Mar 30 2011

Google’s +1 Button on Search Results

by Andrew DiFiore

We’ve been waiting for this to come along, Google’s answer to Facebook’s Like button but for search results pages. You will now start to see a tiny +1 icon next to the title of¬†orgainic and paid (AdWords) search listings. Currently, it appears next to the Favorite star but this is expected to go away soon. The idea of this nifty little gadget is make search more social, allowing users to effectively vote up (recommend) their “favorite” listings. Okay, let’s see how long it takes the search scammers to spoof this one.

Jun 15 2010

Twitter Places vs. Google Places

by Andrew DiFiore

Google asserts that 1 in 5 searches are location based.

This gave impetus for Google Places (formerly Local Business Center). Google Places expands on Place Pages, which allows a business to “claim” their own MerchantCircle-like listing that feeds Google Search and Google Map (e.g. California Pizza). In addition to such banal things as hours of operation and coupons, Google Places supports customized QR Codes (via Favorite Places) and — for just $25 per month — businesses in select cities can make their listings stand out with Google Tags.

Aside: For the uninitiated, Google automatically generates these pages regardless of whether or not you have a physical business address so it would be wise to claim your listing if for no other reason then to ensure the information is accurate. It is free for one location (city).

Twitter Place

Yesterday, Twitter announced you can tag Tweets with specific places and create new Twitter Places. You can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location.¬† A really cool feature here is you can publish check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla directly to Twitter. This means that if you click on a Twitter Place you’ll see standard Tweets and check-ins from these location-based services. Twitter will be rolling out Twitter Places in 65 countries over the next few weeks so expect to see a “Add Your Location” link below a Tweet box near you.

As far as Twitter challenging Google? Not really. Incorporating hyperlocal features has been a big trend in social media and online marketing at large. Both Twitter Places and Google Places are powerful weapons for any marketer to have in their arsenal.

Sep 18 2009

Google Makes Good on New DoubleClick Ad Exchange

by Andrew DiFiore

Google has offered display ads for a while but it had yet to truly leverage its much-touted acquisition of DoubleClick some 18 months ago, that is, until today with the arrival of its automated Ad Exchange, combining the strengths of Google’s search-engine auction system (AdWords) with the display ad management of DoubleClick. You can read all about it in The New York Times.

This dovetails nicely with Google’s new Display Ad Builder which it announced last month.

It will be interesting to watch this as online display ads have yet to prove to be as popular as textual ads. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, online search advertising sales in the United States totaled $10.5 billion last year while display ads totaled $7.6 billion. The other side of this coin is that ad spend in general is being diverted to other forms of online marketing, namely Social Media, which is some cases yields higher returns with the benefit of having ongoing relationships with customers.