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Feb 27 2006
More on Google Click-to-Call
The New York Times has an interesting piece today on Google's click-to-call offering, and that of smaller companies such as eStara and Ingenio, that have offered pay-per-phone-call marketing products (the ad model built around the underlying click-to-call technology) for some time. What Google currently offers is not PPCall (it's not charging for it yet), but it is rather testing the click-to-call functionality on which a PPCall advertising model will be based - likely integrated with AdWords. We blogged about this two weeks ago, and wrote about it in the current issue of Local Media Journal.

PPCall as an ad model is attractive because of the large segment of SMEs that don't have a Web site, and those that prefer calls to clicks.

From the NYT article:

About 70 percent of those businesses do not have Web sites, so pay-per-click advertising makes no sense for them. But even those who do have sites often lack the sophistication or the time to manage a pay-per-click campaign, which can require considerable tweaking to outbid competitors without spending too much.

Pay-per-call advertisers must still manage campaigns, but the approach appears so effective that for many it is worth the effort. Judson Brady, the owner of Broad Street Flowers, an Atlanta-based floral service, said he paid Yahoo about $1.25 for each prospect who clicked on his search page advertisement, and 5 percent of those prospects ordered.

By contrast, Mr. Brady said he paid Ingenio around $4.15 for each call from a prospect � most of whom see the ads on AOL, which introduced its pay-per-call service last year. More than a third of the callers place an order. "We're lucky to break even on the pay-per-clicks, but with pay-per-call we'll make $25 profit per order," he said. "My only complaint is there's not more of it."


Google's entrance to the click-to-call world will vastly accelerate the adoption curve of the technology among SMEs as the company's reach, influence and brand recognition will help spread the message that pay-per-call marketing can be an attractive option for some businesses, as outlined above.

More importantly the tool will allow Google to tap into the segment of SMEs that don't advertise with AdWords, or don't even have a Web site (thus not being sold on the value of clicks). Combine this with Google's strategy to drive small business Web site development through its new free Web development and hosting service, and it becomes clear that Google is attempting to penetrate much further into local and SME markets.

It will be interesting to see how well it pulls this off.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  18:15 | permalink | comments [2] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 27 2006
Monday News Roundup
A lot is happening today. Here is a quick sampling (with additional analysis to follow).

� Quarterly revenue increases for Internet search companies are outlined here.

� Homestore.com has announced the acquisition of Moving.com, which it will consolidate with Homestore, HomeBuilder and Rentnet under the new name Move.com. It will launch in the next few months as a "full service search and moving solution to consumers." More here.

SEW reports that MSN adCenter will increase ad impressions served on MSN search results by 70 percent.

� Search Engine Journal reports that new site Digglicious combines social search driven news aggregator Digg with Yahoo!'s social bookmarking engine del.icio.us. It looks like an interesting model that combines the social search aspects of bookmarking and news content. We'll report more on this in an upcoming White Paper on social search.

� Search Engine Journal also speculates on flash-based animated ads in Google's AdSense publisher network and the effect it could have on conversions. Elsewhere, Google is adding payments and selling tools to Google Base.

� Om Malik reports on the launch of Edgeio, which uses tagging to aggregate classified ads that are published by individuals throughout the Web on their own blogs or sites. We wrote about the company earlier this month here, and more on the launch can be found in ZDNet's coverage here.

� Om also reports on the possible upcoming launch of Google Calendars here.

� Lastly, digital product placement on television is an interesting concept that will have some possible targeting opportunities on IPTV. It has already been used on some sitcoms, and related technologies are under development, according to the Lost Remote blog.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  17:50 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 27 2006
Ask Relaunches
I'm busy finishing my presentation for a panel on search engine user behavior later this afternoon at SES. But I wanted to chime in, as many others have already done, on the new Ask.com. The IAC-owned search engine has rebranded and changed its interface to be simpler and graphically more appealing. (Barry Diller spoke this a.m. at SES, which I missed because I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours from JFK.)

Ask has vertically arrayed (no pun intended) all the different specialized content and structured search areas, including local. Interestingly, this approach makes them more prominent than they were in the old "horizontal" navigation scheme.

Ask gained a tiny amount of market share, according to some of the numbers, over the course of the last year. We'll see if the new interface and the new brand will further boost usage of the engine. So far, I like what I see visually.

Here's more detail from Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  09:30 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]










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