Archive for December, 2008

Airport Codes in Google Maps

December 22, 2008

Traveling by air and not sure exactly where a particular airport is located?

From Google Maps:

Airport Codes Lookup Map

Airport Codes Lookup Map

To see exactly where any airport in the world is located, simply enter its three digit airport code into Google Maps .

Here is a sample Google Maps search for: LAX



Google Maps also provide international airport code lookups and satellite views of the airport where available.

Google Maps Satellite view of London Heathrow (LHR)

LHR London Heathrow Satellite View

LHR London Heathrow Satellite View

Inputting an airport code into Google Maps to locate a final air travel destination should make planning ground transportation to and from the airport easier for both the inexperienced and experienced traveler.


Small Business Search Engine Marketing Too Costly, Time Consuming and Complex?

December 21, 2008

Microsoft adCenter conducted a survey of 400 small businesses with 250 employees or less to gauge small business sentiment toward search marketing and advertising.

Among the participants’ chief concerns, most cited the common misconceptions of cost, time and complexity as major hurdles to conducting search marketing campaigns for their businesses.

Key small business concerns regarding search engine marketing from the Microsoft adCenter study:

  • Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) feared keywords may become too expensive.
  • 81% questioned if paid search marketing is the best use of their marketing budgets.
  • 25% of respondents believe paid search marketing is too complex.
  • 21% thought it would be too time-consuming.
  • 35% felt they would need an agency to help set up a search marketing campaign.

The most surprising finding from Microsoft’s adCenter Study? 7 in 10 small-business owners who participated revealed that they would rather try to do their own taxes than start a paid search marketing campaign!

The Microsoft study also revealed that 59 percent of small businesses with Web sites don’t currently use paid search marketing, and of those, 90 percent have never even attempted it.

Will search engine advertising providers like Microsoft ever overcome the general small business perception that search engine advertising is too costly, time consuming and complex?

Not until the small business advertiser has been convinced and shown otherwise that search engine marketing is inexpensive, quick and easy.

Google Conversion Room Blog

December 20, 2008

Google has launched their newest blog: “Conversion Room – The place to visit for tips on tracking and improving conversions online”.

The Conversion Room blog was started on December 18, 2008 and prior to my subscription had 11 subscribers.

Google Conversion Room Blog

Google Conversion Room Blog

Search marketers interested in learning more about the terminology and process of tracking and improving online conversions should find Google’s Conversion Room blog helpful.

From the 2nd entry on the Google Conversion Room blog:

What is a goal/conversion?

In order to track your website ROI, it is important to define goals or conversions. A goal is an action you wish your visitors to complete when they visit your site. Examples of goals include: a completed purchase, the download of a document or a subscription to a newsletter.

How to set up goals?

You can easily set up goals within Google Analytics and measure how often visitors reach these goals (or convert on your site). What proportion of users who reach your home page, for example, then go on to buy from you? You can also specify steps that lead to a goal (e.g. purchase or lead) and measure how many visitors follow these steps, called a funnel. You can create up to 4 goals per profile in your Google Analytics account. Once you have activated your goal you will begin to see data appearing in your Google Analytics account under the ‘Goals’ report

Sign up for the Conversion Room blog to get regular tips for increasing your website’s conversions and return on investment.

Top eBay Searches:

December 19, 2008

eBay Pulse provides a Top 10 list of the most popular searches from 33 main product categories within eBay.

Most popular Top 10 search lists can also be generated for  “All Categories” and then “Everything Else” on eBay.

eBay’s most popular searches are available from the following categories:

All Categories
Baby    Dolls & Bears
Business & Industrial
Cameras & Photo
Cell Phones & PDAs
Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
Coins & Paper Money
Computers & Networking
DVDs & Movies
Entertainment Memorabilia
Gift Certificates
Health & Beauty
Home & Garden
Jewelry & Watches
Musical Instruments
Pottery & Glass
Real Estate
Specialty Services
Sporting Goods
Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop
Toys & Hobbies
Vehicles & Parts
Video Games

& Everything Else…

With the Christmas shopping season in full swing, the “All Categories” list is dominated by familiar brands and products although one item made the list I hadn’t yet heard of: Bakugan.

Top eBay Searches

Top eBay Searches

The eBay Pulse search tool is a great way to get a quick overview of each category’s top searched for and more than likely top selling items.

eBay Business Industrial Category

eBay Business Industrial Category

From within each product category,  search popularity can be further refined via the category’s drop down box.

eBay Business Industrial Searches

eBay Business Industrial Searches

You can then drill down to see the list of product typess available for further searching from within each respective subcategory.

Businesses Websites For Sale

Businesses Websites For Sale

Click through to see all of the items eBay has listed within the specific category.

Websites For Sale

Websites For Sale

From a search marketer’s perspective and from someone who has never bought or sold anything on eBay, by providing this type of organized search data I am much more likely to use eBay’s service now than ever before.

Google Blog Gadget 2.0 vs. iGoogle RSS Blog Feeds

December 18, 2008

Google has come out with their second iteration of their Blog Gadget dubbed Google Blog Gadget 2.0.

Their improved blog gadget is a great way to consolidate and view all Google blog posts in one location.

Google Blog Gadget 2.0

Google Blog Gadget 2.0

For six months or longer I have had my own rudimentary version of a Google Blog feed gadget set up within my iGoogle account.

