Archive for the ‘ Internet Advertising ’ Category

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Internet Marketing Gurus

As a self-proclaimed internet marketing guru, I have made a list of suggested New Year’s resolutions for other self-proclaimed gurus to live by. This post was inspired by the countless hundreds of similar posts from otherwise decent internet marketing blogs I subscribe to that published pure garbage advice in the last few days – but unlike those posts, this one has some decent advice (I hope):

  1. Stop tweeting a Paper.li every day…or ever again…
  2. Stop making list-icles (except this one). Publish content that does more than just aggregate and rehash topics already beaten to death elsewhere.
  3. Stop making up random hashtags that no one has ever tweeted before, or will ever tweet again #youdontgetit
  4. Gretchen, stop trying to make Fetch Vine happen. It’s not going to happen (we have Instagram Video now).
  5. Stop syncing your Twitter feed with Facebook posts, they’re entirely different networks and all your really publishing is “I don’t know what I’m doing here” to those of us who do 😉
  6. Stop tweeting about how many followers/fans you have – aside from you, I can assure you that no one cares (and you really shouldn’t either, but that’s another post).
  7. Stop “birdie-bragging” (Hat tip to @garyvee for coining this phrase, see here for more info: http://www.slideshare.net/vaynerchuk/being-human-ontwitterslidesharev3)
  8. Stop: confusing a large number of followers/fans with self-worth or real-world importance #youarenotinternetfamous #imalreadybreakingrule3
  9. Do: Test a new channel, network, or media this year (note: testing requires collecting and analyzing data, not just publishing!)
  10. Do: Understand the business goals you are trying to support

Thank you for reading!

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Awesome Custom Reports & Dashboards for Google Analytics

Google Analytics Custom Reports

I’m doing research for an upcoming presentation, and the topic is Google Analytics. I’m loving working on this deck, as it’s forcing me to spend some time getting my hands VERY dirty in Google Analytics. Most specifically, I’m finding tons of really awesome Custom Reports – these are all awesome, and can be applied to anyone’s account instantly, so I’m going to make this post as a future reference for myself, my clients, and anyone else who happens to be looking for a list of awesome custom reports. Best of all, they’re free…

More to come…

Why I bid on myself in AdWords

Nick Roshon Vanity Search PPC Ad + Knowledge Graph

As an SEO, I’ve always felt it was important to have my own website(s) and actually implement the same kind of advice I communicate to my clients on a regular basis…eating my own dogfood, as it were. I’ve set up this blog (along with a car blog and travel blog) to experiment with various SEO tactics, content strategies, social media promotions and even some forms of monetization, and I’ve found  that these sites to be extremely helpful in my development as a marketer & SEO strategist.

I’ve decided to take my expirementing one step further by bidding on my own name [nick roshon] in Google AdWords. At first this may sound silly – I already rank #1 organically for this right? Now raise your hand if you’ve heard a client tell you this and you advise why it’s still a good idea. Like I said before, dogfooding.

Why should you bid on your own name in AdWords?

Cool data

Nick Roshon's AdWords Performance

I get to see the number of impressions for my name – aka the EXACT number of times someone has searched for name in Google. While that’s a bit of a vanity metric, it’s a cool stat that can maybe help me judge how I’m doing at building my own brand. While Google Webmaster Tools gives some approximate impression data, only AdWords can tell me exactly how many people have searched for me recently. I can use this data for other things – judging CTR, assessing the impact of keyword [not provided], etc. As of this post there have only been 25 people in the last 30 days searching for me in Google, so maybe at the very least this is also a good metric to keep my big head in check and realize I’ll never be as famous as the “leave Britney alone” guy.

It’s free (or free-ish)

Not only do I get the cool data above, but I pay virtually nothing for it. No one seems to be clicking my ads, but they keep showing up since my landing page is super relevant and my minimum bid is sufficiently high enough. As a result, I get free ads in Google. If someone does happen to click for whatever reason, I’m only out a few dimes in cost at the most.

It’s good practice

As an SEO I interface with PPC managers on a regular basis, and understand the strategy of PCC fairly well and how SEO and PPC can work together. However, I don’t get my hands dirty in PPC a lot (the PPC managers typically handle the day-t0-day bidding and adjustments). As such, it’s a good idea to get your hands dirty every once in a while by bidding on things, writing ad copy, structuring campaigns, etc.

