yep, that's me

Insider-SEM: Site for Search Engine Marketing (McGraw-Hill 2009)

Blog at

June 2011: I moved my blog!

Go to

Here are postings from the old blog.

December 10, 2010

Add Twitter to Your Web Site: Okay, when I update my Official Page at Facebook, the text is sent to Twitter and LinkedIn. Great... but what about my blog? I wanted to update my blog as well. Here's how to do this.

1) Assuming you have a Twitter account (even my cat has a Twitter account), go to Twitter's Widget page (or just search for "twitter widgets").
2) Select Widget for My Website and select Profile. Yep, pretty ugly. You can change the colors. Play around with that and copy the code.
3) Paste the code in your website (use your HTML editor, your FTP upload tool, etc.)
4) Look at the results. If it looks like the widget at Twitter, then you are a lucky cat. Be sure to buy a lottery ticket.
5) If the text is tiny, you're an unlucky cat. Don't buy any lottery tickets. Here's how to to change the Twitter widget font size.
6) The Big Picture: you'll download the Twitter CSS, make a small change, save it as style-twitter.css, put it on your server, and then point the Twitter widget to the new CSS. Piece of cake, no?
7) The Details: First, let's get the Twitter widget CSS. Go to Copy that and save it as style-twitter.css.
8) In that block of code, you'll change the font size. Search for .twtr-widget{position:relative;font-size:12px and change that to .twtr-widget{position:relative;font-size:16px.
9) In the widget code, add a line to point to the new style sheet. Where it start...

<script src=""></script>

Change that to:

<link href="" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet">

This points the widget to the new style sheet. I could have used a relative link instead of an absolute link; I used an absolute link so you can see the path name. Do as you like.
10) Upload the new style-twitter.css to your server and your Twitter widget's text will change.

To sign up, add comments, or ask questions, visit my Facebook Official Page.

November 16, 2010

Follow me on Facebook: It's a lot of work to maintain blogs, newsletters, tweets, and Facebook. So I'm using my Official page at Facebook to post updates. Sign up and you'll get notification of updates. No ads, no marketing. Just useful info.

To sign up, add comments, or ask questions, visit my Facebook Official Page.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Facebook Code on I "facebookified" my website. I put Facebook code on all pages. Why? Bret Taylor, CTO of Facebook, explained the idea of Facebook Open Graph: "The basic idea was that if you were Green Day the band, itís really inefficient for you to have, and a Green Day account on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Your internet identity is" (Interview at

Instead of Laura going to various sites, Laura should be able to go to only one site (for example, and there, visit both the site's content and also participate in social media.

Facebook isn't trying to become the central site for the web; it's putting itself onto all sites. Facebook becomes part of all sites. FB Open Graph was announced in March 2010; within the first week, 50,000 sites added the FB code. Three months later, over one million sites are using FB's code. This is easily 50-100 million pages.

I added Facebook Comments at the bottom of all pages. I also added Recommendations on the category pages (for example, see Web Stuff). To add these tools to your site, visit Facebook's page for Plugins.

To discuss, add comments, or ask questions, visit my Facebook Official Page.

June 20, 2010

There's a way to tag a document so you can track it. For example, a law office can tag their legal documents so they can ensure that only authorized persons are looking at it. If someone passes the document to another person, the law office is notified: who shared it and who got it. This works on all documents, incl. Word, spreadsheets, and even txt files. Visit

Sunday, April 04, 2010

To discuss, add comments, or ask questions, visit my Facebook Official Page.

Thursday, April 01, 2010  

Automated Bid Management (ABM) for Facebook. Four companies released ABM tools for Facebook ads. These companies use FB's ad platform API. Kenshoo's tool is similar to a Google Adwords Editor interface: bulk ad creation, duplication, etc. The companies include Kenshoo, Omniture, Clickable, and Marin Software. We'll test this on both Kenshoo and Omniture. 0 comments

Wednesday, March 17, 2010  

Hmmm... It turns out Facebook Official pages are RSS-enabled, which means I can use my Official page as a blog. So now I'm wondering if I should continue my blog here or move over to that. 0 comments

Sunday, March 14, 2010  

Added a Facebook Group page. You can join that to get updates.

Still trying to get Google Analytics to track my Facebook Official page. If you've done this and it works, let me know how you did this. I'm writing documentation so everyone can do this. 0 comments

Saturday, March 06, 2010  

Another Google Social Media Fail?: Google is shutting down FTP access for Google Blogger. They claim only 0.5% of Blogger authors use FTP, but this 0.5% is also the most technical and the longtime users of Blogger.

You can read their comments to Google (Caution: Contains "language".) It's not pretty. Google annoyed yet another core audience. It got so bad that Google shut off the comments.

Blogging is one of the core tools of Social Media. Google desperately wants to become a social media company. So why infuriate their core users?

The alternative? Move to Wordpress. It's free, it has thousands of themes, and since it's hosted on your server, it can't be affected if the company shuts down. Over the next month, I'll look into this and move my blog.

What's next? A migration away from Gmail? Gmail has major design failures, such as the inability to sort email and (this is really weird) poor search capability. I'll wait for Titan and then see where to switch. 0 comments

Friday, March 05, 2010  

Facebook = The Web?: The large companies are setting up websites in Facebook. By using FBML (Facebook Markup Language, similar to HTML), they can build websites inside Facebook.

To see a collection of corporate pages at Facebook, visit and (thanks to Matt McDougall at Digital Marketing Inner Circle for telling me about the first one).

Up to now, SEO was all about being findable in Google. But now there's Facebook. 400m registered members; 200m log in daily; they spent 55 minutes daily in Facebook. What is your SEO strategy in Facebook? There are no meta-tags, no link counts. How is a company with 100,000 products going to have those products be findable in Facebook? SEO in 2010 is going to be a whole new game.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010  

Google Talks about SEO: Google published their Google SEO Report Card. It's a review of the state of SEO for many Google products.

It's not a complete document. It only mentions a few generally-known items. Many SEO factors are not discussed at all, such as the off-page factors.

There are a few interesting items. It confirms (p. 9) that the meta-keyword tag isn't indexed. It also adds that the meta-description tag is not indexed. About half of the 49-page document discusses 301s and canonical URLs.

