March 9, 2006
Contextual advertising isn’t something I follow as closely as I could, I admit. However, this article from Google definitely caught my attention. I’ve been aware of Google’s click fraud policies for quite some time, in a general sense. That is, I knew that they didn’t want advertisers to have to pay just because some jerk who didn’t like your company maliciously tried to inflate your advertising bills. I’ve never known much, however, about how they dealt with this or how it worked.
However, the article draws your attention not only to the relatively obvious source of information, but to a very recent question and answer post from the official AdWords blog. The post provides a lot of great information about just what click fraud is and how it works.
Of course, they don’t share a lot of details about their technology. This is probably for the best, since there are certainly people about who would immediately find ways to thwart their detection system. However, it does give us alot of general purpose information about their techniques and an impression of their concern.
In general, they sound dedicated to the issue, to me. The post on the main Google blog is all about the impending resolution to a lawsuit concerning their click fraud policies and it seems that this law suit has resulted in continuing refinement and analysis of the issues.
March 8, 2006
Microsoft has a justified reputation for arrogance. Not only do they produce the buggiest browser on the market, they believe that nobody should use anything else. Seriously, folks – I understand that Microsoft networks are likely to encourage people to use their own products. That’s totally reasonable. However, the logical train of thought would be to offer extra functionality for the favored browser – not eliminate access for alternate browsers.
In this day and age, the web designers mantra should be about accessibility. In my other blog, I’ve recently posted about design for the deaf, accessibility for the learning disabled, and designing for mobile devices. I considered design for alternate browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera to be so fundamental that it’s incorporated into my core design philosophy. Yet Microsoft considers that 10% of the marketplace to be so insignificant that they will not even allow them to sign up for the system. In fact, that 10% may not even function with the system! Your ads may never be seen by individuals using alternate browsers.
And to add insult to injury, MSN’s official solution was to advise customer service reps and customers to switch to IE6, posts Danny Sullivan, at Search Engine Watch. It’s well worth noting that, according to Tyson Kirksey, IE7 doesn’t function with adCenter either. So, clearly, if you’ve committed the sin of wanting to test IE7, you’ll need to revert to IE6 to use this Microsoft product.
It’s a well known opinion that the majority of tech professionals are inclined to use alternate browsers. Thus, it should have occurred to Microsoft that their disinclination to support these browsers could have a rapid backlash in the tech community. When so many people in the higher-regions of SEO industry discussion immediately notice these problems, the word that gets out is not good.
I think that my opinions are apparent in this article – but Microsoft probably won’t notice.
February 28, 2006
Although I have to say I don’t care much for their brand name, Dumbfind has certainly got an interesting idea. This new search engine, currently in Beta, is offering a subtly different advertising scheme for contextual advertising.
Their product is designed around the popular "taggin" which is done for blog posts on Technorati, for links on Ma.gnolia and “Del.icio.us and for images with Flickr. The idea is that you pick a few tags for you advertisement, and your ads will be delivered to sites and search results pages which are related to those tags.
Unlike all the sites I mention above, the tags at Dumbfind will not be produced by human decision – instead, the search engine will automatically analyze the sites and apply tags.
For the advertiser, the advantage is that you will not be picking specific keywords where your ad will only be shown for that set of searches. Instead, you can pick a few tags that are relevant to your product and have all searches which results in pages with those tags bring up your ad.
If the Dumbfind tagging algorithm really works, this could be a great product. If not, well . . . there are a lot of search engines, and a lot of great ideas at the feet of crumbled businesses. The biggest question for me is how carefully they’ll be able to protect against spam sites – it all comes down to their tagging algorithm.
While in Beta, the site is offering a promotional deal for free ads. Any free ad created during this promotional period will last for 60 days – at no charge. It can hardly hurt to experiment with the site right now!
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