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Responding to Your Comments: Google Stock, Ad Text, Terry Semel

Published: March 4, 2008

Author: David Rodnitzky

As always, I love receiving comments on my posts – I read every single one and now just need to do a better job of responding on a regular basis. Here are some recent comments that I enjoyed and my responses:

On Google Stock Dropping on comScore Data:

Alan from the RimmKaufmann Group wrote: “For what it is worth, our agency’s PPC same-client spend on Google is still increasing, and increasing faster on G than on Y, M, or A” and SearchQuant chimed in “if I were you I’d stash gold, silver, palladium and /or platinum rather than cash. The U. govt’s printing money like it’s going out of style.”

It definitely doesn’t surprise me that Google spending continues to outspend Yahoo, MSN, or Ask spending. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begged reps from non-Google search engines: “Please, give us more quality traffic – we would love to diversify our spend across multiple search engines, rather than spending everything with Google.” The fact remains that the only place for quality and quantity is Google at the moment. And I agree, Alan, it seems to get more lopsided every day.

SearchQuant, as I’ve noted multiple times, my investment skills are famously poor (hence my investment in WebVan). So if I invest in precious metals, expect that market to tank immediately!

On Awesome AdWords Ad Copy:

Jeremy wrote: “While I agree with you that the ad copy is clever and may get an above average CTR, do you think clicks using techniques such as these turn into conversions?” and an anonymous commenter said: “can you clarify whether this ad text was in an email in your inbox, or an ad served through the AdSense network that appeared alongside the email you were reading? If it showed up via AdSense, then it had nothing to do with bypassing Gmail Spam filters.”

First off, good point Jeremy, but I tend to think that this ad copy does drive conversions. My guess is that this is a pure “escalation of commitment” play – the user clicks on the ad, then registers with Reunion before they can see any ‘messages’, and the registration probably includes a credit card for a 7 day free trial. By the time the user realizes that there aren’t actually any messages for them, they’ve already given over their credit card info and started using the system. The odds of this sort of user either a) forgetting that they gave their credit card info for a few months or b) actually going forward and deciding to be a member are a lot greater than a user who comes to the site without the promise of ‘messages.’

With respect to bypassing Gmail’s Spam filter, my point is that this message – if sent via email – would never make it anywhere near my inbox, but since it is showing up on AdSense it is effectively making it into (or near) my inbox without the Gmail Spam filter being involved at all.

On Terry Semel and 1000 laid off Yahoos:

SearchQuant wrote: “AMEN, David. Terry Semel was, during his time at Yahoo, the epitome of the well-connected, self-interested, monumentally incapable CEO: and Darren agreed “I always thought Semel got too much credit for turning yahoo around – he benefited from the turnaround in online advertising, that’s all.”

My question is this: how can I get myself into a position to under perform and get paid $450 million for doing it? What am I doing wrong? Do I need more recommendations on LinkedIn?

Finally, on Tips for Promoting Your Blog:

Jay from MemberSpeed wrote: “I think that our varying sense of individualities can also be tied up to certain commonalities. From there, you should try to cater to a certain group who think and appreciate the same things that you do.”

I agree Jay. There are so many blogs today I think most of us simply don’t have the time to read everything out there, so we tend to gravitate towards bloggers that ‘speak our language.’ I’ve always thought that I could grow my blog readership by posting less thoughtful but more frequent posts (i.e., just reporting the ‘news’), but that’s not me, and I think I’d be catering to a different audience than the one I have today (and I prefer to cater to you folks, trust me!)

Thanks to everyone for your comments – keep ’em coming!

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