Archive for the ‘Ask.com’ Category

Geotargeting Brand Search Marketing

November 14, 2008

I am working on the following presentation for brand search marketers:

“GeoTarget Your Brand Advertising for Maximum Search Market Penetration and Retail Traffic Generation”

This brand search marketing presentation will cover the following topics:

• How to GeoTarget brand search advertising to drive retail traffic and sales by utilizing the four main search advertising platforms to build maximum brand search presence in yours or your resellers trade areas.

• A side by side comparison of the four main search advertising platforms Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft adCenter and Ask Sponsored Listings along with their geotargeting options and features.

• The opportunities and limitations of each search advertising platform’s geotargeting product.

Overall, my presentation will show brand managers how to maximize the effectiveness of their brand advertising budget while increasing  brand lift.

Brand marketers who establish a search brand presence through the creation of comprehensive geotargeted search advertising campaigns will expand their competitive reach and advantage over their competitors who don’t.

I will post a more detailed presentation outline here in the near future.

Ask.com Sponsored Listings Conversion Tracking Now Available

October 20, 2008

Ask.com and their search advertising product – Sponsored Listings – is now offering conversion tracking to their advertisers.

Ask Conversion Tracking

Ask Conversion Tracking

More about Ask.com conversion tracking offer:

“When you activate ASL conversion tracking and track at least one valid conversion by October 31st, you’ll receive a $25 credit! We’ll automatically credit your account after your conversion tracking has been verified.*”

Ask.com’s reasoning for deploying Conversion Tracking within their Sponsored Listings product:

* Increase your ROI: Measure and optimize your cost per acquisition (CPA) and improve your overall Return on Advertising Investment

* Gain deeper insight into your campaigns: Remove under performing traffic sources

* Get comprehensive reporting: View your Ask.com advertising by account, campaign, ad, keyword, conversion type, and date

Ask.com’s conversion tracking offer’s boiler plate:

“*Offer Terms and Conditions: in order to qualify for the $25 account credit, you must place the ASL conversion tracking tag on your web page and record at least 1 conversion by October 31st, 2008. ASL will verify your conversion and credit your account within 15 days of your conversion. Only one credit will be given for each individual account, web domain, and/or company.”

Its been a long time coming but all four major search engine advertising providers – Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com now provide conversion tracking within their search advertising platforms.

If not for all search advertisers now – soon – precise measurement of search advertising return on investment will be the rule not the exception.

Search Advertising Geo Targeting Options

October 3, 2008

If targeting local and mobile search advertising is the future growth drivers for search advertising providers, then Google and its Adwords geo-targeting features are in the driver’s seat when compared to its three closest search advertising rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com.

Below I outline each providers’ offerings not according to their search advertising market share but instead according to their level of geotargeted advertising product development.

Google’s advertising product and its geo-targeting capabilities have one distinct yet obvious feature the other’s lack:

An actual map for geo-targeting the location of your ads and where they will be shown!

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

With Google Adwords, advertisers can target their ads one country at a time through Google’s Country Geotargeting tab, or choose to bundle their ads for display in multiple countries at once with Adwords Bundle Geotargeting feature.

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Adwords advertisers who advertise in specific markets nationally or regionally can target their ads by metropolitan area or by city.

Although not referenced, Google’s metropolitan area targeting looks slightly similar to the Designated Market Area system developed by Nielsen Media Research which incorporates Nielsen’s broadcast media markets and distribution scheme.

For its City geotargeting option, Google surrounds the target city with a square.

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google custom geotargeting by far provides the highest level of geotargeting available from any search advertising provider.

Custom geotargeting lets advertisers create their own custom advertising distribution area within any market.

Google search advertisers can simply point and click three or more points on their advertising map and Google does the rest for them – creating a custom advertising distribution area through latitude and longitude coordinates.

How do the other search advertising providers’ geo-targeting features stack up compared with Google’s?

Yahoo and Ask both offer advertising geo-targeting options but both to a lesser degree.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo offers geotargeting to it advertisers by account market area and specific regions. Account market area is established by the advertising account holder when the open their account. Both account market area and specific region areas are organized by country, state, province or territory.

The Yahoo specific region feature geotargets its advertising through the Designated Market Areas system licensed from Nielsen Media Research.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Where is the Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Map?

Yahoo offers a Map View tab of specific regions geotargeted by its advertisers yet I haven’t ever been able to view an actual Yahoo map showing where my advertising has been geo-targeted and placed.

I can’t imagine why Yahoo search marketing would place a “Map View” tab in their Campaign settings geo-targeting page yet not actually provide a map view.

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask provides its advertisers with Location targeting which is also based on Nielsen’s Designated Market Area system.

Ask doesn’t provide a map showing advertisers locations of their geo-targeted advertising.

However, and to its credit – Ask does provide a geotargeting feature direct marketers like myself would like to see from other search advertising providers like Google Adwords – Postal Code targeting.

Postal Code Targeting or Zip Code targeting here in the US would allow direct marketers and brands alike another level of advertising targeting, delivery and thus control.
At this point you may be wondering why I chose to cover Microsoft’s adCenter search advertising geotargeting product last even though it has a larger share of the search market than Ask.

Why have I listed Microsoft’s advertising geotargeting product development last?

Because Microsoft’s search advertising product does not offer its advertisers geotargeting options let alone any other kind of geographic ad targeting.

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Will Microsoft ever offer advertising geo-targeting features to its advertisers?

If not, why?

Ask.com and Looksmart Campaign Reports

September 24, 2008

I was surprised today when I noticed the Ask.com sponsored advertising campaign reporting tool appears to be the same one used by Looksmart.

Judge for yourself:

Ask.com Advertising Campaign Reports:

Ask Reporting

Ask Reporting

Looksmart Advertising Campaign Reports:

Looksmart Reporting

Looksmart Reporting

Top Search and Web Properties Query Share

September 20, 2008

comScore has released its August 2008 qSearch analysis of the the U.S. search marketplace.

According to comScore, Google core search sites continued to lead the U.S. core search market in August with 63% of the searches conducted, up from 61.9% in July.

Yahoo core search sites had the second largest amount of search traffic with 19.6%, followed by Microsoft with 8.3%, the Ask Network with 4.8% and AOL LLC with 4.3% of searches conducted.

At the top web properties where search is observed, Google web properties led with 10.2 billion searches followed by Yahoo web properties with 2.4 billion searches, Microsoft web properties with 1 billion searches and AOL LLC and it search sites with 839 million search queries.

What I found most interesting in the comScore top web properties search data was Fox Interactive’s web sites – including MySpace.com – conducted 593 millions searches compared to Ask Network’s properties 572 million searches.

July August 2008 comScore Site Search Share

July August 2008 comScore Site Search Shar

Also, according to comScore data and to my surprise, MySpace.com has even surpassed AOL’s Search Network – not including MapQuest – fielding 117 million more search queries per month than AOL search.

Even with MySpace network’s growth slowing, at some point won’t its user base and growth cause it to generate an equal and then ever increasing number of search queries per month?

At its present size and barring any significant search market disruptions, will MySpace.com eventually generate more searches per month than AOL?

Ultimately, will MySpace.com generate more search queries per month than even Microsoft’s web properties?

Live Advertising on YouTube.com

May 27, 2007

Not only is Ask.com buying banner ads on YouTube so is Microsoft’s Live.

Live on YouTube.com

Ask YouTube.com

May 27, 2007

While searching for a video clip today I noticed Ask.com is buying banner ads on YouTube.com.

I wonder if Ask makes their money back from YouTube after searches at Ask.com deliver Google search network ads?

Ask YouTube.com