Targeted messaging

I can play around with ad copy messaging depending on my goals, especially when I anticipate someone may search for me. For instance, if I’m speaking at a conference, I may change my ad copy to “Hear him present at SES on Key Metrics for SEO” or something along those lines, and I can really target this copy to promote whatever I’m currently working on that I think is noteworthy. I can also change landing pages to maybe highlight a recent blog post I wrote, an article I contributed to, a Slideshare deck I created, etc. With organic the homepage of NickRoshon.com and a fairly bland meta description is going to show, with PPC I can more-or-less have whatever I want pop up.

It’s a fun conversation piece

At the very least, people seem to notice this and ask about it. Some folks think it’s a cool idea and want to emulate it, other folks may think it’s stupid, and then we can engage in a fun debate as to the pros & cons of this strategy. Either way, it’s a good way to start a dialogue or have a healthy debate on the pros & cons of bidding on branded terms.

At the very least, it demonstrates a willingness to learn and experiment, something I find critical in field of digital marketing. What are your thoughts? Stupid or a good use of a ~$1.00 per month or less?

From Android to iPhone 4S – My Review

iPhone 4S unboxing

I recently made the big switch from Android to iPhone. I’ve wanted one since it first came out five years ago, so needless to say I’ve had a long time case of iPhone envy as a Verizon customer.

Maybe it was the hype, or maybe it was the years of anticipation, but at first I was let down. My first impression was that it was nice, but lacked some features that Android excelled in (most notably: Google Maps Navigation, and lightening quick Gmail integration). I knew to hold off judgments until I truly got to know the phone…as a self proclaimed Android power-user, I knew it would take time to learn the ins-and-outs of the iPhone as well as I did on Android.

After about a month – it clicked. It was strange really, I was ranting a few days earlier about how much I missed my Android, and still second guessing my decision of leaving. Then just like that, I fell in love with the iPhone.

Here’s why:

That intuitive thing…

I didn’t find the iPhone intuitive at all based on my first impression. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, and needed to ask a lot of noobie questions on how to do basic functions. It was no worse than learning to use an Android, but I didn’t feel that iOS was an innate skill I was born with either. The big “ah-ha” moment occurred about a month later when everything clicked & came together. The Apps are tightly monitored by Apple, so the navigation and options for the apps all work the same. The way you change settings on Angry Birds is the same way that you’d change settings on the alarm clock. All Apps follow a uniform user interface, whereas for Android every app is designed in whatever format the developer wants to. For most functions, there is only one way to make a change to the app behavior, and that interface, as well as the way of accessing it, is always the same. Once you learn the ins and outs of even just one app, it’s the same experience across the entire phone.

The Apps…

Sure, Android may have more apps, but Apple has BETTER apps. They’re quicker, they’ve got more features, they don’t crash, they’re just simply better. The apps are better supported by developers and have more frequent updates since they’re all built for a specific device (rather than fragmented across various screen sizes & manufacturers), so they are easier to update by developers. Apple users get the cream of the crop when it comes to app quality.

The Stability…

The iPhone is ridiculously quick and stable, always dependable when you need it. My Android phone crashed at least once a week, usually more. Ironically, my Android phone most frequently crashed when using the Google Search app or Google Maps. Everything works, and works well together, in the iPhone.

 The Attention to Details…

Android is sloppy when it comes to the details – Apple is obsessed. A representative detail of this is the default ringers & sounds of the two OSs’. The Motorola Droid line of Android phones (owned by Google) has a default ringer that sounds like a techno rave party and might induce a seizure to the average user it is so obnoxiously terrible. At the very least, it’s horribly unprofessional and would be embarrassing in front of a business colleague or client. Apple, on the other hand, scrutinized every default ringtone & sound notification to be soothing, simple, and pleasing. This attention to detail permeates to things like the design of icons, the homescreen, the phone’s appearance itself, and most importantly the settings menu.

The Graphics…

The iPhone blows any Android phone out of the water when it comes to HD display. The colors are vibrant and jaw dropping. I have yet to see an Android phone with anything nearly as impressive when it comes to graphics. If you play games or view photos on your phone, iPhone has the best display on the market IMO. And rumor has it the iPhone5 will only get better.

The Games…

I don’t play games and have never been interested. In fact, my laptop doesn’t have a single one installed other than the Windows defaults. But on the iPhone, the games are really good, and oddly addictive. I’ve spent way too many nights since getting my iPhone playing Monopoly or Temple Runner since getting the iPhone, and still finding new games that are fun to play. The above mentioned graphics make the games that much better, and the App Store makes it much easier to find games.

