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May 2006 Marketing Archives

Friday, May 05, 2006

Yahoo Sued for Click Fraud

A class action suit has been filed against Yahoo, and this time the company is alleged to be a willing participate in defrauding customers.

The
suit
say that Yahoo knowingly allowed its ads to be used in spyware. Noted click fraud expert Ben Edelman is representing the plaintiffs, so this should be a contentious battle.

As we know, Google settled one of the class action lawsuits for a paltry $90 million, which didn't make advertisers happy.

Advertisers are in a tough position when they have to challenge the very companies that they are dependent on for survival. Boycotting Google and Yahoo limits a company's potential reach, so perhaps they should form a united front and demand lower CPM rates until there is a technology fix.

Advertisers should separately track the clicks from Google or Yahoo versus other referrals, and use the analytics to justify a change in price. For example, if the same ad generates 30 percent more traffic to my site beyond my home page if it runs outside of a particular search engine, then we need to talk.

Right now the search engines have the luxury of abundant supply and demand, but that won't last forever. As long as click fraud continues to be a problem, there will be strong incentive for advertisers to move to pay per action (sale, call, lead).

Yahoo Sued for Click Fraud By Jason Dowdell at 12:26 PM
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TV Opens Online Market

Now 2 of the big 4 networks (CBS and ABC) have joined the ranks of online broadcasters. CBS just went live with "innertube," a channel of original programming. The shows -- including two adjuncts to Survivor -- are heavy on the product placement and commercial breaks, which means ample opportunity for advertisers.

As I've been saying, the networks are moving online out of fear from losing advertiser dollars due to DVRs, and watching the numbers of online viewers flock to videos on YouTube, Blinkx and vlogs.

CBS, NBC and Fox will eventually join ABC in streaming full episodes of prime time shows, and in the end the companies could wind up increasing their overall revenue. With all of their experience, shouldn't the networks be able to produce more compelling content than Joe Camcorder?

TV Opens Online Market By John Gartner at 10:44 AM
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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Prefound or Dumbfound - You Decide

Garrett's getting luck in Kentucky this week and moderating a panel of experts PreFound flew in. I'm just not sure why in the world WSJ, BusinessWeek, MarketWatch & others would attend this panel that's being held from 7 - 9 at night for any other reason than it's free and at the Kentucky Derby. Not sure PreFound has the legs to go the scaling distance on this one folks.

Prefound or Dumbfound - You Decide By Jason Dowdell at 05:27 PM
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Philips Marketing Genious

Every once and a while a company not known for their web presence will put out a new site feature or video that eventually catches on into the blogosphere (see Chevy Tahoe) . Whether it is intentional or not, its a great marketing tool for any company.

Phillips Nerelco has put a new website out that I think will probably have the same viral affect, ShaveEveryWhere.com.

Check it out for yourself.

Philips Marketing Genious By Evan Roberts at 03:55 PM
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Microsense? Microsoft to Launch Contextual Ad Program

Yusef Medhi also announced Microsoft's intention to launch a contextual advertising pilot this summer. Maybe not the best move, in my opinion, but I can understand why they are doing it, revenue. During this whole time of development for MSN AdCenter, I've held the theory that an MSN content network would have a big advantage over Google Contextual advertising.

While I know many theorists will say that Google has the advantage just b/c of the sheer volume of impressions their network gets, but with every blog, website and spammer using Adsense the quality of the content network is extremely poor. Webmasters manipulate the pages in order to get clicks on their pages for their own benefit and not for the advertiser. This is a simplistic view but the point is not everyone's interest can be covered by this type of network.

Microsoft has a huge advantage if they wanted to take advantage of it by making the content network their network of site's such as MSN.com. There would be no Tom Foolery as far as getting user clicks and the conversions would be much better. Personally, I'd feel better if this was at least an option to only advertise on Microsoft properties rather then the complete content network, where click fraud is more rampant then people believe.

Microsense? Microsoft to Launch Contextual Ad Program By Jason Dowdell at 03:37 PM
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Pay Per Call Goes SMS

Ingenio and UpSNAP have teamed up to deliver free 411 listings via SMS. Ingenio will deliver ads from its pay per call network via UpSNAPS' SMS service, and the sponsored ads will be intermingled amongst the listings.

