A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Google releases Android SDK mobile platform and issues $10 million challenge for developers to create applications for it, Google is redefining what it constitutes a “click” on AdSense ads – background clicks no longer count, Loren Baker provides 10 ways to get links without buying them, Search Engine Guide and Small Business Brief to hold their first search marketing conference for small business, and finally, Microsoft unveils it 5 year plan to domination of the web.
- Google Releases Android SDK & Issues $10M Android Challenge – In lieu of the release of Android SDK, the first complete, open, and free mobile platform, Google is offering $10 million in awards for developers who build great applications for Android platform. Dubbed the “Android Developer Challenge,” the goal is to encourage developers to create applications that can be used on the mobile platform. They are looking for all types of applications but specifically those that are innovative and useful apps that make use of Android’s capabilities to deliver a better mobile experience. broken into two separate challenges, in the first challenge, the 50 most promising entries received by March 3, 2008 will each receive a $25,000 award to fund further development. Those selected will then be eligible for even greater recognition via ten $275,000 awards and ten $100,000 awards. Learn more at the official Android site.
- Google Redefining a “Click” on AdSense Ads - Barry Schwartz received an email from Google stating that they are planning a change in what they constitute a “click” for AdSense ads. In the past, a click on the title, the URL or anywhere on the background of the ad was counted as a click. Now, a user must click on the ad title or URL for it to constitute a click. Google had the following to say about the change – “Although we recognize these changes may result in a RPM decrease for some publishers in the short term, we expect these improvements will lead to increased advertiser spend in the long term. By investing in the long-run health of the relationship between AdSense publishers, AdWords advertisers and your sites’ visitors, we’re ensuring your continued success as an AdSense partner.” What was not clarified is that would they change the format of the ad so that one “has to” click on the title or URL to visit the site? Seems to me that if they wish to avoid accidental clicks, then they would disable the ability for users to click-thru if they selected anything else but the title or URL.
- 10 Ways To Get Links Without Paying For Them - Loren Baker provides a list of ways to obtain links outside the scope of actually paying for them. Ideas include top 10 lists as linkbait, social bookmarking sites, blogging, syndicating news, directories, networking with locals, product reviews, link trading or swapping, becoming and expert in your field, and contests and giveaways. Loren states, “all in all, the key is to not just buy links, but to create natural link building campaigns to compliment your link advertising.” Exactly! Check out the details of each suggestion at Search Engine Journal.
- Search Engine Guide/Small Business Brief Launch Conference - Robert Clough mentioned it awhile back and today Jennifer Laycock officially announced the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference. This conference aims to be different than others in that, “instead of hearing a panel of speakers share four different viewpoints, (leaving you to figure out which one is right) we’ll give the stage to one expert who knows how to explain the nuts and bolts of their topic to the small business audience.” The conference will be held in Houston, Texas on April 21 – 22, 2008 at the Northwest Forest Conference Center. I was hoping to be able to help out as a speaker but it appears I have been passed over. I still may try to make it out – maybe as a live blogger? We will see. If you are a small business owner and want to gain practical hands on online marketing experience, then this will be a very good conference but you better sign up as it could sell out quickly.
- Microsoft Unveils 5 year Plan To Web Domination - From Reuters, Microsoft has goals to be one of the top two players in the online advertising market in the next five years, a company executive in charge of the business said on Thursday. Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s platforms and services division, spoke at a recent UBS investor conference and laid out a “10, 20, 30, 40″ plan that is designed to help them become a leader in the growing online advertising industry. The Reuters articles comments that Microsoft demonstrates its seriousness in this matter by its recent $6 billion acquisition of digital advertising firm aQuantive in August. Add to that their recent $240 million investment into Facebook and one can clearly see that Microsoft is working to expand it reach. “If you look at the landscape of other competitors or other companies in this area, not only do we have the technology, research and development capability to deploy, but (we have) our willingness to invest for the long term,” said Johnson in a question-and-answer session with UBS analyst Heather Bellini.
More details at Reuters and Mashable.