The App Store…

The Android Market, while vastly improved, is still light years behind Apple’s App Store. The App Store is easy to use, has better recommendations, and is easier to casually surf and stumble upon awesome apps you never knew you needed, until you install them and wondered how you lived without them. In just over a month on the iPhone, I think I might have twice as many apps as I ever did in my 2+ years of Android use, and that’s mostly thanks to an incredibly easy to use App Store that Apple provides (although I’m still not sure why I need to enter a password to download a free app).

Siri…

Siri is way cool, and the most popularly cited reason of why users love their iPhone 4S over the previous model. I use Siri all the time, most notably to call or text someone, as it’s way quicker than trying to find them in my contacts directory (which has over 400 people in it). This technology extends beyond Siri, as it’s really superior voice recognition software which can be used for dictating texts, emails, and notes. Android, on the other hand, had laughably bad voice recognition.

Email…

If you use Gmail (and only Gmail), then Android is great, and the Gmail app on Android is far superior than that of iOS. But if you use any other email provider, from Yahoo! to your work email, then the interface on Android is nothing short of terrible. On iPhone, the native email client is excellent. It’s easy to use and super easy to read. It took me a while, but Gmail is actually pretty good on the iPhone too, you just have to install it as an “Exchange” account type rather than a “Gmail” account type – if you specify the account as a “Gmail” account type the alerts are slow and the contacts won’t sync.

…to be fair, here are the things Android bests Apple at:

Not everything in iPhone-land is superior. While iPhone used to be such a clear-cut winner in the “which phone is best” competition, I believe Android has come a long way and excels in some areas the iPhone lacks. Here’s my two cents as to where the Android phone is superior to the iPhone.

Google Maps Navigation…

The Google Navigation feature in Android phones is amazing, and something I sorely miss. While I could download a paid app for turn-by-turn navigation on my iPhone, the native Google Maps navigation app was fantastic (despite being somewhat unstable at times, likely due to Google’s “always in beta” development style).

4G LTE Capabilities…

I demo’d a co-workers RAZR with 4G and holy crap was it fast. Fast, if not faster, than when I have Wi-Fi enabled on my iPhone. I’d love for that technology on my iPhone, although I think that will be coming soon in the iPhone5. Still, I was jealous.

Gmail Integration…

The Gmail integration on Android can’t be beat. This is logical, as obviously Google cares more about making Google products work well on Android phones than it would a competitor’s phone. Still, the Gmail integration was incredible on Android, getting push notifications on emails quicker than a desktop web browser would, and syncing everything effortlessly. Gmail isn’t bad on the iPhone, just not as good as it was on Android.

iTunes/Device Syncing…

Android is great for syncing – you just plug it in to your computer, and the phone becomes an external hard drive. You don’t need any special software, and you can easily copy files to your computer or drag & drop files on your Android phone with no issue. Apple requires that you install iTunes software, and personally I’m not a fan of iTunes. While it’s a great marketplace, the software itself is slow & cumbersome, and I’d rather just control my phone directly rather than have to go through iTunes. Additionally, if you pirate media, the Android is much easier to bootleg music & videos whereas iTunes requires a few extra steps to import. I understand why iTunes is a requirement for the iPhone, and how it contributes to many of the advantages listed above, but it’s still a negative compared to the Android system that doesn’t require any software on your computer to be able to connect with (other than drivers, of course).

The TL;DR

The iPhone still eats Androids lunch. If you switch from Android to iPhone, you might not feel that way immediately, but give it time and you’ll see the apps, OS, and hardware itself is far superior to that of Android’s offerings.

Why I got Banned from AdSense & An Open Letter To Google On How They Should Fix It

The short answer is – I still don’t know why my Google AdSense account was disabled.

All I got was a series of automated emails explaining why they can’t tell me why my account was disabled.

I started using AdSense in June of 2009, and at the time of being disabled, I had AdSense ads appearing on four sites, and in a good month would make maybe $50 in revenue.

A simple review of the AdSense policies makes it clear beyond a reasonable doubt that my websites fall well within Google’s guidelines. Each site had 100% unique & family friendly content, and I was by no means tricking or encouraging anyone to click my ads, I never clicked on my own ads, and as far as I can tell, I was 100% compliant with their tips & guidelines.

