Image by birdfarm via Flickr
Image by birdfarm via Flickr
Image by LexnGer via FlickrDay #2 of SES London kicked off with industry expert Bryan Eisenberg sharing more than 20 tips to help improve website conversion. The 9am session was standing room only. This year SES feels far busier than it did last year.
I thought it would be interesting to see how well Google Buzz has kept up with the buzz around SES London.
Twitter is being used a lot (despite weaker than ideal wifi) and there's a lovely widget showing correctly tagged tweets being projected on the wall.
Turns out Google Buzz's search option isn't the best way to see what's been said. The caveat I need to rollout here is that I've not had much chance to poke Buzz's search functionality. I've not attempted to peer into the algorithm yet.
The first thing to note is that Google Buzz's search does not do in-word phrase matches. Searching for #ses does not bring back buzzes for #ses1.
As it turns out (and as many people will say 'told you so') Google Buzz is a great way to find the lifestreams of people at the same event as you (ie; stalk).
As it happens a new Google Buzz search engine called Buzzzy made the spot light today. It doesn't do very well here - and doesn't even find any of my flood of tweets. It is new, though.
Microsoft isn't going to bow out of mobile. It's going to fight for the space. Well.. what else would you expect? Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, in Barcelona, they've launched Windows Phone: 7 series.
Check out the vid.
I picked this talk up after someone tweeted "Google maps is so dead". I remember thinking; "Yeah right" but I clicked on the link anyway but left the tab untouched for hours. Sorry; I don't recall who tweeted the comment.
Rather than weigh up whether Google Maps really are in trouble or whether Google's also well on the way to having technology like this. I'm just going to post the video.
I’ll be at Search Engine Strategies in February this year. I’m not speaking or moderating but I’ve managed to wrangle myself a press pass.
Woo-hoo! Now; one of the reasons I was able to secure such a prestigious pass is that I’ve covered SES in the past. In order to be a good press pass holder this year I want to do some typical bloggy things this year. For example, I’ve pestered the folks over at SES to let me do some Q&A style interviews before the event itself. I put David Szetela, CEO of Paid Search specialists Clix Marketing, in my targets for this mission and to my great fortune he stepped forward.
Q: We’re connected via TripIT and I see just how much travel you do. Does this mean the human touch and face to face meetings are still needed in today’s digital world? Is that a reflection on PPC automation?
Absolutely. It’s very difficult to establish and build good, tight relationships without at least occasional face-to-face contact. And there is an associated PPC automation metaphor. Personally I think the term is oxymoronic; all PPC automation software I’ve seen requires an experienced, skilled hand to operate it.
Q: You’re making the trip all the way to London for Search Engine Strategies and even if you were to depart from your New York office that’s quite some distance to travel. What value does a city like London hold when it comes to search marketing?
In addition to being one of the greatest city on earth, filled with wonderful, talented people and a rich history, it’s obviously an important business hub and a bridge between Western and Non-Western societies. Though I’ve visited here many times, I can’t claim to know the “PPC scene” here intimately – that’s one of the goals of my trip.
Q: Do you see any differences in Paid Search marketing when it comes to the UK and US? What about between the east and west sides of the States?
There are differences between any two locations of any size, and those differences can be leveraged to the benefit of knowledgeable PPC advertisers. I love those differences; I’m chuffed to be able to analyise the local colour. (Sorry; couldn’t resist.)
Q: You’re a speaker in the Advanced Paid Search Techniques session on Day Three. In fact, you’re the only speaker granted time in that session who is not also on the SES Advisory Board so it’s quite clear you’re an extremely heavy hitter in all-things Paid Search. What do you plan to address in your session?
I’ll be talking about the new Google ad formats – especially SiteLinks, product Extensions and Product Listings. My agency is getting great results from these for our clients, and I think they’re among the most exciting and impactful developments for PPC advertisers from the past year.
