Monday, April 12, 2010

Apple iAd for Apps

Apple have announced iAd animated advertising as part of version 4 of the operating system for iPhone and iPad touch mobile devices (presumably these will also work on iPads). Developers of Apps (applications) will receive 60 percent of the advertising revenue, making free to the customer applications possible. Perhaps more interesting is that the advertisements will make use of HTML 5 features for animation.

Flash has typically used for animation in advertisements. HTML 5 couldn't be used for general web ads as the advertiser could not be user that HTML 5 was installed on the viewer's computer, but they can be sure of this with the iPhone. It will be interesting to see if Google do something similar for the Android. While Google has had mobile ads for some time, they have not been very successful. Apple may be able to come up with a format for mobile ads which is popular with the advertisers and tolerated by the viewers.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Google advertising campaign to sell green ebook

Prompted by a free voucher from Google, I started an AdWords web based advertising campaign for my "Green Technology Strategies" book. I set the campaign for $7.50 a day for a week and left it to Google's system to work out how many ads to put where (except none on my own web site). The result was 1,119 ads placed on average position of 4.1 (that is forth down in a list of ads), with Google's system automatically bidding US$1.39 per ad.

The result was only one "click" on the ad, at a cost of 50 US cents. There were no sales of the product advertised.

Admittedly, I set AdWords a tough challenge by trying to sell the most expensive, slowest to deliver hardback edition of the book (cheap instant ebooks sell best).

While this was a failure for book sales, I seemed to get more direct leads about my consulting business. It would appear that companies read the ad, did not buy the book, but thought "he wrote a book and so must be an expert on the topic, lets contact him".

Starting by running an advertising campaign which lasts a week is a good idea, as this will coincide with the tips Google sends you. Each week they send new advertuisers a mail message about one page long with some suggestions. The one tis week for me was on "Top tips for great keywords:

A great keyword is:

  • Ideally, 2-3 words long
  • Specific (keywords that are too broad or general will not reach users as effectively as keywords that are highly targeted)
  • Directly related to the text in your ad
  • Directly related to the page your ad links to (specified by the destination URL) ...
Apart from being a useful technique which educators could emulate, these email messages are very useful marketing. Promoted by this I started a new campaign, linking to the eBook, rather than the print edition:
Green Technology eBook
Computers can reduce energy use.
As used by leading universities.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

No AdWords Sales So Far

Yesterday, promoted by a free voucher from Google, I started an AdWords web based advertising campaign for my "Green Technology Strategies" book. This did not start well, as the spell checker in my Firefox browser does not work with the forms the Google AdWords system uses. As a result I misspelled "Telchinology" in the title of the advertisement. No one is likely to buy a book from someone who misspells the title. There is no way to edit the content of an existing ad, you have to delete it and start again.

With that done, I set the campaign for $7.50 a day for a week and left it to Google's system to work out how many ads to put where (except none on my own web site). I set AdWords a tough challenge by trying to sell the most expensive, slowest to deliver hardback edition of the book. I was going to attribute a sale of e-book to the campaign, but so far the ad hasn't been through Google's review process and so can't run on web sites (and hasn't appeared on the Google search).

Google do try hard to make AdWords easy to use, but there is still a lot to learn (and for traditional marketers, a lot to unlearn).

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Possible Google Adwords Scam

In the mail I received a letter offering a Google AdWords $75 free advertising trial. However, after following the instructions to register on the Google Adwords site, I was told that the particular voucher had already been redeemed. Is this some sort of scam?

I tried calling the phone number on the letter (there was no email or street address for "Jason Chuck, Head of Marketing, Google Australia and New Zealand"). I got a recorded message: "All circuits to the destination you are calling are busy, please wait a few moments and try again".

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Google Ads on Mobile Phones

After years of trying, and failing, to interest people in the problem of providing accessible web sites for the disabled, I gave up. But I think they will listen to how to put Google ads on mobile phones (which uses the same accessibility techniques). All welcome at this free seminar in Canberra:
Seminar Announcement
Department of Computer Science, FEIT
The Australian National University

Date: Monday, 15 October 2007
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Venue: Room N101, CSIT Building [108]

Speaker: Tom Worthington

Title: Google Ads on Mobile Phones: accessibility, standards and implementation


Google's AdWords/AdSense system allows businesses to advertise on the web. This service was recently expanded to provide advertisements on mobile phones using XHTM/WAP 2.0, WML/WAP 1.0 and CHTML/iMode, implemented with PHP, CGI Perl or ASP. This is a brief overview of how the Google system is implemented and a demonstration. The differences between the system for desktop and hand held devices is discussed, as is Google's adherence (or lack of) to web standards. The accessibility of the ads, particularly for disabled will also be looked at.

Tom Worthington a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the Australian National University, where he teaches the design of web sites, e-commerce and professional ethics. Tom has been an expert witness in several court cases involving international patent, computer, web and Internet issues, as well as advising governments and companies on ICT problems. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy.


DCS Seminars:

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Google Adsense Referrals 2.0

Google added an expanded "Referrals 2.0" feature to its web advertising service in 2007. In theory this should provide more revenue from the Google Adsense advertisements on my web site, but so far the results have been disappointing.

Google previously paid a referral fee when customers were referred to Google services, such as downloading the Google toolbar. This has now been extended to referrals to other companies. So if, for example, a customer clicks on a Google ad and buys an airline ticket, the airline pays a referral fee to Google. In theory this is better for advertiser than the regular Google AdWords service, where advertisers pays when the the customer clicks on an ad, even if they never actually buy anything.

So far the results from Referrals 2.0 have been disappointing. Over the last few weeks I have tried some Referrals ads on some web pages. These have resulted in 31,640 third party ad impressions (number of times the ads appeared), 44 clicks (people selecting to look for further details from the ad), but no signups (people registering or buying the goods). As a result there was no revenue from this. The Referrals displaced other regular Google ads, resulting in a drop in Google revenue overall.

It may that it is too early to judge the success of Referrals. One problem seems to be that there are few quality advertisers using the service. Also the matching of advertisers to web pages does not seem as finely tuned as Google's regular ads. There are many ads which do not seem to match the topics of the web sites they appear on.

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