The report isn't useful for people who aren't expert in SEO. It doesn't explain much. It says nothing on overall strategy, the role of SEO in marketing, or deeper SEO issues. 0 comments

Monday, March 01, 2010  

Marketing 2010: What's Up? I'm speaking March 10 at DMA Palo Alto on the latest in Google, what's up with Facebook,etc. Lots of secret stuff about Google and Facebook. You'll see stuff that you didn't even know existed. Includes a 90-minute workshop. More at 0 comments

Monday, February 15, 2010  

Facebook sends more traffic to portals than Google.

Compete found 13% of traffic to portals such as Yahoo, MSN, and AOL came from Facebook. eBay accounted for 7.61%. Google was third with 7%.

So... if you want traffic, use Facebook and eBay (13% + 7.61% = 20.61%) over Google (7%). 0 comments

Sunday, February 14, 2010  

Social Media 2010: First it was called Web 2.0, but that was all about tools, so it died.

Then it became Social Media (SM). All about talking with each other. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. SM is actually SMS: you send short update messages to your friends. Google has now joined the party about two years late by adding Wave and Buzz.

So we now have Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Wave, and Buzz: that's five ways to SMS your friends. Or, four too many. Which will die?

MySpace is dead.

Wave waved goodbye; the last Wave in my account is several weeks old.

Twitter's traffic peaked in July and has been dropping. My Twitter account is just an endless stream of press releases, and that's after I've unfollowed the worst offenders. Last month, Google gave up and added Twitter to the search results, but only for a few very-high traffic keywords and now, the lag is several hours. Google doesn't really want to promote Twitter.

Within 24 hours of the release of Google Buzz, there was already a backlash. It's pretty bad when the front page of Fox News joins the attack along with one very angry ex-wife. Google was forced to make a series of major changes within hours to reduce the anger. If you have a Google phone, it will constantly broadcast your exact position. Can't wait to turn off that one.

That leaves Facebook (FB). FB is #2 and will soon be #1 (and worse yet for Google, FB's search engine is powered by Bing). Can Google beat FB? Google is adding social media wherever it can. But it's not looking good. To win, Google would have to reposition itself as a social media site, not a search engine. But I doubt they'll do that.

Google spent two years to develop Buzz, so many at Google use it. That means it's very easy to find a Google engineer, see his list of contacts, and read their Buzz notes. Want to keep up? Just click Follow and you'll get a feed of their discussions. This is a massive security hole into Google. I expect most corporations will ban their staff from using Buzz.

Where's the next battle? Facebook is about to release Titan, their complete email tool. Just like Hotmail and GMail, you can use this for all of your email. FB has 400m users, so Titan will grow fast, which will cut into Google's GMail revenues.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010  

Google now allows image ads in the search results. This is a major policy change at Google: for nearly ten years, they've refused to put image ads in the search results.

So far, the advertisers are major companies. They're allowed to put multiple ads on the page (another policy change...). 0 comments

Wednesday, January 20, 2010  

eCommerce in China: Online revenue in China in 2009 grew 30% (74.3bn yuan, $10.9bn). iResearch predicts 2010 online revenues in China from advertising, games, shopping, and other activities will grow 51% to 112.3bn yuan ($16.5bn). (Source: BBC News)

Is Google really going to abandon that? 0 comments

Wednesday, January 06, 2010  

Ever wonder why the keywords in Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools didn't quite match? Okay, probably not :-) But when you do, here's an explanation.



Monday, December 14, 2009  

Google's Real Time Search If you tweet, can you get into the top results at Google? Let's try this.

I searched Google for a hot topic, such as "apple tablet". There were no real-time results (RTR). iphone? SEO? No RTR. No RTR for "global warming".

Let's try "tiger woods." Bingo. Every few seconds, his latest girlfriend.

So, if you tweet about your product, how long will you last at the top of Google? Let's measure... about 17 seconds. After 17s, your tweet scrolls off the page. How many people were looking that moment at your tweet?

Two lessons: 1) Google has very few Twitter feeds. Global warming talks are going on right now in Copenhagen, with tens of thousands of demonstrators. Yet not even "global warming" shows up in RTR. Only Tiger Woods gets a real-time feed. Google talks RTR, but does very little. They're not going to turn Google into a secondary page for Twitter.

2) What company could have anything that can be presented in a feed such as Tiger Woods? His sponsors are laying low right now. And if you had something, you'd get only 17 seconds of placement.

By the way, you can put a twitter feed on your website. Go to 0 comments

Wednesday, December 02, 2009  

What's My Rank in Google? This weekend, Google quietly rolled out personalized results to all users. If you're using your Google ID and you're logged into Google, then your search results are based on your search history and interests. Now, everyone gets personalized results.

"What is our ranking?" "Can we be #1 in Google?" Those are among the most common questions we get from clients. What does the change at Google mean?

There isn't "one Google search result". Every search result is tailored to the user. Let's say three people search for "apple". For me, who uses Unix or Windows, Apple is the Beatles' music company. For Laramie, who is a Certified Master Gardener (look it up), there are well over 700 types of apples. For Emily, Apple is a company that made her laptop computer. Google sees what each of us visit and after a while, Google delivers results that match our pattern. Each person get different results.

SEO is not about "be #1 in Google." There is no more "universal Google". You can't be #1 in everyone's search results. The real meaning of SEO is "be findable by your target audience, wherever they are looking for you."

The good news: Personalized searches make it MORE likely that your page will show up for your target audience. A garden supply store that has Ashmead's Kernel apple trees no longer has to compete for search engine ranking against Apple Corp (Beatles) or Apple Inc (Mac). Know your target audience. Be findable wherever they search.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009  

Here's why you can't burn witches in Denmark! (Thanks to for the image :-)



Wednesday, November 25, 2009  

Stephanie told me about this collection of 11 case studies that cover how companies in different industries tracked the ROI or results in their social media campaigns. Examples include consumer retail, enterprise, rock concerts, automobile, and so on. They measured their campaigns in social media and public relations (PR). The document includes names of tools and how they did this. See Social Media ROI Success Stories at (I am not affiliated with them. We subscribe to their service.) 0 comments

Tuesday, November 24, 2009  

Our book Search Engine Marketing has been published in China by Tsing Hua University Press in Beijing. Tsing Hua, the leading technology university in China, is known as the MIT of China. Many thanks to Maggie Guan (co-author), Stephanie Cota (co-author), Emily Huang (proof reader), Roslyn Layton (co-author of the KPI chapter), Lili Knobloch (coordinator), and Bob Platkin, plus many more. We also thank the team at Tsing Hua University Press and McGraw-Hill China.

