Season's Greetings-

Another year comes to a close. After some downward spirals, it appears things are begining to level off and the make slow upward hike.

With several developments on the merger scene, it may be time to rethink some marketing strategies after some renewed data reasearch, if you are involved
in some paid online marketing campaigns.

Check out the new online resource of the month from Google down below.

Hope you find this issue useful and wish you the best in the coming decade.

Have a Happy New Year!
Coach Danny


• October Same Store Sales
• Ex-EBay Execs to Help the Lazy Resell Used CDs, Books
• Microsoft Yahoo Partnership
• Are Your Ads Not Showing Up on Bing.com?
• Google Product Search Marketing

October Same Store Sales

The ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales October results are in and there were a couple of interesting trends that could indicate how the Q4 holiday season is going to shake out.

Results for 2009 so far:
Amazon led the pack (as usual) with 61% y/y growth - up from Septembers 55%
Overall at ChannelAdvisor we saw things pick up overall very nicely from the high single digits to 17% y/y.
eBay had a slight tick down to 4.73% from Septembers 5.1% - that's small enough that I don't think it's cause for any concern.
Comscore hasn't put out their October numbers, but is suspect they will be flat to down slightly.

The ChannelAdvisor SSS data represents the combined results of over 3000 retailers.
ChannelAdvisor's mix may be materially different from that of eBay, Amazon or other channels.

Ex-EBay Execs Help Lazy Resell Used CDs, Books

By Eliot Van Buskirk


Ebay still rules as the online garage sale site, but auction upstart Glyde thinks it knows a better way to resell used books, CDs, DVDs and videogames. The company claims “anyone can sell in ten seconds” on Glyde, which makes it simple to list an item, suggests a price based on how used the media is and even supplies pre-addressed envelopes.

Glyde CEO and former head of eBay Motors Simon Rothman claims the average United States household owns over $3,000 in used media, 98 percent of which “depreciates to zero, [is] thrown away or ends up in landfill.” Glyde’s strategy implies that much of this is due to eBay requiring sellers to work too hard (one reason some hire specialists to sell their stuff there).

“We built a service that makes buying and selling a used DVD as simple as trading a share of Disney stock,” said Rothman in a statement. “It’s the NASDAQ for physical goods.”

As of the site’s Monday launch, these physical goods are limited to used media because it’s so easy to supply standard listings for those and to ascertain price. Glyde CTO and Excite co-founder Mark Wong-Van Haren managed development of the back-end of the service that “absorb[s] the complexity so users don’t have to.” In addition to helping sellers create listings quickly, Glyde lets them donate a percentage of their revenue to the charity of their choice. As for buyers, while they can’t bid on auctions on Glyde, they don’t have to pay until the product arrives — of particular concern with physical media, which can be scratched.

Glyde’s method for creating a listing is smoother and faster than eBay’s and its pre-addressed envelopes, for which the seller can pay postage on the website, make the process even easier. The site charges the seller 10 percent of the price of the item, and only allows sellers to set prices within a certain range, rather than choosing any price they want or allowing buyers to bid on items.

Glyde’s job won’t be easy because sellers generally want to be where the buyers are. And the buyers are on Amazon and eBay, neither of which impose pricing limitations and both of which also supply ready-to-use photos and descriptions for DVDs and other media. In addition, Amazon Marketplace lets sellers reach buyers who are also shopping for the new version of stuff, while eBay offers a “what’s it worth” function courtesy of TeraPeak.

Glyde is clearly betting that smaller and nimbler will win the day, but if its simpler, media-tailored system lures customers away from eBay and Amazon, they could probably streamline their used media sales and start offering envelopes.

Microsoft Yahoo Partnership

Regarding the Microsoft Yahoo Merge Deal, there are important details you need to be aware of when managing your Paid Search campaigns post-integration.

Retailers need to prepare for the Microsoft/Yahoo Partnership that will most likely take effect in Q2/Q3 2010.

Make sure you have an adCenter account!

Common practice for Small to Medium Businesses is to first launch Campaigns on Google and once performance is stable, move the campaigns over to Yahoo and Bing. So with that, there are definitely a large number of Paid Search advertisers out there that do not even have a MSN/Bing adCenter account. I would also suggest doing some coupon searches as Microsoft usually runs promotions for $50-$200 in free clicks for new accounts.
Click here to sign up.

Familiarize yourself with adCenter and adCenter Editor.

