Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Google Adwords Lets More Ads Display - No More Minimum Bids

Adwords does away with minimum bids.

In a run for more revenue Google does away with minimum bid levels. Advertisers previously had to bid a minimum amount per-click in order to even show up in search results. The minimum bid system did well in letting advertisers know the market going rate for advertising leads in their industry; however a major drawback was that it prevented advertisers from taking
advantage of smaller opportunities, such as a local campaign.

Minimum bid levels are driven by aggregate keyword auction, but when that auction takes places in a specific region, the competition can be very different. A minimum bid meant that the cost would be artificially increased to the average market values.

Keyword Expansion
Our local search marketing strategy has always included a broad expansion of keyword terms and permutations, sometimes taking advantage of up to 2,000 keywords per ad-group. This new change means that ads which were deemed below the minimum threshold will now surface. Our long-tail, expansive keyword work is now paying off by potentially providing more leads at the same or lower costs… incidentally it is also paying Google.

Economic Timing
It is perhaps more than a coincidence that the timing of this comes at a time when the economy and future earning revenues may be compromised. The elimination of minimum bid will more than likely bring in additional revenue.

Google KB – what happened to minimum bids
Google KB – what does the removal of inactive for search mean

User Outlook
One user benefit to minimum bids was to prevent spam-like ads from showing. We may see resurgence in arbitrage as advertisers take advantage of the bake sale on long-tail keywords.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Domain Name Length of Top 500 Websites

Is there an optimal domain name length?

The most popular websites have one thing in common; they're short! In analyzing the top sites identified by Alexa, we see that the average domain length is 6 characters.

RankWeb SiteLength










Chart 1.
The surge of 6 characters names isn't coincidental; "Google" alone accounts for 46 of these with country specified sites such as, and of course My associate, Mike Rosenthal, is quick to point out that the most important website is in fact a misspelling of Googol. Subtracting the internet giant from this analysis, we still find that 6 is the most common length.

Chart 2.
Here is a breakdown showing the percentage of sites that are less than or equal to the domain length.

Chart 3.

This shows that 90% of the top internet sites are under 10 characters in length. However the majority of domains are at least 11 characters in length according to Dennis Forbes finding.

PageRank Benefits Shorter Domain Names

Some search engine experts have long suspected that search algorithms may bias ranking of websites based upon the domain name length. While this study isn't looking at the full landscape of domain name, we can see the trend among the top 500. So is a small domain name have some algorithmic benefit in Page Rank? Or is magic number? It reasons that the smaller domains are typically older and more well established; factors that would contribute positively towards PageRank.

Chart 4.
According to this chart, the shorter domains tend to have Summary of interesting points about the top 500 websites-
  • Average Length: 6
  • Average PageRank: PR=6.5
  • Count of ".com"'s: 300
  • Number of domains that contain a dash: 12 with an average PR=5.6
Maximum domain name length: 63 characters, plus 4 for ".ext" (previous limit
was 26).
Average domain name length of all domains registered: 11
Average PageRank (presumed) of all domains registered: 1

David Rodecker
Founder &
RelevantAds “getting local
business online"

Friday, March 14, 2008

Metrics in Online Marketing

I presented this to CSULB Business School : Marketing 437 this past Wednesday.
The first portion of the presentation covers basic elements to online metrics, test and evaluation.
The second half focuses shows a value for search results by position and provides a means to calculate organic search result value.

Key points:

  • Online advertising should be measured, tracked and tested to achieve measured results,
  • Traditional search engine marketing charges CPC, gives the marketer the feeling of CPA, but actually charges CPI (inclusion) over time,
  • Organic placement value can be estimated given the CPC rates.

Measuring changes in a websites performance is fundamental to success. Changes in organic placement ranking is a new marketing methodology that can deliver substantial, and measurable value.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

AOL/Time Warner Takes Over Unclaimed Domains

Cable broadband users are saying goodbye to "Page cannot be found" and hello to ads. AOL's subsidiary ISP, Road Runner Time Warner has taken all the unused names on the internet captured all the non-claimed domains on the internet.

Normally when a users enters an invalid domain name they will receive a 4o4 page not found error, however by applying a method called wildcard DNS, users will instead be shown a landing page containing mostly ads.

Yahoo is powering the sponsored listings and the advertising arrangement should provide sizable revenue for the Time Warners ISP. Yahoo has several similar arrangements with domain aggregators which similarly allow advertising on unused domain URLs; this deal will considerably extend Yahoo's much needed advertising reach in the U.S.

You may remember that VeriSign did this in 2003, redirecting all bad .com and .net URLs. A move which affected nearly every internet user and enraged many online communities eventually pushing VeriSign to reverse the change. Since then the user acceptance of advertising-only websites has grown. Time Warner might skirt criticism because of its smaller footprint and cautious implementation. A key difference is that Time Warner allows a simple, non-intrusive way to opt-out of the wildcard DNS.

Although some customers are offended; it can be expected that other ISPs will eventually follow suit in the pursuit of top-end revenue. From my vantage point, this reinforces the value of the search engine, a place where the majority of users already start their daily internet routine.

David Rodecker is the President of RelevantAds, a search engine optimization company that delivers highly targeted search result placements and provides specific solutions in getting local businesses online.