Did You Get Your Google Analytics Invitation Code?

Google Analytics expert, and good friend, Tim Seward, has launched the Unofficial Google Analytics blog.

He has word that Google is sending invitation codes to the first set of customers who submitted their email addresses for a Google Analytics account.

He also has a free one-hour online webinar, “How to turn Google Analytics into Pure Profit“. Tim was a guest speaker at a symposium we hosted in Raleigh, so I can attest that he knows his stuff.

Google Tests Local Ads on Maps

ClickZ has details of a new experiment Google is conducting with ads on Google Maps.

A search on “hotels” in New York City returns an organic list of local hotels, plotted on the map with red markers and bracketed by sponsored hotel listings, plotted on the map with blue markers. The same search in other locations, such as San Francisco, doesn’t yet return the paid listings.

This is probably one of Google’s most relevant use of advertising in recent months. Very cool.

Channel Sponsors

SunRocket Giving Bloggers a Bad Name

How many of you were offended with the Forbes article that labelled bloggers as an “online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective.”

Well, contests like “Everyday Hogwash” certainly don’t help. The contest encourages bloggers to complain about businesses in hope of winning prizes. That’s terrible.

Why do we want to encourage just the complainers? Why reinforce the negative image of bloggers? Surely the sponsor SunRocket could get the same publicity by encouraging both negative AND positive comments?

I think this reflects badly on SunRocket, so, ironically, consider this my entry to the contest.

SunRocket = Everday Hogwash! If I win, I’ll donate the money to Vonage! ;-)

Update: Aaron adds this is just “a link scheme sold as a contest that encourages bloggers to give companies negative plublicity.”

CBS and NBC Track Blog Buzz

Both CBS and NBC have launched new initiatives to track the most popular stories in the blogosphere.

CBS – With millions of sites floating through the blogosphere, who really has time to peek at even a fraction of them … especially if you’d like to keep your job. So Blogophile reads them for you with the weekly roundup of the buzz on must-read blogs. Blogophile is written by CBSNews.com’s Melissa P. McNamara.

NBC – So for this [NBC Dateline] segment, we read through some of the postings online and enlisted the help of two companies that monitor Internet buzz (Technorati and Blogpulse) to find the most blogged-about topics on the ‘Net this week.

Via Rubel.

Where Did You Shop During the Holidays?

Reuters has the latest Hitwise data for shopping-related web activity during December.

13% of all visites originated with eBay
11.1% Google (a 28% jump)
4.05% Yahoo Search
0.79% MSN
0.75% Amazon.com (surprised that wasn’t higher)

Thanks to David D!

The Next SEO Contest Phrase?

Did I miss the announcement for the next SEO contest. If the chosen phrase is “Quentin Pray”, my money is on this site. What in the world?!?

Europe Wants Its Own Google

AP reports that a consortium of French and German techies are putting together Quaero, Europe’s answer to Google.

Quaero epitomizes European ambitions especially for French President Jacques Chirac of creating alternatives to U.S. technological prowess. But facing off against super-rich, super-talented U.S. companies may prove daunting for the cumbersome consortium of European companies and public agencies hatching Quaero.

Quaero will not just be another search engine but will offer a set of tools for translating, identifying and indexing images, sound and text.

It’s almost sad to watch the French get so obsessed about the dominance of American technology. Why do they have to compete with Google just because it is American? Then again, they’re not alone, just look at the Japanese.