Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Advantages Disadvantages Of Internet Marketing: The Good The Bad And The Ugly

The Advantages Disadvantages Of Internet Marketing are many.

A few Advantages Disadvantages Of Internet Marketing are:

* It's on the internet so it's low cost

* Very fast

* And you can reach a global audience

However it:

* Can leave the businessman feeling isolated

* Hard to tell if people are lying because you can't see their face

* And you can be overloaded with information.

There are more Advantages Disadvantages Of Internet Marketing, but I wont cover them all in one article. However I will focus on a few important ones.


Low cost:

The internet is made up of electrons, so there is not really anything physically to grab hold of like in a brick and mortar business. This considerably reduces your costs as you don't really need many materials or buildings. Just a computer with world wide web capabilities : )

Very fast:

A great advertisement I saw once said "If you were an electron, you would be there by now". This was an ad at an airport. It's referring to the internet. It's made up of electrons so it's VERY fast. Click a link, and you could be looking at an Australian website, click another one and you could be in America. If you wanted to get information any other way from these countries, you may end up having to go there.The world wide web eliminates the need for this. Go any where you want with the click of a button.

You can reach a global audience:

By this I mean, you don't have to set up shop somewhere and sell to the locals. You can set up an online shop, and sell to anyone in the world. This means a huge increase in potential revenues and a fraction of the cost it would take for you to set up shops all over the world.


Can leave the businessman feeling isolated:

This is very common. Because the world wide web is faceless (In most cases), it can appear cold and inhuman. This can leave you feeling isolated and very inward. Not a nice feeling at all. Everyone likes to socialize and meet people, but in this case, its quite difficult to, in business anyway.

Hard to tell if people are lying:

There is so much information on the world wide web now, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between crap and quality. A lot of the crap is targeted at newbies. Here's an example "Make money fast by doing NOTHING", sound familiar? I bet you've had a ton of emails saying something similar.

Information Overload:

Once again we get to the part of there being a lot of information on the world wide web. There can be too much good information too. There can be a lot of competition for an industry, this can leave you more confused than if there were presented with loads of crap. You might not be able to tell who to chose. If you are a veteran of the net, you wont have much to worry about, however if you're a newbie then this is a problem.

The above are the positive and the negatives. Overall, I would definitely say that if you can do business online, then definitely do it.

How To Write More Powerful Brochures, Leaflets, And Catalogues

Probably the most interesting thing about brochures and leaflets is that they're seldom read in what we've come to know as the right order - as you would read a book. Rather in the same way that many people read magazines in dentists' waiting rooms, they will flick through brochures and leaflets and stop to take a longer look at bits that grab their attention.

Alternatively they'll flick all the way through and then go back to bits they've noticed and that have interested them. They're just as likely to flick through from back to front as they are from front to back.

What all this teaches us is that despite seeming logical, writing for brochures and leaflets in the form of a story that starts at the beginning, goes through the middle and finishes at the end, is not necessarily the best way forward.

Obviously you can't make every page stand alone with a message on it that says "in case you're flicking through backwards or only want to read this page, here's a summary of our corporate profile again." But there are some tricks you can use to get this random reading pattern to work a bit more effectively for you, rather than against you.

A lot depends on the type and style of brochure or leaflet you want to write, of course. In my experience, generally speaking the more specific the purpose of a brochure or leaflet the more likely readers are to read it properly and thoroughly.

If a leaflet contains assembly instructions, or a brochure contains technical specifications of equipment, there's a good chance that readers will start at least near the beginning and then work through towards the end. Once again, that's because readers will only get their full value from the leaflet or brochure - the "what's in it for them" - by reading it properly. Where you get the worst random grasshopper reading, however, is with the less specific documents like "welcome" leaflets or "corporate" brochures. So let's look at how we can minimize the problems with those.

Despite all of the above, often it is still worthwhile to organize your content in a reasonably logical order. Many people do absorb brochures in the usual order, and even if they don't they still expect to find the introduction at the beginning, the substantiations in the middle and the conclusion at the end. This approach is useful for the moderately subject-specific document, like a leaflet about a new service or a brochure about a new line of garden furniture.

The trick here is to put the main points in as crossheadings (some people call them sub-headings) in bold type, so that someone scanning the document will get the gist of your message even if they don't have time to read the body text.

You should also ensure that the crossheadings make sense in their own right and that understanding them is not wholly dependent on their being read in any particular order. Body text should support and expand on each crossheading and lead the reader towards the next one, but without creating a "cliffhanger" (in case the reader is going in the wrong order).

For the more general subject matter - the most likely to be skimmed, scanned, flicked through, read upside down or otherwise not absorbed properly at all - here's some advice from US writer John Butman from "Writing Words That Sell" which he and I co-authored some years back. This is what John calls "chunking:"

"Chunking means that the story you are writing is not, in fact, a story at all. It doesn't have a sequential flow. It's a string of tiny stories, each with its own message. Each chunk is relatively separate and each page or page-spread is also reasonably separate. This approach means that you need to be careful about antecedents - you can't refer to something mentioned on page one, because the reader may have started reading on page twelve."

I find that John's "chunking" approach works particularly well when there is a lot of visual material, with the "chunks" of text acting almost like expanded captions to illustrations. With "chunking" you may also use crossheadings, but their importance in telling the story by themselves is not as critical. Crossheadings here, then, can be more cryptic or abstract provided that they are relevant.

And a quick word about style, particularly if you are writing a "corporate" brochure or leaflet: this medium, equalled only (perhaps) by the "corporate" website is the most prone to suffer from the curse of "corporate speak." Sadly it would be very easy for me to illustrate what I mean just by including excerpts here from corporate brochures I could find in the offices of both small and large companies based in the city where I live. The curse of "corporate speak" lurks everywhere regardless of the environment, rather like cold viruses or headlice.


Many people fail to realize that catalogues should be written. Often their objective in creating a catalogue is to cram in as many products as they can with descriptive copy kept to a few mis-spelled words in tiny type squashed into a corner. These people are the on-paper equivalent of the "stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap" species you encounter in retailing.

However in a retail environment customers can usually pick up the products, have a good look at them, read the on-pack copy and find out all they need to know, so the fact that they're in a no-frills environment doesn't matter too much. When a product is pictured in the small, two-dimensional environment of the printed page it's not only no-frills but also very lonely, unless the product has the support of some well-chosen words to inform readers and encourage them to buy it.

Considering that for many businesses and other organizations their catalogue is their only shop window - or at least represents, potentially, a very significant revenue stream - you would think that everyone's attention and skill would be focused on its written content as much as its other elements. But no. All too often catalogues look as though their copy has been written by a well-meaning high school pupil who can look forward to a glorious future as a street sweeper.

Yes, of course some products that get sold via a catalogue do not need a lot of description and the only words you need to include are choice of colours/sizes/quantities etc.

But what about the "how to order" messages?

I don't know about you, but if I'm thinking of buying something from a catalogue there's nothing that puts me off faster than having to spend a lot of time figuring out how to fill out the form, who to make the cheque out to and where to mail it, etc. The same applies if I have to hunt around for website details.

It's not difficult to get the process right. Simply work out the steps you want customers to take, write them down simply, rough out the order form itself, and then try it out on your mother, your brother, your neighbour, the milkman, or anyone else - provided they are not involved with your organization. That's a cheap and fast way of discovering any flaws in the system, especially small goofs that can get overlooked so easily if you're too familiar with them.

And here's another one. How many times have you looked at a catalogue only to find that crucial information you should keep (like contact details for ordering, delivery information etc) is placed either on the order form itself or on the back of the page the order form is on? The result is when you mail off your completed order form you're obliged to mail that important information away with it. Stupid, huh.

There is no mystery about creating good catalogues - only common sense. It's perfectly okay in my view to keep your writing crisp and concise because it helps to use the space more efficiently. But whatever you do, never lose sight of the fact that the way a catalogue is written and designed says a lot more about your organization than you think. If it is cluttered, unclear and illogical, customers will think your company is too. If it is busy but accessible, clear and easy to understand and logically planned, well - need I say more?

