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.

Google Waves Yahoo “Google-bye…”

6 November, 2008
Exit Stage Right?

Exit Stage Right?

So, the mega ‘deal’ that Yahoo! struck with Google to get Microsoft off its back has backfired, or if not backfired, at least ‘back-burnered’. Adviking is not one to miss a chance to get on a soapbox, however before we crack open the bubbly  and mull over anti-trust issues of market dominance… we can’t help but feel, regardless of press releases and articles to the contrary, that it leaves Yahoo! on the sidelines and Google smirking at the flimsiness of the competition.

Will Microsoft return to the table? They envy the Yahoo! search traffic for sure, but as Social Media starts to gain more leverage and prominence, will Yahoo! properties lose their lustre somewhat? Their mail app is generally considered to be class-leading (much to Google’s chagrin), but what else have they got?

We can’t help but feel that this will be the case… Google got the Yahoogle out of there and has abandoned ‘Junior’ and, for all the credibility Jerry Yang has left, it can only be a matter of time before there are more movements in this space.

As always, we’ll be watching. In a few years will Yahoo! be Ya-who?

Minimum Bids… Going, Going… GONE

23 September, 2008

Google Has Ended (for the time being) Minimum Bids

Google Turns Around

Google Turns Around

In a move which has escaped much comment (at least on the blogsphere I frequent) Google has dropped Minimum bids. Previously, particularly on popular or competitive keywords, minimum bids meant that you couldn’t just bid a few pence and get an ad published – you had to bid what Google deemed to be an amount worthy of appearing on the esteemed search engine… but not any more.

The Logic For Minimum Bids

The logic seems to be simple – if you have businesses bidding £1+ on keywords, then why allow the user to click on a link for only 5p? Money lost I think… so, if the top bid is £1+, force all the others to bid say 30p to join the queue. More money to Google.

The Fallacy Behind Minimum Bids

Ah, but the rub is this… advertiser resistance and natural listings.

Firstly, with all the tools at their disposal, the bigger spenders know what they are prepared to pay for a visit. They were priced out and rather than doing as Google expected (upping their bids), they resisted such changes turned to other routes to market. Leaving popular search terms rather empty and without choice.

Secondly, because listings became more empty, the natural listings on the pages took greater clickshare.  And as these don’t provide income for Google, the revenues from advertising actually fell on a per page basis.

Surely Not a BackTrack?

Google has bravely taken the bold step of retreating, realising that people prefer choice, both in adverts as well as searches. I expect Yahoo to follow suit once they’ve sorted out catching up with Google on their most recent list of ‘mee toos’. MS Ad Center… er… I don’t think minimum bids is something they have the luxury of indulging in for the next few years.

So long Google minimum bids, I am not sure whether I’m going to miss you or not… must check my Analytics!

Universal Groan Greets Chrome…

2 September, 2008
Google Chrome Suggested Logo

Google Chrome Suggested Logo

Time for a rant, really… it’s not as if Google could resist launching it’s own browser, in fact it’s been barely a secret for months… however we guess we’re not the only ones to give out a huge sigh of disappointment.

What is Chrome going to bring us that Firefox couldn’t, Safari could’ve and Explorer should’ve… ? Very little we expect…

Not content with it’s toolbar taking over the browser population, Google feels it must flex its muscles further and we have little doubt that it will quickly overtake Safari (one month), Firefox (one year) and perhaps eventually Explorer (5 years??) – but what for?

We suggest it will be a trojan horse (but not of the virus-carrying variety) to market and distribute all Google’s ‘Cloud’ services in it’s own managed environment…

I can hear the sound web designers and developers everywhere weeping into their Vanilla Lattes as they cope with yet another browser to deal with. I am sure Google will say that it’s compliant and the most accurate etc. etc. however the reality is that it will add further idiosyncracies and complexity to the design process.

Thankyouverymuch… but we’ll stick with Firefox, thanks.

Y! Annual Meeting: Venting but No Real Big Changes

1 August, 2008

Following on from AdViking’s attempt to liveblog the meeting earlier, some quick round up points.

About Microsoft:

The board went over the top in trying to defend themselves and I believe that this comment from one small investor really is all that has to be said:

“You’ve got a situation where it sounds like the girlfriend in a breakup now trying to convince the world she was the initiator, not the victim,” he said. Microsoft looks like the “strong, silent type,” and Yahoo looks “weak.”


The Board

There was some fireworks from the audience but the vote went ahead smoothly and other than the Ichann change and the ex-AOL honcho Jon Miller on/off switch, everyone still has their seats.

Y! Update

In a microblog nutshell:

We had a great strategy.  MS bid made us focus on something else  Still, we have traffic, the Internet is great it’s just our tech isn’t so hot & we have loads of talent (ignoring the fact of the recent exodus).

Here’s link to the deck they gave.  Not that interesting in itself but some good points to pull out for industry trends.

All in all, AdViking now regrets earlier excitement and agree with his wife about being a geek…

Livebloggen: Yahoo! Annual General Meeting 2008

1 August, 2008


Well, AdViking doesn’t have the budget to attend the Yahoo! Annual General Meeting but that doesn’t stop us from trying to follow the action from the comfort of living rooms with beers in hands…

Actually that sounds better than attending.


Early build up coverage doesn’t have must to say, but Kara Swisher has confirmed the pastries are looking good…

Here’s some promising links to follow the coverage so far:


The Mercury News link above is providing live transcript.

There’s 5 Shareholder Proposals.

Most interesting is that exec pay is out of whack.

Funniest, but totally not is about Yahoo! issues with human rights.  One guy re-quotes something about Y! mgmt being “moral pygmies” – Response being that quote is an insult to pygamies and the because of the issues in China, that Jerry Yang should enjoy his visit to the Olympics.


Some peanut gallery comments about the Plumbers Union who wanted the pay review.

Y! opposes Human Rights, Pay Review and Censorship Review Shareholder Proposals.


As Ballmer would say, blah blah blah…whatever guys.  You had this amazing strategy and Microsoft got in your head and you did a deal with Google that will kill your business.

Updated link:  CNET


Yang giving the update…we’re in transition, etc.  we got a lot of assets, can make money, etc…trust us…but dude what about Google…dude what about all the real smart people who just walked out the door


Enough of the updates, let’s get to the questions…or should I say fireworks


The Q&A is great…living up to the hype…


On reflection, it didn’t really….some great quotes and some interesting Shareholder Proposals but nothing really that persuasive from the Y! board as to why they should keep their jobs.

AdViking will have a ponder and come back with a summary.