Last Friday, we also reached agreement with a publisher in Taiwan.

The China book has been completely updated and revised. We teach SEO, PPC, and analytics in a 3-day in-person course for Search Marketing Professionals. 0 comments

Sunday, November 22, 2009  

Dear Web Guy, What do you think of It tells me my SEO score. Does that really work? -- Perplexed in Peoria.

Dear Peoria,

In the beginning, SEO was a technical process: put keywords in the meta-tags, sprinkle keywords around the page, get lots of links: bingo, you showed up in Google. Basically, it fooled Google's algorithm. But search engines finally realized users don't want to see the page with the best SEO; users want to see the page with best answer to their query.

This means it's no longer sufficient to get a high rank by using links, meta-tags, keywords, etc. It's entirely possible for a page with zero keywords (no keywords in the meta-tags, the HTML, or the URL) and zero backlinks to rank #1 over pages with lots of keywords and high pagerank scores. (Yes, we know examples of this for highly-contested, highly-visible topics, and yes, we'll tell you how if you sign up for our SEO/PPC course or hire us :-)

As we wrote in our book, Google uses 10,000 humans to evaluate web pages. They look at the user's intent in the query. The Quality Raters choose what goes to the top of the search results page. They down-rank sites that are not relevant.

This means and similar tools give webmasters a false sense of success ("hey, I have 98 points!") that has nothing to do with how search engines actually rank pages. Ignore Write better pages. 0 comments

Friday, November 20, 2009  

Here's a Word Cloud of my blog. Use to create word clouds of a blog, yours or someone else. 0 comments

Friday, November 13, 2009  

I found out about Yahoo Alerts. It sends weather, breaking news, and alerts on any mention of a keyword to your phone via SMS. It's free (in comparison, Google Alerts can't use SMS and it doesn't include news or weather.) Go to 0 comments

Thursday, October 29, 2009  

The Berlin Wall: The 20th anniversary is coming up (Nov. 9, 1989). I'm getting requests for radio interviews and reprints of my article. Remember the wall? Read my story about the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Five million people were there in Berlin, and I was the only one who wrote about it.

Daryl Heron has a good collection of videos of key speeches by Kennedy and Reagan, plus the events at the Berlin Wall.

Nobody predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union. Not the CIA, the US military... None. The collapse took them by surprise and they had no idea what to do. Bush Sr. spent a year trying to figure out what to do. Thatcher in the UK actively tried to prevent the collapse of the wall.

Could it happen here? Could the USA collapse? For the last 40 years, American economic theory has been based on Milton Friedman. In fact, Friedman's economic theory stated it was impossible for a collapse to happen. Nobody realized Wall Street could collapse as it did in September 2008. We now have no economic model for the USA. Nobody understand why Wall Street collapsed and nobody knows how to fix it. Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize in Economics) wrote a wonderfully clear article about the state of American economic theory. 0 comments

Sunday, October 11, 2009  

The Infinite Web. Is the web infinite? Is everything on the web? A squirrel comes to my glass door and taps the glass; I give her a peanut or two. Last week, I saw one of the peanuts looked like a duck. People saw it and said "Hey, that peanut looks like a duck!" Someone joked I could sell it on eBay for $50,000.

So... I typed into a search engine "peanut looks like a duck." Guess what? There's a website for that:

Amazing. There's a website for literally everything. 1 comments

Thursday, October 08, 2009  

BusinessWeek is publishing a series of interviews on how Google manages search results. Rob Hob interviewed Scott Huffman (Director of the search results evaluation team); Udi Manber (Google vice-president of technology for core search); Amit Singhal (Director of the ranking team).

Interesting, but nothing new. They talked without saying anything.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009  

On Adobe's Purchase of Omniture: What does this mean?

Many of you have been through an M&A (merger and acquisition). It's the same story: Adobe already has an HR department, finance, billing, etc., so many of those people at Omni will be fired, despite assurances from the CEOs. That dismays the other employees, so some of them will leave. Some in upper management will cash in their stocks and leave. It will take few months for regulators to approve the merger. And another nine months or more for the anaconda to swallow its prey, er, for Adobe to complete the merger. This means a year of confusion, slow sales, and unhappy customers. The top two enterprise competitors are Coremetrics and Unica, so they'll move in to poach customers, perhaps pick up a few experienced staffers, and perhaps start a FUD campaign.

Why would Adobe buy an analytics company? The purchase doesn't make sense. It doesn't fit into their line of products. Adobe sells end-user desktop design software, such as PhotoShop, fonts, PDF, and so on. Omniture is in an entirely different type of business. Forrester & others think Adobe can embed analytics into Flash. Yes, and you can already use Google Analytics to track Flash and it's free. But whatever. Adobe embeds Omni into Adobe PDF. What then? Will that be free to Adobe users? Or will they have to pay for it? $50 for Adobe PDF and... $30,000 for the analytics? And just exactly who installs this? Omni is not easy to install. Could Adobe offer Omni for free? It's too complex to install and configure for non-experts. If anyone thinks this could be free, they simply don't know what they are talking about.

So what is Omni? Omni isn't really an analytics company. They don't call themselves an analytics company. They say they do "business optimization", i.e., their suite of tools and services are used for global optimizing of an entire business strategy (marketing, leads, sales, etc.). And that REALLY doesn't fit into Adobe's product line. So I don't see a long future for Omni at Adobe. Analytics isn't really an issue for Adobe, so they won't pay full attention to it. But whatever. M&As often don't make sense.

What are the implications for the analytics industry? Not really much. "Adobe Analytics" (or whatever it will be called) will be around at least for a few years. Coremetrics & Unica are focused, so they will be a bit stronger. For the present, no major changes.

So the real issue is to see how Coremetrics and Unica react and adjust their future strategies. 1 comments

Saturday, August 22, 2009  

What ever happened to... Geocities? While we're talking about Facebook and Twitter, what about other social sites? Geocities let people create webpages. It became a vast community. In the late 90s, Geocities was #3 on the web and in 1999, Yahoo bought it for $3.6 billion. Geocities will close in Oct. 2009. Gone. When is the last time you visited a Geocities site?