Retailers spend fortunes on the design, layout and flow of their instore displays. Supermarkets can increase or decrease their turnover by thousands, simply by moving the fresh produce from the back wall to the side wall or by putting the bakery beyond the delicatessen or by increasing the aisle width by a few centimetres. Think of your catalogue as a paper-based store or supermarket, and you'll find it easier to give it the consideration and respect it deserves.

Instruction leaflets and manuals

A few years ago I bought a new computer, printer, keyboard and monitor all at the same time. I heaved all the boxes into my office at home and unpacked each piece enthusiastically. There was metal and plastic and cabling and cardboard and polystyrene and bubble wrap all over the floor. My two dogs picked their way through it, sniffing suspiciously as if all these items were chickens lying dead and headless after a fox attack.

I sat cross-legged in the middle, leafing anxiously through the instruction booklets, desperately trying to find the English language pages. When I did, I couldn't understand a word, largely because the instructions a) had been compiled by technical people who assumed substantial prior knowledge even though it was a "home" computer and b) whoever had written the UK version must have been taught English by Donald Duck.

And do you think the manufacturer might have supplied a simple instruction sheet telling me how to bolt it all together? No. Every piece had its own awful instructions but as far as the manufacturer was concerned, each item was on its own.

So I phoned my dear computer guru Jason and booked him to come over the next day and sort it out, despite him telling me it was easy and I could do it myself.

"Just read the instructions," he said.

"I can't understand the ****ing instructions," I shouted back down the phone. "You come and do it, I'll watch what you do, then I'll write it down and send the text to the manufacturers with an invoice for my time. At least that way poor so-and-sos who buy this kit in the future will find out how to get it working without having a nervous breakdown."

There's one very strong point that emerges from this true story. When people read, listen to or watch a set of instructions, they often do it in fairly stressful circumstances, in uncomfortable surroundings, in poor light, etc. Accessibility, simplicity, visibility, and clarity are vital.

People who buy products that require instructions, need to know how to use the product as easily as possible. And because many people are technodorks like me, instructions need to be understood by the lowest common denominator.

Logically then, you might think, the best person to write instructions for technodorks like me is someone who knows every last detail about the product, how it was made, how it works, what it does, and what its inside leg measurement is. In other words, an expert. This could not be further from the truth.

Instructions should never be written by experts, because they know too much. What this means is that they are very prone to making the mistake of assuming the reader knows a little bit about the subject matter already. To an expert, the fact that before you begin assembling the bookcase you need to align sections A, B and C with each other may be so blindingly obvious it's not even worth mentioning. To someone like me it's not just worth mentioning, it's absolutely essential if I'm not to spend the next three hours wondering why on earth I can't find any bolt holes that line up.

Wherever practical, instructions should be written by someone who knows as much as, but no more than, the audience. For any form of instructions to be followed by non-technical users, the writer should assume zero prior knowledge and the best way to ensure s/he does that, is if s/he doesn't have any prior knowledge her/himself. Provided that the writer has a logical mind and the ability to write clearly and simply, s/he can't fail to work out and then write good, usable instructions - because if s/he understands them so will everyone else.

Equally, instructions should not be written by the sales people, the marketing executives, the guys in the lab, the production staff, or anyone else - even you - if there's a risk they might have become familiar with the subject matter. Familiarity can breed if not contempt, at least wrongful assumptions about the audience's existing knowledge. For any product to be used by ordinary folks in the street, try to get the instructions written by someone from a totally unrelated department or even from outside your organization. Failing that, get them tested by one or more typical users who have no prior knowledge of the product, and edit them carefully on the strength of the feedback you get.

There is nothing that will blacken the name of your product and your company faster than a customer like me not being able to put your product together easily.

Although customers like me will get over it after taking a cold shower and asking the brainy next-door neighbour to interpret the instructions, we'll probably remember all those bad things next time we're shopping for the sort of products you sell. And we'll buy your competitor's.

Online vs. Offline Advertising

Let's face it. Email marketing and publishing have became very popular tool for promoting your business, especially in the USA. Many people use email in everyday communication. Email is fast and cheap. What would you like more? Many people subscribe to ezines about Internet, Jokes, Tips, Recipes, Horoscopes... Majority of these emails are free and very quality.

Advertising and marketing online and offline has at least one thing in common - you have to know your target audience. Market segmentation is very important because you don't want to loose your money sending your ads to someone who has no interest in it. Email advertising and online advertising in general is more effective because there are many state-of-the-art techniques which enable that you track every advertising.

Some good services for tracking are:

Web Site Tracking

Stat Counter http://www.statcounter.com
Web Trends http://www.webtrends.com

Email Tracking

Group Metrics http://www.group-metrics.com

In online advertising you can get information where your visitors are coming from, what do they read on your web site, how much is your email newsletter open-ratio, how much is click/thru ratio for every link in your newsletter, also you can get demographic reports about your visitors/subscribers and many other things. Because of that, in online presence you have great options for 1-1 marketing. You can adjust your web site design and content according to your visitor needs.

If you advertise on TV or magazines you can't know exactly how many people actually saw your ad. There are some predictions but not that precise, of course.

One of the main advantages of offline advertising over online is that people still believe more in what they see on TV than on the Internet.

Online promotion has one very big advantage over offline promotion and that is interactivity. In online promotion you can have interactive ads that behave differently based on visitor's behavior. Popular thing in online advertising is making ads like mini home pages. Yahoo! use that technique for advertising their services.

13 Facts About Newspaper Advertising

Advertising in the paper works for many people in business. The astute merchant understands the newspaper's weaknesses and works to avoid them whenever possible.

Here are 13 facts you should know.

1 Despite declining circulation figures and increasing ad rates, newspapers still reach large audiences, daily.

2 Newspapers are considered the PRIMARY advertising medium by 99.4% of all retailers. Newspapers have been there in every step of the typical store owner's life from the very beginning. Newspapers covered his birth, his high school graduation, his engagement, his marriage, the death of his parents and everything else.

3 Many, if not most, retailers, lay out their own ads. It is said that over the years, merchants have come to believe the only way to get it right is to do it themselves. This thinking has given rise to the new breed of newspaper salesperson. No training, just a list of customers and the daily question "Gotchyur ad ready yet?"

4 There is no proof full page or double-truck ads are more effective than half page ads. The savings can be spent on a concurrent radio campaign or billboards.

5 The same with color. It looks great, but the increased cost many times does not justify the small increase in readership. Forget the color and go with more frequency.

6 The paper is delivered daily, but there is no need for an ad every day as the paper reaches the same readers. 3 times a week works just fine. Spend the difference in the shopper or on a supporting radio campaign.

7 Newspaper coupons will have a better rate of redemption with a radio chaser. Especially if the coupons are NOT in a Sunday paper competing with 85% of all coupons weekly. Think about a coupons on Tuesday with supporting radio to drive them to it.

8 Less than half of newspaper readers read the entire paper. Most are skimmers. How many times through the paper does it take for you to find your own ad?

9 Over half of every newspaper is advertising. Almost as bad as TV where commercial breaks now last more than three and a half minutes. More than two-thirds of the huge and heavy Sunday brick is advertising and stuffers and lap cards (those pesky little cards that fall out when you pick it up).

10 Newspaper rates are climbing faster than any other advertising media. The smallest of ads in the smallest papers can cost over $100. One time, one shot and POW!, its at the bottom of the bird cage or spread out for an indoor dog's emergency.

11 Newsstand and subscriptions prices are rising, too. 75 cents an issue is rapidly losing to 4 quarters.

12 Most papers offer no competitive protection. Your ad can be placed side-by-side with your competition. Get the salesperson to guarantee you separation.

13 Daily newspaper numbers are dwindling. There are less than 1000 daily papers left in the US. Smaller communities must rely on weeklies or papers from another area with a "local" section. In some markets one publisher controls several small town papers, printing them at a central location, changing only the front page for each community.

Newspapers are still a formidable advertising force. Find ways to continue to use the paper to increase store traffic, but do it with other advertising too, so the media mix is efficient. Don't let anyone tell you NOT to advertise in the paper. Just do it better.