After a month or two of thought, here are my best guesses as to what might have happened:

Read more

10 Things I Learned at OMS Phoenix Yesterday

Online Marketing Summit Phoenix

I attended the Online Marketing Summit in Phoenix yesterday, and wanted to share a few insights & tips I learned. It was a great conference and it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces and learn some new things. Thanks to everyone that made it possible! We covered a wide range of topics including SEO, Social Media, Conversion Optimization, Content Strategy, and everything in between. In no particular order, here were my favorite takeaways:

#10: Create a Search & Social Media Center for Excellence: Create a central repository for best practices, keywords, social media engagement guidelines, etc, for all employees. This will benefit everyone involved by:

  • Leveraging synergies across all of your digital channels – search, social, PR, web development, email marketing, and display.
  • Getting PR & Social Media people the proper URLs and anchor text for Press Releases & Social Media messaging, as well as tips for optimal distribution
  • Allowing more people to get involved with responding to complaints or questions via twitter & message boards by posting engagement guidelines. Phone support people can respond to complaints on twitter during downtime if they have training & knowledge base.

#9: A Cheaper Press Release – WebWire.com

  • I submit a ton of online press releases for clients through PRNewswire, Marketwire, and PRWeb – but they cost several hundred bucks a pop. It doesn’t look like the distribution network is as robust for Webwire, but for $20, that’s a cheap backlink at the very least…thanks @fionnd of Elixir for this tip!
Adwords Suggestions for the brand iCrossing

Adwords Tool Keyword Suggestions for the query iCrossing

#8: Search your brand & competitors & Adwords Tool – See what suggestions Google has for your brand name, and your competitors brand names in the Google Keyword Tool and Google Search Suggest.

  • This can be helpful to: find interesting keyword ideas for brand pages, find new content ideas & content gaps, and discover reputation management issues. Check out the image to the right for suggestions google had for the word “icrossing” – very on target!

#7: Some Cool Stats & Quotes

  • #1 position on SERP gets 43% of the clicks – Arnie K of Vertical Measures, a link building company
  • “Rankings are something you can influence, not something you can control” – Arnie K – good perspective
  • If you have a website, you are a publisher – Mike Corak
  • .The BEST time to post a blog is Tuesday morning, while the WORST is Friday afternoon. – Dan Tyre  of hubspot
  • “Brands must behave and enage like people do…” ~Brian Haven of iCrossing
  • Blogs are the unsung heroes of SEO
  • Do not neglect your blog child
  • If you talk to people the way advertising talked to people they’d punch you in the face – Steve Groves

#6: Check out your backlink diversity – diversity of backlinks has increased in importance in the past year or so – those with unnatural backlink profiles do not get the same benefits they used to. Don’t overdo one method of link building (e.g. directory submissions) if you’re not going to do others.

#5: Use Social Media Profile Pages for Quick & Free Backlinks – it’s easy to get links on many social networking sites, and even if they’re nofollowed, it’s still a great tool for reputation management and probably still pass along some SEO value as well. Examples: Naymz, 123People, BusinessWeek.com, Google Profiles, LinkedIn…

#4: The Real SEO Value of a No Follow Link? There was some discussion that a rel=nofollow link has been shown to influence rankings and has SEO value. Something to consider – don’t dismiss a link just because it’s nofollowed! In my personal experience I’ve seen evidence that there is some SEO value here as well, although I haven’t seen any conclusive case studies to prove it.

The last three tips were from Jeff Eisenberg, a famous conversion optimization expert who wrote “A Call to Action” along with his brother Bryan. This was the best presentation of the whole summit in my opinion, the whole presentation was captivating and inspiring – check him and his brother out at: http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/

#3: Analyze Every Word & Image on your Money Pages

  • When Dell changed “Learn More” to “Help Me Choose” on the computer configuration page, they saw an increase of MILLIONS of dollars. Why? When customers are ready to check out, they don’t want education (Learn More), but they do want help making sure they picked the right accessories & upgrades (Help Me Choose).
  • Another Example: Overstock.com had horrible conversions on their DVD page, something that should sell well. Turns out an image talking about Childrens Movies turned off users, thinking they were on the wrong page. They changed the image to something generic, and generated a $25m sales jump
  • The takeway? Understand the mindset of the customer, and talk in their language.

