Perhaps it was lucky fate that Anders Hjorth (of Relevant Traffic, a European SEM agency) and I didn’t have too much time to compare notes going into the panel “Tuning Ads for Quality Score” at SMX Stockholm last week. Fortunately, the presentations didn’t overlap too much. The interesting thing is the overlapping conclusions we drew from what appear to be similar client experiences. Here I’d like to give you yet another update on quality-based bidding based on common conclusions drawn by detailed analyses such as mine and Anders’ (and where they overlap), look at popular perceptions of Google’s initiative as gleaned from talking with typical attendees, and finally, look at how the overall task of paid search stacks up against the strategies typically required of those vying to rank higher on the organic side. Overlapping conclusions Whether you call it reverse-engineering or just plain observation, Anders and I agree that there is an extremely … [Read more...] about The Mysteries of Ad Quality Revealed (Yet Again)
06 slip on rocker panel
In response to an EU letter over data retention, Google has announced that it will now anonymize server log data after 18 months, rather than the previous maximum time it had announced of 24 months. It is also reconsidering how long its cookies last. It’s nice to see Google make such a fast, responsive move, though it is reacting to something that felt more like a political show rather than a real effort to improve privacy protection. The EU privacy group that sent the letter can feel it got a result. Google can look like it perhaps protected privacy more, but some important core issues remain unresolved — though Google shines hope on the idea of a digital dashboard or console to put users directly in control of all their private data with the company. And will a new privacy summit being called for happen? Google Announced Log Anonymizing Program To understand today’s announcement, let’s go back in time. Google Anonymizing Search Records To Protect Privacy from … [Read more...] about Cutting Raw Log Retention Time; Reconsidering Cookie Expiration
Yesterday, Click Forenics released its quarterly Click Fraud Index showing a purported increase in click fraud from 14.2 percent in Q4 ’06 to 14.8 percent in Q1. By contrast, Google argues that “click fraud” constitutes less than 0.02 percent of all clicks. Chris Sherman earlier summarized the Click Forensics findings. Click Forensics’ CEO Tom Cuthbert was on the “Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues” panel at SES last week, which was one of the most interesting and contentious panels I attended at the conference. Also on the panel were Click Tracks CEO John Marshall, Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder and Yahoo’s new VP of Marketplace Quality Reggie Davis. Marshall took the position that it was often difficult to distinguish click fraud from poorly performing ads and used a case study to illustrate the point. He said that catching click fraud will necessarily involve a combination of machine detection and human scrutiny and that no … [Read more...] about Click Fraud Remains A Contentious Issue
Compete is out with its latest search marketshare report for June 2007, showing that MSN/Windows Live Search has posted a dramatic rise since last month. This appears to be do to the Live Search Club promotion that’s going on. Below, a look at the trend, a history of how giveaways for search have and haven’t worked, as well as some revisiting to past issues with Compete’s figures. First the figures. Below is the share of searches in the United States estimated to happen at each service, based on the ISP data, traffic panel data and toolbar tracking information that Compete gathers: You can see that after a constant climb since October 2006, Google finally sees a drop to 62.7 percent, down from a high of 67.0 percent for May 2007. Microsoft’s Windows Live & MSN Search service are the beneficiaries, jumping from 8.4 percent in May 2007 to 13.2 percent in June. Here’s the complete June 2007 rundown: Google: 62.7% Yahoo: 19.6% MSN/Windows Live: 13.2% Ask: … [Read more...] about Microsoft Gaining Searches; Live Search Club Giveaway Working?
All of the current search engine market share reporting entities (comScore, Hitwise, SimilarWeb and others) utilize technology-based tracking, and I wanted to see if a survey panel-based approach would yield the same results. What I discovered was only somewhat surprising. My results, placing Google at the top with 80 percent of the market, differed significantly from comScore’s 67 percent; but my findings were in line with most of the Google Analytics accounts I had seen, which show Google generating between 80 percent and 90 percent of all organic visits. Last year, I was at a loss to explain the discrepancy between my survey data and comScore’s data, but I chalked it up to how demographics might be weighted in comScore’s panel. Nonetheless, even if comScore’s methods might be undercounting Google, they should accurately follow directional shifts. In October 2014, comScore reported that Google had 67.3 percent of the market, Bing (called Microsoft Sites) had … [Read more...] about Is Google’s Search Market Share Actually Dropping?