How to Write B2B Ads That Catch Customers

Are your business-to-business ads working for you? If they are not making sales, are they at least generating interest in your company? Are they making an impression on your potential customers by making you stand out in a crowd? If not, then you should take a look at this article and get those ads working hard for you.

Don't just fish for customers, catch them!

1. ALWAYS include your company name in the first sentence, preferably as the first word. Don't start out with 'we'. And briefly state what you do right away. For example: "Solinc designs plastic injection molds." You want them to know who you are right away. Also, many B2B sites don't allow visitors to view the total ad without paying or registering. You want everybody to at least be able to search for you on the Internet. This can also help your ad to appear on some search engines.

2. You need a 'hook' to reel in your readers. There are probably plenty of other ads right next to yours so you need to get them within the first sentence or two. Use some great adjectives. Which is better: "Solinc designs injection molds." Or "Solinc expertly designs high quality, precision injection molds." Now they know who you are, what you do, and why you are special.

3. Ask a question about why your reader should choose you and answer it. Questions such as "Do your customers demand high quality?" "Are you looking for a total solution package?" Then tell them that's what you deliver, you've got what they need.

4. Clearly state what you do step-by-step. Use bullets, numbers or short dedicated paragraphs. Make a list of your products and services. Then tell a little bit about them. Don't forget to use your adjectives here. Give them a 'line' to find the bait.

5. Give them some food for thought. It's time to ask them another question. This time ask them about a problem they might have that you can solve. For example, "Are you completely satisfied with your current supplier?" "Are you frustrated with late deliveries?" "Are you looking for faster and more reliable service?"

6. Give them a call to action. This is your 'sinker'. Offer them the answer to their questions by contacting you today. Don't let them get away.

If you follow these steps you are on your way to catching some customers. But you need a few more pieces of bait to land the big catch.

·Include your keywords and company name throughout the text. This can help your ad land in the search engines. Avoid using the words 'we' and 'it' and 'our product'.

·Use 'you' often. It pays to include your potential customer in your ad.

·Be entertaining or subliminal, but don't be boring! This can be a bit tricky in some areas of business, especially manufacturing. A good trick is to use a product noun as a verb and couple it with an adjective. An example would be for injection molds. Not the most entertaining subject, but: "Inject some speed into your production with high quality molds by Solinc." And you've got a line with pull.

·Be sneaky. Some B2B sites don't allow you to put in your email address or URL in the ad copy. However, if you spell out "dot" or "at" in your addresses your potential customers can find you.

·And finally, be polite. Never use all caps or more than one exclamation point at a time, be careful of poor grammar or bad spelling. Show your potential customers you care.

Don't forget, practicing and proofreading lead to good ad copy, which leads to good sales.

100 Excellent Words and 70 Action Getting Phrases for Ad Writing

70 Action getting phrases.

Act now! Send your name. All sent free to introduce. Amazing literature. Free. Ask for free folder. Bargain lists sent free. Be first to qualify. Booklet free. Catalog included free. Complete details free. Current list free. Dealers write for prices. Description sent free. Details free. Dime brings details. Everything supplied. Exciting details free. Extra for promptness. First lesson, 25 cents. Folder free. For literature write. Free booklet explains. Free plans tell how. Free selling kit. Free wholesale plan. Free with approvals. Full particulars free. Get facts that help. Get started today. Get your copy now. Get yours wholesale. Gifts with purchases. Illustrated lists free. Interesting details free. Investigate today. It's free. Act Now. Literature free. Mail material to: Money making facts free. No obligation. Write! Offer limited. Send today. Only 10 cents to introduce. Order direct from: Order Now. Don't delay. Particulars free. Postcard brings details. Request free literature. Revealing booklet free. Rush name for details. Sales kit furnished. Sample details free. Samples sent on trial. See before you buy. Send for free details. Send for it today. Send no money. Send postcard today. Send 15 cents for mailing. Send today. Send your want lists. Stamp brings details. Stamped envelope brings. Test lesson free. Unique sample offer. Valuable details free. Write for free booklet. Write us first! Yours for the asking. 37-cent stamp for details. $1 brings complete 32-page catalog free.

The key is to combine your words: EXAMPLE: "The Magic Mammoth Miracle"; "The Three 'M' Program". This has already caught the attention and interest of your prospect. Now for example, say: The Money Making Facts Are Free. Simply fill out the form on my website or whatever action it is you want them to take. Fill in with a few details and you have an excellent Profit Pulling Ad. Of course you should be creative, but make sure to build your ads around these words and phrases. Make sure that your follow-up material is as interesting as the ad so you can get orders.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Branding through Search: Strategies & Tactics

The "Branding & Search" session at featured Cam Balzer of Performics, Jessica Koster of Danskin, Jonathan Mendez of Digital Grit, Ron Belanger of Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Rand Fishkin, of SEOMoZ. The panelists spoke of the new branding trends online, and the as yet untapped potential of search marketing to build and strengthen brand recognition.

The Big Ad Agencies Start to Catch On
This year, marked perhaps most publicly on that galavanza of media marketing Super Bowl Sunday, ad agencies show signs of waking up to the power of Search as a branding tool. They're starting to integrate it with other more traditional media buys. And a few hiccups notwithstanding, they're seeing some pretty impressive results. This heralds some potentially big changes, and big opportunities for those SEMs who are ready to capitalize on this shift.

As deep pockets open their eyes-and coffers-to search's potential for branding, they could change the playing field of paid search marketing as we know it today. One panelist described one big brand client's relationship to capturing the #1 position on the SERP. They were prepared to bid whatever it took, no caps, no limits, and no need to justify the bid costs in relationship to clicks or orders to hold that top spot for the days surrounding their big media drop. Because their intent was brand awareness not sales or clicks.

New demographics are entering different vertical spaces, online. They're up-and-coming consumers, many in the 18-30 age bracket, who may not have been brought up with the tried and true brands of yesteryear's advertising media. Ad agencies need to learn how to find these searchers, know what they're looking for, and test the best messages that will leave a lasting brand impression with them.

Reconfigure Your Goals to Brand (Not Sell) with Search
Rand spoke of 6 basic Search branding goals. Simplistic as they may seem to veteran marketers, these oft-repeated goals are still the pillars of brand awareness:

1. Improve the visibility of your product or company
2. Create brand association with events or product categories
3. Position against competitors in specific market sectors
4. Build buzz for viral marketing
5. Leverage brand awareness to support your natural and paid search campaigns
6. Reach the 18-39 year olds by branding within the online marketplace

Safeguard Your Brand Name
If you've built your brand name over decades, protect your message, look, and feel in the online space. Jessica Koster at Danskin is working to marry their traditional brand with the new online space. As a company that's built its reputation over 100 years, for loyal customers, Danskin means dance. They get over 30% of their online orders from brand related listings.

If You Brand It... They Will Come
Mendez took the audience through a case study with one of the master branders SONY. The campaign goal? Build buzz. Not sell product. Build buzz. The product was a new Vaio notebook and all media pointed to the same landing page. An informational page without a single call to action. Not bad if the goal is to increase awareness but still, you had to really work if you actually wanted to buy the product.

As you dissect current campaigns online, and you find-or design-these four elements, you'll be looking on a solid online branding campaign:

1. Consistent creative messaging
2. One landing page collecting visitors from all media
3. Media or keyword buys in generic product or industry spaces
4. No specifically strong calls to action or promotions

Consolidate Your Message, Work At Higher Levels

Cam Balzer, Director of Search Strategies for Performics, has long been leveraging search for their nationally branded advertisers. Their clients have brand awareness in the public mind. But up until relatively recently, Balzer and colleagues leveraged search for ROI driven goals. That meant they looked for immediate click-through-rates or purchases to measure campaign efficacy.

But as they started to look more broadly at the metrics coming back to them, the behavior patterns indicated by search, and the potentials of this self-selecting medium, they realized Search could easily be used for purposes beyond ROI driven goals. They could extend brands and tap into more of the market and mindshare of the 60 million Americans who use search every single day.

As Cam simply said, "Search is becoming synonymous with being a consumer." As you go more deeply into analyzing large volume of search behavior, an interesting fact is unearthed. Consumers actually depend on search to build awareness, to learn about a brand or product, more than they use search to buy a product.