Yes, this means you can have a site with tens of millions of visitors... and still not make money. 0 comments

China Book: I finally finished the updates and revisions for the China edition of our book. It will be translated and published by Tsing Hua University, which is the MIT of China and the leading Chinese technical university. I'll be in Beijing in late November for the book release. 0 comments

Thursday, July 02, 2009  

Speaking on analytics in Palo Alto at the BMA (Business Marketing Association) on July 9th at 8:30 am (yes, morning). It's a breakfast meeting at Scott's. Here's the event invitation ($15 for non-members). 1 comments

Monday, June 29, 2009  

Tom Foremski at SVWatch writes how digitization destroys value. Everyone talks about "disruptive technologies" and "creative destruction" as good things, but after 17 years of the web, what we're getting is mostly disruptive destruction. Industries and jobs are being wiped out. That's great for a few VCs and a few mega-websites, but it doesn't create anything to replace what was destroyed for others.

Tom writes that these new technologies are 10X better and 10X cheaper. Actually, it's generally 1,000X better and 1,000X cheaper. My new car radio can play MP3s; just push a memory stick into the USB slot. Better than CDs; no skipping, it can't get scratched, and it's instantly changeable: just copy new albums and songs onto the memory stick. And forget FM radio; in comparison, it sounds muddy. USB memory sticks are free at trade shows. Tom points out that an album used to cost $15-20. But now, digital music is basically free. Anyway, read his article. 0 comments

Thursday, June 04, 2009  

So, how does Google rank pages? Google finally talks. A blog at The Wall Street Journal has a 3-part series of interviews on Google Quality Raters system. John Paczkowski (WSJ's blogger at All Things Digital) interviews Scott Huffman (Director of Engineering), Matt Cutts (Senior Engineer, Spam Team), and Amit Singhal (Google Fellow, works with the Search Quality team) (links below to the interviews).

The first interview includes a link to the Google Quality Rater manual (the 2007 edition). You can download this and see for yourself how Google's team of 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) contractors review and evaluate websites according to a long list of criteria.

In short: It's the QUALITY of the page, not SEO, that counts. A website can be SEOed to the gills, but the Google Quality Raters evaluate it and if they don't like it, Google engineers write new filters to block it.

Google uses humans, not software, to evaluate sites. The software does the heavy work (the indexing of billions of pages). But "bad" pages creep into the top results: either the filter was poor, the page is spam, or the page uses SEO tricks. So humans look at the top results, evaluate these, and the filters are adjusted. When they find bad pages, these are pushed down (Matt Cutts states that in the second interview.)

This means that much of what passes for SEO (keyword density, page rank, back links, etc.) has a limited value: it can get a page INTO the index and it can bring a page up in ranking, but the Google Quality Raters will look at the web page and evaluate not on its technical issues but on the quality, which means navigational, informational, or transactional criteria.

To read the WSJ blog items: 1) Interview with Scott Huffman. 2) Interview with Matt Cutts.

The implications of the Quality Rater manual and how to improve pages according to the manual is clearly described in our book Search Engine Marketing (see Our book is the first to describe this and we are so far the only book that describes this. 1 comments

Wednesday, May 27, 2009  

End of Home Telephones?: When I bought a new home phone a few years ago, I realized it might be the last telephone I'll ever buy. This week, I unplugged it. No more regular phone. Cell only.

35% of US homes can be reached only by cell phones. Oddly, the less income, the more likely they use cell, but that makes sense: why pay for two services? As usual, US Asians and Latinos are far ahead in cell use. Cell phones go anywhere, they include text messaging and digital cameras, plus they can be personalized with ring tones, music, and games. Verizon lost 4 million landline subscribers (from 39m to 35m) last year. 1 comments

Saturday, May 16, 2009  

Wolfram|Alpha is a new type of search engine. But it's not really a search engine. Google (and Yahoo Search and many others) are search tools: they index billions of web pages. When you use these to search, they find pages that match your search.

Wolfram|Alpha is different. When you search in Wolfram|Alpha, it uses formulas from mathematics, physics, astronomy, geophysics, and so on, plus known data (the elements, scientific data, etc.) to calculate your answer (here's a list of topics) It creates the information for you.

Google, in contrast, can only show you what someone else has already written on a webpage.

For example, let's search for the distance from Earth to Neptune on May 14, 2022. Here is Google's result. None of the first page results are correct. Here is the same query in Wolfram|Alpha

Google can't give an answer unless someone has already written that answer. Google simply reports what it has indexed. Wolfram|Alpha calculates the answer. If we ask for the distance at 8:02 am, 9:12 am, and 3:23 pm on that date, it can calculate all of those. It lets you view data that nobody else has considered. Is there a correlation between earthquakes and diabetes?

Does Wolfram|Alpha matter? Most people use search engines to find people, products, companies, and locations. 85% of searches at Google are either navigational (find something) or informational (learn about something.)

People use search engines to find already-known things because they've learned the limitations of search engines: that's what it can do. Wolfram|Alpha is a knowledge tool: we can use it to create new information. But I wonder if this is "a solution in search of an audience." 0 comments

Wednesday, May 13, 2009  

Google quietly announced a major change in how they index websites. Google has started to use markup code to allow data tagging so Google knows what kind of information it is. Google has begun the process of stating how the web will be structured.

Examples of items that can be tagged:
People: Name, title, role, URL, affiliations, address, photo, etc.
Reviews: Item, reviewer, date, rating, etc.
Companies: Name, URL, address, telephone, etc.
Products: Brand, category, description, name, price, photo, URL, etc.
That's just the beginning. There will be more tags.

What does this mean? You will be able to search like this: "Show me airline tickets from Dallas to Paris between June 20 and June 24 between $200 and $300 with more than 20 ratings at 4 or higher." Currently, that's not possible. With Google's new markup code, it will be very easy.

When companies mark up their data, it will be simple to build software to shop by location, date, price, ratings, and so on. We will see a new generation of comparison shopping tools.

Users will get exactly what they want without having to look at multiple websites. This puts pressure on websites.

This means a rewrite of websites. This also impacts SEO, web design, and overall business strategy.

For details, see the Google blog announcement (and example). See also examples of code and definitions.



Friday, May 08, 2009  

I've been watching Rome, the HBO/BBC series, on DVD. It's quite good: lots of detail, introspective, and character development. 0 comments

Thursday, April 30, 2009  

eMetrics Marketing Optimization: Produced by the American Marketing Association's Silicon Valley Chapter in conjunction with eMetrics Summit.