SMS is a much more efficient method of directory searching on mobile phones (as long as you aren't driving), and free is always nice. I hate having to pay for 411 info, so I'm all for ad-supported listings like this and Jingle Networks' Free 411 service. And since the ads are delivered to phones, pay per call model is the most appropriate revenue model.

Found via Marketing Vox

Pay Per Call Goes SMS By John Gartner at 02:04 PM
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DVRS Cut Ads by $8 Billion

Skipping past commercials might cost the television industry $8 billion (or nearly 11 percent) of its advertising revenues this year, according to JupiterResearch. As DVR use goes up, and Nielsen starts reporting the lack of ad watching, it's going to get much worse.

A report by the analyst firm surprisingly says that DVR owners don't watch more TV than non-DVR households.

Skipping past commercials is as addictive as eating potato chips -- once you start, you don't stop. That's why video on demand and online TV viewing -- without a fast forward button -- are essential to the television industry. Broadcasters need to master the art of behavioral and targeted marketing and interactive ads so that they can derive the maximum value from their content.

Sure, putting a Chevy Tahoe in front of 50 million people is great, but running the same ad in front of 50,000 families who own camping gear is a much better spend. Making these ads interactive could also help to compensate for the lost eyeballs.

DVRS Cut Ads by $8 Billion By John Gartner at 01:05 PM
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MSN adCenter Launches: 5 Reasons NOT to Use It

Although reports are all over the news and blogosphere about MSN going to 100% traffic with their new ads and encouraging people to sign up, I would hold off. Well, hold off to an extent, let me explain.

I've had a few MSN adCenter accounts for a while now but just these last few weeks have I really digging into it and trying to get a handle on how it all works. Along the way I have discovered many things I like and many that I do not like, and I have let MSN know about it via the adCenter blog, their feedback form, and my personal contacts inside MSN. If it weren't for these contacts explaining things to me as I was running around, I would feel pretty clueless and lonely.

Here are just a few reasons why you should stay away from adCenter:
1. The Help documentation is not very helpful. All '?' bring you to the same help search page, instead of the actual topic you are looking for. Minor issue, but talk about a time waster!
2. The budget optimizer doesn't work and there has been no mention about it. One of the accounts I was testing, I put in $100 monthly budget for May, and 4 days in I've spent $45. Now they say you won't ever spend more then your budget but in a week, it will be depleted and my ads will be gone from MSN for the rest of the month.
3, 4, & 5. Keyword Reporting problems. First the UI is terrible, while you are looking at your keywords there is no date range selector to see yesterday's performance or a specific range, instead you have to change tabs and run a report. This sounds trivial but time is money and having to run a report just to look at yesterday's data is silly. Lag time in the data reporting is days instead of minutes. There are supposedly taking care of this problem by adding new server farms, but currently you have to run a report and look at it hourly in order to see any data outside of today's date. More UI problems, the layouts of the data being reported is not labeled very well. The previously mentioned hourly reports have a mysterious number range between 1 and 24, and not only are they not in order, they don't tell you what time zone it is for. (It's GMT for those curious).

That is just five reasons why not to use adCenter as it stands today, I'm sure you can find more on your own and while these don't seem like much its only the tip of the iceberg. While adCenter is very feature rich and will no doubt be a big hit, it needs some major work. I hope that 'May Major adCenter Update' rumor is true.

I do encourage you to sign up and explore adCenter, it will help to get familiar with it, but just don't go putting a significant chunk of your online budget into it just yet.

MSN adCenter Launches: 5 Reasons NOT to Use It By Jason Dowdell at 10:12 AM
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Come on MSN adCenter, We Know Better!

So I was adding the adCenter conversion tag to a client's site today but I decided to look a little closer at the conversion tag javascript. I'm glad I did, and here is why.

Here is the conversion tracking script that is supposed to go inside the [Body] tag:

[SCRIPT]
msn_adcenterconversion_domainid = XXXXX;
msn_adcenterconversion_cp = 5050;
[/script]
[SCRIPT SRC="https://adcenter.msn.com/
scripts/msn_adcenterconversion.js"]
[/SCRIPT]
[NOSCRIPT][IMG width=1 height=1 SRC="https://XXXX.r.msn.com/?type=1&cp=1"/][/NOSCRIPT]
[a href="http://advertising.msn.com/MSNadCenter
/LearningCenter/adtracker.asp" target="_blank"]::
Ad Center::[/a]>


Notice anything odd? Yep, thats right, MSFT wants you to put a text link ad on your conversion page.