#2: Make your forms & check-out pages warm & fuzzy

  • Filing in Credit Card info is the scariest moment for the consumer, and where abandonment most commonly occurs.
  • Post your return policy, quality guarantees, etc, on this page and make the customer feel warm and fuzzy
  • Examples – adding customer testimonials on check-out page, always display savings (if applicable), show quality/product guarantees
  • Warren Buffet’s shoe company added a “Return-O-Meter” to their check out page showing how often a shoe is returned, and why (e.g. too wide, too small, etc). The result? Lower abandonment rate (higher confidence in purchase) plus fewer returns.

#1: Leverage Your Reviews!

  • The Eisenberg Brothers have been very successful using reviews to increase conversions.
  • With internal search on a website, allow users to search by Best Reviews/Most Reviews. When Customers Sort this way, there is a huge increase in conversions
  • Run promotions like Top Reviewed under $50. These types of categories convert much higher.
  • Another example: Vitacost – after a customer purchases something, Vitacost thanks them for the order and asks them to review – the result? Customers would go to Vitacost.com, review the product, and actually buy more products during that session!
  • Reviews have the ability to turn worthless customer (who buys very little, very infrequently, usually on sale, but leaves a review) into a very valuable customer, as their review may sway the big buyers.

PS If I mentioned something you said and didn’t properly attribute it back to you, please leave a comment and let me know and I’ll be happy to include a link back to your website or twitter profile! I was scribbling furiously on a notepad and some of the details got lost or mixed up…

Monetizing My Blog(s) by Trial and Error

Blog MonetizationI’ve been working on monetizing my Modified Car Blog and thought I’d post some initial results of what has(n’t) worked so far. The blog gets between 30-50 unique visitors a day and is a very niche blog (Modified Cars/Audis), so I didn’t have high hopes but thought it was worth a shot. I didn’t really know where to start but found this article, How I Make Money Online, written by someone I follow on twitter, and figured it was a good start.

First I tried Image Space Media, a new advertising concept that places hover-over links in images. They actually contacted me, asking me to try it out, which I thought was pretty cool. However, I don’t really have the traffic to get sufficient clicks to make this solution worthwhile, and I thought it detracted from the user experience since ads were popping up all over the place. It’s cool concept for other blogs though, it just wasn’t the right solution for mine.

Next I tried Kontera, which places text link ads around random words that will take you to an advertiser. I got a lot more clicks than I’ve seen through AdSense, although it was still earning me less than a dollar a month, and again, I kind of felt it took away from the user experience, so I canned it.

Next I ventured into Affiliate Marketing through Commission Junction. I’ve only made one sale, and it was to myself, and with a minimum $100 payout (of which I’m $97 away from), so I don’t foresee this being very profitable…although I’ve been experimenting with which products I’m displaying and think there is some potential there, so I’m keeping it for the time being.

A few days I ago I decided to scale back the commission ads to just a few super relevant products that I’d actually purchase myself, and use some of the newly freed-up advertising space for what people usually try first – Google AdSense. The initial results are pretty discouraging, as I’ve had no clicks nor revenue since installing, although it’s still very early in the game. I’m encouraged by the ads I do see appear – they’re mostly local Audi dealerships, aftermarket performance parts & accessories, and other items that are highly contextually relevant. I will keep experimenting with placement and formatting to increase clicks, because I do think the ads being displayed are worthwhile.

Anyone reading this that has ideas or comments on how to monetize a low volume, niche blog, I’m all ears! Until then, it’s a game of trial and error, running 1-2 month experiments with different ad types and seeing what works or doesn’t. It’s still fun testing things out, even though my results so far haven’t turned actual revenue. I’m encouraged by SEO & Internet Marketing expert Bill Hunt, who I had the privilege of meeting last month at a SEMPO AZ event called  “Search 3.0“, who told me the secret to his success has been to always test and experiment, with a healthy dose of curiosity and skepticism for SEO tactics. I’ll be sure to post an update in a few months on how the rest of my experiments go, and if I ever find a profitable solution!

Update: It’s been over one week since installing AdSense…and I’M RICH! Okay maybe not, but $1.03 per week isn’t bad either. At the very least it’s motivation to keep trying, so I guess AdSense seems to be the best ad solution to-date for me.  Hopefully I can keep tweaking the presentation and producing good content to increase both impressions and click-through rates a little. Having AdSense on two blogs is nice, right now I have one click from each.