Work Online Ad Mediums Cooperatively
Ron Belanger of Yahoo! Marketing dropped a few nuggets of insight to wrap up the formal presentation of this session.

As a sign of our more accurate appreciation for Search as branding tool , Yahoo! has changed the names of its display ads. They used to call the display ads Brand Ads and keyword ads Search Ads. Now, more aptly, Yahoo! offers Display and Search ads, working with clients to find the sweet spot where the balance of ad spend in each compliments the other and builds a more robust campaign

Recently Yahoo! has seen, through their larger spend clients, a direct commensurate increase in search demand when clients purchase display, in conjunction with search. So next time your search ad rep calls, and tries to sell you more Yahoo! display, listen up. It might be more worth your while than you thought.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

eBay explores 'super union' to thwart Google

The prospect of a "super-union" between two or more of the internet's most powerful companies was raised today as news emerged that eBay has held talks with Yahoo! and Microsoft over a possible partnership designed to thwart the advance of arch-rival Google

A spokesman for eBay refused to rule out the possibility of a deal, telling Times Online that the company is in regular contact with Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google.

"The reality is we work closely with all these companies. We're always talking to them," he said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, eBay's parallel sets of discussions with Yahoo! and Microsoft began in earnest late last year and were spurred by Google entering into eBay's market with the launch of an online classified advertising site.

The four companies already compete and co-operate on a number of fronts. But there is a growing feeling within the industry that Google is becoming more aggresive.

Julie Meyer, chief executive of Ariadne Capital, the technology venture capital firm, said: "Google is undertaking the biggest landgrab the world has ever seen. We are seeing it exercise its market power, its cash and its brand.

"It probably would take a coalition of major players, a kind of super-union, to stop it and I would not be surprised at all to learn of a whole host of discussions behind the scenes."

Industry observers have noted that Google, which has a cash pile of $10 billion, has recently begun to act as a venture capital firm, investing in a string of online projects and placing bets in a number of areas.

The company's entry into online voice communications last year with the launch of GoogleTalk threw down the gauntlet to Skype, the market leader in internet telephony that was bought by eBay for up to $4.1 billion (£2.2bn).

Google has also been hugely supportive of opensource software developers, such as the non-profit Mozilla foundation, which compete aggressively with Microsoft, the world's largest software house.

Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google are all jockeying for position in online search, an area where Google holds a clear lead. Google has also begun a concerted drive to recruit the brightest IT engineering teams across the globe.

Overnight the company announced that its quarterly sales had soared past $2 billion for the first time.

Meanwhile, sites such as eBay's online auction house, the world's largest, rely on Google to drive consumers to them, a relationship that benefits Google's partners but which could leave them vulnerable to changes in policy from the search-market leader.

Rivals will also be mindful that Google, despite being set up seven years ago, has only been operating as a public company - with the huge escalation cash resources that has involved - for less than two years.

Sources close to eBay today noted in conversations with Times Online that eBay and Microsoft already co-operate in some areas - there is a link to the eBay site from Microsoft's MSN portal homepage, for instance. These kind of tie-ups could form the basis of a more consolidated effort to fend off Google, they said.

There has been speculation that eBay could enter a formal agreement over its online advertising spending with a chosen partner and offer information to either Microsoft or Yahoo! on its massive consumer base in return.

Such an agreement could echo that announced this week by Google when it revealed partnerships with seven major IT companies in the field of enterprise search.

Included in those was a deal with Oracle, the IT company, which recently announced its own offering to allow companies to search for digital information stored internally – a direct rival to Google’s offering.

Google executives have said they believe such "co-opetition" will become more common as companies compete for revenues amid the complex web of corporate relationships that have developed in the online sector.

The Journal also raised the prospect of one side in the eBay-Yahoo!-Microsoft triangle taking an equity stake in another. Such a transaction would mirror Google's acquisition of a 5 per cent stake in AOL, principally a portal business that competes with Yahoo!, for $5 billion in December.

However, industry sources discounted that idea, noting that once completed, cross share-holders can be troublesome to unwind. "I doubt these companies have a clear enough vision of where they are going to commit to that. The industry is just changing too fast," one said.

eBay already has close ties with Google in the finely interwoven online marketplace. The auction site spends heavily on Google ads

Google quarterly sales surge past $2bn mark for first time

THE internet giant Google yesterday reported that its first-quarter revenue had soared past $2 billion for the first time in its seven years.

The company’s introduction of new products such as a finance website helped it to win market share from its rivals Microsoft and Yahoo in internet advertising.

The rise in searches helped to offset Google’s increased expenditure on marketing, new staff and offices.

Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst at Hoefer & Arnett, said: “They’re spending heftily on marketing expenses, but strategically it’s the right thing to do and the underlying reason why revenue growth was so strong.”

The company said that net profit excluding special items rose to $592 million (£330 million), or $2.29 a share, from $372 million, or $1.98 a share, a year earlier. Sales surged 79 per cent to $2.25 billion. This outstripped Wall Street forecasts for growth of 63 to 78 per cent.

Eric Schmidt, chief executive, said: “Google had an exceptional quarter with strong growth and profitability.”

Google shares jumped as much as 4.9 per cent in after-hours trading to $435.51.

The results will help to allay concerns about the company’s health that date from the fourth quarter of 2005, when it missed analysts’ forecasts for the first time. The disappointing results sent Google shares tumbling, wiping $19 billion from its market value.

The company has since experienced a host of problems that have prompted investors to erase a quarter of its market value from its peak at $475 in mid-January.

Google shares slumped in February after George Reyes, the chief financial officer, surprised investors by warning them that growth was slowing.

Soon after, the company accidentally released internal profit targets at a presentation for analysts. Embarrassed, Google admitted in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the figures were a year old, prompting investors to send its shares lower. The shares recovered when Google joined the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Google has also fought bad publicity for bowing to pressure from the Chinese Government to censor its content, in defiance of the company’s so-called motto, “Don’t be evil”.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google’s founders, had claimed in their listing prospectus that the company would encourage its employees to do good.

Analysts estimate Google controls more than 60 per cent of the internet search market. According to AC Nielsen, 49 per cent of US searches are conducted on Google


February 1: Google’s fourth-quarter earnings miss analysts’ forecasts. The company blames weakness in the UK market and a higher than expected tax bill. Shares tumble 7 per cent

February 13: Google shares slide after US magazine Barron’s says that they may be overpriced

February 16: Google hauled before a congressional committee over self-censorship of its China website. Congressmen accuse Google, Yahoo! and other companies of “sickening and evil” collaboration with the Chinese Government.

February 28: CFO George Reyes tells investors that advert revenue growth will slow. Shares fall as much as 13 per cent

March 7: Shares slide further after Google admits to US regulators that its finance staff inadvertently disclosed confidential revenue targets to analysts

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dealing with ‘click fraud’

Last month the newswires were abuzz with news that Google Inc has agreed to settle a lawsuit that alleged that the online search engine leader overcharged thousands of advertisers who paid for bogus sales referrals termed “click fraud”. Google agreed to an out-of-court settlement by committing $90 million to many advertisers who had used Google’s network during the last four years. The lawsuit, filed by Lane’s Gifts & Collectibles on behalf of all Google advertisers, revolves around one of the most sensitive subjects facing Google and Yahoo Inc today.

Years ago I had seen advertisements on the net that said you could make money by merely surfing on certain sites. I instinctively knew that this was a scam but did not link this to click fraud. Now of course we know that scam artists repeatedly click on specific advertising links even though they have no intention of buying anything-driving up advertising costs for companies that pay for each click by a prospective customer. Yahoo!, which was also named in the lawsuit, has decided to fight the allegations.

From Google’s perspective it serves no purpose to open the can of worms. The price to be paid is a meagre 0.8% of revenues it collected over the same four-year period. Even here, a significant portion of the settlement would go towards the plaintiff’s legal fees and not to the advertisers who did not get value in the first place. And the settlement was in the form of credits that can be set off against future advertisements, available to a broad pool of the innumerable marketers who ran ads that might have been affected by fraud over the said period of four years!