Before I made a stink about it, I decided to see what adCenter had to say about it and buried in their help form I found this:
Why do I need to display the MSN Keywords text link on my conversion pages?

The MSN Keywords text link must be displayed on your conversion pages to inform customers that their visit to this page might have been tracked. By clicking this link, visitors to your site can learn that tracking information is only used to improve the quality and relevance of the ads they view. Visitors can also read instructions about how to disable cookies if they do not wish to be tracked.


Get real MSN! You track every click, program and activity a Windows user does but now you want to inform visitors that their vist "may have been tracked"? Puhhhlease! You just want free advertising. At least man up to it. Almost every commerce site on the web has some sort of tracking on it and 99% of them don't bother to tell their users, why does MSN feel the need to start now? Because they want free advertising. I removed the link with no problem because it is more then tacky, but MSN please show your advertisers a bit of respect and not try to pull the wool over our eyes..

Come on MSN adCenter, We Know Better! By Evan Roberts at 01:59 PM
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Microhoo! Not Gonna Happen

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is interested in buying an equity stake in Yahoo as a way to counter Google. I highly doubt that this will happen.

Microsoft should invest in companies that could give it access to technology or services to help it catch up to Google, and Yahoo doesn't fit that description. Yahoo can offer traffic, but in the areas of advertising and search technology, MS is ahead of Yahoo. Maybe MS wants Yahoo to use MSN Search and AdCenter, but I can't see why Yahoo would want to become shackled to a competitor and not have options should something better come along.

Yahoo has many relationships with MS competitors (RIM to name one), and the company is in a strong financial position, so I don't see what's in it for them. I can just see Microsofties showing up at a board meeting trying to persuade Yahoo not to do deals that would be good for it and bad for them. Yahoo is on a good path, so no use in screwing with it.

It would make more sense if Microsoft acquired Yahoo outright and then streamlined their operations, but Microsoft doesn't have that kind of cash. So, nice rumor, but that's all it is.

Microhoo! Not Gonna Happen By John Gartner at 01:11 PM
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MSN adCenter Blog Ooops!

Carolyn over at MSN adCenter blog must have gotten a verbal lashing for jumping the gun on her post last Friday ago about their Digital Advertising Lab being public because she removed it with apologies today.

Microsoft Digital Advertising Lab Public Launch

Hey everyone,

Today we have the opportunity to learn more about the Microsoft Digital Advertising Lab straight from two Lab team members, Li Li and Yi Chen. Read on to check out how this research tool can help you with your adCenter campaigns.

On January 12 at the annual Demo Fest, MSN adCenter announced the new Microsoft Digital Advertising Lab. We demoed over 40 prototypes that work with video, TV, mobile, and the Internet — many of which can dramatically boost targeting efficiency in paid search and contextual advertising. You can try out some of these cool technologies yourself at the Advertising Lab's website at http://adlab.msn.com.

One interesting tool is the Demographics Prediction tool. This tool is designed to predict the age and gender of customers who search online using particular terms or visit given websites. For example, if you search online for a specific type of minivan, the Demographics Prediction tool will reveal that women are more likely to search using this query than men are (54% vs. 45%). However, if you try a specific type of pickup truck, you'll find that men are much more likely to use this phrase (61% vs. 38%). You can also type in a website, and this tool will show you the percentage of male and female visitors to that site.

The Demographics Prediction tool can improve ad targeting, because men, women, and various age groups shop differently online. This demographic data can help advertisers to tailor what they offer to better suit customers' needs.

Another new tool is Search Volume Seasonality Forecasting. Those of you in the paid search business know it's difficult to estimate the search volume of the keywords you're buying. Sometimes you can underestimate traffic and run out of budget too soon; other times you can overestimate traffic and your budget sits idle. This tool can help to improve the situation, because it offers years of search volume data culled from MSN Search and it can forecast search volume for upcoming months, which are more accurate than numbers from previous years or months.

Other tools available on this site include Acronym Solution, Keyword Group Detection, Keyword Mutation Detection, and tools that can help you with keyword discovery. If you'd like to learn more about Advertising Lab, visit http://adlab.msn.com and check back regularly, as more cool stuff will be coming out soon.

