Category Archives: Topic of the Month

Bullet Lists for Listings in Google SERPs

Recently I’ve seen some info from Google mentioning they did about 500 algorithm adjustments during last year to improve quality of searches.

I would say we’ve seen a lot of effort during last months whether we can call it always “improvements” or “nightmares” is up for users to judge and decide in the long term. However I must admit I was surprised they mention only 500 adjustments we could easily see about 100 visual changes in Google interface and usability and each of these brought new functionality which had impact on how search algorithm works.

Let’s concentrate on one of the recent ones – Bullet Lists.

New Search Engines Result Pages addition of bullet list on Google is extracted from website landing page. The most relevant for particular query page content is no longer string of text in some cases. Google decided now the most relevant is matching offer and inserted just under URL list of items available on this page. On the front of this list we have greyed out prefix in the form of information how many items relevant for our keyword we can expect on particular webpage.

Bullet Lists in SERPs - New Change to Google Algorithm 2011

New SERPs feature easy to spot - duplicate content from Premier Inn? Not really - Look at their prices £30 off now visible on Google SERP - Well done Google :-)

So there are some direct positives for user from this feature already. Of course if you plan to stay in London City Hotel your click is more then likely to go to listing one however this dosen’t put Premier Inn in Good light – does it? After all URL with £30 more expensive offer says “Budget” and there you go guys in Premier Inn marketing vocabulary there is £30 gap between “Cheap” and “Budget”.

Google “Bullet List Feature”  on SERPs Summary:

  • This is an important update for all ecommerce websites putting travel industry, gift shops, any kind of directories, affiliates and vertical search engines  in the spot.
  • Check your setup we’ve seen within lists <li>,<div>,<tables> – Google has them all is only one way to check which is better…
  • Onsite Optimisation of Landing pages more relevant then ever before – Google SERPs one stop shop is closer then ever before – imagine links activated on these babies.
  • SEO architecture – big changes ahead for your category pages – homepage won’t do the job the way.

London gets Social to catch Rioters and Looters

London looter showing off stolen goods

and the award for dumbest looter goes to...

As many of you may have heard there has been rioting on the streets of London, and just as the rioter and looters turned to social media to organise their attacks the Met Police and other people opposed to the riots have done their bit to try and bring those who are responsible for the destruction to justice.

Here are links to blogs and flickr accounts I’ve found so far with pictures, tweets and other sources with photos of looters:

Let us know in the comments if you’ve found any other sources of looter images.

If you have any information about looters or rioters you can fill in an anonymous contact form on the Crime Stoppers site.

Londoners also used twitter for good when they organised riot clean ups (Check out #riotcleanup) in affected areas. Hundreds flocked to the streets armed with brooms and bin bags to help clean up the mess and destruction left by to rioters.

For more info about riot cleanups visit the Riot Cleanup Site, or check out #riotcleanup on twitter.

UPDATE: MET Police have launched a new site to identify London Disorder Suspects.

Cost of “Marauders” in your Web Traffic – Agency Research

It is well known that B2B services usually generate higher volume items and less traffic than general public main stream goods and services.
It comes as no surprise that Cost-Per-Click in these areas is usually higher when compared to B2C models. Of course this is not definite rule but you can generally expect to see this trend.

We have been conducting ongoing pay per click and display advertising research which is now in its 13 month.

One of the themes in our research is the effects of online marketing for sale of low traffic (niche) high ticket items.

One of the flavours in this “luxury items” theme is a difficult B2B market.

In group of companies from B2B sector where typical order for goods or services is above £1000 we found research and data harvesting was responsible on average for 37% of traffic!

This figure includes corporate research, direct competition, marketing agencies and academic related traffic. None of these visitors have any intention of purchasing the goods and services they are searching for but they are responsible for significant portion of your advertising costs.

Dealing with these visitors is quite important and usually it is key to your increased conversions.

When we analysed budgets, quality of traffic and different types of conversions on these websites we found out few interesting results:

  • On average increasing online marketing budgets by 100% decreased costs per conversion by 33% (research conducted up to saturation point in particular niche category based on initial campaign optimisation and setup without additional adjustments).
  • Services or goods price introduction in advertising decreased traffic by 20% on average with increase or no impact on level of the most vital enquiries (sales, service requests, booking enquiries etc). Interestingly among all websites these which were selling B2B services reacted more spontaneously to this exercise with all receiving higher than 20% traffic decrease respectively goods sales websites were less responsive to the same changes.

In this case two dimensional impact was registered immediately. Directly by clicking on your advertising “Marauders” use your budget and stop your potential customers from seeing your ads. This decreases your budget abilities by over one third at this same time inflating costs of your advertising. You loose potential leads and money – serious marauders :-(

Of course analysis of all figures gave us an immediate reply to some of our long term headaches and it was quite surprising to find out how quickly some improvements could be made.

This particular research is conducted based on campaigns optimised for conversions with little emphasis on brand which we thought is a key to receive sensible results.
It looks like flooding market with high level budgets is giving you much better presence to your real audience but at this same time campaign optimisation is vital for better results.

For example setting up relevant caps on ad viewings and spreading your budget evenly is perhaps one of the most important tasks to avoid increased cost per conversion.

You can’t get rid of marauders but you can definitely make their impact less significant in your overall online marketing.

We plan some publication of this data later this year let us know if you are interested in receiving copy of our research findings.

The Google+ Project (Googlebook?)

Google began testing their new product Google+ today. Only a small number of people were invited for testing… I wasn’t one of them :(

I did however take the interactive tour of Google+ and I’m pretty excited about some of the features it has to offer.