Advertising Age, sometime ago reported that the combined advertising revenues of Google and Yahoo! last year rivalled the combined prime time ad revenues of America’s three big TV networks—ABC, CBS and NBC. Google topped the list with $6 billion in online advertising revenue, Yahoo! clocked $4.6 billion and Microsoft’s MSN internet unit generated $1.4 billion.

Now look at the impact of internet at another level. CBS ties up with Yahoo! to feature 60 Minutes, its long running news programme in Yahoo!—its website draws an estimated 126 million users per month, while 60 Minutes show in CBS had an average weekly viewership of 14 million people. Imagine the impact this combined audience delivery would make on the ad revenues.

In India too, quite a few heartening trends have been put out by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). One survey indicated that the online population in the country is poised to grow to 100 million from the current 38.5 million users by the turn of this decade. An estimated 4.6 million Indian internet users bank online and the number is expected to soar to over 16 million, inclusive of internet and mobile banking, by 2007-08.

Internet advertising is projected to grow at 50%—to Rs 750 crore by 2010 from the current level of about Rs 100 crore. In 2010, it will be the fourth largest media after TV, print, and out-of-home. Radio, with all the expansion that is taking place, would be only the fifth medium.

The traditional cinema medium, which saw a revival, would still be lagging behind despite the delivery of commercials for this medium through the internet.

The other day I was with a media owner who pro-udly told me that Google gives him approximately Rs 1 lakh every day based on click through delivered by online editions of his publications. With increasing growth in the medium, there is little doubt that two things would happen: He will get more income from Google and there will be many click frauds that would be brewing!

Click fraud looms over Google, Yahoo

Click fraud is to Google and Yahoo what bird flu is to world health -- a problem that's manageable today, but could grow into a crisis without aggressive prevention efforts.

Silicon Valley's twin titans of the Internet era get almost all their revenues from pay-per-click advertising.

Advertisers hire Google and Yahoo to distribute the online equivalent of billboards that take people to the advertisers' sites. But advertisers pay only when someone is interested enough to click on their links.

There are several variants of pay-per-click advertising, but one form is particularly relevant to click fraud: affiliate networks.

Independent Web sites, known as affiliates, sign up with Google, Yahoo or smaller Internet companies and agree to let those companies place ads on the affiliates' Web pages. The affiliates then get a cut of any pay-per-click revenue.

Let's say I set up a Web site called Mike's Favorite Spots in Hawaii, where I regularly post news and tips about vacationing in the most beautiful place on earth.

I could sign up with Google's AdSense program and Google would place ads on my site. Google's computers would detect that my site relates to travel, and would place appropriate ads there.

Advertisers might, for example, pay $1 to Google for each ad clicked on my site, and Google would perhaps pass along 50 cents to me, the affiliate.

Everyone wins: I get advertising revenue, Google gets paid, and travel advertisers reach a relevant audience.

But a criminal could set up a fraudulent Web site and look for ways to generate phony clicks on the ads. The criminal collects ill-gotten gains, while advertisers are paying for worthless traffic.

That's click fraud, and it can be very lucrative.

But if it ever becomes rampant -- say, half of all pay-per-click traffic -- the business models of Google and Yahoo could collapse as advertisers walk away or spend drastically less money.

There's no reliable evidence suggesting click fraud is anywhere close to epidemic proportions, and Internet companies have already figured out how to block unsophisticated forms of click fraud.

But Google and Yahoo aren't sharing enough information to tamp down rising concerns about click fraud.

Among the recent news fueling advertiser anxiety:

Mountain View-based Google last month agreed to settle a class-action suit on click fraud by providing $90 million in credits to advertisers. That's a pin prick for Google, which reported profits of $1.5 billion in 2005, but more lawsuits against Google and other Internet companies are pending.

Sunnyvale-based Yahoo was accused earlier this month of failing to catch at least a few spyware companies -- peddlers of software that forces ads onto the screens of unsuspecting users -- who are simultaneously engaging in click fraud.

Ben Edelman, a graduate student in economics at Harvard University who also has a degree from Harvard Law School, uncovered the spyware-click fraud connection. Last week, he told me Yahoo gave him a written response that it will look into the matter. But Edelman said Yahoo isn't willing to concede there's any broader problem with its affiliate programs.

Also in March, federal prosecutors in San Francisco announced the latest in a string of click-fraud criminal indictments.

The arrests highlight a bigger problem created by click fraud: Scammers are secretly taking control of hundreds or even thousands of home and business computers, setting up what are called ``bot nets.''

Bot nets were initially used for extortion, by threatening to overwhelm Web sites with traffic if they didn't pay up, and for stealing credit cards and other personal information. But click fraud is now emerging as another motivator for bot-net criminals.

Despite these red flags, Google and Yahoo are hiding behind a ``trust me'' defense. They keep insisting click fraud is under control, without giving details.

``We have said for some time that we believe we manage the problem of invalid clicks very well,'' said Nicole Wong, Google's associate general counsel, in announcing the class-action settlement.

Google notes, with some justification, that many so-called experts who claim as much as 30 to 40 percent of all pay-per-click traffic is fraudulent are trying to sell consulting services or software to stop click fraud -- giving them an obvious incentive for overstatement.

Yahoo spokeswoman Gaude Paez told me last week that, ``the rates of click fraud that many software providers claim exist are highly inconsistent with the rates we see on our network.''

But neither company is willing to say what percentage of pay-per-click traffic they are flagging as fraudulent, or the total amount of refunds they're giving advertisers who claim click fraud.

If click fraud really is a small problem, releasing hard numbers will prevent advertisers from getting any more nervous than they already are.

If click fraud is a significant problem, advertisers -- as well as investors in Google and Yahoo stock -- have an ethical and legal right to know.

Both companies, to their credit, say they are considering whether to release more information and might be willing to accept independent third-party audits of click fraud.

As long as any bad clicks are getting through Google and Yahoo's filters, advertisers clearly need more information -- if only so they can direct their dollars toward companies doing the best job of detecting click fraud.

So if Google and Yahoo don't start sharing more click-fraud information voluntarily, unhappy advertisers will probably force them to do it anyway

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

PPC Bid Management Software Showdown

If you?ve been keeping up with the search engine industry lately, you?ll know that Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a fast growing trend. Nearly all of the major search engines and directories have now integrated one type of PPC or another into their search results. At the moment Overture.com (formerly GoTo) is the clear leader in the PPC field, with an estimated 90% of the total PPC search market. But others such as FindWhat, Kanoodle and eSpotting are slowly catching on.

Overture currently has partnerships in place with Yahoo, AOL, AV, Lycos, Netscape, InfoSpace, MSN and Excite. People bid to purchase keywords from Overture and the top 2 or 3 bids (called Premium Listings) appear on their partner sites when searches are conducted for those keywords. Most of the time, Overture results appear above regular search results as ?sponsored matches?, so you can see how effective this type of campaign can be when used to draw targeted traffic to a web site. Whenever a viewer clicks on a sponsored listing, they are taken to the advertiser?s site and the advertiser is charged for the click at the rate determined by their bid on Overture.

The main drawbacks to advertising on PPC engines to date have been:

a) The quick exhaustion of funds due to large traffic volume

b) The time consuming nature of bid rank analysis for multiple keywords

c) The impact of bid gaps on cost-effectiveness (when your bid is more than it needs to be to maintain your target rank).

When you are managing PPC campaigns for hundreds of keyword sets for multiple client sites, these problems are compounded. Fortunately, software has sprung up to help people manage their PPC campaigns and automate the bidding process.

We have reviewed eight of these Bid Management Software programs in our effort to find the one right for our client campaigns and thought we?d share the results with you:

(Please note a more detailed version of this article, including a Software Features Chart can be viewed at our site here: http://www.high-search-engine-ranking.com/PPC_Bid_Management_Software_Showdown.htm)

1. Tangare?s Pay Per Click Maximiser www.tangare.com

The Pay Per Click Maximiser is a great product. A downloadable desktop program, no monthly fees, plenty of keywords and a good price for the Standard edition (USD $199 for 500 keywords). It supports FindWhat, Kanoodle and eSpotting in conjunction with Overture US & UK and allows the user to determine the bid update frequency. Other notable features include the ability to export reports to Excel, HTML and email.