Q: What would be a good question for someone in the Search Engine Strategies audience to ask you?
Did you really wear Neil Young’s tie while giving a presentation several years ago?
Q: It’s not a sexy topic but the use of tokens for Google’s API and bid management can make or break paid search technology and strategies. Did Google do the right thing in rolling out a token based system? Do you see any pressure on the price of tokens?
I think the token system will eventually go away – and good riddance. It was put into place to govern the number of API calls a developer could make, and it’s an anachronism from days when bandwidth and hard disk space were tight. Once the limits are removed, I think we’ll see even more exciting features and functionality from third-party tool vendors.Q: Have you dabbled at all in alternative paid search offerings? OneRiot’s real time search or Pheedo RSS ads, for example. What’s your view? A distraction or a competitive advantage?
Q: Where do you see the future of Paid Search going? More mobile, click to call, greater use of rich media such as video?
Yes, yes and yes. Audience members will hear more about the future of non-text advertising during my SES London presentation; I also have a string of webcasts and presentations through the summer that will talk mainly about the short-term and mid-term future of advertising in general. In a nutshell, advertising will get more tightly targeted to people, places and times, and that will be good news for consumers and advertisers.
Q: There are certainly far fewer PPC focused blogs than there are SEO focused blogs. Which three PPC blogs, perhaps those not most commonly found in people’s RSS readers, would you recommend as worth following?
There are several very good ones, and we’ve listed them on the blogroll of my company’s blog, http://clixmarketing.com/blog. My top favorites are PPC Hero from my friends at Hannapin Marketing, Traffick.com from the erudite and well-coiffed Andrew Goodman, and he RKG blog from the Rimm Kaufmann Group.
We've had a few days of Google Buzz. It seems to be dividing people and although I'm hardly on any extreme I'm leaning more being pro-Buzz than anti-buzz.
One of the main points of Buzz is that it ramps up Google's content play. Imagine real-time search streams appearing for Google Search because people are Buzzing about something. People search Google and are driven back to Google. It's a Google win.
Just how many pages of Google Buzz could be found in the search results if you went looking today? More than 10,000.
Bing only has 32 pages indexed. What's interesting, though, is the names associated with the top ranks. The top ranked Buzzes in Bing, with no search term assigned, are;
Image via CrunchBaseIn the Norwegian version of Google's "Inside AdWords" blog the search giant has said it'll start to review, on request, websites for search reviews.
If you own a website, and have registered with Google Webmaster Tools, we encourage you to submit your site for participation by filling out this form with your website, contact person, phone number and e-mail address (this information will be used only in connection with this project and contact information will not be published in the article).
Posted by Andrew Girdwood at 9:31 p.m.
If you're one of the hundreds/thousands of Twitter users who have changed their password/reviewed their Oauth access then there's an update for you.
It turns out Grader was the source of the hacked tweet. They have been quick enough to tweet this;
Working on major issue causing some unauthorized user to tweet on behalf of Twitter Grader users. Sorry folks. We're on it.HubSpot have also been quick with some outreach (outbound communication?). My initial post was commented on by Pamela Seiple, PR Manager, HubSpot. Pamela says;
We're so sorry for the problem you and others experienced caused by some unauthorized user to tweet on behalf of Twitter Grader users today, but we can assure you were working hard (even as we speak) to understand and fix the issue. We'll keep you posted from the @Grader account.My guess is that there was no connection between the password reset of two weeks ago and today. That's good.
After a surprising tweet - from myself - I'm wondering whether I've made a mistake in using Twitter Grader to research Twitter users.
About ten days ago I was one of the bloggers who reported a force Twitter password reset. It sparked suggestions that Twitter was under attack. This could be a new hack? Has Grader been hacked? Or is there a connection?
Twitter's official response was one that suggested people shouldn't be using the same password and email combination across the net and problems with Torrent sites and that bad habit was the reason for the reset. That didn't sit right with me because a) I don't torrent and b) I had a unique password/email combination. The hugely respected Tamar Weinberg also questioned the response.
