Bruce Clay on Search

I love the Webpronews Videos, a great source of info, especially from presenters of Search and Marketing conferences.

This one with Bruce Clay, at 18 minutes long, is a great discussion around search, how it has grown, broadened in it’s nature to include Interactive Marketing and Optimisation on many levels.

He makes a few key points:

  1. The new first page is actually the top three, especially as results are continually refined and made more personal
  2. The distinction between Search and Find, Search being research based, looking for overall information, whereas Find is all about what is around me know, especially on Mobile
  3. How Google’s Caffeine update has made the “accidental long tail”, ie those pages that are found for a phrase when that page is not about that phrase, less findable while improving the rankings for intended long tail pages.

Check out the video for some interesting information

Will Adidas pay for their failed Jabulani Ball?

There have been plenty of criticisms of the Adidas Jabulani ball, to the point where FIFA have said they will look into the concerns about the ball.

Seems to me like it is a bit too late.

We are in the middle of their show-piece tournament and that FIFA have made this admission now (given their reluctance to even acknowledge the discussion on technology) shows they are not happy.

Adidas have a contract with FIFA to supply the ball for the next World Cup in 2014. They paid over USD300 million for the right to do so.

I think one of the key reasons for the problems with this ball is the significant change from previous models. There seems to be a complete change is feel to the ball and the way players are describing how it acts will mean that they have some getting used to it.

The fact that the first free kick to be scored from came in the last round of the group stages again highlights how long it has taken to get used to the new ball.

The Jabulani has been available to national teams for months before the finals, but given most leagues (Especially, the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A) use Nike balls, they could not be used consistently to gain experience.

Ironically, Germany’s Bundesliga was the only major European league to use the Jabulani in normal domestic matches.

I expect for the next games to play better as teams are coming to grips with it. But it shouldn’t take this long.

I would hope that Adidas are put on notice for 2014, to either provide a ball similar in characteristics to what is being used throughout the world or provide it much earlier for teams to practise with.

Unfortunately, with Nike’s domestic league dominance, if Adidas decide to push the boundaries again, we could have the same problem in four years time.

Should I get a .co TLD. Is it worth it?

I was asked by a client if he thought getting a .co address was worthwhile. To be honest I hadnt heard of any new TLD that had been created (TLD means Top Level Domain, ie .com, .net plus country codes like .nz)

In fact it is actually the Columbian country code that has been opened up to be registered by anyone.

So what’s the big deal?

In the sales pitch, the people running this launch have this to say: (found as a sponsor post on Read Write Web)

The .co TLD will provide companies with a TLD that represents “company”,
which is a viable and possibly even superior alternative to .com. With
the .com domain inventory nearly exhausted, .co gives businesses the
opportunity to brand themselves online to the fullest extent possible.

LEt’s break that down into it’s parts:

  1. .co to represent “company” a viable possibly superior alternative to .com – To be honest, I can’t see much to this, ok it is 1 character shorter and to some areas, like URL shorteners (apparently, Twitter is looking at t.co as an in house URL shortener) it is useful to achieve their requirements. But for the majority, overcoming the habit of the .com is going to be hard to break.
  2. With
    the .com domain inventory nearly exhausted, .co gives businesses the
    opportunity to brand themselves online to the fullest extent possible. – Excuse me, the .com space is not nearly exhausted, this is just an excuse for lazy marketers. Agreed, most simple words are already taken, but it is no where near exhausted.
    It also raises the possibility of more domain name disputes as existing brands have to fight again to save their brands form being hijacked.

As I mentioned before, .co is actually the country code for Columbia. I can expect some technical issues with the search-ability of sites with .co as their TLD.

Google bases it’s local and pre-filtered searches based on the TLD and/or the location of the server that a site is hosted on. As an example for a New Zealand company it is important that either the site has a .co.nz domain or is located on a NZ based server. This gives Google an idea as to who to provide results to for this site.

When you have a .com address on a US based server, you need to use Google Webmaster Tools to tell Google that your market is in NZ, if that is the case, as it not necessarily easy to determine this just from your content.

How quickly will this issue be fixed once the .co TLD is released. Similarly, Google will need to be told that your intended market is not Columbia, given that is what .co domain really means.

I believe this is a marketing opportunity, pure and simple. I cannot see any real credible reasons for creating this confusion between the established .com and a new ambiguous player in .co

My advice to people is to ignore .co. If you need a global domain, go for .com. If it is taken, look for creative ways to claim a .com domain, as I expect it will take many years (if at all) for the .co TLD to mean anything to anyone outside Columbia.

Please comment if you have received any correspondence about this, how are your registrars selling it to you?

Facebook Credits – And it Begins

I have just noticed Facebook Credits appearing on my Facebook page. I have been saying for a while, that a key shift for Facebook will be the implementation of some sort of Marketplace, to make Facebook a viable platform for businesses. Facebook Credits may be the start of this.

Part of the issue with Facebook as a business platform is that is was not designed as such, it was designed purely as a way of people connecting socially.

With this social mindset, users are not looking to Facebook to solve their “I need to buy” or ” I need to find” problems. If I am looking for Christmas presents, I do not think of Facebook as the first place to go to get something.

However, there are plenty of things being advertised through Facebook PPC ads that may be suitable.

Until Facebook changes the mentality of it’s users into thinking of Facebook as a viable e-commerce marketplace, the effectiveness of Pages as a marketing channel will be limited.

Imagine being able to go to Facebook, enter the marketplace and be able to purchase goods from local and international suppliers.

One key difference here is that Facebook ads are targeted at you, not who you are purchasing for, a marketplace could change this dynamic, by using profile data of your friends to provide you with good information to help make those purchases.

Would you use Facebook if it offered a targeted marketplace? Would you mind if your profile data was used to help others buy you cool gifts?

And it Begins….

The 2010 Football World Cup and the All Whites

I am an unashamed football nut, have been forever. I was young but remember the ’82 World Cup (I was even given some Spanish stamps commemorating it from a friend that went)

I have been reading and watching the current All Whites World Cup campaign from the early stages: relatively routine progression through the Oceania Group, the warm up game vs Jordan, then the nail biter in Bahrain in the first leg of the qualifier.

I was even lucky enough to be one of the near 35000 who was at the game on “that” night in Wellington.

But then the wait, six months before the true build up to the World Cup itself.

Expectations have been varied, from Ivan Vicelich’s possibility of getting past the group stages, to some of the bookmakers who were giving big odds for us even scoring a single goal.

Recent warm up games have given some optimism, that we will be at least competitive and not the walk overs we were talked as. But more than that, while our midfield is light, especially in technique, our defence is looking strong and the most pleasing things is that we actually look like a genuine threat at the pointy end.

I would expect us now to most likely score in each of our pool matches. If that is the case, we give ourselves the best opportunity to get results in every game.

Who knows, Ivan could be right.