My only real problem with this program is the Interface, which tends to be confusing, (all that gray on gray) and not very intuitive. There is a help menu, but on first launch, it is not clear where to start or how to launch a new project. The ?manage search terms? tab is also a little user unfriendly, but once you study the help menu to determine how to set your rank targets and bid limits, you?re off and running. Their free trial download simulates the bid optimization process, but is otherwise fully functional. Score 8/10

2. Click Patrol http://www.clickpatrol.com

Click Patrol claim to be the largest provider of automated Pay-Per-Click bid management services, but I can?t see any redeeming features that differentiate the service from other providers. For starters, it is Internet based, so if you are security conscious, you may not like the idea of handing over your Overture account login details to a third party provider. Then there are the monthly fees, which are the most expensive of all programs reviewed, ranging from $100 to $500, with an extra fee per keyword if you want your bids checked more often than every 24 hours. See the Features Chart for details. They do support seven of the major PPC engines and I hear their ?Auto Position? feature works well to close price gaps, but there is no free trial of their system that I could find, only case studies and a screen capture. Score 5/10

3. Gapster http://www.did-it.com/gapster

With the release of their freeware bid optimization tool Gapster, Did-it had an opportunity to win hearts and capitalize on a thankful market. It sure sounded promising: free automatic bid monitoring & updating for 200 keywords on Overture US & UK, FindWhat and Kanoodle.
Unfortunately, they chose to abuse the privacy of their customers and win enemies for their trouble. As reported by Danny Sullivan in his latest Search Engine Update newsletter, beta users of Gapster allegedly had their Overture account login details published on the Internet last month, care of one of Did-it?s own servers. The security breach was quickly corrected, but the damage to Did-It?s reputation was already done. Mindful of this first impression clouding my judgment, I tried to download the beta version to verify the product itself and give them the benefit of the doubt. But at time of writing the download was unavailable due to the software undergoing an update. Let?s hope their updating their security protocols. Score 0/10

4. Save Per Click http://www.saveperclick.com

Another Internet based program, Save Per Click supports more PPC engines than any of the other products we reviewed, Nine in total, including some I?ve never heard of. They offer a free 7day trial, but you need to have an account already in place at one of the supported PPC engines. This is a fairly straightforward program, but my major gripe is price and the inability to pre-determine bid update frequency, although you CAN choose time of day. The monthly fee ranges from $19.95 to $89.95 for the Standard edition (updates once a day) and $59.95 to $199.95 for the Pro edition (updates once an hour). Price range is determined by number of keywords. See the Features Chart for details. Score 6/10

5. Auto Pilot http://www.managebid.com

Probably the pick of the Internet based programs, Manage Bid?s Auto Pilot software was the only one reviewed that provided unlimited keywords. The hitch is that each keyword will cost you 0.25 USD a month to monitor, with a minimum spend of $25 per domain, per month. Bid updates are done every 24 hours and the program provides support for eight PPC engines (some obscure). There is also an Economy Mode for the penny pinchers, at 0.10 USD per keyword, with a minimum spend of $10 per domain, per month. But economizers must update their bids manually ? see the Features Chart for details. Score 7/10

6. PPC Professional http://www.ppcmanagement.com

Now this one has real potential. You have the choice of purchasing a lifetime version or a monthly subscription and you also have the flexibility of determining how often your bids are checked and updated. Keywords supported range from 50 to 5,000+ with costs staggered from $89 or $12 per month for 50 keywords to $999 or $100 per month for 5000+ keywords (see the Features Chart for detailed pricing). With a ?Smart Bid? feature to ensure your bids are cost-effective and the ability to import keywords straight from Overture, this new product has many features the bigger names don?t. You can print reports or email them directly to customers and the developers claim to keep your login and account info secure. It also supports unlimited Overture accounts for those of you with multiple clients. Currently the software only supports Overture.com, but a new release planned shortly will support other engines and include new features. The 10 day, 10 keyword trial version has a few bugs to be ironed out and the interface isn?t as intuitive as others, but definitely one to watch. Score 7/10

7. Position Guardian http://www.positionguardian.com

Not the most feature-packed product, Position Guardian (Premium) is an Internet based bid monitoring and gap analysis tool that automates the process of checking your bids on Overture and sends you daily notification of bid gaps. Unlike the other products reviewed, Position Guardian does not include automated bid updating, you have to manually change the bids yourself by logging in to your Overture account. Sure it?s cheaper than some, with prices ranging from $7.95 to $57.95 per month depending on keyword numbers, but it still seems like a lot to pay for less than half the work (see the Features Chart for detailed pricing). In their defense, they do provide a free online version that allows you to manually check for bid gaps one keyword at a time ? handy if you?re worried about that all important keyword. Score 4/10

8. BidRight http://www.bidright.net

We have a winner! BidRight was very hard to fault. A downloadable desktop program, no monthly fees, generous keyword limits and a very competitive price for their new release Pro edition (USD $199 for 500 keywords). See the Features Chart for more pricing options. Version 2 supports FindWhat, Kanoodle and eSpotting in conjunction with Overture US & UK and allows the user to determine the bid update frequency from every 60 seconds to every 24 hours. Their interface follows the WYSISYG principle and it was the easiest of all the software to install and start using.

Particularly impressive is the ?Gap Surfing? tool that finds the most cost-effective position from a range of ranks that you predetermine. So if you wanted to remain in the top 5 positions, you choose position 1 as your target rank and enable gap surfing with a range of 4. BidRight will find the largest price gap in the top 5 and slot your bid in there automatically whenever it is scheduled to update, preventing you from overbidding and saving you lots of money in the process. Other new features include the ability to export reports in CSV format, a drop back rank feature when maximum bid has been reached. Combine all this with the ability to customize the update frequency for your most important keywords and you have a very powerful tool that becomes a must for managing any PPC campaign. You can download a fully functioning 15 day demo, with the only disadvantage a five keyword limit. Score 9/10

Well BidRight was the ultimate winner of our Showdown and I was so impressed with the product that I immediately signed up to become an affiliate! If you would like to buy BidRight, you may like to use our affiliate link: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?bidright+NARxJp+index.html. Be sure to mention Coupon Code WR 007 to obtain a 5% discount (we do get a commission if you use our link, so if that bothers you, feel free to use the general link above). Remember you can view the Features Chart for all the software reviewed from the longer version of this article located at our site: http://www.high-search-engine-ranking.com/PPC_Bid_Management_Software_Showdown.htm.

If you are in the market for any kind of Bid Management Software, you may want to keep an eye on current talk about the implications of such software on server load at Overture. Apparently Overture are considering restricting access to their servers from persons using bid management software because the server load is becoming too great. They may block access from certain IP addresses that abuse the system or they may restrict access by software. To reduce the impact on search engine servers, you should use your bid management software responsibly, restricting bid checking to every few hours or daily rather than every few minutes.

The Fundamentals of Web Analytics

A Glossary of Terms

What's a dashboard? What does KPI stand for? What's the difference between Organic and PPC search results? This glossary provides a handy guide to commonly used web marketing terms.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
Abandonment: When a visitor exits or leaves a conversion process on a website and does not return later in the session. See also conversion funnel.
Acknowledgement Page: A page displayed after a visitor completes an action or transaction. For example, a thank-you or a receipt page. An Acknowledgement Pages is often important in Scenario Analysis, where it is an indicator of a completed scenario.
Acquisition: The process of attracting visitors to your site.
ACT: After-Click Tracking is the recording the activity path of a visitor to a site after they have clicked on an email link.
Actionable data: Information that allows you to make a decision or can be made use of in any way. See also forward-looking metrics.
Ad: A link that takes a visitor to a web site when clicked on, usually graphic or text. See also banner ad.
Ad Click: A click on an advertisement on a web site which takes a user to another site. See also ad view.
Ad Hoc Query: A non-standard inquiry posed as the need arises. See also query.
Ad View: A web page that presents an ad. There may be more than one ad on an ad view. Once visitors have viewed an ad, they can click on it.
Affiliate Marketing: A method of promoting web businesses in which an affiliate is rewarded for providing customers. Compensation could be made based on a value for visits, subscriptions, leads, sales, and so on. See also PPC.
Aggregate Data: A summary of collected information which groups data together without record-level statistics.
Analytics: see web analytics
API: Application Programming Interface is a system that a computer or application supplies to users in order to allow requests for service to be made of it by other computer programs. For example, an API might describe how to draw icons or windows using a library that has been created for that purpose.
ASP: Active Server Pages are a set of software components that run on a web server and let developers build dynamic web pages.
Attrition: The erosion of your customer base over time. The opposite of customer retention.
Authentication: The technique by which access to Internet or intranet resources requires the user to enter a username and password as identification.
Average Lifetime Value: The average of the lifetime values of all the visitors during the reporting period, where each visitor's lifetime value is the total monetary value of a visitor's past orders since visitor tracking began.

