The top stories in interactive this week are the Search Alliance, Google Buzz and, most exciting of all, the “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” Facebook page. Browse through the articles below to find out what’s been going on in the interactive world and get some great tips on developing interactive campaigns.
SEARCH MARKETING/INDUSTRY GENERAL
The Search Alliance
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission approved the Microsoft-Yahoo! merger. That means the much-anticipated search partnership is no longer just talk, it’s official. Our reps at Microsoft and Yahoo! sent us emails detailing the partnership and offering up a tentative timeline. You can stay up-to-date on the status of the merger and learn how it might affect your campaign at Search Alliance, a co-branded site developed by Microsoft and Yahoo to provide more information to advertisers and consumers.
Is long-tail the way to go?
According to this article, the answer is maybe. Long-tail keywords, those search phrases that contain several words, are typically low volume but highly qualified. Using long-tail keywords is a relatively inexpensive way to capture the most qualified searchers and turn them into conversion. Say someone searchers for “tropical island getaway with parrot watching, talking monkeys and strong margaritas.” That person knows exactly what they want and, if you’re a travel agent or resort bidding on that term, odds are high that the search will make an immediate purchase once they see your ad. Is this a good strategy for your business? Read this article to find out.
SXSW: What will be introduced?
Twitter was introduced there in 2007. Foursquare was introduced there in 2009. And everyone is anxiously awaiting the newest technology to come out of this year’s SXSW, which takes place in less than a month. Check out some of the contestants at Mashable.
SES London coverage
SES London has been taking place all week at the Business Design Centre. Avinash Kaushik was the keynote speaker, followed by numerous talented and brilliant search marketing pros from around the world. Find a list of blog coverage here.
Sound blog links for generating traffic
Link juice is great, but if your site isn’t getting any traffic from that link, what’s the point? That’s the question this article poses. And the answer: there is no point without traffic. The article goes on to offer seven tips for deciding if a blog is a good linking partner with sound links. Read the full article.
Anatomy of a successful tweet
Tweets are like people, they come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and creeds. That’s because, if done right, they come from real, personable people who embody this diversity. This article details the various types of successful tweets and their unique personalities.
How to measure Twitter effectiveness
It’s the million dollar question that some might shell out even more for—how do you measure the marketing effectiveness of Twitter? Firstly, like all marketing endeavors, you must set goals. Next, measure the basics (i.e., post count, replies, mentions, follower count). But don’t just note the numbers, really evaluate the meaning behind these stats: What tweets received the most attention and why might that be? What is the overall sentiment? Read the full article for more tips.
Outlook adding Facebook and Twitter features
Outlook has come out with a Social Connector feature that incorporates social media sites directly into your inbox. Currently, LinkedIn is the only site connected. Facebook and MySpace are in the pipeline. I tried out the LinkedIn feature for about two hours before uninstalling. It was not pulling info and it simply made my inbox much busier than it already was. I’m also unsure why they decided to go with MySpace and not Twitter. I can’t imagine that this will be a terribly useful features, but maybe I didn’t give it enough time. Learn more at Mashable.
Betty White Facebook Group
Betty White is making a huge comeback, and this time she’s not the same old airheaded Rose Nyland of Golden Girls fame. In the last couple weeks, she’s received a great deal of attention from a Super Bowl commercial for Snickers and her role in The Proposal. But one man has been smitten with Betty for longer than her recent fame. In late December 2009, David Mathews created a Facebook Page, “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!,”which has hit 404,000 fans (as of post time), gaining some 370,000 fans in just two weeks. Right now, every business is scratching their heads, asking how he did it. But it really has nothing to do with Mathews—it is, and always has been, about Betty. The moral of the story for businesses: it doesn’t matter how hard you try to promote your Facebook page or Twitter profile or other social media channel. If you have a good product and/or interesting content, the fans will come.
Since its release just a couple short weeks ago, Google Buzz has seen many ups and downs. But mostly downs. After admitting that Buzz was not run through the usual rigorous testing that other Google programs undergo, which lead to numerous flaws and, worse, privacy issues, Google is now being slapped with a lawsuit and numerous complaints. The first complaint was filed by the Office of Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Florida woman. The woman is claiming that Google broke the law when Buzz shared personal data without the consent of users. What are your thoughts on Buzz?
What content are consumers willing to pay for online?
With the threat of paid content looming, Nielsen conducted a survey to determine what types of online news and entertainment consumers would be most willing to pay for. For the most part, consumers were more willing to pay for content online that they would also purchase offline (e.g., theatrical movies, music, games). Content they are loathe to pay for is blogs, consumer-generated videos, social communities and radio. Might it be an issue of production value and credibility? Read the full survey results.
LOCAL SEARCH / MOBILE MARKETING
Google Goggles: A translator in your pocket?
Google posted a blog on Wednesday discussing Goggles ability to recognize images and translate foreign text into your language. Currently, it only works for translating German into English; however, Google has plans to develop a versions that supports at 52 language currently used by Google Translate. The potential is both exciting and somewhat frustrating. Yes, you will be able to translate nearly any sign, menu, etc. when traveling to foreign countries. But will it be at the expense of people making an honest effort to learn other languages and communication with foreign speakers?
Google blurs lines between paid and organic
Google has recently begun including sponsored listings in their map 7-pack. Some are questioning the legality of these sponsored listings based on FTC’s guidelines for proper disclosure of paid search ads. The folks at Search Engine Land don’t think the sponsored results are necessarily being favored, as some have been found at the bottom of the 7-pack and Google has asserted that “enhanced listings have no impact on the ranking of [Local Business Center] listings.” Read the full article.