Google Content Network – Why Its Now All That

If you have used PPC for a while, chances are you have dabbled in the past with the “content network/placement” with little success. If so you are not alone.

In the past the Google Content network provided limited campaign control, lack of advertising format options and a large but somewhat hit and miss mix of sites which left marketers with another under performing Ad Network.

Over the past few years Google has invested significant efforts into this network particularly through acquisition of partner sites to now offer an array of ad formats and new advertising alternatives which will provide other advertising networks a run for their money.

Digital Marketing Lab has reviewed the Google placement network to bring you the Pro’s & Cons of the new and improved Google network.

Pros

Media Placement & Format Options
Ad Placement

The Google network is not limited to text based advertising.

Google has been working extremely hard to get advertisers to offer various advertising formats. Australian sites such as TheAge, Sydney Morning Herald & The Brisbane Times are just some of the sites which are offering image and video advertising opportunities.

With the rise of rich media, Google has been quick to ensure it has dynamic ad inventory to provide advertisers with the flexibility to choose the most appropriate format for their message. Google’s acquisition of video giant YouTube has also opened up a plethora of opportunities for video content sponsorship and in video branding.

The growing popularity of other online media has also lead Google to innovate by offering;
– Feed Placements
– In Game Placements
– Mobile Placements

Small Fish in Big Pond

Never before could small businesses dream of advertising with some of the majors and even if they did they would be facing high CPMs. Google’s network allows cost per click advertising in various formats and for all budgets making it accessible to advertisers of all sizes.

Cons

Positioning
Ad Positioning

Ad positioning may still be an issue on the network with some of the prime inventory sold through other networks / through internal media sales teams thus it is difficult to ensure effective placement.

Big Budgets – Big Losers

For big advertisers who can command significant reductions in rate cards, the CPA/CPC may not be as favourable on the Google network and the reporting may not be to the depth required to effectively manage these campaigns.

Niche Advertising

For niche advertisers the content network may not provide the depth of inventory needed by the advertiser – resulting in low impression rates/visitors and lack of sites to project the message.

What’s next

With social networks providing competition for Google through behavioural advertising, Google just announced its new behavioural targeting product. In mid March the internet giant announced its beta testing of behavioural advertising. Google is able to offer behavioural advertising through utilising cookies to track web users across its content network.

For more details on Google’s behavioural targeting click here http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/making-ads-more-interesting.html

The verdict

Google is definitely shaping up to provide a strong advertising network, in its pursuit for internet domination. The content network is definitely worth further investigation by brands in Australia to determine its application as part of an advertising strategy. I would continue to watch this space as I am sure there is much more to come from Google.

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Google’s Marketing Toolbox – 20 Free (OR Nearly Free) Google Marketing Products

Blogger Website

In their quest to dominate our entire internet experience, it is no wonder that Google wants to be a 1 stop shop for marketers – given that we pay the bills.

Digital Marketing Lab has summarised the Google tools that we know are out there for marketers to use. If we have missed any please add them below.

Site Resources & Tools

Site Resource and ToolsGoogle Analyticswww.google.com/analytics/

Google Analytics provides a complete website analysis tool to track site performance. Over the years Google has built on the basics to provide a sophisticated web analytics tools which offers conversion analysis, site overlay analysis, custom reporting creation tools and benchmarking along with all of the standard reporting metrics to measure site performance.

Website Optimiserwww.google.com/websiteoptimizer

Website optimizer provides a tool to conduct A/B and multi-variant testing on your website to improve conversion of landing pages. The website optimiser has been built with in-depth but visual/easy to read reporting to make informed decisions based on tests results.

Google Site Searchhttp://www.google.com/sitesearch/

Google site search provides web owners with the ability to create a simple onsite search function to enable users to search onsite content. This is one of the Google products which incurs a charge – however pricing starts from as low as $100 per year.

Google Custom Searchhttp://www.google.com/coop/cse/

Google custom search is a more sophisticated search function which enables websites to aggregate search results from a variety of other sites/sources. This function is free however search results will also appear with paid ads included, however for a fee of $100 per year search results will appear with no ads.

Google Maps Site ResourceGoogle Mapswww.code.google.com/apis/maps/

The Google API for Google Maps allows organisations to plug Google Maps into their websites. The API allows you to customise maps to feature a range of content/information to enhance your users experience.

Google AdSensehttps://www.google.com/adsense

Google AdSense enables website owners to publish relevant advertising content on sites and earn revenue from Google by doing so. The sites added to AdSense are part of the Google Content Network.

Search Tools

Google Toolbarwww.toolbar.google.com/

The Google Toolbar is a browser application which displays the PageRank of the particular page a user is viewing on a site.