-Li Li and Yi Chen
MSN adCenter Research Team

If you have any questions for Li and Yi, post them here and we'll get back to you.

Thanks!
Carolyn, adCenter Community Team

MSN adCenter Blog Ooops! By Evan Roberts at 01:06 PM
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Taking Advantage of RSS

The number of folks who "get" the potential of RSS as a time saving information stream is growing, but the learning curve is still pretty high in the advertising world. Here's a thorough and even-handed description of the current challenges facing RSS. Advertisers can market their products through placing ads on news or blog feeds, or they can developer their own feeds for a direct connection to consumers. Getting consumers to subscribe to a marketer's RSS feed is no easy task, but here's where it makes sense: when prices and selection of goods being offered changes frequently, and consumers tend to buy frequently. If my local supermarket had an RSS feed (is that so far-fetched?) of the food that was on sale this week, I would definitely use it to build my shopping list as it would be more efficient than looking through the circular at the store. The other option would be "club" type entertainment products, such as books, CDs, DVDs or video games. Blockbuster, BMG, or GameStop could send out weekly feeds to simplify finding and ordering the latest titles. RSS is more reliable than email, and easier than navigating a website.

Taking Advantage of RSS By John Gartner at 10:48 AM
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Microsoft Set for WW III

.. Or is it IV, V or VI?

The battlefield is scattered with the partial remains of Lotus, WordPerfect, IBM (Software), Netscape, Sun, and others who tried to slay Microsoft, so Google doesn't stand a chance right?

The NY Times talks up the big battle between GOOG vs MS, but the field of competition is different.

Microsoft tussled with the above directly on mutual turf that was pretty clearly defined (browsers, spreadsheets, server software, etc.). But Google's war is more of a guerilla effort, instead of directly challenging MS (they don't really want selling billions worth of software to be their forte), Google has changed the nature of the war (ad-supported software versus conventional sales, Internet-centric versus desktop centric) and MS has already had to adjust.

The good news for Google is that they have lots of friends (Firefox and the rest of the open sourcers) who will stage their own skirmishes and help to distract Microsoft.

In the end, Microsoft and Google will both be powerhouses, but by fighting each other, they will encourage competition and lower prices in software and advertsing. Each will be weaker than they are now, which will enable lots of third-party players to rise up. Game on!

Microsoft Set for WW III By John Gartner at 01:32 PM
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Behavioral Modification Needed

I read this article about the differences in user expectations between general search and directory services searches and it got me thinking.

Yes, people who go to Superpages.com or WhitePages.com are more likely to be in active buying mode than a Googler, but directory services have yet to take advantage of this to speed searching for local businesses.

Local search engines should offer an optional sign in so that I don't have to type my zip code every time, (I didn't see a sign in option on Superpages, and WhitePages didn't ask for me zip when I signed up) and keep tabs on previous searches and the most popular results. For example, a ready list of restaurants, or furniture stores (if that's what you're into) would save lots of time. You should also have the option of saving your past search results).

As the self-serving article says, directory search could provide valuable behavioral information, but today it's not even on par with generic search in terms of tracking users.

Behavioral Modification Needed By John Gartner at 11:34 AM
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Interview: Escape Pollution Creator Maizal Munif

Q:) How much of an influence did the Million Dollar Homepage have on your project and what makes your project different / better?
A.) The Million Dollar homepage played a key role towards my understanding of how the new online marketing schema works and it allowed me to see that advertisers were willing to spend on online advertising as long as the project was unique, creative and had the potential to generate buzz. I believe these are some of the fundamentals of my project. The viral aspect of this project will depend on bloggers and how they thrive on uniqueness, creativity and innovation. When I was in the process of drawing up ideas for Escape Pollution, I got excited right away because I knew right then that I had an idea, which was different and distinctive. I went through diverse models and had to come up with a concept that was at a level of quality that was acceptable to the sponsors; and it was then that this excitement turned into a challenge. It is my understanding that Internet Advertising spend was approximately $12.5 billion for 2005, which was a 30% increase from the previous year. Thus, I am certain that people are willing to spend and support online advertising as long as the advertising models are new, bright and fresh.