Google Toolbar Updates PageRank – I have PageRank 3!

PageRankUpdateOctober2009

Google pushed out a PageRank update last night, and now both NickRoshon.com and NicksCarBlog.com have PageRank3. Search Engine Land has more of this surprising update, given Google’s recent statement that webmasters shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much, and consequently removing PageRank from Webmaster Tools. Many speculated PageRank might be dropped from the Toolbar soon as well – but this doesn’t appear to be the case. The last PageRank update was in June, which continues Google’s trend of updating PageRank in the toolbar every few months.

RustyBrick of Search Engine Roundtable has a good point in regards to PageRank in the toolbar from an SEO perspective, so I’m quoting him below:

Yes, a Toolbar PageRank update means nothing in terms of your ranking changing anytime soon. The PageRank scores shown in the toolbar are outdated and have zero direct impact on your Google rankings. That doesn’t mean that PageRank has no influence, but the toolbar score does not have any influence. Google shows us one thing, but yet uses another thing.

Well put.

It’s also important to consider the Webmaster Point of View here, and I think that is really where Toolbar PageRank matters: I’m looking for advertisers for my car blog. When advertisers see that I have solid PageRank, I think that gives me credibility that I might be a website they should consider to advertising on (after more due diligence, of course) – especially if I offer those potential advertisers a link on my blogroll, as that link should pass along some “link juice.” At a minimum anyway, potential advertisers will see that Google values my content at least somewhat, that this is a legitimate site that probably isn’t penalized or banned, and that my website is something they give further thought to- and they can tell all of this from a free toolbar in a matter of a second. Likewise, a site with PageRank N/A or 0 is likely to turn off potential advertisers nearly immediately,  so that PR can really be the “first impression” to either open the door or have it slammed in your face. Just my two cents, anyway.

What are your thoughts? Would love some comments on this.

New iCrossing iPhone App – Say What?

iCrossing, a global digital marketing company, has announced the release of an-all new, free iPhone app called “Say What?” which allows users to search the web for a keyword, brand, or other terms you’d want to monitor, and then returns the results broken into four separate categories: Twitter, Digg, Forums, and Blogs.

While I don’t have an iPhone, I was able to borrow a collegue’s phone to test it out – and I was impressed (bias alert: I work for iCrossing, although I had nothing to do with the development or conceptualization of this app). A quick search for my name, nick roshon, returned some pretty neat results and I really liked how they were organized by network type and you could easily drill down for more information.

A quick tip: if you are searching for a phrase, put it in quotes (also works for normal web searches). The query: nick roshon had some good results but also returned a few results for Nick Jonas and Roshon Feegan hanging out (apparently they are teenage Disney stars…). Put the query in quotes: “nick roshon” and the teenie-bopper results were weeded out.

All in all, a neat little app that would be a great tool for marketers and brand managers who want to know what people are saying about a place, brand, company or product from the convenience of their smartphone…and its free.

Download it here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist?id=330893554

Read more about the App from Rachel Pasqua, responsible for the development of this app and the Director of Mobile for iCrossing: http://greatfinds.icrossing.com/say-what/

Viral Video Friday Part Deux: The Social Media Guru

Reminds me of the spirit of my previous post, “Social Media Experts” Are Really Only Experts at Cliche.

I have an internet blog and everything. In laymen’s terms, that mean’s I’m super fucking awesome.

Word bro, I know the feeling 😉

Bing! Goes the Internet Goes Viral (with Lyrics)

So Bing had a contest to see which fan could create the catchiest Jingle for their search engine, and the winner was just announced via their YouTube channel today. Catch it in it’s full glory below:

Lyrics to Bing Goes The Internet:
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet,
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet,
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing Goes the Internet…
If you’re looking to learn how to dance like me – Bing goes the Internet
If you want to find some pants like me – Bing goes the Internet
If you’re looking for answers to all of life’s questions – Bing goes the Internet
If you’re looking for fixes to all of life’s messes – Bing goes the Internet
Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing Goes the Internet…

While dorky and a little strange (in all fairness, it is about a search engine), I do find the video pretty funny, catchy, and “viral” enough for Microsoft to choose it as the winner and generate some buzz (which it is succeeding in). A video doesn’t have to be high-quality and incredibly thoughtful to go viral, it needs to be something original & noteworthy – sometimes being awful will give it a better chance of it going viral than the opposite (for instance, had this video been sung by Kelly Clarkson with professional dancers…yawn)

MG Siegler of TechCrunch wrote a scathing review of the jingle, and I quote:

“Catchy” is one word for it. Another is “awful.”

