Monthly Archives: November 2009

My excuses for why Rankings aren’t all they are cracked up to be!

They change so often. Try doing a search, search again and now…. search again – are they the same?

I am on the phone with you and we are comparing rankings. I am in London and you in New York. I bet we see different results. The major players try to help with geo-targeting results. Especially if you have a geography in the search term.

You see ranking different to me?! Are you logged into your Gmail account when searching in Google. I bet the boss has been obsessing about a competitor, on their site for days. And then searches for us, we won’t be there and the competitor is there in natural search and PPC. The engines believe is you have been to site a lot, then you like it and gives you it more in your personalized results.

Vanity terms. People always talk about the vanity terms of very precise terms/phrases. But being high on this term may not be the terms that will actually make your money. You can always use your PPC campaigns to validate and if necessary educate your stakeholders. Maybe you too focus on these terms and you wonder why with a good position the $$$ isn’t rolling in!?

Universal or blended search. It seems and from bitter experience you get a #1 ranking and then the engines decide to put a map, with listings, reviews, news, stock information or a image above the classic one spot. So your potential click through rate has vanished!

Although I always love a number one ranking. And still a secret objective!

Social media – the case for SMO

I have just come across this video as referenced in a Phocuswright round up.  It is a presentation by my new (well as of today) favourite site, Socialnomics.  The video is similar in nature to a good book of “Freakonomics”, mixed with Gladwell’s “Tipping point” blended into the case for doing “something” as a business.

I too can appreciate that social media (SMO) is not right for everyone and everyone’s business. And after some pilots I have run, your customers may point you in the real direction.  But not to act seems to be a lost opportunity.

To measure ROI on social media is difficult if you are comparing to conventional channels.  You should ask yourself whether a Twitter followerer or Facebook fan is worth <, > or = to a newsletter sign-up? And whether a highly engaged internet active, prequalified online early adopter is the type of customer you should be appealing to?

With one foot in the marketing world, I hear my colleagues past and present talk about “customer centric”, “customer engagement” and “top of mind”.  Surely any medium that allows the customer to be in charge of comms/info/receiving deals is a good thing.  And brands that encourage people to engage I predict will be the winners in the long term.

Anyway, watch their video, it is better than I can type here – what do you think?

Product listing ads

Following on from my rant about never having to leave Google.  Where I commented on on the recent changes in PPC where you can Compare products such as Loans.   Now you can see prices and pictures for commodities/every day shopping items.  On the Google blog they give a screen grab and examples for stand alone as below and inline on the right hand side.  As this is on a PPC basis it will make sure that all serious competitors are spending as much as possible in this One-up-man-ship-advert-arms-race. And my only concern is about my beloved SEO.  Why would you click on the boring SERPs when the information is available like this to the side.  Mixed with the movement of the adwords from absolute right to right aligned to SERPs – the classic Pareto rule of PPC Versus SEO Click from SERPs is moving to more in favour of the paid stuff.  Well, they are a media company with targets of growth like the rest of us!

Product Ads on Google

Product Ads on Google

Its another move into supply chain integration and control demand!

When Google starts to have its own warehouse and fulfilment team. You really won’t need to leave Google!

Still love them and hate them in equal measures. Or is this just jealousy that I didn’t think of it first?

What makes a good people manager?

I am a people manager, and I have a manager.  I am sure most people who stumble across these ramblings are one or the other or both.  In a recent conversations about this topic with a number of colleagues past and present I compiled these lists

Having worked for some excellent managers, some OK, and unluckily historically some bad managers this intrigued me into thinking about Me, how I act and am perceived by immediate reports, peers and virtual teams.

So, I thought I would share somes notes.  I am sure I am opening myself up for ton of abuse from people who know me, but would be fascinated in hearing what you think I should add to these categories.

Good traits in a people manager/team leader

  • Accessible & Personable
  • Knowledgeable and can communicate it
  • Respected and shows respects to other
  • Open & Honest
  • Fair & Consistent
  • 1-2-1’s are on time and add value
  • Timely feedback
  • Awards credit when it is due
  • Receives feedback
  • Cares about Me

What traits makes a bad people manager?

  • Vague (in all forms)
  • Personality misfit, lacks social skills
  • Unrealistic targets or expectations
  • Picks on employees
  • Pits 1 employee against another
  • Changes their mind all of the time
  • Micromanages
  • Lies (especially when they say publicly different things to what they advise you)

And then, being the thinking type I am and trying to be fair.

There are on occasions when circumstances or the environment can make this hard or fall straight to the bad category.  It is possible to have a circumstance that your manager  is under orders, or a company culture actually puts up barriers you and them being a  good manager.  These could be:

Excuses for being a bad people manager!

  • Development opportunities as reward/goals are limited by the company
  • Office politics
  • Changing orgs and re-orgs
  • Communications styles are dictated by a higher power
  • Fear and Fears
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of experience in being a people manager
  • Time/Prioritisation imposed upon them
  • And I am sure the list goes on

What do you think?

Opinions welcome.  Unless you are in one of my teams! Then “SHUT UP and DO SOME WORK!”

Google comparison ads are back

More evidence that you will never ever, ever need to leave Google. We can see that the Comparison ads are back for all to see.  I wrote some notes about a trial of this in a previous post almost a year ago >>

If you go to for Mortgages you will see this type of screen.

Mortgage comparison on adwords

Mortgage comparison on adwords

If you are running adwords, and you are in a competitive comparison rich areana, get clicking those ‘include’ me buttons today.

It seems to add value to their users, Google is once again working on supply chain integration (or is that eradication?).