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This Monday we have a whole host of news form last week. Included is discussion of Google advertising policies, why Bing is losing to Google, the value of rule based systems, and how to code an HTML 5 application for the iPhone.

Internet Marketing and SEO
  • While last week I reported that Facebook was telling advertisers to make their targeting more general (which I noted, sounds like a way to “tax” the clients using their services), this week Business Insider reported on Google doing something similar. Last fall’s update to adwords added Ad Sitelinks. These allow brand owners, who are bidding on their own brand name, to add links to inner pages based on traditional search. This worked wonders  for click through, increasing by 30-40%. However, some advertisers have become concerned that it encourages people searching for a brand name to click on an ad over the (free) natural search results. The argument is that a 30-40% increase in click through is actually a cannibalization of clicks from natural search.

    But here’s the thing, the point of this search is to allow people searching for your brand to land on pages that are specifically oriented to selling. If you’re cannibalizing natural search to increase the chance of a conversion then, unless your conversion rate is too low, you’re making money. The problem comes when those links aren’t linking to a page that is going to lead to a sale (or goal), in which case yeah, they’re not worth it.

  • Why is Bing lagging behind Google? Eweek reports that Yusuf Mehdi of the Bing Online Audience Group thinks that the reason that Bing lags behind Google is their lack of focus on long tail searches.
  • Sixrevisions has gone way too cool this week with how to code an iPhone application in HTML 5. They take you through creating a simple Tetris clone, and how to use HTML5’s offline caching, which is pretty awesome.
  • I’ve written about CSS sprites before, describing how useful they can be. Smashing this week has an article on how they can actually be a potential nuisance,  and provides a pretty good analysis of when they are and aren’t a good idea.
Web Analytics
  • Google recently added a new feature to adwords that should make the analytics crew happy: search funnels. This changes adwords attribution from the last ad click before conversion to a path that users take when seeing and clicking on ads after doing a search.
  • More Avinash Kaushik this week, with 10 fundamental analytics truths. Maybe not his best work from an analysis/insights perspective, but it deals with two topics that I think are important: 1. the value of focusing on multiple analytics platforms (something we do, but then we have more than just one person involved) and 2. the ups and downs of paid solutions versus free solutions, complete with a pretty fair analysis of the strengths of each.
Web Usability
  • Wanna make your site convert better? The GWO blog has 25 GWO tips for better product pages.
  • Time for a tangentially usability related post from Research Inspired Design: Group Think and the Perils of Rule-Based Systems. He argues that rules tend to make us intellectually lazy, letting us rely on an accepted practice instead of investigating the correct course. While I agree with parts of his sentiment I feel the need to point out that systems of rules play an important role in making sure that we properly question ourselves. This was the rule in the past, but it’s no longer the best course. Why, and why was it the best course then? Similarly, if you hold one viewpoint on one thing that is logically inconsistent with your viewpoint on another, then it illustrates that perhaps you need to think about why you hold clashing viewpoints.
Miscellaneous links of the week:



State of Digital Marketing Analytics

The 2020 State of Digital Marketing Analytics examines the marketing technology that supports the world's most successful enterprises and highlights the challenges and strategies for navigating the new normal..