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Responding to Your Comments: WebLoyalty, Bid Management, Holiday Gifts, and Hiring SEM Experts

Published: January 5, 2008

Author: David Rodnitzky

Happy New Year and thanks to everyone who has added thoughtful comments to Blogation over the last few weeks. While I can’t respond to every comment, here’s my thoughts on some of the best comments I’ve seen recently:

On my post “When does advertising cross the line”, the WebLoyalty Consumer Affiars department wrote in to correct the quote I reference about consumers “unwittingly” transferring their credit card number to WebLoyalty. Mary O’Reilly from WebLoyalty notes:

“Consumers do not “just unwittingly” transfer his/her credit card information to a company he or she has never heard of. Webloyalty presents an offer page to a potential member that fully and frequently discloses the costs and terms and conditions associated with our programs. Webloyalty cannot and will not accept credit or debit card information from an e-tailer until the consumer consents to the transfer by taking three affirmative actions: entering and re-entering his / her email address and clicking on the “YES” button in response to the billing authorization request.”

Thanks for the correction Mary. I guess my response would be that “unwittingly” is in the eye of the beholder. People click on things online all the time without fully understanding what they are doing. Heck, I’m a former lawyer and I accept terms and conditions every day without actually reading them (who has the time?).

There are definitely instances where companies do everything they can to inform consumers of the consequences of their actions, and others where companies are ‘technically’ informing consumers but in reality obscuring the truth. I make no judgement on your particular case – the point of my article was to note that the online advertising industry should proactively define our own standards before someone else does it for us.

On the post on “Choosing a bid management provider”, an anonymous poster asks “I’d love to hear some recommendations and pros and cons of some of the major providers!”

Though I am normally highly-opinionated, I try not to get into specifics when it comes to bid management providers. Why? Well, for starters, I am an advisor to one of these companies, and so I am naturally a bit biased. But in addition to that, many of the bid management companies I’ve tested I tested months or even years ago. Since technology changes rapidly, my assessment of a company last year might be totally different than my assessment this year.

For these two reasons, I therefore always recommend testing several providers at once, choosing a winner, and then testing again on an annual or semi-annual basis to see if any providers have emerged/improved with a better solution for your specific needs. Sorry I can’t be more specific than that!

On “Google getting holiday gifts right,” Alan from the Rimm Kaufman Group writes to let me know that Yahoo gave the exact same gift last year (a donation to charity). Thanks for the note Alan, I am actually a bit embarrassed that I gave Google credit for an innovation created by Yahoo! I am constantly whining about how people get excited whenever Google does anything (the “Google Sneeze” as I call it) but ignore developments from Yahoo, MSN, or other search engines. I have become my own worst nightmare!

Finally, on trying to find a search engine expert, my good friend Harry Joiner had a good post on his Search Engine Experts blog adding his thoughts to the topic. Thanks for the props Harry!

Thanks to everyone for your comments!


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