One of the odd twists of the password reset saga was that my account was never used for a tweet or a direct message that I didn't write.
Until today. Today a Grader client was used to promote an attempted viral video.
I am certain I didn't tweet this:
The big green arrow points to the client I don't use. It's also worth noting that HubSpot founder and Grader code guru Dharmesh Shah tweeted the exact same thing.
So; what's going on? I did change my password when Twitter forced me to and I didn't use the same one as last time.
I recall I did log into Twitter Grader and, hmmm, this may have been before oauth. It's possible it was one of the early sites I trusted with my password. That might explain why I seem to bet tweeting for them.
I did change my password, though.
Please note that I did tweet Dash to ask if he might have pressed the wrong button and perhaps tweeted for everyone instead of himself. He's had no time to write a response. I can see how a mistake like that could happen. It does go show the power that sites like Twitter Grader could bring to bare if they wanted too.
I can also see the site being hacked - and its database being used to push spam. Again, though, I'm struggling to understand how a site without OAuth access (unless it OAuths under a different name) could tweet for me after a password change.
It may also worth keeping in mind that although my account wasn't used for any odd tweets - I was following @THXc - when I'm sure I didn't take that decision.
I do want to say that I don't know the people from HubSpot, have recommended their video broadcast and do respect what they've done with inbound marketing. I'd like to be on good terms with them.
So; is there a connection between HubSpot's Twitter Grader and the forced password reset? Or are the two events unrelated?
What's certain is that I've just tweeted something, via Grader, that I shouldn't have.
I'm not the only one. A quick search shows that hundreds of other sites have tweeted the same thing; all via Grader.
The tweet in question reads;
Biz Stone Promoting Twitter in 2006 @ http://seonix.org/2010/02/11/biz-stone-promoting-twitter-in-2006/ #funny #crazy #twitter #1337
I was playing with Google Buzz last night. It wasn't available via my Gmail account directly but it worked on my iPod Touch.
Opening my Gmail this moring comes as quite a surprise. Rather than my mobile dabbling encouraging Buzz to appear... it looks as if key Gmail options - such as the ability to Compose emails - have been removed. There's a link called "More" but clicking on it does nothing.
This issue isn't related to just one browser. It's occurs in Chrome and two different versions of Firefox.
Is anyone else suffering?
If for some crazy reason you've been reading this blog for a while - you'll know that I'm still looking for a reason why I should join SEMPO. Is there one?
I think the situation is worse in the UK where we never ever hear from SEMPO and certainly don't see them moving to promote the SEM industry as a whole. To be honest, any PR successes, etc that SEMPO US/Global might score don't reach my radar either.
That said, I think SEMPO have done the right thing by getting the New York/London based Econsultancy to manage the State of Search Marketing survey. It's worth nearly $250 and you get a copy for free by filling it out. I've worked with Econsultancy before for the Social Media and Online PR report (something of a world first) and I know how thorough they will be.
This year it looks like we may dodge annoying questions like average salaries (always inflated by idiots claiming to make millions with their one man band) and instead focus on the interaction with clients. One question asks about percentage of spend as a management fee; hopefully there will only be a few idiots who claim they only take a tiny amount (if you're entirely CPA then there's an alternative answer for you).
Jargon watch! When I talk about a "social discovery" site I'm talking about the likes of Digg and Reddit (the old school) as well as sites like Tweetmeme (the new boys).
I'm a great fan of Tweetmeme, whom I follow on Twitter, because the (free) service helps me notice content I would otherwise not have found.
The Xbox example;
Here's a chain of screen grabs from this morning. First off Tweetmeme brings me some interesting gaming news.
No more Xbox Live for original Xbox users. Ouch. Poor things. Tweetmeme lets me see that it was Major Nelson himself who started the discovery thread.