Bandwidth: Measure, in kilobytes of data transferred, of the traffic on a site.
Banner ad: An advertisement embedded on a web page usually intended to drive traffic to a different website by linking to the advertiser's site. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has created a standard set of banner ad sizes (Medium Rectangle, Rectangle, Leaderboard, Wide Skyscraper) into a set of guidelines called the Universal Ad Package).
Bot: See robot.
Bounce: See bounce rate and email bounce
Bounce Rate: The percentage of entrances on a web page that result in an immediate exit from the web site.
Browser: A program used to locate and view HTML documents (Microsoft Internet Explorer for example.)
Business Intelligence: While some would claim it's an oxymoron, business intelligence refers to a category of software and tools designed to gather, store, analyze, and deliver data in a user-friendly format to help organizations make more informed business decisions. Software types include dashboarding, data mining, data warehouses, and other information systems.

Campaign Creative: A "Creative" describes the characteristics of a marketing activity, such as color, size and messaging-for example, a "Buy Now" graphic.
Client: The browser used by a website visitor.
Client Error: An error that occurs because of an invalid request by the visitor's browser. See also return code.
CNAME: A Canonical NAME record makes one domain name an alias of another.
Conversion: An action that signifies a completion of a specified activity. For many sites, a user converts if they buy a product, sing up for a newsletter, or download a file. The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who do convert. Cookie deletion can have an impact on your conversion rate because if a cookie is being systematically deleted, repeat visitor rates will be under-counted and new visitor rates will be over-counted, thus skewing the conversion rate metric by which you analyze your site's overall effectiveness.
Conversion funnel: The series of steps that move a visitor towards a specified conversion. See also abandonment.
Convert: See conversion.
Conversion funnel: The series of steps that move a visitor towards a specified conversion event, such as an order or registration signup. See also abandonment.

Cookie: A text file that transmits information to a data collection facility via a 1x1 pixel GIF image request and includes a tracking ID that is used to identify returning visitors. Contrary to some industry speculation, cookies can not be used for malicious use such as privacy tapping. See also first and third-party cookies.
CPG: Consumer Packaged Goods
Crawler: See spider.
CTR: Click Through Rate. A click through rate is the rate at which visitors "click through" from one website page or property to the next. A good indication of an ad's effectiveness.
Customer Segment: A powerful aspect of relationship marketing in which you target sub-section or group of customers who share a specific trait or set of behaviors. See also demographics and psychographics.

Dashboard: A web analytics dashboard provides all of your critical metrics in one place to help you understand the health or performance of your business.
Data Warehouse: is a logical collection of information gathered from many different operational databases used to create business intelligence that supports business analysis activities and decision-making tasks, primarily, a record of an enterprise's past transactional and operational information, stored in a database designed to favor efficient data analysis and reporting.
Demographics: The physical characteristics of human populations and segments of populations, often used to identify consumer markets. Demographics can include information such as age, gender, marital status, education, and geographic location. See also psychographics.
DNS: A Domain Name System is an Internet addressing scheme that uses a group of names that are listed with dots (.) between them. See also domain.
Domain: An area in the Internet specified by a URL address. The top-level domain is at the end after the dot and the second-level domain comes before it, and shows where in the top-level domain the address can be found. For example in www.webtrends.com, ".com" is the top-level domain and "webtrends" is the second level domain.
Domain Name: The text name that corresponds to a numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet.

E-commerce: The act of selling goods and services online via a standalone site or through an online auction center.
Email bounce: The number of e-mails that were sent but never reach the intended receiver.
Entry page: The first viewed page on a visitor's path through a site.
Exit page: The last page viewed on a visitor's path through a site.

Filters: A means of narrowing the scope of a report or view by specifying ranges or types of data to include or exclude.
First party cookie: For most business models, first-party cookies are regarded as the most reliable method to measure visitor activity. Whereas a third-party cookie is usually set by an analytics vendor, (an entity with whom the user does not have a relationship), a first-party cookie is set by the business, an organization with whom the Web site visitor has specifically chosen to do business. Because of this relationship, first-party cookies are deemed more secure by the user. Also see cookies.
Form: An HTML page which passes variables back to the server. These pages are used to gather information from users. Also referred to as scripts.
Forward-looking metrics: Metrics that are indicators of future performance. For example an increase in traffic is a good indicator of down-stream conversion performance.
Frequency: The number of times a visitor has visited a site during a reporting period. Average Frequency is the average of frequencies of all the visitors during the reporting period. Frequency is a retention metric and is part of RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) analysis. See also recency and latency.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol is a standard method of sending files between computers over the Internet.
Funnel: See conversion funnel

GIF: A Graphics Interchange Format is a bitmap format for images with up to 256 distinct colors. Commonly used on the web for animated banner ads.
GRP: Gross Rating Point is the percentage of the target audience reached by an ad.

Hit: Any request from a file or a web-server. A single page likely contains multiple hits as multiple image and text files are downloaded from the web-server.
Home Page: The main page of a web site. The home page provides visitors with an overview and links to the rest of the site
Home Page URL: The local path or Internet URL to the default page of the web site for which WebTrends reports will be generated.
HTML: HyperText Markup Language is a means of communicating text (and information about that text) that was designed to display pages with hypertext (links) and other information in a web browser.
HTTP: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is a standard method of transferring data between a web server and a web browser.

IAB: Interactive Advertising Bureau (http://www.iab.net/)
Impression: The display of an online advertisement (usually a banner ad) to a web site visitor.
Internet: The Internet is the publicly accessible global system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data via a standardized Internet Protocol. See also World Wide Web.
IP: Internet Protocol is a standard used for communicating data.
IP Address: Internet Protocol address is used to identify a computer connected to the Internet.

JavaScript tag: See page tag.
JPEG: A Joint Photographic Experts Group file format is a commonly used file type for photographic images, especially on the web.

Keyword: Terms entered into the search field of a web search engine. See also organic search and PPC.
KPI: Key Performance Indicators. Key Performance Indicators are typically kept in dashboards and provide customers with an understanding of how the site is performing.

Latency: The average number of days between visits for a given visitor during a reporting period. For example, those who visit on average every seven days. See also recency and frequency.
Link: On a web page, text or an image that has been coded to take a browser from one page to another or from one site to another.
Log File: A file created by a web or proxy server which contains all of the access information regarding the activity on that server. This kind of tracking is available from WebTrends solutions as well as page tagging.
LTV: Long Term Value or Life Time Value. Life Time Value is a metric used to describe the value a specific customer has over the life of their relationship with you.

Marketing Performance Measurement (MPM): Marketing Performance Management drives stronger customer relationships and higher lifetime value, based on a framework of established goals, consistent metrics, constant optimization across the entire marketing organization and across every customer touch point.
Marketing Warehouse: See data warehouse.
Metrics: Metrics are a system of parameters or ways of quantitative assessment of a process that is to be measured, along with the processes to carry out such measurement. Metrics define what is to be measured.

N-dimensional: Unlimited dimensions.
Navigation: The act of moving from location to location within a web site, or between web sites, accomplished by clicking on links. Navigation can also refer to the overall structure of the links on the site, comprising the paths available to the visitor.
Non-referrals: Visitors who arrive at a site by typing a domain into an address bar, using a bookmark, or clicking on an emailed URL. See also referrals.