Google Webmaster Toolwww.google.com/webmasters/tools/

The Google Webmaster Tool provides you with the ability to view detailed information as to see how Google perceives your site to be performing. The kind of data available includes site errors, top performing keywords your site is ranking for in SERPs and actual positions, internal/external linking data, along with the ability to upload an XML site map.

Google Trend Site ResourceGoogle Trendswww.google.com/trends

Google Trends provides “hot trends” for the top 100 terms searched in the US (so not that useful for Aussies) but it can also provide trends for particular websites across the world. With the tool you can view the growth of Twitter over the past few years and identify similar sites in that category which can lead to new marketing opportunities.

Google Keyword Researchhttps://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

The Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides you with a keyword research tool for both SEO and PPC campaign research. The tool provides keyword volumes for the previous month, plus graphical representation of keyword traffic over the past 12 months.

Google Insights – www.google.com/insights/search

Google Insights provides a tool to gauge keyword trends, determine where the search volumes are more/less prevalent across a given country, the type of content search being conducted ie image / video, local etc and a host of other information.

AdWords Editorwww.google.com/intl/en/adwordseditor/

Whilst the Google AdWords program is a paid resource, the AdWords editor provides an offline campaign tool which makes the creation of PPC campaigns, light work. Once completed the data can be uploaded into your Google AdWords account.

Social Media Tools

Blogger WebsiteBloggerwww.blogger.com

Bought by Google in 2003, Blogger is one of the leading free blogging tools on the market. Blogger provides the ability to upload everything from text to images and videos and even the ability to blog via your mobile phone.

Google Alertswww.google.com/alerts

Google Alerts provides an email alert service based on a query or topic. The alert service can be utilised to identify online reputation issues, track community discussions and even track competitor activity.

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Top 20 Most Interesting Australian Digital Statistics For 2009 So Far

Search Engine Marketing

Trying to locate Australian specific internet usage and user behaviour trends is often difficult. With a lot of new research circulating the web, Digital Marketing Lab has summarised the top 20 most interesting Australian Digital trends/stats which have been recorded in the first quarter of 2009. If you have any others that we have missed please feel free to add them.

Online Behaviour

1. Aussies spend a total of 16.1 hours per week on the internet – Nielsen Online
2. Australians now spend one-third of their leisure time online – The Digital World, Digital Life Survey
3. Australian internet users are ditching desktop computers in favour of wireless technology with laptop ownership jumping from 49% to 63% by the end of 2008 – Nielsen Online.
4. Australians who shopped online in February 2009 spent an average of $760 compared to the global average of $3160. – The Digital World, Digital Life Survey

Search Marketing

Search Engine Marketing5. Top 3 search terms in Google at present are find a job, how to write a resume and how to survive the recession – AustralianIT
6. Google Australia search volumes have risen 20% from January 2008 to January 2009 – Search Engine Room
7. Google’s Marketshare reached 89.6% in February 2009 with Yahoo at 2% – Hitwise Australia
8. Australian search success is 71.1 per cent in February of 2009 from 70.1 per cent in February of 2008. Search success is measured by if a user goes to conduct another search straight after visiting the page from search results. – AustralianIT

Mobile Marketing

9. 97 per cent of Australians surveyed used their mobile phone for more than just voice. – m.Net Corporation
10. 31 per cent of Australian mobile users have used their mobile phone to make a purchase like movie tickets – m.Net Corporation
11. Mobile advertising growth is poised to treble in 2009 with Telsyte forecasting that mobile advertising spend will grow to $20 million this year – Digital Media

Social Media

Social Media Marketing12. 1 in 2 Aussies are now using a social network – The Digital World, Digital Life Survey
13. On average Australians are registered with 2.7 social networks – .2 higher than the global average of memberships on social networking sites – The Digital World, Digital Life Survey
14. Australian Twitter Subscribers Reached 250,000 in February 2009, up from 149,000 in January – Ninemsn
15. 7.5 million Australians visited consumer-generated media websites in January 2009, up 17 per cent on 2008. This compares to 8.3 million Australian visitors to the news/information mainstream media that month. – Nielsen Online
16. More than 5 million (1/4 of Aust popn) visited Facebook in January (up 100 per cent on 2008) & 2.4 million MySpace (-17 per cent) – Nielsen Online
17. Many Australians (83%) are aware of virtual worlds such as SecondLife., but only 26% have viewed or contributed to these sites – The Digital World, Digital Life Survey
18. 2.3 million Australians visited blogger blogs which is up 21% on 2008 – Nielsen Online
19. CGC has become a mainstream activity for Australian internet users with 57% admitting to publishing opinions online – Nielsen Online CGM Report
20. One in three (36%) Australians have friends or contacts that they met online with whom they regularly communicate demonstrating the impact of Web 2.0 on online relationships – The Digital World, Digital Life Survey

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