Thursday, November 24, 2005

Google

It's all Google; isn't it.

Google's just about noticed this new domain. The home page URL and the main blog index URL are in the index but the pages themselves have not been spidered.

Google Analytics
I was lucky enough to have a play with Google Analytics before it was released to the public. I thought at the time they had under-estimated how huge the impact would be. Google have just killed the cream in a previously cash rich industry. Who will pay for unsupported web analysis now?

Google Analytics' weakness is that it's entirely off the shelf and there's no support at all. If you're the type of webmaster or marketing manager who needs to have tracking set up "just so" then, even though it's free, Google Analytics may not be for you.

Google Analytics doesn't offer any bid management either. The system can take a peak at your AdWords costs and help calculate ROI but that's it.

Although the likes of Web Trends and Hitbox / WebSideStory are in big trouble, the 'Best of Breed' Coremetrics are fine and are bidding gurus like HitDynamics will be safe if they can push their product on.

Google Base
I like the idea of Google Base and I see its potential. The carrot being waved at us that what goes in Google Base might end up in Froogle or Google's main index. That's a pretty cheap and transparent carrot.

What Google Base lacks is the sense of community. I remember when Ciao and Dooyoo added the community features for the first time to their sites; it all took off then. I don't mean the advanced community features; just the ability to comment on other people's reviews.

I suspect we'll see more updates for Google Base. The URL http://base.google.co.uk is currently a blank page (rather than an error) so I suspect we'll see something there too. The original guidelines in Google Base insisted that any products added to the database must be for sale in the States and priced in dollars. That's just insane. That's anti-Google Base, in fact. We have Froogle US for that.

Click to Call
I think this is the most exciting PPC twist in a while (including the new contextual bidding rules). I pitty those SEO agencies who are contracted to long term deals with the minnows of pay-per-call technologies as they'll be fairly hamstrung now.

Google takes on the cost of the call. This could be interesting. This is also why, I guess, Google's been so interested in buying up dark fibres.

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