Google may provide query volumes soon

The blogosphere is going nuts over the possibility that Google will be providing monthly query volume by keyword. This is something that Goto.com/Overture/Yahoo Search Marketing has provided for years, but inventory.overture.com has been unreliable for some time. And Yahoo only has a minority of the overall search traffic. There are paid options like WordTracker (which I have used) for query volume and Keywordtopia (which I haven’t used yet) for generating unique words lists based on query volume and amount of competition. But if Google gets into this arena, it will be a boom for all search engine marketers. The screen shot from the adamap.com post shows that Google will display the query volume per keyword as well as the amount of PPC competition for that word. What they won’t do is show the SEO competition. This is what our WebEvident.com Searchability(TM) technology attempts to provide: an SEO “acquirability” score, meaning, how hard will it be to get a top 10 ranking on any given keyword based on the current top 10 results–how optimized is their page, how many incoming links do they have, etc. Unfortunately, WebEvident is only available through third party distributors; its retail site has never launched. If WebEvident could find a partner to build its retail site and share the revenue, I think they would do it. Use the Contact Me form if you are interested in discussing this….

The future of Google Video search

From the Official Google Blog, we learn that Google Video searches will now include links to videos hosted at YouTube, but in the future, Google Video will index “the world’s online video content” whereever it exists.

Starting today, YouTube video results will appear in the Google Video search index: when you click on YouTube thumbnails, you will be taken to YouTube.com to experience the videos. Over time, Google Video will become even more comprehensive as it evolves into a service where you can search for the world’s online video content, irrespective of where it may be hosted.

This actually makes a ton of sense. Google will focus on indexing all the world’s video content, regardless of where it exists, and not try to host it all. There are scores of “YouTube” like sites cropping up everywhere, so one of the major challenges for Google will be how to manage duplicate video content. Many marketers/advertisers will upload their videos to all the video sites they can. It will be interesting to see how Google will rank the results when the same video is hosted in dozens of places. I suppose Google Video and YouTube results might appear first.

The biggest challenge of all may be to avoid indexing all the UGC (user generated crap) that millions of amateur video producers will be posting online.

I was in Las Vegas recently when the CEO of CBS took the stage at CES and showed us a glimpse of the future. As they presented a totally lame video produced in Second Life using some CBS Star Trek content, I began to worry that the future of television will include millions of home-made poor quality video clips with all the intelligence and redeeming value of South Park or Beevis and Butthead, or the kind of fake porn or near porn that Mark Cuban says exists in so much abundance on YouTube.

Mark recently blogged about the the top 20 most played videos on YouTube in December.

Go through the list. Only the StarWars PSA, the Christmas Tree Jump and PowerTool Racing are really user generated content. 3 out of 20.

From there you have a contrived 12 days of christmas that is one of thousands of promos for Youtube users themselves trying to build a following. Is this social networking at its best?

From there we have commercials or promos for movies, tv shows, blenders, knives, music videos and for a phone company. Then we have the most popular of Youtube videos these days. The fake Porn thumbnail with headlines of: Britney, Paris, whoever, nude, in the shower, wherever, doing whatever. 5 of the top 20 are fake porn.

This is the future of TV and entertainment ?

Thats what Youtube has become. Fake Porn and Commercials. Sure there is still some fun stuff on there and being uploaded, but how long before fake porn just takes over? It was 9 of the top 20 for the week as I write this.

At CES, Michael Dell showed a historic cartoon showing what might have happened if ancients had access to personal computers (Dell computers of course), and he wondered outloud what Spielberg would be doing now if Shakespeare had been producing action movies in the 1500s.

I worry when we start thinking that video is more important than text.

If you haven’t read Neal Postman’s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, you should.

I hope Google or someone can figure out a way to index all the good, wholesome, uplifting, educational, informative, appropriately entertaining and useful video content and filter out all the rest, at least for those of us who don’t want to fill our minds with garbage. Some of us still believe in the “law of the harvest”–that what you sow, you shall also reap. And some of us want to have all the positive benefits of technology without all the negatives.

Think about it. Stanford hosts the most successful investors and entreprenuers of all time and posts the full video interviews on their entrepreneur education web site. This is really valuablel stuff. Probably get a few thousand views each, if they are lucky. Meanwhile, YouTube gets millions of views of the fake porn videos that Mark Cuban refers to.

Makes you think about the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and other civilizations that lost their bearing and got corrupted by entertaining themselves to death (sometimes literally).

Recent polls show that about a third of young people in the U.S. read the bible weekly, but a third have also watched a particularly violent TV show in the last month as well as a violent movie. If you add “a violent or raunchy” web video to the poll, I bet the numbers are much higher.

So if the Bible and Shakespeare and the classics keep fading from popular culture, and our minds become more and more filled with lousy UCG, what will our country look like in the next few decades, and how will we respond to the incredible economic and educational energy coming from China and India and elsewhere in the world?

As a social entrepreneur, I like to look for opportunities to counter the negatives that I see in our culture with new positive things that can be done with modern technology. My focus for the next few years will be on genealogy and connecting families using technology. But I admire other social entrepreneurs who find ways to use modern technology to improve our minds and solve all kinds of problems.

I’m especially excited about Google Book Search and the other projects that are underway to digitize all the books in the world. I haven’t seen any Hitwise or Comscore stats showing the usage of these online projects. But I’m interested to see how many people will use them. I fear that it will be only a fraction of the people who use video search.

