.

Google’s Secret CPM Ad Network

Darren Rowse points to a post by John Chow that reveals details of an ad network that Google uses for Fortune 1000 companies.

The Google Display Advertising Network was created so Google can go after Fortune 1000 companies, which buy advertising to build a brand more than to sell a product…The goal being to sell these big companies display and video ads at a very high CPM – unlike the AdSense network, the display network is 100% CPM based.

I recall hearing rumors – or maybe just speculating myself – that this network existed, but it’s interesting that Google is breaking with the tried and trusted CPC model. I wonder if John Battelle is aware that Google is not content with the “milk” of advertising (CPC) and is now going after the “cream” (CPM) – John’s analogy, not mine.

Why I’m Recommending Mozy for Free Online Backups

Regular readers will notice the addition of Mozy as a Marketing Pilgrim advertiser. I try to be selective about which affiliate ads I run on the site, as I don’t want to fill the site with crap I would never use.

Mozy’s free online backups are awesome! Scott W first suggested I check it out and so I did last week. It’s simple to use, and offers 2GB of free online back-ups – enough for storing vital files – and it’s less than $5 a month for 30GB, if you need it.

Click to enlarge screenshotHere’s what you get…

  • 2GB of free, secure storage
  • Open/locked file support
  • Block-level differential backup
  • 128-bit SSL support (to secure your data during transport)
  • 448-bit Blowfish encryption (to secure your data on our server)
  • Continuous or scheduled backup options