OCR: Organic Click Rate. See also PPC.
On-demand service: WebTrends Marketing Lab is available as both an on-demand service and a software solution. WebTrends’ on-demand infrastructure provides redundant data collection, multiple co-located data centers and an advanced staging environment for quality control to ensure secure, always-available data.
Opt-in: This permission-based email communication requires customers to verify the opt-in method before their e-mail addresses can be used to communicate with them.
Organic Search: A type of search in which web users find sites having unpaid search engine listings, as opposed to using the pay per click advertisement listings displayed among the search results.

Page: A document provided by the server, including HTML, scripts, and text files. Images, sound files and video are not considered pages. Documents are defined by the system administrator, but generally include all static content, such as complete html pages. Dynamic pages are created with variables and do not exist anywhere in a static form. Forms are scripted pages which get information from a visitor that gets passed back to the server.
Page tag: A piece of JavaScript code embedded on a web page and executed by the browser when the page is viewed. See also log files.
Page view: is generally defined as a request to load a single page of a website. On the web, a page request would result from a web surfer clicking on a link on another page that points to the page in question. See also hit.
Parameters: These are located in the URL immediately after a question mark and followed by an equal sign and a return value, known as name=value.
Path: A path is the click pattern a visitor uses as they traverse through multiple pages.
PEF: Personal Experience Factor is the customer's interaction with your website, advertising, or brand.
Performance Indicators: See KPIs.
PIE: Persistent Identification Element is a type of tag that is attached a user's browser, providing a unique ID similar to traditional cookie coding.
Platform: The operating system (such as Microsoft Windows) used by a visitor to the site.
POA: Point of Action is the location of a conversion event.
POC: Percentage of Completion
PPC: Pay Per Click or paid search uses search keywords that cost a certain amount for each customer click on that term in order to get to your site. See also organic search.
Protocol: An established method of exchanging data over the Internet.
Psychographics: Data used to build customer segments based on attitudes, values, beliefs and opinions as opposed to the factual characteristics. See also demographics.

Query: A question or inquiry used to find answers about certain metrics.
Query Parameter: An individual piece of a query string consisting of a parameter name and a value for the parameter.

Rear-view mirror metrics: Metrics that measure what has occurred. For example campaign response metrics are such metrics that tell you how a campaign performed.
Recency: The number of days since a visitor's most recent visit during a reporting period. See also frequency.
Referrals: The location that visitors come from, particularly the sites, search engines or directories. See also non-referrals.
Relationship Marketing: Relationship marketing is a type of marketing that traces its roots to direct response marketing. It emphasizes building long-term relationships with customers rather than individual transactions. It requires understanding customer needs as they go through life cycles of interacting and purchasing from organizations, and requires that marketers accurately determine customer intent in order to provide them the right message at the right time.
Return Code: The return status of the request which specifies whether the transfer was successful and why.

Possible "Success" codes are:
200 = Success: OK
201 = Success: Created
202 = Success: Accepted
203 = Success: Partial Information
204 = Success: No Response
300 = Success: Redirected
301 = Success: Moved
302 = Success: Found
303 = Success: New Method
304 = Success: Not Modified
Possible "Failed" codes are:
400 = Failed: Bad Request
401 = Failed: Unauthorized
402 = Failed: Payment Required
403 = Failed: Forbidden
404 = Failed: Not Found
500 = Failed: Internal Error
501 = Failed: Not Implemented
502 = Failed: Overloaded Temporarily
503 = Failed: Gateway Timeout

RFM Analysis: Recency, Frequency, Monetary analysis.
ROMI: Return on Marketing Investment
ROAS: Return on Advertising Spending
Robot: An automated process that performs mundane, repeatable tasks to provide information. Search engine robots or bots provide such functions, cataloging the internet for searchers to find information.
ROI: Return on Investment

Scenario Analysis: A report showing the amount of activity at each step of a defined scenario, plus conversion rates for each transition from step to step as well as for the whole process. Examples of scenarios are check-out, registration, or application sequences.
Script: See JavaScript.
Search Engine: A search engine is a program that helps you find information on the web.
Segment: A grouping of customers, defined by website activity or other data, which can be used to target them effectively.
SEM: Search Engine Marketing
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Server: A computer that hosts information available to anyone accessing the Internet.
Server Error: A fault occurring at the computer hosting information. See also return code.
Session: A session is a record of one visitor browsing through a site.
Sessionization: This is the process for creating a session. Sessionization methods are ways in which you can define a session. Web Analytics solutions have multiple sessionization methods such as cookies, IP Address, IP+ Agent and so on. These methods tell the web analytics system how they should count a series of page requests from the same individual or browsing machine.
SKU: Stock Keeping Units
SmartSource: A trademarked technology from WebTrends. SmartSouce Data Management offers an alternative to traditional web server log file analysis, collecting information directly from the visitor's browser (the client) rather than from server log files, improving data accuracy.
SmartView: WebTrends SmartView is an easy-to-use visual overlay of web metrics displayed right on a web page, which you can use to analyze page performance, providing insight into page conversion, path analysis, and overall web page statistics such as unique visitor counts.
Spider: An automated software program that gathers pages from the World Wide Web.
Suffix: The last part of a domain that can be used to identify the type of organization or location of a site.

Tag: See page tag.
Third-party cookie: Hosted web analytics services track visitor behavior by inserting a small piece of tracking code onto each page of a site. Because the cookie is served by an analytics vendor rather than your own site, the cookie is considered third-party.
Traffic: On the web, traffic refers to the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website.

User: The end-user of a product or device. For example an end user of the WebTrends Marketing lab can be defined as a "user". User typically refers to the end user of WebTrends products.
UNIX: is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T Bell Labs employees including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and Douglas McIlroy.
URL: A Uniform Resource Locator is a means of identifying an exact location on the Internet.
User Agent: Fields in an extended web server log file identifying the browser and platform used by a visitor.
User Session: A period of activity (all hits) for one user of a web site. A unique user is determined by the IP address or cookie. By default a user session is terminated when a user is inactive for more than 30 minutes. See also visit.
UV: Unique Visitors refers to a measure captured by some web analytics solutions that track the interaction a single user has with a website over time.

Visitor: Similar to unique visitor, visitor refers to an individual that visits a website. A visitor or unique visitor can have multiple visits.
Visit: A visit is an interaction an individual or unique visitor has with a website over a specified period of time or activity. In most cases, if a visitor has left a site or has not executed a click within 30 minutes, the visit session will terminate.
VOD: Video on Demand

W3C: World Wide Web Consortium develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential.
Warehouse: See data warehouse.
Web analytics: The measurement of data as it relates to an Internet site, including the behavior of visitors, the amount of traffic, the conversion rates, web server performance, user experience, and other information in order to understand and proof of results and continually improve the results of a site towards a set of objectives.
Website: A website is a collection of web pages, on particular domain name or sub-domain on the World Wide Web on the Internet. Usually it is made up of a set of web pages created using HTML and accessible via HTTP.
What if: A type of analysis that allows an end-user to pose hypothetical situations against their data to model or predict outcomes.
WIN Partner: The WebTrends Insight Network is a select group of leading interactive agencies, marketing consultants and web analytics experts worldwide that work with customers to maximize the success of their online initiatives through the use of WebTrends solutions.
WML: Website META Language, a free, extensible off-line HTML generation toolkit for UNIX, distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL v2).
World Wide Web: Also called the web, this is a global information space which people can communicate via computers connected to the Internet. Some people use "internet" and "the web" interchangeably, even though the web is a service that operates over the internet.

XML: Extensible Markup Language is a W3C-recommended general-purpose markup language for creating special-purpose markup languages, capable of describing many different kinds of data.

YoY: Year over Year
YSM: Yahoo! Search Marketing

Zero Latency: Latency is a time delay between the moment something is started, and the moment one of the effects of that thing begins. When there is no time lapse between the thing and the effect, it's called zero latency. In analytics, this term is used to describe instantaneous receipt of data and the ability to analyze and act on that data.
Zero-page Visit: A visit that included no page views. This is possible if a visit consisted of at least one request for a non-page file (such as a graphic) but no page files (such as .htm, .asp, .jsp, or .cfm.)