Managing Bing campaigns is more challenging and more manual than on Yahoo; take some time over the next few months familiarizing yourself with the adCenter Interface. MSN also handles a few things differently than Google: Keyword Insertion, Automatic Launch on all Match Types, No Daily Budgets, etc. so you will need to learn how to manage these idiosyncrasies. Also download MSN's adCenter Editor. While not as robust as Adwords Editor,
Microsoft's adCenter editor is a FREE and very useful tool that makes managing MSN campaigns much easier. Another way to improve your workflow would be to look at strong 3rd party platforms that enable seamless Campaign/Keyword implementation across both Engines.

Stay abreast of developments

When the integration is completed (mid 2010), make sure you understand exactly how the 2 platforms are going to appear in adCenter. Our data shows that MSN has a much better ROI than Yahoo, so you should make every effort to manage these two properties separately. If you can prevent it, you do not want to have MSN subsidize your Yahoo performance.

Are Your Ads Not Showing Up on Bing.com?

by Erin Gordon

With launching the “decision engine” Bing came a big Bang… popular TV commercials,
increasing media attention, and of course, many questions. One question I have
from clients is why can’t they seem to see their paid search advertisements show
up for terms they normally rank well for?

There could be several factors affecting what you are seeing on your computer.

A system improvement that was implemented to enhance Bing’s search algorithm included a feature that detects the likelihood of a particular user clicking on ads based on their preferences, history and other quality factors. This could affect advertisers not being able to verify that their own ads are showing on Bing easily, due to their usage patterns or history. Currently, you can pull an ad Center keyword performance report to verify that your ads are being served.

Also, in the near future Bing has a planned improvement that would allow advertisers
the functionality to validate if your ad is serving and where.

Google Offers New Keyword Research Tool

by Barry Schwartz

Google has a beta version of a new keyword tool available in the AdWords console. To get to it, login to adwords.google.com, go to a campaign, click on opportunities (if you have that tab), then on the left bar, click on keyword tool. A “beta” link should be available for you to click on in the top paragraph.

The keyword tool integrates some of the other tools that Google has been releasing. It links to the Google Insights for Search tool and it brings in data from industry segments. It also gives more advanced break down of filter options, from showing country specific data, mobile data, setting your own CPC prices, allows you to add keyword filters, you can filter by industry category, break out by word and filter by match type. This tool seems pretty neat off the bat, but you should really dig
deeper into it yourself.

Paid Search Strategy

Paid Search is a non-intrusive form of online marketing that connects Marketers
and Search Engine users at the precise moment that the user is seeking information. This core component of Paid Search will lead to some of the highest ROI available
through Online Channels. The most difficult part of Paid Search is effectively
balancing all of the data and tools available to achieve or exceed an advertisers' goals.

What you'll find in this section is a list of available levers at your disposal in addition to campaign management strategies that have been found to be successful with online sellers.

Tools for Keyword Discovery

With so many keyword discovery tools available to self-service Paid Search users, how do you know which ones to use? This article will review the Google options available to self-service Search users to clarify the purpose of available tools and detail the ideal scenarios for their use. The most important aspect of any keyword discovery tool is to be able to block out the noise and recognize the best opportunities.

Learn about:

Using Keyword Term Generators
Using Google’s Keyword Tool and Search Based Keyword Tools
Additional keyword tools available from Google and when they should be used

Use WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool
Get Fast, Accurate Keyword Results. Start Your Keyword Research Today. The Free Keyword Tool is continuously updating a database of over a billion of the world's most popular keywords, aggregating over a trillion unique searches. This means that you get more keywords returned FASTER, for FREE! For more information on The Free Keyword Tool read our Keyword Tool.

Google Suggest Keyword Suggestion Scraper Tool
This tool grabs the top queries from Google Suggest, Google search result counts, and links through to our SEO Book keyword suggestion tool.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Use the Keyword Tool to get new keyword ideas. Select an option below to enter a
few descriptive words or phrases, or type in your website's URL.

What are some advanced tips for using the Keyword Tool?

The Keyword Tool is a great way to find new keywords for your ad campaigns.

Try using it to:

Find keywords based on your site content.
Instead of entering your own keywords, try using the Website Content option. It lets you enter the URL of your business website, or of any site related to your business. The AdWords system will then scan your page and then suggest relevant keywords. (This feature is available only in some languages.)

Create new, separate ad groups with similar keywords.
We recommend creating several ad groups in each campaign, each with a small, narrowly-focused set of similar keywords. Use the Keyword Tool to discover relevant keywords, then divide them into lists of 5 to 20 similar terms. See examples of ad groups promoting a single product or service and multiple products or services.

Identify negative keywords.
The Keyword Tool can show you off-topic keywords that users may be thinking about. Suppose you sell cut flowers and you give the Keyword Tool the keyword 'flowers.' It may suggest the related term 'gardens,' and you may want to add that term to your ad group as a negative keyword. That will keep your ad from showing on searches for 'flower gardens' or similar terms. This helps make sure only interested customers see your ads.