I click... and wind up on Tweetmeme. Tweetmeme needs to make money. They point these links at their site where they'll surface other content for me but also show me an add or too.
So, I need to click again. Oh! Great! Another summary of the news. Now I'm at Digg.com.
You can see how pointless this is. If this was a perfect world, where no one needed to make money, the Tweetmeme link that appeared in my (free to use) Seesmic Desktop would have taken me straight to the blog post about Microsoft dropping Xbox Live support on the original Xbox.
It's worth noting now that if you go back to Twitter and click on Major Nelson's tweet you don't end up at Digg. You end up in a Digg framed blog post.
There's a few things that might explain this;
Just in case you've not worked out how much of big deal convergence is to Google and how much the Nexus One embodies the concept... they've called the Nexus One ad "Converge".
Here it is:
Andrew Huang of Moo Studios/Anonymous Content gets the director's credit here.
Image via CrunchBaseMy post yesterday about Twitter changing my password was used as a reference by some blogging powering houses like Mashable and TechCrunch. Woot!
“It appears that for a number of years, a person has been creating torrent sites that require a login and password as well as creating forums set up for torrent site usage and then selling these purportedly well-crafted sites and forums to other people innocently looking to start a download site of their very own. However, these sites came with a little extra — security exploits and backdoors throughout the system. This person then waited for the forums and sites to get popular and then used those exploits to get access to the username, email address, and password of every person who had signed up. Additional exploits to gain admin root on forums that weren’t created by this person also appear to have been utilized; in some instances, the exploit involved redirecting attempts to access the forums to another site that would request log-in information. This information was then used to attempt to gain access to third party sites like Twitter. We haven’t identified all of the forums involved (nor is it likely that we’ll be able to, since we don’t have any connection with them), but as a general rule, if you’ve signed up for a torrent forum or torrent site built by a third party, you should probably change your password there.”
I'm often a cautious chap. I don't tend to click links in emails - at all.
This morning I had an email that really looked like it was from Twitter. It suggested that my password had been changed due to "phishing attack that took place off-Twitter". I found myself thinking, "Sly, but not sly enough," followed by "hey, that really does look like Twitter; there's no hidden URL in the password reset".
I checked Twitter. I couldn't log in. My password really had changed.
So I copied the link to plain text, poked it some more and decided to follow it. I had to change my password. A quick check of my account shows no extra followers or people followed. It shows no extra tweets or DMs.
So why did Twitter change my password? Did anyone else get an email like this? Have they been hacked and wanted to encourage people to change passwords?
I think there are some significant drawbacks with this approach. Twitter should not be getting its users used to emails providing a password changing link. This is surely the sort of email that phishers will love to clone.
Update: The Next Web have a post suggesting a combination of the Twitter account @THCx and NutshellMail may be to blame here.
I was following @THXc and I don't think that was my decision. I don't use NutshellMail, though, so I'm still not clear how I was phished - or if I was.
I still sense there's a password leak here somewhere.
Update 2: It's unlikely NutshellMail was at fault here - as I said; I don't use it (though it does look interesting now it's on my radar). It's also worth noting that Amy, who took the screen grab, didn't talk to The Next Web about it and doesn't think it was NutshellMail either. She seems pretty annoyed by its use/misuse.
Image by Foenix via FlickrI found myself tweaking job summaries on bigmouthmedia.com the other day. It was for a Facebook recruitment campaign and I wanted to drive all the traffic to our jobs page, one that plugs the benefits of working for us and then points to specific roles.
Andrew Girdwood is "digital marketing, search, gaming geek". Aren't you? Why not?
He works for a successful search engine optimisation and digital marketing agency and they have nothing at all to do with his blogging. Everything here is personal opinion.
Andrew has lots of opinions. Even when people don't want Andrew to have opinions - he still has opinions. Andrew doesn't expect everyone to agree with him and therefore welcomes constructive criticisms in his blog comments as much as he appreciates valuable insights and observations.