Online v. Offline P.R. Case Study…

2 December, 2008

CarQuake in the Press

CarQuake Online

It’s great when you have an opportunity to test the impact of PR… without even trying to.

We work with a new car deals website called CarQuake and, unexpectedly, on Sunday, it was referenced in an article in the Sunday Times Newspaper – and at the same time, it was also posted online on

Want to know some numbers? Well, it’s not particularly surprising that direct and searched for ‘CarQuake’ visitors went up by about 600 on Sunday, and 400 on Monday which can be pretty much attributable to the newspaper article. It’s also not necessarily surprising that visitors direct from Times Online went up from 97 on Sunday to 104 on Monday – note that the figure rose at the start of the working week (get back to work!!).

And we can, sort of, put a value on these things if we know that a new visitor to CarQuake is ‘worth’ about 20p to the business (so the times mention, so far, is worth about £240 in direct attributable value, and about the same again in brand awareness).

However, we are expecting two things to happen:
a) That the article will eventually pass the print version in terms of overall traffic generated as the ‘tail’ for online is 6 months plus (though it does deteriorate)
b) That we can see from our stats that the direct traffic (and search engine traffic from ‘CarQuake’ searches) is slightly ‘stickier’ than those from Times Online and convert better
Not to mention that the direct link from Times Online will benefit the search ranking of CarQuake in the medium to long term.

Still, it does mean that there are ways of measuring these things… it’s just whether you have the right tools in place to do the job! Ciao…


Sesam Launch 3-D Maps With Military Technology

11 November, 2008

Local Search Summiter and old media digital success story, Schibsted, have announced that their subsidiaries Sesam and Finn have launched one of the world’s richest (and they claim largest) 3-D models.

It uses technology from the Swedish air force and the “JAS-Gripen” fighter jet project.

JAS Gripen

It’s a lab project at the moment but and it will be interesting to watch how the Vikings commercialise this but this is exactly why Schibsted are making 40% of their profits from digital.  They are not afraid to invest time and money in lab projects that they can then leverage later across the group.

Another Head Slammer…

17 October, 2008
Zzzz is for...

Zzzz is for...

Following on from my learned friends post regarding the stunning quality of insight achieved by the latest Marketing Sherpa email research, here’s another one for you…

A business called Zeta Interactive have done their detailed analysis of the web using a special tool that is probably really expensive and very, very, difficult to understand without a PHD and have proved that in the States, the number one concern during financial crisis is mortgage payments – read more here.

Outstanding. The most expensive outgoing is the primary concern of households during tough financial times… watch this space for other exclusive insights into the web-world.

However, this great bit of publicity got onto ‘AOL Money’, great to see that AOL have cut back on Human Editorial Controls in this age of financial duress…

It Would Be Funny… If People Weren’t Buying It!

29 July, 2008
How To Get Top of Google

How To Get Top of Google

Just thought I’d share the latest ‘classic’ with you that arrived in my inbox…

“Place Your Website Billboard at the Top of Google, Yahoo and MSN”

Well, if that isn’t an invitation to take a look at something, then what is… so I clicked on Web Banners Online to see what it was all about. And, indeed, it’s true, they CAN get your website placed at the top of any of these search engines.

Except, no-on will see them, because no-one knows about Web Banners Online… and certainly Google, Yahoo and MSN have not signed and exclusivity ‘deal’ with this business. In fact, they’ll probably send a link to show you how you would appear if someone came across their website.

The business (note I’m using a ‘no follow’ link used above just to make sure that I’m not giving it any credibility or value) of tricking unsuspecting business is proliferating online. I have one every week in my inbox… ‘get top listings by buying my e-book’, ‘Get a free website (did we mention shared hosting of £250 per month)’, and the sad thing is that people are being parted with cash by believing what they see.

So what’s the solution… I think we need to ‘out’ these businesses and practices for what they are… How we go about achieving this is an entirely different matter. Any thoughts?

Another time I’ll tell you about the business that can get you top listing in Google in just 10 minutes… and how you can make them pay for it!

Are Google in the Mafia Protection Racket?

16 July, 2008


During lunch at the regular spot and while musing over some things, including the Google launch of Lively, AdViking started up on the old favourite of why is it that American Publishers aren’t able to see that doing a deal with Google wasn’t good for their business, yet Publishers in Europe get this loud and clear.

It reminded AdViking of recent horror stories told in hushed overtones by Publishers about the impact of getting on the wrong side of Google.  That is when they have broken away from an AdSense deal with Google, they soon find themselves re-ranked downwards in the Index and this obviously impacting their traffic.

This fear is probably why the 2nd Search Box hasn’t got much airplay and when you think about it, this is nothing more than a protection racket.  Give us your inventory (and oh, statistical data) and we’ll give you a good ranking.  You don’t play ball and you’re out.  And oh, if we see from that traffic that there’s an opportunity we’re going to launch (e.g.: Health, Lively..etc.) but don’t worry about that, because honestly believe us when we say Don’t Be Evil.

Seems like AdViking might need to become AdDetective and spend some time getting to the bottom of this or perhaps it’s time for the US Government to have a good look at the practices of Google to determine the whole Evil question once and for all.

Google Snubs Canada & Bin the Yellow Pages Book

2 July, 2008

Following on from Canada Day celebrations, AdViking came across the news this morning that Google snubbed their Great White North neighbours and didn’t have a specific logo to note that it was Canada Day. AdViking might suggest that this is a bit of hubris and could be just the thing for the Publishers to rally the Canadians around to stop using Google.

Google Snubs Canada

As part of the celebrations, AdViking noted that the throwaway comment about Yellow Pages books being recently distributed in the A Fuller View post about Local Internet Driving Tons of Traffic.  And can ?happily? report that plenty of the books are lying around unopened just waiting to put in the bin (recycling hopefully).


Thanks to D, the post-script on this one is that below is the 4th July 2008 holiday image Google went with…more bowfingers to the Canucks from the mighty Google?

July 4th Logo at Google

Is Microsoft Becoming More Aware of Publisher Conflict?

13 June, 2008

AdViking has noted that Microsoft has recently announced the closing down of Live Expo, it’s Classifieds play and believes this is a good sign.

Live Expo Closing Down Message

AdViking knows of nothing from it’s insider position but would like to suggest that the Live Expo deadpooling could be some proof that the aQuantive folks are shifting the dial towards Microsoft being more open to Publisher’s complaints around conflict within the channel.

That is, obviously aQuantive was heavily Publisher-centric and so from over the years of hearing about battles with MSN, Hotmail, etc. AdViking would like to suggest that this issue is getting airplay inside of Microsoft.

Reason for thinking this is that a Classifieds site is going to compete against the Publishers own offerings and they have enough of a battle with Cragislist, Oodle, eBay, etc..and so by dumping Live Expo, Microsoft is giving Publishers another reason to sit down at the table to  talk about the Advertising stack and the value it can bring to the Publisher eco-system.