Speaker: Andreas Ramos, Director at The CCG Group. Author of Search Engine Marketing (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

Panelists: David Rogers, Senior Web Analytics Researcher at Paypal. Roslyn Layton, Director of Client Services at Coremetrics. Akin Arikan, Director of Product Strategy at Unica Corporation. Author of Multichannel Marketing. Bob Heyman, Chief Search Officer at Mediasmith. Author of Digital Engagement.

Hands-on experts in Coremetrics, Unica, Omniture, and Google Analytics discussed how analytics can manage multichannel marketing, including SEO, paid search, email, social networks, radio, TV, newspapers and mobile by using KPIs, UVP, and tracking URLs. Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA. 0 comments

Wednesday, April 22, 2009  

Google launched yet another tool. This one appears to be a Facebook killer. Google may try to kill the social network sites (i.e., Facebook...) by offering a better solution (in other words, a more-available solution).

If you search for someone, you now see "Google Profiles" at the bottom of the results page. If she set up her Google Profile, you can click on her pix and see info about her. If you're in her Friends list, you can see her contact info. It would be very easy for Google to add chat messaging, email, gadgets, and more to this: yes, it can replace Facebook. Facebook is currently losing money, so Google could destroy them.

Try this: search for my full name (andreas ramos) and scroll to the bottom. There is info about me. It even includes pixs.

To set up your Profile, log into your Google acct (such as Gmail) and then go to



Friday, April 03, 2009  

How to Create Your Own Background in Twitter

- According to my analytics data, 32% of my users have monitors at 1024x768 pixel resolution, so I designed the sidebar to fit for those monitors. If you design for 1200-pixel monitors, your sidebar will be overlapped and look broken on smaller monitors (i.e., for 30% of your audience)
- Create a blank sheet that is 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels tall.
- In the left upper corner, create a box that is 120 pixels wide and 580 pixels tall.
- Or use this sample background image (I've drawn the box in it for you). Click the link, save the image to your computer, and open it in your graphics program. Delete my photos and text. Insert your photos and text.
- Save your new image in PNG format and upload your background. Use PNG format (not GIF or JPG) for the image (PNG is much sharper and clearer).
- In Twitter, go to Settings, select the Design tab, and click on "Change Background Image". Select your background and click Save Changes.

Read my previous Twitter posting for more info about Twitter and analytics. You can also follow me at 0 comments

Tuesday, March 31, 2009  

Silicon Valley American Marketing Association Panel Discussion: Use Analytics to Manage Integrated Marketing

Keynote Speaker: Andreas Ramos, Author of "Search Engine Marketing" (McGraw-Hill, 2009)

Roslyn Layton, Director of Agency Services at Coremetrics
David Rogers, Senior Web Analytics Researcher at Paypal
Akin Arikan, Director of Product Strategy at Unica
Bob Heyman, Chief Search Officer at Mediasmith

In today's economy, ROI is more critical than ever. SVAMA's panel will discuss how analytics gives you measurable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing programs. You'll learn how to manage multi-channel marketing including SEO, paid search, email, social networks, radio, TV, newspapers and mobile by using KPIs, UVP, and tracking URLs. We'll look at examples from Intuit, Cisco, Aveda, Northface, MIT, Google, and other companies.

Experts in analytics, including Coremetrics, Omniture, and Google Analytics discuss hands-on use of analytics for managing multichannel integrated marketing. What works, what doesn't work, and how to manage and improve your marketing and sales. You will come away with a solid understanding of analytics.

Date: 5:30-9:00 pm, Thursday, April 23, 2009
Time: 5:30 Registration and Networking. 6:45 Keynote. 7:30 Panel discussion. 8:30 Your opportunity to meet with panelists 1-on-1.
Location: Network Meeting Center, 5201 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA
Sponsored by Coremetrics
Produced by American Marketing Assn. - Silicon Valley Chapter
Price (includes great food!): $40 non-members, $30 Partner members, $25 SVAMA members, $20 Students.

Friday, March 27, 2009  

Coremetrics added Twitter reports into their analytics package. It tracks a keyword by the number of mentions in a time span, along with the Twitter user name (and the number of uses of that keyword by each user). Another screen shows the complete Tweet text. It sends notifications by email/SMS if there are mentions or traffic spikes. All in all, both Coremetrics and Omniture now have the ability to track Twitter activity.

I don't see yet that either tool can do conversion tracking (i.e., Macys tweets about a diamond chihuahua collar to their 10,000 followers; 500 come to the page; 100 buy the collar; and Macys can track the sales and revenue value). Google Analytics has nothing yet for Twitter; you set up your own tracking URLs (but the vast majority of Google Analytics users have no idea how to do that). There are indeed a number of 3rd-party tools that track mentions, etc., but that's a patchwork of other tools by companies without revenue models, which means they're not enterprise-ready. I'll look into the conversion tracking and write about that.

On April 23rd (Thursday), I'm hosting a panel discussion on analytics for multichannel marketing. Panelists include (so far) Roslyn Layton (Director of Agency Services at Coremetrics), David Rogers (Senior Web Analytics Researcher at PayPal), and Bill Mirbach (Director of Marketing and Agency Services at Intuit.) This will be hands-on inside-story discussion on using enterprise analytics (Coremetric, Omniture, Google Analytics) to manage multichannel marketing and drive revenue. Sponsored by the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association (SV-AMA), the event will be held at Google. 0 comments

Wednesday, March 25, 2009  

Google's visual designer quit and blogged about it. Here's the really funny part: "I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can't operate in an environment like that."

I agree entirely with Google. Digital technology allows us to use testing to find the optimal solution. No more "experts agree..." No more "because mommy says so". Find out what works.

Far too much marketing is done by tradition, by over-paid people with 20-years experience, or just "that's the way it's always been done." The plain fact: with testing, anyone can learn how to produce consistently better results and they will outperform the guys with 20-years experience. 1 comments

Friday, March 20, 2009  

From an Efficient Frontier report: Based on 60 billion impressions and 428 million clicks over the past year, Google's Cost-per-Click (CPC) in the Search Network increased 4.7% (from $0.58 to $0.61) ($0.03 increase). Content Network CPCs increased 20.4% (from $0.24 to $0.28). In contrast, Yahoo decreased by 4.7% and Microsoft increased by 6%. 0 comments

Thursday, March 19, 2009  

Did you know that a company can KNOW the name of people who come to them via Twitter? Yep. Quite a privacy issue.