Instead of having to use a drop box to move from blog category to blog category, I instead grab the Google RSS feeds I have an interest in reading fed into one of my many iGoogle tabs.

In doing so I can view all the Google blog posts at one time and then decide which ones I want to view further without having to click more than once.

It takes some time to set up all the Google blog feeds in iGoogle, but once completed you may find the end result was worth the effort too.

See the full list of Google blogs at the Google Blog Directory.

iGoogle RSS Blog Feeds

iGoogle RSS Blog Feeds

Twitter and the 2008 Shorty Award

December 17, 2008

Trending topics @ Twitter today include the term “Shorty Awards”.

According to the Shorty Awards will honor the world’s top Twitterers – those who have produced the best content in 140 characters or less during 2008 on Twitter.

Shorty Awards

Shorty Awards

I guess this post won’t qualify…

How to participate in the 2008 Shorty Awards:

To nominate someone for a Shorty Award, use form on this site, or send a tweet similar to this: @shortyawards I nominate @someone in category #news because… (but write something of your own).

The text of the tweet is completely up to you. As long as it contains @shortyawards @someone #category you can be as creative with the rest as you like.

You actually have to write something. Just submitting the default tweet doesn’t count.

It will be interesting to see how the (first annual?) Shorty Awards turn out.

There are 25 subject categories for nominations including the catchall category: “Other”.

Shorty Award Categories

Shorty Award Categories

The organizers of the Shorty Awards probably didn’t anticipate the “Other” category would quickly be commandeered by Twittwits to establish less than desirable subject categories like evilgenius and douche to describe and nominate top Twitterers.

While the 24 category winners will probably be excited to learn of their victories, the “Other” category winners probably won’t be tweeting about theirs.

Shorty Award Top Nominees

Shorty Award Top Nominees

For more information visit

Google Adwords Editor 7.0.0 Update Available

December 16, 2008

Google Adwords Editor update 7.0.0 is available for download now.

Google Adwords Editor 7.0.0

Google Adwords Editor 7.0.0

I don’t know what improvements have been added yet, but will report those I discover.

Update 12-17-08: For more information about specific improvements found in Adwords Editor 7.0 including keyword Quality Scores and First Page Bid estimates visit the Adwords Editor Forum.

Trademark Free Zone?

December 15, 2008

Today while typing in a domain name I was taken to a parked domain hosted by Network Solutions.

I was surprised to find a new type of disclaimer link at the bottom of the parked domain page called “Trademark Free Zone”.

Trademark Free Zone

Trademark Free Zone

More about the “Trademark Free Zone” from Network Solutions:

TRADEMARK FREE ZONE – Network Solutions has no knowledge of whether any content on this page violates any third party intellectual property rights. Network Solutions will promptly remove any content reasonably objected to by the Owner of a pre-existing trademark. If you have a Trademark issue, please contact

I don’t recall seeing any other domain registrar other than SRS Renewals (a Network Solutions agent) placing an intellectual property disclaimer on their customer’s parked domains in an attempt to preemptively disavow any responsibility for trademark infringement by cybersquatters.

What caused Network Solutions to institute and launch their “Trademark Free Zone”?

Will the largest domain registrar soon include a similar domain squatter disclaimer on all their customer’s parked domains too?

Google Analytics Videos on YouTube

December 14, 2008

The Google Analytics blog has announced the launch of the Google Analytics Channel on YouTube.

At this time, the Google Analytics channel consists of 13 videos for how to best use Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Videos

Google Analytics Videos

Analytics video topics range from Tracking Ecommerce to Custom Reporting.

Subscribe to the Google Analytics Channel on YouTube to learn more about how Google Analytics can help you make more informed business and marketing decisions.

Definition of a Brand

December 13, 2008

Charles M. Berger former brand marketer for H. J. Heinz Co. and CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. passed away a week ago today.

Mr. Berger developed the messaging which differentiated Heinz ketchup from its competition by positioning Heinz ketchup as “thick and rich” which in turn was brilliantly used to imply Heinz ketchup’s competitors were not.

Mr. Berger’s communications strategy proved to be a profoundly effective brand marketing tactic: Identify what your customers really want and receive from using your brand, then memorialize both its strengths and the competition’s weaknesses in the same few words.

Like all successes – after the fact – it usually looks and sounds easier to do than it actually was. I am sure Berger spent years perfecting the Heinz ketchup brand message.

Ultimately Heinz ketchup television commercials  featured an OK Corral style ketchup duel where Heinz proclaimed it was the slowest ketchup in the west…east, north and south” – effective imagery which conveyed the strengths of his brand while simultaneously contrasting them with his competitors weaknesses.

Simply brilliant.

According to Heinz Chairman and CEO William R. Johnson, Berger’s marketing prowess “enabled Heinz to break out of a tie and gain permanent leadership in ketchup.”

In a 2001 interview with Design Management Journal, Berger gave his definition of a brand:

“A real brand owns a very tiny but important piece of real estate in a consumer’s mind.”

“Heinz ketchup actually looks and tastes the way it did in 1890. In most cases, although you have to keep changing the product, the brand should be immortal.”

Although Mr. Berger is no longer with us  – and provided his successors at Heinz don’t try to rethink or rework his success – Berger’s work on behalf of the Heinz ketchup brand ought to remain as close to as immortal as any brand message has yet become.