Archive for the 'Google' Category

Google user research by industry

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

In order to help advertisers make up their mind about using Adwords to promote their products, Google has provided some very useful consumer data for the usage of search engines according to industry. I was particularly interested in the search engine usage for travellers because I have a mate who is setting up a travel portal and I’ve been advising her to use Google Adwords to get to the top SERP.

Google Advertising

Google blog search

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Hot news this week: Google has launched a blog search tool. I think we were always expecting a blog: operator for the regular Google search site, which I think I would have liked better. But Google decided to come up with a separate engine. If they had decided on a new operator, then (given’s ubiquity) would have had something to worry about. So far all the other contenders like and have nothing on Technorati because of either a lack of results, lateness or too many duplicates. For Google, it appears that their problem is too much spam and not quite as many results as Technorati. And one strange thing I noted was that Google blog search is getting a lot of results from RSS feeds. This means that if you are publishing only a partial content feed instead of a full content feed, you won’t be getting as many references as you should.

Google Blog search looks like a decent companion (I’m subscribing to both Technorati and Google RSS feeds of myself), but I wouldn’t be declaring the death of Technorati yet. What we need right now is a Google and Technorati side-by-side blog search comparison tool ala Yagoohoogle.

The most frustrating job at Google

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

After I posted about Philipp Lenssen’s poll of Blogspot blog’s, I thought: the guy who has to come up with a new “Blogs of Note” for Blogger’s dashboard every day must have the most frustrating job in the whole of Google. Half of the blogs he has to survey (and I reckon he must go through hundreds each day) is spam. Poor bastard.

Rumor: Microsoft, AIM and Yahoo to cut out all multi-IM clients

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

Over at, there is a post that posits the days of Trillian and other multi-IM clients will be over soon. There’s a rumour that Google is planning a multi-IM client so Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo have ganged up to introduce new non-backward compatible IM clients for each of their services that shuts out all others. This will probably appear for Windows only and will allow Mac multi-IM clients to still function.

Section targeting for AdSense allows you to ignore on-page content

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

Ah finally, Google rolls out section targeting for Adsense. Just because I’ve got the word ‘blog’ in my title and in my first header, Google always seems to think that it should deliver ads on blogs, even though not much of my content is about blogs or blogging (well ok, except for this post).

Now with section targeting, with a couple of comment tags, I can tell Google to read the content of this or of that to determine what context of ads it should deliver. I can also tell it not to read the blogroll, the menu and the header and the footer so the text in those sections are not taken into context.

Google News has RSS feeds, ScrappyGoo will continue

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

As news has spread very rapidly over the past day, Google News has added RSS feeds to their offering. And as has been observed, their RSS package has a good way of handling duplicate stories as related links. So here’s what I’ve been waiting for since I released the ScrappyGoo Google News RSS scraper. ScrappyGoo will still be maintained indefinitely because thousands of feeds have been generated from it so far and while I’m sure many of the users will start using the official feeds, a large percentage of the ScrappyGoo feeds will still continue to be used. The resources being used by ScrappyGoo is quite manageable.

UPDATE: Searchenginejournal makes the interesting point that Google will probably insert RSS ads into their Google News feeds. I’d forgotten about that. ScrappyGoo will always remain ad-free. So I’m definitely keeping it around and waiting for the surge in traffic when Google starts adding ads to theirs.

GooRSS - turns your Google search results into an RSS feed

Monday, August 8th, 2005

Nothing else to say about GooRSS. It does the job it advertises. And it will probably take over from Ben Hammersley’s Google to RSS script because it has an input interface instead of making you construct the link.

Banning Google ads from Blogspot internet marketers

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

I started noticing that ads from “marketing gurus” promising untold riches have been appearing in my Google ads. I also noticed they were all hosted on sites. Listen, if you’re too cheap to buy a decent domain and host for your site, you’ve got zero credibility as an internet marketer. You don’t deserve to be seen. I’ve gone to my Google Adsense ad filter and zeroed you out. Get back under the rock you came from and stay there.

Howto: Using Feedburner to get rid of Google RSS ads

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

Here’s an undocumented feature of Feedburner’s summary burner. Basically the summary burner “strips hyperlinks, truncates content, adds teaser message to each feed item”. In an ironic twist (since Feedburner inserts Google Adsense ads into approved feeds), I found that the summary burner also removes Google Adsense ads.

Here’s the Feedburner summarised feed I made of the RSS Weblog from Weblogs Inc. Normally the original feed from the RSS Weblog has Google Ads inserted into every entry. Not with the Feedburner one. They’re gone. Then again so are the hyperlinks. If you dislike those ugly ads more than not getting the feed with links, this is the way to go.

UPDATE: Dick Costolo of Feedburner writes in the comments that one of the TOS policies of Feedburner is that you must burn only your own feed. I scanned over the TOS and I’m not sure but I didn’t see that. If it isn’t there, maybe they’ll clarify that now.

Truncated RSS feeds do not make sense for Adsense

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

I was re-reading the transcript for the Google Adsense webinar again. One thing that struck me was that the conventional thinking from Adsense is that return visitors suffer from “ad-blindness”. When they’re so used to the layout of a blog, they don’t click on the ads. The ones who do click on ads are more likely to be first time visitors, driven from search engines or inbound links.

One of the main arguments for truncated RSS feeds is that excerpted feeds drive traffic to your blog, assuming the visitors will click on your ads. But these visitors, according to Google Adsense, won’t do that. In fact, they probably lower your adclick ratio when they drive up your adviews without clicking on the ads.

So if your main goal is to drive traffic to your blog for the purpose of monetizing your blog, truncating your feeds for your loyal readers isn’t going to help. It’s going to hinder. On the other hand, having full posts in your feeds might increase your likeability to your loyal readers.

I’ve decided I don’t need traffic as much as I need loyal readers. So from today onward, I’m going to stop the practice of truncating my feed. But I will offer a truncated feed on my site to give readers a choice depending on what suits their reading habits better — skimming excerpts or remote reading from their feed reader.

(Ironically, for the very reason of ad-blindness, Adsense in RSS feeds doesn’t make sense either. The layout of the content and ads in feed readers is so standardised that people will just find it easier to ignore the ads.)

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