Using Google Analytics, I can see the traffic from Twitter. Analytics also reports to me the Twitter IDs of the people who came to my website via Twitter. Just click on those to go to their Twitter profiles.

How to Do This: In Google Analytics, select Traffic Sources | Referring Sites. Find Twitter in the list of referrers. Click on Twitter. You now see the names of Twitters. A Twitter name is actually a URL, so a Twitter visit will show the path. You can then click those names to visit the Twitter profile.

That's the whole idea of the web: you can surf anonymously... no more! Let's see how Twitter, the blogosphere, and the Twitterati react to this. 0 comments

Saturday, March 14, 2009  

Twitter is the new land rush. Everyone is snapping up names as fast as possible. But what does that mean, "Land Rush"? In 1889, the US government allowed settlers to enter Oklahoma. Tens of thousands on horseback, in wagons, and on bicycles lined up at the border; the cannon fired off at noon; and they raced off to grab their land. But why read about it? Watch the video!


I'm writing a Powerpoint about Twitter and will make this public in a week or two. Follow me on Twitter at 0 comments

Thursday, March 05, 2009  

My Trip to China: I was in Shanghai and Beijing: here are my notes about food, shopping, and so on. Did you know there's a great toboggan ride at the Great Wall? What does dog taste like, anyway?

Why was I in China? Our book will be published by Tsing Hua University Press. They are the MIT of China. It's their most prestigious engineering school. Half of the committee of ministers who run China are graduates of Tsing Hua. We're working to make our book the standard textbook for marketing for China's millions of companies.

Why China? For example, we work with Minfon. They helped a US real estate developer come up with a global strategy to promote their products both online and offline in Shanghai with a real-time backend tracking system. Small-to-medium (SMB) companies can use the web to go global.

Using Adobe Acrobat reader? It has a bug that lets hackers get your data. Adobe won't have a fix until mid-March. So... you must get rid of Adobe Acrobat. Luckily, other free PDF readers are faster, better, and free, such as Go to your Control Panel, uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader, and install FoxIt.

Twitter: I'm still playing around with this. Follow me at (and I promise: no tweets about "hey, I'm playing with my cat"). In the next newsletter, I also plan to write on how to use Twitter for your company.

Talking about cats, go to YouTube and search for "Simon's Cat" and watch his videos.

March 5th: This Thursday night we speak at Books Inc in Mountain View (on Castro, 7:30p). Talking about our book and Google and so on. We'll record this and make it available.

April 23: Speaking at the Silicon Valley AMA (American Marketing Association). I'm arranging a panel discussion with Coremetrics, Intuit, and (hopefully) Google. We'll talk about using analytics for mid-size and large companies: how to manage multichannel marketing, how to get your Google costs under control and make it profitable. We'll also video this.

Last week was busy: Monday, I spoke at SDForum on how the web in China is different from the web in the USA. Friday, I met with Francisco Santos, the vice-president of Colombia, who also happens to be my cousin. I asked him to help me to get my book published in Colombia. Saturday was a HYSTA conference at Stanford with Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba. It's a mega-Chinese company. You could say they're the eBay or Amazon of China, but they're bigger than eBay and Amazon combined. We met with Alibaba in China and we're interviewing them for our China book. China now has 300 million users on the web and they're growing 40% per year. China is definitely in your future. Read my article on China :-) 0 comments

Monday, March 02, 2009  

A client got a burst of traffic from Italian and Polish adult sites. In ten days, they got 70% of their normal annual traffic. By using analytics, we saw it wasn't from Google or any search engines; it was all from referring links. It turns out the client had hired a company to build links. The company placed links on worthless sites and then used software to click those links. All that traffic and not a single sale. Be careful if you pay for link building. Monitor the results and evaluate it by conversions and sales. 0 comments

Friday, February 20, 2009  

John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain blasts the GOP for being clueless on the web. She writes: "We live in an era where most individuals my age get their political news from The Daily Show and SNL's Weekend Update. I know this aggravates the old school political operatives to no end, but it's true. The Obama administration understands that my generation spends most of its day on a laptop or a BlackBerry, and that using the web is easy way to communicate their ideas to their constituents. (...) President Obama currently has around 5.5 million supporters on Facebook; my father has around 500,000." See her complete post. 0 comments

Sunday, February 08, 2009  

Where do people look when they search? Here is a Google eye-tracking study (click for a larger image). It shows where people look on the page. They concentrate on the title and then the description.

This means: Write very good TITLE and DESCRIPTION tags for your pages.

You can also see that people look mostly at the first two results. Only a few look at the third and forth result.

This also means: You must be at the top of the page. If you're not showing up at the top in unpaid (natural) search, then you must use paid search (i.e., use Google Adwords to advertise).

For more, see


Friday, February 06, 2009  

FYI. Free health care clinics. Pass this along to your friends.

Free Clinic San Francisco (415) 750-9894
Free Clinic Berkeley (510) 548-2570
Free Clinic San Jose (408) 705-0119
Low-Cost Clinic: $59 per visit: (in SF, San Jose, Oakland, Fremont, San Mateo, Sacramento, Rohnert Park. To find free clinics in your city, search for "free clinic" and your city name. 0 comments

Tuesday, February 03, 2009  

With Google Gadgets and Google News, you can create a customized news feed on any topic. 0 comments

Saturday, January 31, 2009  

Using Google Analytics? Here's a great blog entry on add-on tools that improve Google Analytics (these work ONLY in Firefox). 0 comments

Friday, January 30, 2009  

I was talking with a company this morning. Their web person had been trying for two months to make changes to the analytics tool's configuration. I made the changes in five minutes. That's the difference between experts and non-experts.

Whatever. Still looking for Karen Brodnick. 2 comments

Wednesday, January 28, 2009  

The End of TV: Let's go to the numbers. Obama's inauguration was watched on TV by 30 million people and on the web by 70 million. Not just more. Twice as many. 1 comments

Tuesday, January 27, 2009  

Google Shuts Down Newspaper Ads: Last week, Google turned off its print ads service. This allowed you to place ads in newspapers, just as you can use Google to place ads in search engines, radio, and TV. Why did Google shut it down?

