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A slightly sparse roundup today. That said, there are some stars.

This week we’ve got some inspired—and sleazy—marketing tactics, an effort to drive a culture of optimization, and some good news for privacy advocates that want to be able to maintain anonymity online: a judge in Maryland has agreed with you. Kinda. Well, ok not really, but he did see Dunkin’ Donuts request for information as mishandled.

 Internet Marketing and SEO

  • We start with a great story from Grokdotcomdotcom about some sleazy, but inspired, tricks that Jeff found on a blog. It seems that one of those marketing ‘blogs’ about skin care cited comments from an individual who was ‘from’ your hometown. No matter what your hometown was. Using an ingenious combination of geolocation and marketing the ads would replace the hometown of their fictional character with wherever you are. While the example is sleazy, the tactic has a lot of potential for more directed marketing campaigns.edit: I found the website, or at least one of the websites. I recognized the picture on and clicked it to see the following: lo and behold Anna Richards is from Vancouver BC (or for you, wherever you happen to be). Look at that, they even bold it to make sure that you see it.
    Now I wonder what happens if you’re in a country that doesn’t speak English…
  • HuoMah commented on brand bias, in his usual no-nonsense way. He takes the notion of a ‘brand algo’, analyzes how and why that would be, then looks at the techs that we know are making their way into search and explains how these effects can be caused by these. All in all a great read for people who are worried about the future of search.
  • One more HuoMah because, this time from guest writer Jeremy Rivera (who also has a pretty awesome blog), on taking local marketing to the next level. The article discusses the importance of establishing local authority online and defining geographic location, good stuff all in all.

 Web Development

 Web Analytics
  • Avinash Kaushik notes that sometimes the way we look at numbers can give inappropriate results, and suggests instead a brand evangelist index. Its an interesting way of using the natural biases we have towards numbers to create better understandings of why a number matters.
  • Grokdotcomdotcom’s Bryan Eisenberg wonders how to build an optimization culture. Apparently far too few marketers use analytics to measure their online campaigns, and Bryan suggests several steps towards building a web optimization culture.

 Web Usability

 Miscellaneous links of the week: