Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 18:27, mcrilf wrote...

Google "launches" (shhh) behavioral targeting...or not, as the case may be

Not if you ask Google, that is, since it is trying to distance itself from the term behavioral targeting. But what they are doing amounts to something not a million miles from it though...stitching together different search queries to produce search results that become increasingly focussed, based on the combined terms used in the different queries.

Try searching for Paris and then hotel. You'll notice that on the second search, the ads are for hotels in Paris.

As Enquiro reports, the launch of this new functionality was kept low key. There were a couple of articles written about it on ClickZ and SearchEngineLand.

Is this behavioral targeting? Sounds to me like it is. But as Reuters reported, Susan Wojcicki, Google vice president of product management for advertising is distancing Google from this term. Reuters quote her saying:

"That is not something that we have participated in, for a variety of reasons," Wojcicki told reporters at a briefing at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

"We believe that task-based information at the time (of a user's search) is the most relevant information to what they are looking at," she said. "We always want to be very careful about what information would or would not be used."

Although on the face of it, this is a useful technology, I'm sure there are many people out there who will become even more uneasy about their privacy and just how much the mighty Google knows about them.

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Monday, 27 August 2007 at 09:09, mcrilf wrote...

Stories behind the startups

David Askaripour, founder of the Mind Petals Entrepreneur Network has just released his Entrepreneurship Guide which reveals the real stories behind a range of entrepreneur start-ups. From online wine store which gives you hints and tips on wine to suit your personal taste, to which gives women home-improvement know-how in a friendly way.

Have a read of the entrepreneur profiles - there's something to learn for all of us. Thanks to all of them for sharing their experiences.

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Saturday, 25 August 2007 at 17:04, mcrilf wrote...

The biggest opportunity on the web?

I was interested to read about (as in 'you versus me') which, some say, is one of the biggest opportunitues on the web at the moment. uvme is a new business which pre-launched last month and has since attracted nearly half a million associates (they can't all be wrong!). Its founders, Tom Brodie and Len Fitzgerald, launched the very successful Virtual World Direct Ltd back in 2002 and are set to create an even bigger success with their latest venture,

From their website:

uVme is a fast-moving and unique business that combines three of the most exciting phenomena on the internet: ONLINE GAMES, SOCIAL NETWORKING WITH INSTANT LIVE COMMUNICATION, and Social Marketing. is (will be when it comes out of pre-launch) a skills-based gaming portal. The skills bit is important and differentiates the business from online gambling. The online gaming industry is currently worth around $5.2 billion - and uvme is providing all the tools to enable anyone to share in part of this.

The concept is simple: you join and they give you a website with stacks of skills-based online games. As people play these games, you get paid. As well as the website, they provide marketing support, customer service and more.

Effectively, they're providing you with all the tools to build an online gaming business - all you need is a little time to bring players to your website. And when they have fun, you earn money.

During the pre-launch phase, is free. The website you get enables you to start building a network of players and associates, in preparation for the full launch around the end of September.

Although I've always been sceptical of 'sounds too good to be true' schemes, this one has caught my eye and I've signed up. With the online gaming industry growing 4 times as fast as the growth in the internet, the potential opportunity is too good to pass up. As the internet is growing up, more and more people of all ages are turning to it for entertainment. And with in-game advertising predicted to grow 70% year-on-year, the big advertisers are banking their money on it too. This industry is set to explode.

If you want to find out more, visit my uvme site here and let's share in some fun...and money.

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Friday, 17 August 2007 at 19:25, mcrilf wrote...

Google drops supplemental results label

Firstly, I've not been asleep...just on vacation with no web access (a temporary escape from this online world!) and am now back.

When I set up my online gift store it was partly an exercise in on-page optimsation. The site runs on Cafepress' API and therefore (since Cafepress sells millions of products) has the potential for having thousands upon thousands of pages. The site's navigation (not the primary nav!) changes with every search (since it shows latest searches) and so every page is very dynamic. It gets crawled by Google pretty frequently (I'll dig out the logs and post about it sometime).

But...I think I over-did the on-page optimisation and although I got indexed pretty quickly, I ended up in the supplemental results index, which of course wasn't great since these generally show up only if there aren't many relevant results in the main index. I made some changes to the page titles, H1s etc (generally removing over-use of keywords) and watched over some time. Gradually, more and more pages came out of the supplemental results...but this was over a few months.

I recently checked and found that none of the results were in the supplemental index...or so I thought... After a little digging, I found (as reported by Google has now dumped the supplemental results label as explained in this excerpt from their blog:

"Since 2006, we've completely overhauled the system that crawls and indexes supplemental results. The current system provides deeper and more continuous indexing. Additionally, we are indexing URLs with more parameters and are continuing to place fewer restrictions on the sites we crawl. As a result, Supplemental Results are fresher and more comprehensive than ever. We're also working towards showing more Supplemental Results by ensuring that every query is able to search the supplemental index, and expect to roll this out over the course of the summer.

The distinction between the main and the supplemental index is therefore continuing to narrow. Given all the progress that we've been able to make so far, and thinking ahead to future improvements, we've decided to stop labeling these URLs as "Supplemental Results." Of course, you will continue to benefit from Google's supplemental index being deeper and fresher."

I guess this is good news in general since it sounds like even though the supplemental index still exists, Google are moving more towards getting rid of it altogether.

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