My project expands on the features and characteristics of the Million Dollar Homepage. For instance, the advertising models are different. The Million Dollar Homepage is a giant online billboard online whereas Escape Pollution is a dynamic car wrap. Also, the main motivation for Alex Tew was his studies. For Escape Pollution, the motivation aims towards protecting the environment and promoting my local city of Kelowna as a tourist destination. The benefit to advertisers of brand recognition (environmentally friendly) is more prominent on the Escape Pollution site. The project also promotes the Ford Escape Hybrid and Hybrid vehicles in general. As society and individuals become more aware of global concerns, there are people that are taking notice of environmental issues. From Recycling PCs to the Cleantech Venture Forum, people are beginning to take on more responsibility on a personal level to take care of Mother Nature. Furthermore, like Alex Tew’s site, the potential for repeat visitors is high; as a result I'e gone one step further and created RSS feeds of sponsors so visitors to the site can subscribe and see who is supporting this project.


Q:) Are you going to get enough sponsors that are going to put the ads on your real Ford Escape Hybrid just like the virtual Escape you have online? If not, why would local businesses want to buy ad space from you if their ad will only be seen online?
A.) When I was coming up with different advertising models, putting the ads on the real Ford Escape was under consideration. However, the model I chose was to promote the virtual version. This will include directing all forms of media: radio, print, news, word of mouth, emails, and viral campaigns (local or otherwise) to the Escape Pollution website. Local sponsors would get exposure not only to the local online market but also globally and nearby areas such as Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle. Normally, the Ford Escape Hybrid would be driven in the local community but I've just brought it online and broadcast it to the entire world. Nevertheless, I will have the Escape Pollution logo on the Ford Escape Hybrid to promote the site. It will be a core expectation to have Vancouver and Calgary based businesses to advertise on Escape Pollution. Local sponsors such as: wineries, restaurants, tourist destinations, attractions, will have the opportunity to represent their business for nearby markets for brand recognition. Just imagine, your website advertised on the Escape Pollution website, which overall is supporting a great cause.

According to SRB Marketing, there are 26 millions blogs indexed in Technorati, a blog search engine. Values-based consumers (lifestyles of health and sustainability LOHAS) read blogs often and are intrigued by blogs about environment and progressive social issues. I expect Escape Pollution to be a hot topic when it spreads through the blogosphere. Target advertisers, local or otherwise, can reach this target market (technologically educated, environmentally aware, blog users) through the advertising model and viral aspects depicted on Escape Pollution.


Q:) Are you an environmentalist?
A.) I wouldn't go as far and call myself an environmentalist. And this is mainly because I was uneducated about the environment and global issues. Since I started this project, I have become more aware of environmental concerns. As a result I make a conscious effort to do my part for Mother Nature. I have a compost bin where I throw my vegetable/fruit leftovers as fertilizer for my plants, I recycle and I use fluorescent light bulbs to minimize my electricity intake. I get my freshest and healthiest foods from my organic garden, I have plants in my office, and I try to purchase Energy Star products. I believe it is everyone's responsibility to protect the environment at some level. It should be a habit. I look at the Ford Escape Hybrid as another way to take care of Mother Nature. The planet is shared by all and everyone has a responsibility to share in keeping it clean.


Q:) What kind of car do you currently drive?
A.) Currently, I drive a 1992 Acura Integra. Honda makes a reliable car and I haven't had any major issues with it. I love this car and will keep it for sentimental reasons, even though I won't be driving it very often. However, since I am a dynamic individual, I like change. My lifestyle in Kelowna is very active and outdoorsy; therefore I have a lot of sports and outdoors related equipment I need to transport on a regular basis. This requires me to transport my mountain bike; snowboard, soccer equipment, volleyball gear, lawn chairs, etc. and as a result I need a spacious vehicle to do this.


Q:) What guarantee do any of the advertisers have that you're actually going to follow through and purchase an Escape Hybrid once you get enough money to do so?
A.) As I mentioned, my lifestyle in the Okanagan requires me to have a spacious vehicle to transport various equipment on a regular basis, like a Sports Utility Vehicle. That is the reason why I came up with the Escape Pollution project in the first place. An SUV that is environmentally friendly and saves money and built ‘For Life in Canada (by Ford) is exactly what I was after. I also realize that my responsibilities must be matched by my equivalent reliability. Overall, I consider myself to be a very loyal, honest and dedicated individual and I believe this is a great opportunity for me to prove myself to my sponsors, and my community that I will actually follow through and purchase a Ford Escape Hybrid. I think it will be an exciting experience and journey. Of course, they also have my written word, in public, that this is my intention; to purchase the Ford Escape Hybrid.


