Wednesday, March 30, 2005

That 'Marketing Week' quote...

The UK's Marketing Week magazine quoted me in their recent 'Search marketing' supplement - here's what they said:

It is also important to make sure that the brand message in both natural and paid for search listings is consistent with above-the-line marketing campaigns. The importance of integrating search with other marketing channels is something that search marketers are keen to get across to clients.

Andy Atkins-Krüger, managing director of search specialist Web Certain, says that search marketing fits well with more traditional forms of listings advertising such as business directories. "If you think about it from a traditional marketing perspective, search engines are providing an answer to a question, which is exactly what directories such as Yellow Pages do, " he adds.

A number of businesses spend thousands of pounds a year on directory advertising, but this spend is often seen as part of the offline budget and is completely isolated from other marketing activity.

Andy Atkins-Krüger suggests that listings, whether in print of online, should be looked at together since they are often closely linked. "I'm not saying that people should fundamentally change the way they spend their budget, but rather than think of it being either online or offline, look at directories as part of a bigger thing called search. People could take what they learn from Yellow Pages to Google and vice versa."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Google to buy web analytics firm

Google has announced the purchase of a firm called 'Urchin' which is a well-known web site statistics package used by many companies. What does this mean for Google? Could it be they are expressing their need to control the web sites they feed traffic too?

I, for one, am very relieved that we did not go the Urchin route with our clients because I would feel deeply troubled that all their 'success' information was available directly to one of our clients' major web advertising suppliers.

It's rather like buying advertising from ITV - and not only do they have access to your financial accounts, they produce them. It's a terrifying thought.

Personnally, if my site was monitored by Urchin - I'd move as fast as my mouse could take me.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Froogle close to UK launch

Froogle will soon be a fully-fledged shopping comparison search engine in the UK with a new Froogle link appearing on

Froogle offers the ability to shopping sites to list for free - Google then uses an algorithmic method to decide in what order to list products for the searcher. Google aims to make a living from the advertising it can generate from its Adwords product alongside.

The new development means Froogle will be taking on Yahoo's Kelkoo and other products such as Dealtime - but it will also have to contend with Ebay!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

AOL launches vertical 'travel' search engine in the US

At Web Certain, we have been predicting, literally for years, that we should expect to see the emergence of vertical - i.e. sector-specific search engines. AOL is already heading in that direction and not surprisingly starting with travel powered by Kayak - a recent AOL aquisition.

The new project has been launched in Beta - and is known as Pinpoint Travel.

There will be more of these for sure. Expect further launches from Yahoo, MSN and Google in the coming months - notwithstanding all the potential market newcomers!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ask Jeeves sale poses possibility of further pay per click development

IAC/InterActiveCorp is putting forward plans to buy Ask Jeeves for $1.8 Bn which would bring yet more hot investment into the search market - reports Clickz.

The Chief Executive of Ask Jeeves, Steve Berkowitz, is already hinting at a new pay per click advertising tool from 2007.

The deal would extend Ask's reach substantially as IAC owns some of the most popular sites on the web including Citysearch, Ticketmaster, Evite, and, as well as the Expedia travel sites.

Friday, March 18, 2005

MSN's new pay per click system to be trialed in France

MSN has announced their new pay per click system - but it will not be available in the US until it has been tried and tested in France and Singapore.

This is great for Web Certain because it puts us in right at the front end of the development as an early user of the system as we already buy clicks in France!

Forrester Research predicts 65% growth in European search marketing

We all know search marketing in Europe is growing quickly - but Forrester's predictions are for at least another five years of substantial growth ultimately reaching a spend of 3 billion Euros. The current market in 2005 is estimated to be 1.4 billion Euros.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

MSN's new pay per click system to increase targeting

Even before MSN has formally launched it's new pay per click service to replace its current partner Yahoo (formerly known as 'Overture') - information is being released which shows that MSN is planning to upstage both Google and Yahoo in terms of targeting ability.

Using data from Hotmail or from postcodes, MSN is planning to allow pay per click advertisers to target different demographic market segments with the service.

Search Engine Guide explains...

Google loses French trademark appeal

Google has lost its appeal in two trademark cases in France and must now pay 75,000 Euros in fines - over $100,000 or £52,000. This was a vital decision for all trademark owners hoping to protect their trademarks from being used by others within the pay per click activity on Google.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

MSN to go solo on pay per click

MSN is rumoured to be announcing tomorrow 16th March that it is testing and launching its own pay per click vehicle. For advertisers this is welcome news as greater competition will help with targeting and performance and the better search marketing companies will capitalise on this opportunity.

Google news goes into beta for the UK and the rest of Europe

Google has had a news facility in beta for the US for some time - but when searching for news in the UK there has been an American bias to the stories presented. Now Google has moved Google News into beta for the UK and most European countries too.

This is interesting for those of us who practice online PR as for some time Yahoo's news facility has really been ahead of the game.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Google restricts ranking checks

According to Gooogleguy on webmaster world - Google has implemented new technologies to restrict the amount of automated queries they receive from search marketing people. I do understand Google's problem with this - but can't quite grasp why they - and other search engines - don't recognise this as a business opportunity and help search marketers work with tools which do function - potentially through the new API.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

SES NY persuades AAK to start a personal blog

It's true - I've been using blogs for sometime - but following NY SES, I came to the conclusion that there had to be an Andy Atkins-Krüger blog too.

Why? Various people I had the pleasure of meeting convinced me I had to look at this especially Lee Odden of TopRank with his SEO blog. It was quite entertaining to see Lee discuss SEO blogging with Alan Webb of Abakus - especially when you bear in mind that if you search Google for SEO blog - you get Alan's blog (in German) and Lee's battling it out for top spot.

Lee has to know more about blogging than anyone else I know and will certainly be the expert I ask for advice on this area in the field.

Thanks to Lee and Alan for their help - especially at the Yahoo 10th birthday party!