If Jim Morrison of The Doors was alive today—and working in search engine marketing—right about now, he might be crooning, “Google is strange, when you’re a searcher. Sponsored ads are mashed-up when you’re online.”
Google is tracking search query history and serving sponsored ads based on a variety of searches, not just the query that drove the search results. For example, if you do a Google search for “new home windows,” then search for “free home listings,” you may see sponsored ads for both key phrases after you hit the search button twice. Google is currently mashing up search results for certain keywords, displaying sponsored ads that are most likely to be clicked.
Did we catch them testing something? If so, that is pretty interesting and we wonder how that would impact consumers and advertisers.
When you search for home listings, you presumably don’t want to see ads for home windows, or whatever else you searched for initially. Search engines provide quality traffic because they can display ads only when people are searching for the products or services offered by the advertiser. Fortunately, Google appears only to be testing this mashed-up results program on a limited number of searchers. The Lizard King can rest in peace!
My wife Gouya and I traveled to Haiti last month with a group of supporters of the Mona Foundation, which included “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson (who plays Dwight Schrute) and his wife Holiday Reinhorn. Although I have also visited poverty-stricken villages in Africa with the foundation, Haiti’s poverty is coupled with frequent warnings of violence against visitors, especially ones from the United States. As I traveled on Haiti’s treacherous (mostly unpaved) and pothole-packed streets, I glimpsed a dichotomous scene: a scenically picturesque, lush landscape marred by high level of poverty.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The top 1 percent of Haitians control 50 percent of its wealth. But despite the widespread poverty and lack of some amenities and social services (the type we are used to in the U.S.), many of the Haitians I met on my trip remained optimistic about the future of their country.
Haitians are some of the most beautiful people I have ever met. While by any measure Haiti is a poor country, one cannot help but notice the pride people take in their appearance. Every child who attends school in Haiti—even the poorest of the poor—wears a bright, clean, and pressed uniform. In this country, children looked immaculate as they walked and focused on getting to their destination as they bypassed the traffic and the difficult life they’ve grown accustomed to.
The Mona-sponsored schools we visited provide their students with a strong foundation in reading and writing, as well as a curriculum that stresses morals, values, leadership, community-building, vocational training, and pride in their heritage. The schools provide their students with the skills they need to continue to build their nation. According to one Mona school director, “These schools have great potential to serve the country by producing graduates who will be agents of change in their community.”
While the Mona Foundation sponsors coed institutions, it is primarily focused on educating girls and women. Educating girls is crucial. As mothers, women are the first educators, and studies show that once a girl gets an education, she has the opportunity to raise the standard of living for herself, her family, her community, and her country. According to GirlEffect.org, research in developing countries has shown the children of educated women are healthier, and more likely to be in school themselves. A woman or girl will reinvest 90 percent of her income into her family, while a man will reinvest only 30 to 40 percent. An extra year of primary school raises a girl’s lifetime wages by 10 to 20 percent, and an extra year of secondary school raises a girl’s lifetime wages by 15 to 25 percent. Focusing money on educating girls is important because for every development dollar spent, girls typically receive less than 2 cents.
Highlights from the trip included visiting the New Horizon School, which is run by Bernard Martinod, a tireless French architect who has built a lovely, renowned school outside of Port au Prince that serves some of the small villages in the area. We also visited the Georges Marcellus School in the rural village of Gureot, where the kindergarteners charmed us with a song: “Hello, my friend. Hello, my friend. How are you?”
On this trip, I had the chance to observe how integral education is to the transformation of any country and community.
The Mona Foundation was named for Mona Mahmudnizhad—a 16-year-old girl who taught children in orphanages how to read and write and in 1983 was executed by the Iranian government because she was a member of the Baha’i Faith. In her memory, the foundation supports schools and orphanages with a specific focus on those dedicated to education of women and girls.
At Reply.com, we commit a percentage of our profits to initiatives such as these in third world countries. While many of us are not actively engaged in careers that will find the cure to cancer or solve global warming, we can still do a lot with our resources to make a valuable impact.