Utah’s First Blog Search Engine: TagJungle.com

Our friends at TagJungle have launched a working blog search website at TagJungle.com. I like the implementation a lot. Phil Burns blogged last month about the leadup to the launch. It’s nice to see a Web 2.0 company launch in Utah with a very different approach to searching the blogosphere than anyone else. I like the TagJungle Alexa chart, which is showing about 18,000 for today. I’m betting their traffic will increase rapidly and they’ll quickly break into the top few thousand web sites. They have a LONG way to go to catch Technorati, but catching icerocket and feedster may not be so difficult.

Pay Per Click Marketing Credits: $50 from Ask.com, $300 from LookSmart

My most popular post in the past six months was the one last week about getting a $200 in pay-per-click advertising credit from MSN.com if you sign up for a new account (which costs $5.)

I had record traffic numbers for three days.

So, being the fast learner that I am, I figure that I should give my readers more of what they want. So I’ll keep looking for money-saving offers and credits from online advertisers who want more business.

One of my readers thought the MSN offer was not valid. He said the site was hosted at Rackspace, which made him suspicious and that he called Microsoft who had not heard of this offer.

I signed up for it and actually got the $200 credit in my account, so I’m pretty sure it’s valid. :)

Also, if you search for “MSN Adcenter” on Google, MSN is paying for clicks and sending people to an identical signup page, only with a $100 credit, instead of the $200 credit that I am sending people to.

The Alexa chart for Startadcenter.com is excellent. This promotion is going very well for Microsoft.

So far I’ve had 3,000 impressions and no clicks on my ad campaign, which is locally targeted Utah users only. Today I added another 50 keywords and am going to use my MSN credit to get more blog readers.

Back to the topic of today’s post: more credit for signing up with other advertisers.

At Search Engine Strategies Chicago I visited most of the booths of the companies in the Exhibit Hall, in between attending sessions.

I found a $50 credit from Ask.com which I was given permission to blog about. Ask.com’s market share has been creeping up lately, and with the launch of Ask City, their traffic should grow even more.

To claim your $50 credit from Ask.com, sign up at sponsoredlistings.ask.com, and enter promo code SESCHI06 during the check-out process.

Even better, I picked up a $300 credit from LookSmart for setting up a new account. The product manager at the booth wasn’t sure that I could blog about this. This might, of course, be limited to SES attendees only.

But just moments ago, he called me from the airport and told me that I have permission to blog about this $300 credit.

The offer expires on 12/25/06, so you better act on this quickly. Visit AdCenter.LookSmart.com, click on the sign up button, and enter this coupon code at check-out: SESCHQ4

This offer is good for first time LookSmart advertisers only and your daily budget must be set to $10 or higher.

So thanks for reading my blog today. It feels good to give out $350. Consider it an early Christmas present from me to you.

In return, please tell all the internet marketers you know about these excellent offers. I would appreciate links to this blog post.

Search Engine Strategies in Chicago

I’m attending my first panel at SES Chicago. I chose to attend the session called Bulk Submit 2.0. The presenters include Amanda Camp, the Google engineer over Sitemaps, and Amit Kumar, the Yahoo manager over Site Explorer, along with two agency search marketers. Everyone is enthusiastic about the industry’s acceptance of a bulk site submit protocoal at www.sitemaps.org. I will try to boil down all the advice from this session and others into future blog posts.

Internet Marketing Update

I’m in Hawaii on business, and don’t have time for any thoughtful posts, but here are a few items that I will be exploring more in depth later:

  • Amazon is introducing a pay-per-click network called ClickRiver. Internet marketers need to try this, but it’s in beta right now.
  • Turn.com, a venture funded CPA network is launching today at an O’Reilly Web 2.0 conference, along with 12 other companies. I will definitely ask my portfolio companies to sign up as advertisers and see how well this CPA network works. CPA stands for “cost per action”, so unlike Google where you pay per click, with Turn you pay per lead or pay per sale. Turn, in effect, will be a powerful affiliate for any ecommerce company or other web site. Turn has raised about $18 million, I think, from VCs.
  • Last week MarketingSherpa was acquired by MEC Labs which publishes MarketingExperiments.com. I’ve been telling my Provo Labs Academy members that these are the two most important newsletters for them to read. And now they are under one roof.
  • Comscore has released its first analysis of mobile phone internet access in the U.S. and Europe.
  • The Utah Jazz are 4-0, one of only 3 undefeated teams in the NBA. BYU’s football team broke into the Top 25 for the first time in years. I think they are going to run the table. The sports gods are smiling on Utah. This is turning out to be a very good year for us.

Compete puts icons next to Google and Yahoo search results

Today I’ve been using LinkedIn.com to find someone who worked at Travelzoo back when they issued shares to thousands (or was it hundreds of thousands?) of customers. That is such an interesting concept. It made a big splash in the 90s during the bubble. But would it work today with new SEC regulations? That’s what I want to explore.

I found more than 50 people in my LinkedIn.com network that have worked at Travelzoo in the past or work there now, but none on the legal or executive management team. Mostly web designers, developers, content people/producers, and sales and marketing folks.

So I turned to Google using Firefox and did a search. And I was amazed to find that the new Compete toolbar that I have installed parsed the Google search results and put three icons next to every entry.

This is what it looks like:
Free Image Hosting by FreeImageHosting.net

So I’ve never used a toolbar that adds more data to the Google search results and I’m not sure if I like it yet…but it is a gutsy move by Compete. If they get a lot of toolbar users, they’ll be piggybacking on Google’s traffic to direct a lot of eyeballs to themselves. I just checked and it does the same thing with Yahoo search results.

This Compete toolbar is extremely interesting. I wonder what the fallout will be….