Sure, the song will get stuck in your head, but so does the sound of seals barking, or cows dying, if you listen to them for long enough.

But as bad as the jingle is, the video is much, much worse. It’s some guy in pajama pants doing really bad interpretive dance nonsense with awful effects and a Bing backdrop. The entire time I’m watching this, I’m thinking: So this is what hell looks/sounds like.

Mashable posts a more favorable review of the song, describing it as:

And we have one word for the well-produced Jonathan Mann video: creepy. It’s actually polished – probably because this guy records a song every single day on YouTube, which alone is a weird shtick…The entire contest was a bit weird to us, but you know, most good viral marketing campaigns are a bit odd. And this barely cost Bing anything to do.

The entire time I’m reading this, I’m thinking:

  1. This TechCrunch review is awesome. MG Siegler would have moved up a notch on my list of deliciously witty & sarcastic bloggers if I kept one.
  2. This is an intentionally goofy/odd video, which the TechCrunch review didn’t seem to pick up on, but Mashable surely did (which blows my mind, I usually can’t stand Mashable due to their inability to ever be insightful).
  3. It is fueling the fire for this contest, Bing itself, and particularly for Jonathan Mann, as this review is picking up steam and being passed around twitter. Consider it officially viral.

The author of the song fires back to the TechCrunch review, which you can check out here:

The bottom line is this: Microsoft paid $500 to the winner, and in return got millions of views between the buzz the competition generated and the resulting viral spread of the video. Now that is an awesome campaign, and I do believe that Microsoft was probably insightful enough to know this video was just awful yet goofy enough to do the trick.

When people ask how do you “make something go viral”, this is how you do it… (Editor’s Note: you can’t make something go viral or not…the content is either viral worthy or not, and there is little you can do either way)

Here’s one more from Jonathan Mann, where he was featured on the Rachel Maddow show a few months back for his song Hey Paul Krugman (A song, A plea):

Is it Too Soon to Worry About Yahoo! & Microsoft Bing Search Partnership? (Yes)

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

The world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is going wild today with the news that Yahoo! and Microsoft announcing a 10 year partnership. Search Engine Land has been doing a great job covering this news, complete with liveblogging the press conference and getting inside interviews.

However, a lot of coverage out there is starting to speculate into what the SEM industry needs to do and how this changes things, particularly this post from SEOmoz speculating the Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo Deal Changes for SEO. I think we all need to take a few deep breaths and not get ahead of ourselves here. Here’s the fine print from the Search Engine Land article that is all to easy to overlook:

…At full implementation (expected to occur within 24 months following regulatory approval)..

That’s 2 years AFTER the Federal Government approves the deal. And don’t forget the shareholders need to approve too. Given the size of Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as the Government’s Anti-Trust folks and the DOJ’s interest in maintaining competitiveness in the industry, which is already in an oligopoly if not monopoly state already, neither the shareholder nor the Government approval of this deal is likely to come quickly (or possibly at all). The Washington Post has a great article explaining some of the legal hurdles and is already commenting on the scrutiny Microsoft and Yahoo will face. If it will take 2 years after this approval, we’re talking light years in the tech world.

Think about 2+ years ago. Twitter was practically unheard of. MySpace still dominated Facebook. The iPhone hadn’t been released yet. 2 years is HUGE!

As part of the professional SEO community, I think it’s important we keep this all in perspective. This deal could be ground-breaking, but not any time soon. It’s important to think about what all this could mean, but remember that right now all that has happened is Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer shook hands with each other. We should educate our clients on the details of the agreement, but let them know its nothing to start worrying about yet. Even in a few years, when everything is “fully integrated,” at the current figures Bing will only have a miserable 15% of the market compared to Google’s 78%, making its market share less than 1/5th of Google’s.

So my message to you is this: stay calm, keep current on the deal (because the agreement is going to change, especially once the legal issues start being scrutinized), and continue go about your business focusing on the search engine that ridiculously dominates the other one or two out there, even when you combine #2 and #3’s market share. In all seriousness, Twitter could overcome Bing/Yahoo in two years in terms of number of searches, traffic, hits, revenue and more, as their new home page certainly shows a redoubled interest in search:

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Photo credit Yahoo and Twitter