Remixing the routes

Archive for the ‘Search marketing’ Category

Top Three Europe-specific challenges for Google Inc.

Posted by annplugged on May 15, 2007

So what does Nikesh Arora, who manages and develops Google’s operations in the European market, consider as the top 3 challenges for Google in Europe (vs. Google US). Nikesh Arora Google Europe VP at Budapest press conference

This morning started with a press event in the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest (great place, great food, no wifi).

The intended focus of the press event was to officially announce the strategic co-operation between Google and the Hungarian market leader T-Mobile and T-Online (using Google search results as part of Google syndicate, content network expansion through the search page called
As the news got around the blogosphere days before the official announcement, I was more interested in what Nikesh thinks about the major differences between Google US and Google EU. The top three should not come as a surprise:

No. 1 Europe is multicultural, multilingual so there is no general solution for the EU as a unit.
No. 2 In the last two years businesses have become more internet savvy. Yet, European businesses do not value the internet as much as their American counterparts. Mind you, it is not the users who would undervalue the power of the web, but rather enterprises in Europe.
No. 3 In Europe it is more challenging to find good people who have a high capital of risk tolerance.

I definitely agree with all three, although my general impression is that enterprises, sadly many times with excellent ideas, simply lack entrepreneurial skills, including calculating the value of web presence and the money available for risks. Moreover, they may not go and look for professionals who possess such skills. Nevertheless, I do hope that things are changing faster than expected, especially regarding the latter two challenges as they can be improved, unlike EU multilingua (multilingualism is a hard nut to crack, harte Nusse, kemény dió etc.).

To test risk tolerance, i.e. how much risk your investment can handle, here are two main questions to ask yourself (from investopedia through forbes) if you have not done so far:

  • How much time do I have? “Before you make any investment, you should always determine the amount of time you have to keep your money invested. With a longer time horizon (young), investors have more time to recoup any possible losses and are therefore theoretically be more tolerant of higher risks” So, it seems that the old continent is old in this respect. European businesses with a longer time horizon are less willing to tolerate risks at higher levels for higher potential yields. Playing safe.
  • How much can I lose? “Determining the amount of money you can stand to lose – i.e. risk capital – is another important factor of figuring out your risk tolerance. By investing only money that you can afford to lose or afford to have tied up for some period of time, you won’t be pressured to sell off any investments because of panic or liquidity issues. The more money you have, the more risk you are able to take and vice versa.” Again, European companies appear to draw the line tighter – saying they cannot afford to lose ‘that much’ – in all probability, due to lack of experience, in general, but especially in diversifying risk programs (which prevents you losing money and/ or face all too sudden)

There are, of course, more questions to be answered, according to Chad Butler “What is my risk tolerance?” The answer will vary based on your age, experience, net worth, risk capital and the actual investment or trade being considered.” However, he also points out that “with today’s growing life expectancies and advancing medical science, the 65-year-old investor may still have a 20-year (or more) time horizon.”

ps: yes, the Google mirror effect is intentional in the pic


Posted in Google, Marketing, Online, Search marketing | 5 Comments »

A Few Tips on SEO: Choosing Relevant (.edu) Inbound Links and Testing in Paid Search

Posted by annplugged on May 15, 2007

By these days, it has become common knowledge that your placement in search results pages can be better if you do something with your keywords on the site, and pay attention to whom are linking to your site (inbound links), and who you are linking to (outbound).

A recent article on CNN Money, has three hot SEO tips for newbies:

1, hunt for relevant (.edu) links to point at your site: “find academics and hit them up for links. But remember that for lasting credibility with Google, the links need to be relevant. Villanueva, [kitchen furniture retailer] for instance, e-mailed dozens of college instructors who teach woodworking and courses about the lumber industry and snagged two .edu links.” Relevance on furntiture – woodwork suffices, as you see.

2, learn from rivals: “figure out who’s linking to your competition and cut deals with them. Yahoo’s Site Explorer ( will show you a site’s inbound links. Joining Web directories is also worthwhile. Lesser-known ones like and can be helpful, but be careful: If your site is about phone services and you don’t see Sprint or Verizon, you might be right to assume that they won’t provide much of a boost on Google.” (registering in Yahoo catalogs and that of is also said to be working)

3.  need good search phrases? “You can use tools such as Wordtracker to find the phrases that people tend to type when looking for a specific product. But this has its shortcomings. Curiously, popular phrases aren’t always the best. One way to find the most effective phrases is to buy ads on Google’s paid search side. You bid on keywords – related phrases, such as “discount kitchen cabinets” – to ensure that your ad ranks high. Then, using Google Analytics or another system, track which phrases best convert into sales. The terms that work for paid search typically work in organic search. ”

Although the article does not mention it, but I find it especially important: make videos on your products, services, PR events, make interviews with your stakeholders, locally with the citizens you are concerned about etc. or sponsor videos whose content you agree with. Then use SEO optimizing techniques to make your video clips rank better in video search engines like the one running under YouTube (i.e. Google Video Search). Make careful your filename of the video reflects the content and the business intention.

You can start with the key search phrases both in texts accompanying the videofilms, and especially in tags (but do not cram them). Don’t forget to give your website url at the end/ beginning of the film (post, or pre-reel, as you like it) and again, also in the text (on the left side on youtube). Make sure you get a nice and relevant bunch of links (both in and out). If you are satisfied with the results, test the video on a microsite through paid search strategy. Track results, and make even better video content – this time experiment with the a version optimized for cell phone screen resolution, browser, and cell phone use too.

ps: according to Paul Goode from M:Metrics, cell phone is still a white spot regarding frequency, duration, session time etc. but there is a fair amount of data on demographics, genres, types of sites visited. John Baker from Ogilvy One says that a lot of the enterprises are showing strong interest in mobile ads, and soem of them have completed tests. (Advertisers are keen to learn the Web browsing patterns of mobile phone users. CNN’s Jim Boulden reports)

Posted in Google, Marketing, Mobile/Cell, Online, Paid search, Search marketing, SEO, Video, Yahoo | 2 Comments »