Other bloggers talk about this, but we actually use the print ads tool. I see two reasons.

A) It didn't work as easy as the other tools. The web, radio, or TV ads are digital and are automatically inserted into the media. Just create your ad, set your bid, and the ad shows up. But newspaper ads were different. The bids weren't based on competition. You made an offer, and the newspapers would manually review the offer. If it was sufficient, then they selected the ad. The ad showed up several weeks later.

B) Newspapers are dying. Their revenues are dramatically falling every year. Everyone agreed that most newspapers would die, but the New York Times would survive. Well... it's the NYT that will die first. They operate at a huge monthly loss (millions of dollars per month) and was expected to shut down this May. Last week, Carlos Slim, a Mexican billionaire (he owns Mexico's cell phone network) put $60m into the NYT (at 14% interest!). So there's no future in newspaper ads. 0 comments

Wednesday, January 21, 2009  

Obama's family is black, white, and Asian.

They are Christian, Muslim, and Jewish.

They speak English, Indonesian, French, Cantonese, German, Hebrew, African languages (incl. Swahili, Luo and Igbo), and even a few phrases of Gullah, the Creole dialect of the South Carolina Low Country.

A few are wealthy, and some, like Sarah Obama, his step-grandmother who only recently got electricity and running water in her metal-roofed shack, are quite poor.

Click the photo for a larger image. 1 comments

Wednesday, January 14, 2009  

Here is a good article on Google China (strategies, goals, problems, etc.). The article is mostly about Google China, and if you don't know about Baidu, Alibaba, TaoBao, TenCent, etc., you may miss some of the context. Maggie Guan and I are preparing a book about the web in China, to be published in early summer 2009. 0 comments

Tuesday, December 23, 2008  

Fry's Electronics has always had someone at the door to check your shopping bag to make sure you're not shoplifting a 140" plasma screen. Well, maybe they should be checking someone else. It turns out their VP of Operations may have set up his own kickback empire, where he gambled as much as $160 million in Las Vegas casinos and may have cheated Fry's out of some $65 million. Whoa. No Christmas Cheer at Fry's this year. 0 comments

Wednesday, November 12, 2008  

Have you been watching the stock prices for Ford and General Motors? Both literally collapsed. These were solid for decades. Both are now a few dollars per share. GM's market cap (the value of all their stock) is $1.9 billion today. Tiny Silicon Valley startups are worth more than that. Why did these collapse? They continue to churn out heavy gas-guzzling cars. Their costs are out of control. So... they're "solving" this by asking for a government handout. Yep, save them from their own stupidity. And that includes a bonus for the executives. Guess who pays the bill? Yep. You and me. 0 comments

Wednesday, November 05, 2008  

The Google/Yahoo merger/collaboration/joint venture or whatever it was, anyway, it's over. Google just announced the breakup. Well... there's always Microsoft! :-) 0 comments

Tuesday, November 04, 2008  

I'm settling down with using the gPhone. It works, mostly. The lack of raised buttons, the too-small keyboard, the poor camera, and the somewhat-poor casing design are minor annoyances. Overall, there are benefits: one device for Gmail, Gnews, Gcontacts, Gmaps, Gnote, and Gwhiz. 0 comments

Tuesday, October 28, 2008  

This weekend, I bought the new "Google phone" to see how it works. The gPhone is Google's big move into mobile advertising. Because we specialize in online marketing, we have to keep up with Google. In the next few months, I'll experiment with the gPhone to see how this works for marketing. I wrote a review of the gPhone at my website. Here's one item:

Google Phone's Totally Cool Feature
You have to try this on a Google Phone. Go to Google Maps. Switch to Street View and select a location, such as the middle of Manhattan or Chicago. Click Menu and select Compass mode.
It now shows you what you see as you move the phone around. Yes, just move the phone to right or left to look around you. Move up to see the sky, look down to see the ground. Sit in your office chair and spin around and the world revolves around you.
Try this with Paris near the Eiffel Tower or on the Champs Elysee. You can look around in Manhattan or Barcelona. Press the arrows in the view to move along the street.

See the complete review of the Google Phone at my website. 0 comments

Saturday, October 25, 2008  

I bought a gPhone (Google's new phone) to try it out. I'll post a review in a few days. 0 comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  

We're getting ready for the release of our new book. Here are upcoming events:
- In August, we spoke at a conference for MBAs at Stanford. Andreas followed up at another MBA conference in Washington DC in September.
- Nov. 18: Sacramento: Stephanie speaks at the AMA Central Valley
- Nov. 18: Chicago: Andreas speaks at Coremetrics Client Summit
- Nov. 20: San Francisco: Andreas speaks at Coremetrics
- Nov. 25: Shanghai: Andreas and Maggie at Ad:Tech
- 2009: We are preparing for presentations in Paris, Ankara, DC, and Hong Kong 0 comments

Sunday, September 07, 2008  

Chrome: I gave it a week. Too buggy. Chrome lacks many basic features. I gave up and went back to Firefox. Google released Chrome without basic testing. It doesn't even work with YouTube and Google Adwords, which are Google's biggest properties. Google is using user feedback to find bugs and add features. This may be a good idea for a little startup, but Google? They want to take on Microsoft and they do this as a weekend project? I'll check in again in a few months. 1 comments

Saturday, September 06, 2008  

So that's how they did it? Google's Chrome was built by a 20-person team. What did they leave out? Well... testing. Does the thing work? Not very well. Try YouTube. The videos freeze within a few moments. At many sites, there is no audio. There are many minor bugs with Google Adwords and Google Analytics. Google released their browser without even testing it with the top ten websites, including their own sites. If this is how Google wants to beat Microsoft, well, Microsoft doesn't have to worry. 0 comments

Thursday, September 04, 2008  

Google Chrome: It's a new browser, yes, but it's more than that. We don't need yet another browser: there is IE, Firefox, and Opera. Chrome is faster and has a few clever things. But it's not just a browser: it's the beginning of the next generation of software. Open Chrome and create a few tabs. Grab a tab and drag it away from Chrome. It pulls off and opens like a new window. For web browsing, this is cute but not really useful. But... if that tab had a program in it, such as a text editor or a graphics program, you've effectively turned a web page into software. Click the "page" icon (next to the wrench icon). One of the items is "Create Application Shortcut". If your new web page is a tool, this item lets you turn that page into a clickable icon on your desktop. For example, open Google Adwords or Google Analytics and use the "Create Application Shortcut". Bingo. You now have Adwords as a clickable icon on your desktop. Adwords is now a program.