Find synonyms - or not.
The Use synonyms box in the Descriptive words or phrases option is always checked by default. (This means it might suggest 'bed and breakfast' as a synonym for the keyword 'hotel.') If you uncheck the box, the tool will suggest only keywords that contain at least one of the terms that you entered.

Specify a language and location.
If you're using the Keyword Tool while signed in to your account, you may see an option to tailor results to a particular location and language. If you happen to be targeting Spanish speakers who live in France, make sure you set the Keyword Tool to that language and location.

Start broad and then get specific.
Try broad terms like 'flowers' in the Keyword Tool first. Then try specific terms like 'red roses' or 'miniature cactus.'

Need more in-depth ideas?

Try the Search-based Keyword Tool. While it shares
some features with the Keyword Tool, the Search-based Keyword Tool displays a list of relevant user queries that have occurred on Google.com (and on other Google search properties), based on your URL. Additionally, the Search-based Keyword Tool provides more detailed data for each keyword, such as category information, suggested bid that may place the ad in the top three spots of a search results page, and Ad/Search share.

Customizing the Statistics Table

You'll notice the following three columns included in your Keyword Tool results:
Advertiser Competition, Local Search Volume: [Last Available Month], and Global
Monthly Search Volume. You can show additional columns or hide any of the visible
columns by following these instructions:

1. Click the Choose columns to display drop-down menu.
2. Select a column that you'd like to show or hide.
After the table updates, you can select another column to show or hide, and so on.
3. Select Show all to see all columns.
4. Select Show defaults to restore the three columns that were showing originally.

Google AdWords Traffic Estimator
Get quick traffic estimates for new keywords without adding them to an account
or using the AdWords sign-up wizard.

Google Product Search Marketing

by Mark Vandegrift

Q) A strategy talks about expanding into low risk CSE's and specifically talked about Bing. Given that Bing shopping is buying a product feed from shopping.com (and we send product to shopping.com) I am wondering how helpful this would be? I would love to get some insight into: (a) how the purchased feed results would rank on Bing vs. a feed sent direct to Bing (if the feeds were basically the same) and if they might cancel each other out (duplicate listing are sometimes eliminated or punished in the rankings) And (b) the economics of the CPC shopping.com feed being
sent to Bing vs. the CPA direct to Bing model (in your experience which is really more profitable)

A) Bing is displaying your shopping.com data because the old MSN Shopping platform, which is no longer visible at shopping.msn.com, is still active behind the scenes. That platform has used data from shopping.com and pricegrabber for a long time and it continues to be used for any merchant not sending data directly to MSN/Bing.
They aren’t allowing for duplication – Bing listings appear in lieu of anything coming through the old msn shopping platform (which as I said includes shopping.com and pricegrabber). In terms of rank, the answer can vary depending on whether or not there are other merchants selling the exact same item. If so, your listings sent directly to Bing would likely appear higher than your current shopping.com
listings because the default sort on product pages on Bing is price low to high, but (here is the important part), the price displayed is NET of the cashback to the consumer.

Look at this page and expand the little plus symbol. You’ll see the actual price is higher than what Bing is displaying, meaning the Bing advertiser is getting a boost by participating in the cashback program. In this case, it didn't have an impact on the rank of that item within the page, but if they increased their cashback offering from 8% to 15%, they
would rank first.

For items where there is no direct competition on the product and therefore no matched page, I would guess Bing still gives weight to merchants in the cashback program, but the final ranking is likely heavily determined by the user’s query and some sort of popularity historical traffic/CTR). This probably applies to how the product pages themselves are ranked in search results as well.

With regard to profitability, I would say the majority of the time, a CPA model is preferred. As mentioned in the webinar, it limits risk, but also because of the nature of the Bing model, it gives you a lever for testing the Bing market specifically. What I mean is, you can try increasing your cashback from 7% to 10% on Bing, effectively lowering the price just for Bing users, and seeing if that drives an increase in volume. Even at a lower margin, the higher volume may mean more total profit.

A few links.
Google Base help form:
This will help guide you through some commonly encountered
issues with Google Base/Product search.
Google Help Forums:
Community driven forums but Google folks do participate.
Google Error form:
Use this if you are getting an error and can't get it
cleared up through help form or the forums.
Google Webmaster Video on GPS best practices:
There are a few valuable nuggets of info in here.
List of Google Rating Sites:
The most complete list and some good conversation about GPS in general, courtesy of SEOmoz.

I can't say I agree with everything on this page but since the GPS algorithm is hard to pin down, different omerchants are likely to see different results.