Luck, be a lady next February! (That’s when Reply! will head to Las Vegas for LeadsCon as a Gold Sponsor.)
LeadsCon happens February 23-24, 2010 at The Mirage. Serving as “the pioneering conference and expo dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of those operating in the online lead generation industry,” LeadsCon brings together the top brass from the online customer acquisition space.
Come visit us at LeadsCon, where we’ll show you why the Reply.com Marketplace is more precise and profitable than search engines and ad networks. Learn how to acquire more ready-to-purchase customers using Reply.com’s Enhanced Clicks™ program. Also, see how the Reply.com Leads program can help you control lead price, quality, and volume—all while optimizing results.
If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with Reply.com at LeadsCon, please email us at BizDev@Reply.com.
Reply.com Founder and CEO Payam Zamani will participate in a panel discussion at the Fifth Annual Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit in Menlo Park, California. The session is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel. NetQuote CEO Paul Ford and Oodle CEO Craig Donato will also participate in this panel discussion.
Yahoo! News recently reported, “The Internet search leader last week began trials of a new ad service in San Francisco and San Diego that lets small local businesses pay a flat monthly fee for an ad on Google.” This new Google service, called Local Listing Ads, combines with Google Maps to direct the consumer to the business. According to the Local Listing Ads FAQ, “Payment for Local Listing Ads is a flat monthly fee. This fee varies by the location of your business, and the business category you choose.” Prior to this program’s launch, Google’s search advertisers were required to bid on keywords.
Based on Google’s experiment, it appears they agree with us at Reply.com that the acquisition of locally-targeted consumer online traffic is too complicated, too expensive, and too imprecise. Reply! has been focused on solving this problem for years.
Removing keywords is part of the solution, but for most businesses that target local consumers, geo-targeting is a major issue that Google’s solution does not solve. In fact, IP targeting is wrong 30-50% of the time. That poor targeting creates tremendous inefficiency and wasted spend. You still need keyword management to maximize volume.
Reply.com’s Marketplace better serves local advertisers by offering:
- Auction-based pricing
- Precise, user-submitted location and category
- Comprehensive segmentation
- Controls over price, volume, and quality
With Reply!’s Enhanced Clicks™, all you have to do is set a bid price and location. You pay NOTHING unless you actually win the bid for a particular click, and you are guaranteed to receive that traffic. Reply! already has the clicks, so your winning bid guarantees you get the traffic you’re looking for.
Google provides the traffic platform, and Reply.com is the conduit to making them a real solution for locally-targeted traffic. This makes Google more easily digestible for local advertisers. Reply.com also helps Google address a market that has otherwise been slow to bring their ad dollars online.
Reply.com optimizes locally-targeted advertisers’ online spend; major search engines do not. Reply.com built a platform that offers advertisers of all sizes Google-like capabilities, without keywords or text ads, while offering perfect geo-targeting. In five minutes, an advertiser can sign up and start receiving perfectly-targeted Enhanced Clicks™ or leads. Also, Reply! is the only company to help advertisers recover their investment by exchanging poorly-targeted traffic through an online, real-time exchange. The exchange empowers advertisers by giving them the ability to monetize unwanted traffic, recover wasted ad spend, and maximize ROI.
For more information on Google’s new Local Listing Ads, see Google Lures Local Advertisers by Subverting Its Own Search Policies and Google Creates A New, Simplified Ad Unit for Local Business.
It was a graveyard smash at Reply! last Friday, with the entire office decked out in ghoulish/festive splendor. This year, the decorating contest between the departments was fiercely competitive, with the macabre Real Estate Sales team edging out both Real Estate Service (aka “The Dead Realtors’ Society”) and Marketing and Finance (aka “The Halloween Prom Committee”). And in our annual costume contest, geisha girl Brittney Beussink was the first place winner, Wonder Woman Carrie Gilbert came in second, and jester David Roudpeyma took third place. Honorable mentions: Adam Carabetta and Rudd Lippincott as “Step Brothers” Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. At 4 PM, the office was invaded by trick-or-treaters aplenty.