Click Fraud and the Emperor’s New Clothes

I am going to start this click fraud article the way I wish all other click fraud articles would start, by stating it is based on my opinion. Yes, I may show some stats, yes I may show some quotes, yes I may sound very confident in my words, but they are my opinion and are subjective. I think if all click fraud articles and surveys started this way, the perception of click fraud would be a lot different.

Click Fraud, An Interview With Myself:

Is click fraud real?
Yes, click fraud is real and it is happening, I have seen it myself.

Biting the Blogging Hand that Feeds

The Consumerist has a recap of how a blogger was bullied by Paramount for publishing an image from the upcoming Transformers movie.

While I understand a company’s need to protect themselves, it seems ridiculous to get pissed at bloggers for offering free publicity, especially when your company relies on publicity (as in the promotion of a new movie).

Ok, so the release of the image messed up Paramounts marketing efforts a little, but how many times have we seen hype build around a new release, because images were leaked by a blogger?

Maybe I’ll send the execs at Paramount a bag of Starbucks so they can wake-up and smell…well, you know the rest.

Channel Sponsors

Don’t Believe the Inbound Link Hype

We don’t often comment on SEO “how-to” posts – there are plenty of blogs that do that – but Andy Hagans wants to blow-away the myth that inbound links can’t hurt your site’s ranking.

Your neighborhood better maintain a certain level of trust — both trust IN and trust OUT — or you can kiss your rankings goodbye.

To put it another way…

1. You have six trusted links to your site, it’s ranking on page 2.
2. Then, add 10,000 untrusted links to your site. These should theoretically just “not count”, and you should still rank on page 2… right?

I think Andy’s example is the extreme, but does highlight how inbound links can hurt your SEO efforts. Flip it around – 10,000 trusted links to your site; 6 untrusted links – and you don’t have anything to worry about.

Searchers Pre-Map Search Engine Results

I’ve told Gord Hotchkiss he “rocks” on previous occasions – which he once told me helped him win some “cool” points with his kids. Well, his new article on search engine “pre-mapping” deserves the same accolade.

Here’s all you need to know about pre-mapping, from Gord’s article…

Pre-Mapping supposes that we’ve interacted with search results pages enough to know the sections of real estate we typically deal with. We know where the top sponsored ads are and what they are. We know about where the top organic listings start. And in our minds, we already have a good idea of the type of site we’re looking for and approximately where we expect it to appear. Before the page ever loads, we’ve already mapped out the sections that would appear to hold the greatest promise to deliver on our intent. As the page loads, we do a split-second scan to get our bearings (orient in the top left corner, see how many top ads there are, see where organic starts) and then we go to the part of the map we’ve predetermined to be our best starting point.

“Google” Officially a Verb, We’ve Got More For You

I don’t think I have ever said “google it”, but it appears enough other people have to warrant Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary adding the verb to it’s latest edition.

“Google is definitely a verb,” said Dan Reynolds, a 35-year-old salesman at YES Computers in Northampton. “Google has become like a secondary brain for a lot of people. If you want quick info on something, that’s what you do. You google it.”

Respectful of the trademark, Merriam-Webster lowercases the entry but maintains the capitalization while explaining that the verb means “to use the Google search engine” to retrieve online information.

“We’re defining a trademark as a verb, just like we did with the word xerox,” Morse said.

The looks at other popular names that have gone on to become verbs. Xeroxed and Photoshopped are well known examples.

eBay Decides to Ban Google Checkout

We reported on speculation that eBay may decide that Google Checkout is too much of a threat and use its “Safe Payments Policy” to prevent eBay sellers from using the PayPal rival.

Well, surprise! eBay has done just that, with this update to their policy:

Payment Services not permitted on eBay:,,,,,,, CCAvenue, ecount, e-gold,,, EuroGiro,, Google Checkout, gcash, GearPay,,,,, Liberty Dollars,,,,,,, paypay, Postepay,,,,, stamps, Stormpay,,

Why have a good clean fight, when you can handicap the competition instead?

Via Wingo.

Angry Customers Get Even With Video and Blogs

The Washington Post looks at how upset customers are no longer content to tell their neighbor, they’re out to tell the world with videos and blogs.

“This has been a wake-up call for these companies,” she said. “The day where you send a little letter to the CEO is over. In the age of technology, you have to be even more careful of how you treat your customers because you don’t know where they’re going to go. Now everything’s out in the open.”

There’s no doubt that voicing your complaint via a blog, is a powerful option right now (hence companies asking us to monitor their reputation). That said, it will be interesting to see at what point we start tuning out those that complain via their blog. After all, it takes less than 5 minutes to create an anonymous blog and make-up negative stories about a company. There’s no accountability and often no clue as to the perpetrator.