Q:) Does your employer know about this project? Have you had any help from your employer on this project at all?
A.) My employer is well aware of my intentions and has helped me indirectly; mainly by allowing me to stay on top of online marketing news and trends. A few of my co-workers had valuable input in the creation of this project. And I'm sure that my employer will also sponsor a spot on the vehicle as well. After all, advertising on the site is a great brand builder and they can generate additional traffic to their site and promote the Escape Pollution website at the same time. They fit the target sponsor profile; a local business that has potential clients in the larger US markets such as New York, San Francisco and California.


Q:) How much money have you raised on the site so far?
A.) I currently have 6 sponsors. As Escape Pollution rolls through the blogosphere and other media outlets, I am expecting big names such as eBay and Yahoo! to take notice and take part as well. The potential of word of mouth and it becoming viral is tremendous. I see examples of amazing results from successful viral marketing all the time in my industry.


Q:) What methods of promoting the site have you used?
A.) I'm using a two-phased marketing plan, where I send out emails to potential sponsors letting them know about the recent buzz. Once I have a few key sponsors, I will market the project more fully in the blogosphere. I've also been in touch with Ford and local news personnel in Kelowna. I want to get a few key advertisers before I make a full-force push in my marketing efforts. I've used email campaigns so far and tracked their success rate with Google Analytics. I also have a colleague in Vancouver, who will use this project as a case study in her University forum. That will be the beginning of the exposure in the Vancouver market.


Q:) Which web sites have referred the most amount of traffic to your site?
A.) Every time a website or blog talks about the Escape Pollution project, I see a surge in traffic. This is the trend that I want to see continue. There are now over 60 million blogs in the world, most of which looking for news worthy items to publish. As bloggers and news media continually pick up the story, the more traffic it gains for advertisers. The probability of it becoming viral by word of mouth and blogs as a communication tool is enormous and this will have great impact on the success of the project.

Interview: Escape Pollution Creator Maizal Munif By Jason Dowdell at 10:36 AM
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Google Click Fraud Lawsuit Lawyer Interview: Shawn Khorrami

Q.) What is the difference between a class action lawsuit and a lawsuit an Google AdWords advertiser would file on their own?

A.) In general, a class action lawsuit is brought by a limited number of plaintiffs representing the entire class of plaintiffs who are similarly situated as them. All of the individuals who have been damaged do not appear on the lawsuit as plaintiffs. In a settlement class, such as the one which Google is attempting to enter into, the case is settled on behalf of the entire class. This means that everyone who fits the definition of a class member -- whether aware or unaware of the pendency of the lawsuit or the settlement -- is included and forever releases the defendant of any liability. In the case of the Google settlement, each class member has a very limited time to make a claim -- 60 days. If they do not, they will forever lose their right to make a claim. Once their claim is accepted, they will receive about 0.5% of the money which they are owed -- meaning that if it is accepted that they were ripped off for, let's say, $10,000, they will receive a coupon for a discount on future advertisement with Google for $50. In the type of case that we're filing, each claimant is separately represented and has a separate claim. The only way that the claim can be settled is by that claimant's consent. This means that if a claimant does not want to receive a $50 coupon for the claimant's $10,000 loss, it can choose to press forward with the claim. In the Google settlement, the reverse occurs: If Google chooses to accept that the claimant has been damaged to the tune of $10,000, it will issue a coupon to that claimant for $50. The only choice the claimant has is not to use the coupon -- the claim, however, is over and the claimant is stripped of any choice or the Constitutional right to petition the courts.


Q.) Can advertisers in the class action lawsuit also file a lawsuit of their own?

A.) Yes. However, there is a crucially important issue: They MUST opt out of the class settlement. If they do not opt out of the class settlement, they will lose their right to file a lawsuit.


Q.) Have you been involved in any lawsuits with Google before or currently?

A.) Yes.


Q.) Is there a statute of limitations on AdWords claims?

A.) There is a statute of limitations. Under the contract with Google, the only place that Google can be sued without its consent is in California. Under California law, there are two statute of limitations periods:
(1) there is a 3 year statute of limitations for bringing a contract claim; and
(2) there is a 4 year statute of limitations period for bringing a fraud or an illegal business practices claim.