Google+ Circles:

Similar to Facebook friend groups you can add your friends to different “circles” so you don’t share stuff with your parents (or boss) that you don’t want them to know!

Google+ Friend Circles Feature

Just drag and drop!

Google+ Sparks:

Sparks sounds like the ultimate boredom killer (unless you have no interests). You add topics, categories or any other interests and Google+ sparks will find videos and articles it thinks you might like… Cool, but a bit stalker -ish.

Google+ Hangouts:

This is probably the coolest feature of Google+! It allows yo to have video conversations with your friends. You can limit it to particular friends or have an open “hangout” where anyone you know can join.

Each participant has a small video at the bottom and the person who is talking (or talking the loudest) has the main video at the top.

Google+ Hangouts Video Feature


There are also some mobile specific features Google+ has.

Mobile Google+ Instant Upload:

Take a photo and it can be instantly uploaded to Google+ into a private photo folder, then you can put it into whatever folder you want later. This is convenient but a bit worrying if you take photos you don’t want to appear on the internet EVER!

Mobile Google+ Huddle:

This is very similar to Facebook chat however, it allows whole Google+ Circles to participate in the chat rather than just single participants. This sounds like a pretty good feature if it works well… I can never get Facebook chat to work on my phone :(

All in all I’m pretty excited about Google+ when I’m finally able to use it :P

What do you think? Were you one of the lucky few signed up to use it? Let us know in the comments!

The Chromebook is Finally here!

Ok so it’s not here right now, but if you live in the 7 selected countries you could get your very own shiny new Chromebook on the dates listed below.

  • US 23rd June
  • Germany 24th June
  • France 24th June
  • Netherlands 24th June
  • Spain 22nd July
  • Italy 25th July
  • UK 1st July

There are two Chromebooks being released, one by Samsung and one by Acer, check out the specs below:

Samsumg Acer
OS Chrome OS Chrome OS
Display 12.1 (1280×800) 300 nit Display 11.6 HD Widescreen CineCrystalTM LED-backlit LCD
Weight 3.26 lbs/1.48 kg 3.19 lbs | 1.45 kg
Memory 2 GB RAM, 16 GB solid-state drive (SSD) 2 GB RAM, 16 GB solid-state drive (SSD)
Battery 8.5 hours of continuous usage* 6 hours of continuous usage*
Processor Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor
Connectivity Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional) Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
Webcam HD Webcam (1-megapixel) HD Webcam
Audio Built-in stereo speakers, combo headphone/microphone jack High-Definition Audio Support
Peripherals 2 USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 memory card slot, Mini-VGA port 2 USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 memory card slot, HDMI port
Input Full-sized Chrome keyboard, Oversized, fully clickable track pad Full-sized Chrome keyboard, Oversized, fully clickable track pad

*Engineering specs can change without prior notice. Battery times are estimates, depend on lots of different factors and may decline over time.

The Chromebook is Google’s newest product for those who live only on the internet. Take a look at the video below explaining how the Chromebook works.

You would think that since it’s practically a netbook (with less features) it would cost the same, or less than your average netbook… Think again! The Samsung version with 3G will set you back £399 (£349 without 3G) from PC World or Amazon.

It comes with no programs installed you can only use online apps, which may be fine for some, but what happens when you don’t have any 3G or wifi. The chromebook becomes a very fancy (and expensive) paper weight!

Google Doodle Lets you Boil Water with your Mouse

Google Bunsen Burner

If you used Google today (who doesn’t use Google every day?) you would have seen the doodle for today is celebrating Robert Bunsen’s 200th birthday, what you may not have noticed is the mouse control it has.

Move your mouse left or right and the flame goes from yellow to blue respectively, move your mouse up or down and the flame gets bigger the higher your mouse is.

Christmas Shopping Hit Badly By WikiLeaks Cyberwar “Operations Payback”

First figures from today’s trade analysis show astonishing results. Hackers attacks during WikiLeaks Cyberwar brought to hold most of the online operations on payment gateways in UK and Europe. PayPal, MasterCard and lately Visa’s online payment operations suffered badly.

Up to the moment we analysed 12 online operations with payment gateways and we found 52% decrease!!!! in transactions on year to year basis during last 24h while traffic didn’t change. For 7 websites this is the highest trading season and the difference between average from last 7 days and today’s transactions is edging 70% downfall. Some of the businesses went from the highest to the lowest figures within 24h

In this light late MasterCard statement is the biggest scam possible as they mention there is no difference in service for customers payment processing. We experienced today these problems ourselves from both customer and trading organisation point of view. Which clearly shows how incompetent they are under simple attack. I wonder if Paypal is going to address these reviewing monthly payments from their customers – no – of course not you silly. Try to imagine any of these organisation say yes we were unable to process few of your payments today this is £1 back :-)

All payment processing organisations looks like they try to cover up the fact they simply useless and are growing overconfident lately. Obviesly millions of businesses worldwide pay substential amounts of money towards online payments processing they may wonder now where their fees are going to? “Anonymous” group attacks are one of the most common type of attacks on servers (DDoS). My instant question is why my business suffer so badly while the fees are so high and should. Question is simple money are not reinvested on the correct level in infrastructure and services get easily struck by bunch of guys (something about bonuses – maybe).

The whole situation simply looks like another cock up from financial sector. They aren’t helping businesses to get loans but they also now block businesses ability to make a business. – Great

These are main services affected (3D Security unable to cope with requests)

3D Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure Targets for WikiLeaks Cyberwar Operation PayBack

3D Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure Targets for WikiLeaks Cyberwar Operation PayBack

There is no need to panic as there is no indication “Anonymous’” attacks created breach of security.

I believe we will be back tomorrow to analyse Operation Payback and its impact on Online Marketing in detail.