free html hit counter June 2006 - Page 3 of 7 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Updated – News: Google Pay Per Action Network Test

By - June 21, 2006

According to the SeekingAlpha site, Google is testing a CPA (cost per action) network – the kind of approach Bill Gross is trying at Snap, and many others, like Valueclick, have employed, with limited success so far. Why? Is Google hedging against click fraud and spam? Is this just spaghetti against the wall? I am asking now….so far, this is still officially unconfirmed.

The detail they have over at SeekingAlpha – from a note to one of the members inviting him into the test – is interesting in itself. Google is clearly changing the rules with CPA. For instance:

How can I promote the CPA ad unit?

Since this is a test and these CPA ads are not regular ad units, we are giving you more flexibility in saying things like “I recommend this product” or “Try JetBlue today” next to the CPA ad unit. However, you should still not incite someone to click on the ad, so saying “Click Here” is not ok.

What can I do to optimize my revenue from the CPA ads?

While we encourage you to experiment as much as possible with these ads on your site, here are some general tips on implementing a CPA ad:

1) Ads that blend in with the site and are placed prominently tend to perform better. Look to integrate the ad within the page.


The poster, David Jackson, immediately shorted Valueclick. However, the stock is up this morning, so far.

Update from Google spokesman, who confirmed CPA tests: We’re always looking for new ways to provide effective and useful features to advertisers, publishers, and users. As part of these efforts we are currently testing a cost per action pricing model to give advertisers more flexibility and provide publishers another way to earn revenue through AdSense. We’re pleased with how the test is progressing and will continue to gather feedback from advertisers and publishers.

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Duping search engines, even the big-G

By - June 20, 2006

A Moldovian blackhat successfully indexed and gained rank (since dropped due to the maelstrom of publicity) for over 5 billion junk pages (example) in just three weeks—duping Google, along with Yahoo and MSN. The junk pages are also covered in AdSense ads, leading Email Battles to speculate that they significantly contributed to recent measures/allegations of click-fraud.

Battelle adds that “5 billion pages is the entire size of the Google index just a year or so ago. The last claim, before they stopped MAKING claims, was 8 billion…think about that.”

While junk results are frequently a problem in Yahoo and MSN, the news here is that Google indexed more of the low quality sites faster. While the attention is warranted, to be fair, a concluding judgement should note that this is also a function of Google generally indexing more pages, faster, as Ana’s Lair writes. See the original, weekend post from Monetize, which kindly provides a how-to guide for future blackhat reference.

(via Melanie)

Melanie's Round Up

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Google verticals languishing

Search dominates Google traffic by 79.98%, while its dedicated service sites combined gain paltry numbers. ZNet story here, considers the end game.


The Search quotes a Harris poll that says nearly 40 percent of internet users have performed the requisite vanity search.

ā€œIā€™d be willing to wager that this number will head north of 90 percent in the coming years, as search becomes as individually definitional as finding oneself in the white pages was during the rise of the telephone. Besides ourselves, nearly 20 percent of us have looked for former flames and 36 percent for old friends, and 29 percent have researched a family member.ā€

Now Tom Drugan, co-founder Naymz, says his company has used the quote and poll as a successful springboard to launch their start up. Naymz is creating a searchable index of profile (vanity) pages, aimed at professionals who want to pull together an online portfolio of their citations for networking.

Full text in Yahoo trademark case

The dating site LoveCity filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Yahoo and three other companies for allegedly using ‘lovecity’ as a keyword in their AdWords campaigns. Resource Shelf has the full text of the court filing.

Netscape Digg clone?

Late last week AOL-Netscape launched a beta socially-ranked news site (sort of) that many loyal diggers jumped on as a Digg clone. In a response, Digg CEO Jay Adelson questioned the scalability and editorial control of the so-called “Digg Killer,” and welcomed the competition. But a CNet suggests that despite the beta’s voting capabilities, the Netscape site retains sufficient editorial control to mean the two are different beasts.

Recruit Job search

Freshly launched, Recruit says they offer the first trilingual, international job search engine—in Chinese, Japanese and English.

Snap Interview

Garrett French has a great interview with Snap’s Tad Benson over a SEL, also pointing out Snap’s great blog.

NewMedia launches

NameMedia, launching this week, is creating a series of vertical portal search platforms on topic-specific domains (with a technology they call SiteSense). The targeted domains serve users of ‘direct search’ (perhaps better known as ‘direct navigation’)–those bypassing search engines and instead directly typing a product name into the address bar as a url (for instance

A Light Week

By - June 19, 2006

I spent the past weekend working hard – but not on this computer. I managed to fix about two thirds of the badly damaged irrigation system in my yard, and hope to get to the rest of it today. This week I am taking vacation time to work on the other part of my life, the part that hasn’t seen much attention in the past year or so. I’m also taking my kids to Disneyland! Posting will be light, but I’ll be around…

Sked By Time, Now At Google AdSense

By - June 15, 2006

Slowly but surely Google is checking off all the various things that irk traditional advertisers about Adwords. Today, they are launching “ad scheduling for Google AdWords.” This is also known as dayparting.

My view – dayparting is not that big a deal – I’m currently researching buying another car. At 10.45 pm. So send me ads! Who cares what time I’m Googling “Toyota Minivan”?

Eepybird Search

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By now many of you have probably seen the Diet Coke and Mentos video, which is amazing. Hitwise has a great post showing how searches for those terms exploded as the video viraled its way around the web.

An interesting question raised is whether Diet Coke and Mentos, as well as perhaps their competitors, should leverage this notoriety by purchasing related search keywords. I say, absolutely!

Memo to the RIAA: Don't Screw This One Up Too..

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RiaadumbAccording to this report, which is light on confirming details, the RIAA is considering action against the YouTubes of the world, because there are so many videos of kids hamming it up to songs where rights have not been cleared. Like this one, for example, on Google Video.

Good f’ing lord, RIAA. Wake up. This is how we use music in the real world. Get over yourselves.

If This is A Real Google Employee, It's Fascinating

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If it’s not, it’s still pretty interesting. Philipp gives a detailed overview of a forum posting from a fellow who claims to be an engineer deep in the bowels of Google. Great stuff in here. Including:

“The Google application process is annoyingly slow and can easily take months sometimes. Anyone who’s really interested in working there would be much better off finding an employee to refer them”

“Nobody keeps track of 20% time with any care whatsoever. It’s assumed that, if a deadline is pressing on your main project, you’ll work on that.”

“…you can divide internet traffic into five approximate and unequal segments: porn, spam, corporate, knowledge, and personal.”