Therefore, if advertisers wish to sue under a breach of contract theory, they must bring a lawsuit within 3 years of the time the breach in question occurred. In these types of cases, the alleged breach occurs on a daily basis so long as the advertising is running. So, an advertiser can sue for all losses dating back 3 years from the date of the filing of the lawsuit if suing under a breach of contract theory and 4 years under a fraud or an illegal business practices theory. Keep in mind that there are different requirements for each of these 3 types of claims and they have different limitations in terms of the types of damages that can be recovered.


Q.) What are the most important pieces of data do used to get an AdWords click fraud claim won?

A.) Jason, this is a question I cannot go into too much detail on because, among other things, some of the info is proprietary -- our experts' not mine, and the more detailed I get, the higher the chance that I may say something incorrectly by mistake.


Q.) Is it even reasonable for an AdWords advertiser (that files their own click fraud lawsuit) to expect a material cash refund for their click fraud claim?

A.) Absolutely. In fact, that is what we are seeking on behalf of our clients.

Google Click Fraud Lawsuit Lawyer Interview: Shawn Khorrami By Jason Dowdell at 09:50 AM
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Monday, May 01, 2006

Ads Set Music Free

Pay a monthly fee to listen to your favorite music online? Fugetaboutit.

Napster's listening service is now free free free. The service doesn't require downloading an application or submitting a credit card number either. To pay for the service, Napster places ads alongside the track information, a small price to pay for getting to hear your music gratis.

The free service has limits as you can only listen to a track five times before you have to pay to hear it. If you'd like unlimited access to the catalog, then you have to subscribe to the service.

Wow, this can't be good news for services such as Real Networks Rhapsody or Emusic. I'm shocked that Napster calculates that the nickels and dimes they collect from ads and revenue from selling downloads will offset their royalty payments to the music labels.

What's next -- free public transportation or dental visits if you submit to watching ads?

Enjoy it while it lasts!

Ads Set Music Free By John Gartner at 04:39 PM
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Keep Google Agnostic

Yahoo is looking more like an AOL-killer than a Google competitor. The company just launched a technology product area (wow, how 1996 of them!), and its recent announcements in video, music, and messaging, the company is looking to outdo AOL as a media company.

I for one am glad that Google is mostly staying agnostic and focusing on searching everything rather than being a destination in and of itself. Yes, it is becoming a "media" company by hosting classifieds, but its strategy isn't to distinguish itself with unique content, but to throw the doors open to everyone (Base, Froogle etc) who wants to play.

We need one (two would be better) search engine that doesn't have an incentive to direct users to its partners and pay for services at the expense of the greater web. That's why I was encourage to see Google open up Video to all comers.

So AOL, MSN, and Yahoo, gives us your "only seen here" content and bring us a variety of value added content. But Google, keep the doors open to all.

Keep Google Agnostic By John Gartner at 03:17 PM
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MSN, Adwords Updates, Windows Live Search

Looks the same for the most part, a few minor GUI changes and a faster page http://beta.msn.com

Adcenter Blog annouces that they have opened the Digital Media Lab to the public. It is really impressive and there are a lot of useful tools for any Search Engine Marketersuch as the Demographic Prediction Tool, Keyword Mutation Detection, Acronym Solution, Keyword Group Detection, and everyone's favorite Search Volume Forecasting. The research tools alone are worth the click but as my friend pointed out, "Digital Advertising" is soo 90's

Adwords Blog annouces you'll now be able to select your Time Zone in Google Adwords.

As I said back in January, Adcenter will be live in June. There is another scheduled update coming in May that will have "major changes" according to an adCenter official.

In the first Major success of Window Live Search, Amazon.com has dropped Google as the engine behind its A9 and Alexa searches in favor of Windows Live Search. Google Operating SYstem has some screenshots if the rollout hasnt reached you yet. A9 searches also powers Amazon.com and IMDB.com

Google has annouced a "quality change" to the adwords Ad delievery system. SEJ has a few helpful links on the topic. Essentially if a keyword is more educational in nature, less ads will be displayed, and if a keyword is more commercial in nature, more ads (up to 11) will display on the SERP..

CLickZ is reporting that Yahoo local is offereing flat fee ads rather then auction based.

MSN, Adwords Updates, Windows Live Search By Jason Dowdell at 10:34 AM
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May 2006 Week 2 »

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