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Are Google's best days behind it? The company may be one of the most recognized brands on the internet, and one of the most important technology companies in the world, but Google isn't quite growing like a weed anymore.
That gives analysts and pundits plenty of ammunition to ask whether Google's future is less bright than its past. Fortune is the latest publication to promote the notion that "the search party is over" for the Mountain View search giant.
Google is the internet's 800 pound gorilla when it comes to advertising, but that doesn't mean that it has exploited all of the areas for growth potential. A significant one: small, local businesses.
While many small businesses use AdWords, or have given it a spin, even more aren't using it. There are plenty of reasons why. Many small business owners find paid search challenging to set up and manage, and if not set up and managed properly, campaigns can be very costly and ineffective. One costly, ineffective campaign can potentially cost Google a customer for life.
Digital advertising is the best thing that ever happened to advertising industry, right? Not so according to Frederic Filloux in a piece that was published by the Washington Post this weekend.
Filloux cites two major problems: poor design, and the process by which online ads are bought and sold. With the former, he points to the popularity of ad blockers as evidence that online ads generally "act as repellents to readers." With the latter, Filloux notes that "most technology aspects of the advertising business have slipped out of the hands of those who were supposed to own them."
Private sales and group buying are two of the hottest trends in ecommerce today, and two of the hottest companies in these markets are Gilt Groupe and Groupon.
Yesterday, my colleague Meghan Keane wrote about how companies like Gilt Groupe and Groupon were largely avoiding SEO. Somewhat interestingly, however, they're not avoiding paid search.
After years of speculation, Twitter recently launched an advertising platform of its own. After nearly two months in the wild, some of the marketers who jumped on board to use it first are speaking out.
What they're saying is not entirely surprising: Promoted Tweets are wonderful.
Google announced yesterday that it is "retiring" its Google Advertising Professionals program and that a new one, the Google AdWords Certification program, will be taking its place.
The good news: the previous $1,000 minimum 90-day ad spend required has been eliminated for individuals who would like to participate, and the minimum 90-day ad spend for agencies has been reduced to $10,000 from $100,000. That means that more individuals and agencies will have the opportunity to participate.
Imagine for a minute that you're the president of the United States and you're trying to make the case against Wall Street. What's the best way to do it? As the president, you have almost unlimited access to the traditional media, but that's not always enough today.
So U.S. president Barack Obama, whose use of the internet arguably helped him win the presidency, isn't relying on the mainstream media to promote his Wall Street reform agenda; he's using Google. And he's going straight for the jugular by bidding on topical keywords related to embattled investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Twitter will today officially announce the launch of a business model. After years of speculation, and skepticism, Twitter has decided to try its hand at the keyword-based advertising business model that built Google into a billion-dollar powerhouse.
According to the New York Times, Twitter's new ad offering, dubbed Promoted Tweets, will display ads that "show up when Twitter users search for keywords that the advertisers have bought to link to their ads".
When it comes to online advertising and tracking conversions, the first click is often just as important as the last click. And sometimes, it's not even about clicks per se. But unfortunately many advertisers only track the last click.
Google is hoping to change that for AdWords advertisers with a new feature it introduced earlier this week called Search Funnels.
Google might as well have been called Simple. Back when Google was a new entrant in the search engine market and larger competitors were cluttering up their homepages with as much content as could be aggregated on a single page, Google took a different approach and offered internet users an alternative: a clean, if not sparse, homepage that focused on one thing -- search.
Relatively-speaking, that homepage hasn't changed much in the past decade. But what has changed: Google's SERPs.
Malicious ads are on the rise and just as AdWords is an appealing platform for legitimate advertisers looking for a massive audience, Google's self-serve ad service is a juicy target for scammers looking for the same.
From ads that hawk scammy get-rich-quick products to ads that lead users to web pages infested with malware, malicious ads pose a significant threat to Google. After all, if users come to fear where Google's results (paid or unpaid) might lead them, Google risks losing one of its most valuable assets: the trust and confidence of its users.
Google changed its policy on trade marked key words in the U.S. this May, and while it's still too early to fully monitor the implications of those changes on brand marketers, the holidays may become a proving ground for the switch, if the price for search ads goes up as much as some marketers are fearing.
Brand searches go up during the holiday season and Google's self-policing new policy means that key word violators will have more opportunity to buy branded key words and disparage, criticize or otherwise overtake brand searches from trademark owners.
According to ClickZ:
"The holiday season will be a real proving ground, to see how quickly Google responds to issues," Jeremy Hull, account leader at Range Online Media, told ClickZ. "Do they have an adequate team in place, with policies and procedures that are scalable for the holidays?"