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If you run an eCommerce website than chances are you’ve had some experience with getting a feed generated to add your products to Google Shopping. Depending on the platform you have this may or may not have been a huge pain in the ass. I’m looking at you ONEighty & SMY Performance. Anyway Google has announced that they’ve updated the Google Shopping Products feed specification with new refinements and more options for specifying your products within your data feed.
Specifically there are new attributes where you can define bundles and mobile landing pages while making changes towards image quality requirements and landing page policies. The list of updates is as follows:
The Google Shopping Team states:
Beginning September 30, we will start enforcing the updated feed specification globally, but merchants can submit the new attributes immediately. We encourage all merchants to review the new feed specification as some of the updates will require changes to your current product data. To find a list of all changes, view the updated feed specification in the Merchant Center Help Center.
It looks like someone has taken my idea and ran with it – starting up an affiliate program for their locksmith business and letting their affiliates handle their marketing for them. Driving over the very same Williamsburg bridge, and standing once again in trafffic – I spotted the following sticker:
If you look closely, you’ll see the affiliate message:
This put a smile on my face. Well this and the old school classic that was in traffic next to me. It’s nice to see small business owners take the initiative and think outside the box with their marketing for their business.
I was standing in traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge this past weekend and noticed a flurry of stickers along side the railing. Perfectly eye level. To me it was the ideal form of entertainment. During the next half hour that I spent crawling over the bridge in what was usual New York City traffic I had found some pretty amazing things. For example did anyone know that New York has a mobile skate shop? Yep. That’s what TreTruck is. Now I don’t skate – but it was catchy, it grabbed my attention – and now you’re all reading about it. Good Job TreTruck!
Then it hit me. This was basic marketing. Marketing at its core. It was simple yet creative, and it was extremely cost effective. The legality of it might be questionable in this exact scenario however, so do keep that in mind when reading through the post. I will however go into a few legal examples later on in this post. First off though – some quick math to consider.
How much does each sticker cost? $0.50 lets say. Let’s say you use the Williamsburg Bridge twice a week regardless – so it’s already a part of your commute. And if you’re a New Yorker, you know your standing in traffic there, there’s just no way around it unfortunately. That means your cost for advertising here is $0.50 if during your usual commute over the Williamsburg Bridge you stick your hand out the window and place a single sticker. Now how many people do you think will see that sticker? Take a quick look here - that’s the current live traffic feed from the Manhattan side entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge. At most given times – there is a long line of cars, a line significantly longer than what $.50 will get you in most sorts of traditional marketing.
As Super Bowl XLVIII comes around, GoDaddy is getting ready for their latest set of commercials. As has become tradition the last few years, GoDaddy runs 1 or more new commercials during the Super Bowl; last year focusing on the .co domain name.
“The Super Bowl ad strategy allows us to have fun and be edgy, and demonstrate how we help the little guy kick ass,” commented company CEO Blake Irving via a press release.
Last year, Go Daddy hired ad agency Deutsch New York to produce ad spots based on a theme called “It’s Go Time” featuring martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme. This year, GoDaddy plans to continue its relationship with the ad firm, and I for one am curious where they’ll take it from here. The new Van Damme theme has taken away the risqué nature of GoDaddy’s previous marketing, allowing them to utilize new methods to grasp the users attention.
This year GoDaddy has announced that they will run 2 30-second ad slots, and while the domain registrar didn’t reveal exactly how the ads would be themed, it did note they would be somewhat different compared to years past. We do however have confirmation that at least one of the commercials will feature our favorite GoDaddy girl, Danica Patrick.
Back in July Google had introduced fav icons to their text ads – thus helping to increase click-thru rates. Unfortunately when Google announced their new Adsense formats back in September – these favicons were now removed. On October 15th, Google quietly mentioned on Google+ that they are working on bringing back the favicons. They said the favicons will be added to the new ad formats in the future.
You may have noticed that the favicons have gone missing — but don’t worry, we’re reintroducing them over the coming weeks to help make advertisers more recognizable to your users. As before, the favicon will appear next to an advertiser’s URL.
I am sure many of you will be happy to see the favicons brought back. It’s a great way to help establish branding, and improve the CTR – which helps publishers and advertisers alike. If you don’t have a favicon for your site yet, check out the Rapid Purple Favicon Generator which makes it extremely easy to create a Favicon from any image.
Google Sites is Google’s way of letting everyone and anyone create a free website utilizing a pre-built template, and an online WYSIWYG editor; and of-course Google makes it easy to monetize your Google Sites website with Google Adsense (seeing a pattern here?). In the past you’ve always had full control over your Google Adsense ad types, placement, and appearance – and this was great considering you did not have to spend any money to start generating an online income. This however is all about to change. As of August 20, 2013 – Google has announced that there will no longer be any ability to modify the appearance of your Google Adsense ads within your Google Sites website.
Granted any existing ads will continue to show, as they are, and you will be credited for them as usual. So, if you are using Google Sites, now might be a great time to go ahead and monetize it your own way while you still can. If you need some help, I am running a Free Google Adwords Credit Giveaway right now. Wonderful timing, is it not? Go sign up, monetize your website, and make some money.
Google is always adding something new to their huge portfolio of features, and recently I have started noticing that their Google Adwords text ads have began displaying the website favicons next to the title. Here is an example from this very website:
The official announcement regarding this was made a few days ago, however I did not start seeing the new favicon text ads until just today, so I held off on publicly announcing it. Hopefully this not only helps advertisers attract more visitors, but also boosts the CTR for publisher accounts as-well.
For those of you who are not yet utilizing a favicon for your own website, you really should be by now. If you need help, feel free to use our online favicon generator.
Matt Cutts has posted a video last week discussing the new outlook that the Google spam team will take towards native advertisement. The biggest point that is made here in the new video isn’t really anything new – in-fact its something that was mentioned several months ago within the Google Webmaster Blog in a post titled A reminder about selling links that pass PageRank. To quote Matt Cutts directly:
If money exchanged hands in order for a link to be placed on a website it should not float pagerank.
However apart from just making your paid links nofollow, you need to provide a clear and easily visible disclosure so that your website visitors are well aware that the article they are reading has been paid for. In-fact the Google News team just published a post on their blog as-well stating much of the same thing.
Credibility and trust are longstanding journalistic values, and ones which we all regard as crucial attributes of a great news site. It’s difficult to be trusted when one is being paid by the subject of an article, or selling or monetizing links within an article. Google News is not a marketing service, and we consider articles that employ these types of promotional tactics to be in violation of our quality guidelines.
While the latest video doesn’t state exactly what action Google will take against those who do not follow their guidelines with paid advertisements - Matt Cutts does briefly mention that action will be taken against both the link seller and buyer. However an update done on May 27th, 2013 within the Google Webmaster Tools Guidelines FAQ states:
Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.
It’s clear that Google wants to improve the quality of their search results, and their news publications. Granted as their guidelines change it does seem to limit the amount of editorial creativity you are allowed to utilize within your advertisements. What are your thoughts?