A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including reports that Google is joining the fight to buy DoubleClick after Microsoft initially showed an interest, Google Ads are coming to your television box, SEOmoz releases the second version of their Ranking Factors document, Google introduces ‘My Maps’ where you can make your own custom Google Maps, Yahoo! to limit ad descriptions to 70 characters or less come this May, and finally, ClickTracks releases a small-medium business version of their ClickTracks Pro software that includes click fraud detection.
- Google Joins the Fight To Buy DoubleClick - MarketWatch reports that Google has emerged with Microsoft as a contender to buy online advertising company DoubleClick, according to a media report Monday. The Wall Street Journal speculated that due to competition, the price to actually acquire DoubleClick may pass the $2 billion mark. Apparently Yahoo and AOL are also interested in acquiring this giant middleman between advertisers, ad agencies and online publishers. We will have to wait until the dust settles to see who comes out the winner, if any.
- Google To Test TV Ads - No this is not a late April Fool’s joke. Google announces a new effort to deliver Google TV ads. In partnership with EchoStar and Astound Cable, Google is currently running a trial to deliver better ads to viewers and help advertisers, operators and programmers more efficiently buy, schedule, deliver and measure ads on television. The press release makes the following interesting statement, “Advances in set-top-box technologies make it possible to report aggregate statistics on how many times an ad was viewed and whether it was watched through to the end. As part of this trial, we will be working with partners to use aggregate, anonymized set-top-box metrics to deliver timely and accurate viewing reports. Advertisers can use this data to understand the effectiveness of their TV ad campaigns and use this information to provide more relevant ads to viewers.” That is kind of cool and kind of scary at the same time. Greg Sterling has an in-depth write up at Search Engine Land.
- SEOmoz Releases Version 2 of Ranking Factors – What do you get when you poll a group of experienced search marketers on what matters most in how Google ranks web pages? Version 2 of SEOmoz’s Ranking Factors. The document represents the collective wisdom of 37 leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization who voted on the various factors that are estimated to comprise Google’s ranking algorithm. The result is a resource of incredible value. I won’t go into depth here of what each factor is but can you guess what was voted as the most important? If you guessed using keywords in the title tag then you are correct. Least important? The keyword meta tag. Check it out to see how marketers voted on all 55 ranking factors.
- Making Maps With Google is So Easy, A Caveman Can Do It - Google announces, My Maps, a new feature that makes it quick and easy to create your own custom Google Maps just by pointing and clicking. You can add place marks, draw lines and shapes, and embed text, photos and videos, all using a simple drag and drop interface. What is especially neat is that your map automatically gets a public URL that you can share with friends and family, or you can also publish your map for inclusion in Google Maps search results. Google will continue to show organic local search results with red pushpins; user-generated results will have blue pushpins. The user-created results include KML as well as maps made through My Maps. A few examples are America’s Highway: Oral Histories of Route 66, Around Japan in 28 Days and the Googleplex itself.
- Yahoo! To Shorten PPC Ad Descriptions – Within the Yahoo! Search Marketing ad management console, the advertiser has the option of entering both a short description of 70 characters and/or a long description of up to 190 character. If you only use a long description option, then you might want to make sure you have short ones added as well because they will become the norm in May with long descriptions being optional. Long descriptions will continue to be shown on some external distribution partner web sites but for the most case, ad descriptions will be limited to 70 characters or less. So if you have left those short description fields blank, best to make sure you fill them now unless you wants ad copy to be cut off as they display in the SERPs.
- ClickTracks Releases Small-Medium Business Version with Click Fraud Detection – I love ClickTracks. It is easy to use and feature rich. I also like the fact that they have several different versions of their web analytics software that cater to just about every business need. Now they have released a affordable version of ClickTracks Pro that features click fraud reporting – ClickTracks Pro SMB, priced at $2,995. Up until recently, the Click Fraud report was only available in ClickTracks Pro priced at $9,344. However, ClickTracks CEO, John Marshall, wants to be loyal to the market segment that helped them become the web analytics legend they are today. “We know that small- and medium-sized businesses have been ClickTracks’ biggest fans,” John says. “As thanks, we’ve created a version of ClickTracks–ClickTracks Pro SMB–that has everything that these businesses need, including click fraud reporting, for only $2,995. We’re effectively putting some of our most powerful tools well within reach of the average small shop.” The version will debut at the upcoming Search Engine Strategies in New York, booth # 1504.