Chrome is Google's platform to run software within browsers. No more standalone software in a box or on a CD. This will have huge implications for the way software is released and distributed. And of course, it's a major threat to Microsoft (and, yes, Apple); a computer doesn't need a large operating system. It can have a simple desktop, only big enough to run a browser. That's exactly what the Google phone will be: a portable device that can run Chrome and all of Google's applications within Chrome. If a gPhone can do it, then desktop computers can do it. Goodbye Windows and Apple. 0 comments

Wednesday, August 27, 2008  

SES SJ 2008 is the main trade show for the SEO/PPC industry. It was held last week in San Jose. Save yourself $2,500 and four days: Here are summaries of all sessions: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four. The insider's view? Most of these presentations talk about trivial issues or they are based on ideas from one-to-two years ago. Only the presentation on Quality Score is up to date, but the speaker said too little to be useful. 0 comments

Friday, July 11, 2008  

Okay, you know about analytics. Here's another item. Evidence-based marketing uses "best available scientific evidence" for decision-making. It's marketing based on facts, not gut feelings. It's now very easy to get data about your customers with analytics. For our new book Search Engine Marketing (McGraw-Hill, 2008), I worked with Roslyn Layton, MBA to develop the KPIs (key performance indicators) that measure the value of multichannel marketing. Roslyn continues to work in the field to refine the measures even further. Check out 0 comments

Wednesday, July 09, 2008  

Coming soon! 0 comments

Tuesday, July 01, 2008  

Google/Yahoo/Microsoft (GYM) can now index Flash files. Adobe created a tool for the search engines that allows them to index the text content in Flash. 0 comments

Monday, June 30, 2008  

Google Ad Planner is a media research tool. You enter demographics and sites that match your target audience and the tool will show more sites that your audience is likely to visit. You can also see the demographics and related searches for a particular site, or you can get aggregate statistics for the sites to make your media plan. Ad Planner also lets you create and export media plans to a .csv file. Free to use at (This is currently (June 2008) in beta testing. They will open it up to the public soon.) 0 comments

Thursday, June 05, 2008  

Why does Wall Street make such huge mistakes? Why do PhDs in economics and mathematics (incl. some with Nobel Prizes) cause banks to collapse? It's not what they don't know; what they know is wrong. Fascinating interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb (his blog is at What does this mean for Google? Hmmmm... 0 comments

You can get free webpages at Google. Go to and make a page. No HTML required. Just write! Here's an example: Cuz Layton. 0 comments

Tuesday, June 03, 2008  

The End is Near: NPR reported the other day that gasoline prices may reach $6 per gallon within six months and may rise to $10/gallon by next year. That's bad news or good news, depending on your view of SUVs: 36% of the people who tried to trade in a large SUV in May owed more on the vehicle than it was worth. The value dropped by $2,000 to $3,000 compared to May 2007. General Motors will close four of its SUV plants, expand production of fuel-efficient cars, and finally move forward with electric vehicles. They may also get rid of the Hummer (8 miles per gallon).

The Department of Energy estimates it costs 20 cents per gallon for every 5 mph over 60 mph.

Yesterday, I wrote down my car mileage for the month. I do this every few months. For 2008 so far, I've driven an average of 40 miles per day. My car (Miata sports car) gets 25 miles per gallon, so that's 1.6 gallons a day. At $4.20 per gallon (California prices), that's $6.72 per day, or $200 per month. It'll be really interesting to see how the USA deals with $10 gasoline. For the average American household, they may need to spend up to 50% of their monthly income for gasoline. 0 comments

Sunday, May 18, 2008  

Ever thought of living in a Victorian on a park in San Francisco? $3.45m and your dream comes true. See what such a house looks like. 0 comments

Sunday, May 11, 2008  

If you're using Google Adwords, pay attention: the page's load speed is now a factor in the Quality Score. If your page opens slowly, you lose points. Visitors don't like to sit around and wait for pages to open. Get rid of Flash, shorten the pages, etc. 0 comments

Wednesday, April 23, 2008  

Google + Yahoo? Microsoft + Yahoo? I was asked at a conference what I thought about Microsoft's offer to buy Yahoo. I said "Irrelevant." Google has 90% market share. Yahoo has 6% and Microsoft has 3%. If Microsoft buys Yahoo, they have 9%, but Google still has 90%. It won't affect Google. What if Google buys/takes over Yahoo? Again: Irrelevant. Google goes from 90% to 96%. Not much of a difference. 0 comments

Sunday, March 23, 2008  

Have you ever noticed the White House warnings of "possible terror attacks" come whenever there's bad news about the Republicans? Warning? Or distraction? Here are five years of Bush's fake terror warnings. 0 comments

Wednesday, March 05, 2008  

Larry and Sergei forgot to feed the meter. Google Adwords earns around $20 billion per year, but they forgot to pay $35 to renew their security certificate. Shall we set up a Paypal donation box to help out Google? :-)


Sunday, March 02, 2008  

Tuesday, February 26, 2008  

If you see a car with a broken exhaust pipe, you can report it to the California Air Resources Board. If the car is smoking, it creates smog and air pollution. See for a link to their form. 0 comments

Saturday, February 16, 2008  

Thursday, February 14, 2008 has jobs listings, plus two useful tools:

- Table of Salaries: See trends and comparisons of salaries for your job. Add multiple jobs and compare the salaries (e.g., "blogger vs. webmaster vs. journalist"). This will give you serious ammunition when you demand your raise :-)

- Trends in Job Listings: In a dead-end job? Try "blogger, webmaster, journalist" and see which one is dropping! 0 comments

Saturday, February 09, 2008  

Free Google Analytics Debugger. will check your site to see if the Google Analytics tracking code is set up correctly. 0 comments

Saturday, January 26, 2008  

Time to refresh your website's look? Does your website's design look like 1997? Are your webpages fraying around the edges? Web design is much easier now. You can buy templates for $25-50 at sites such as and Get ideas at a huge collection of website designs Your webmaster should be able to implement these. 0 comments

Tuesday, January 22, 2008  

Microsoft Analytics: Not to be left out, Microsoft is releasing their own analytics tool. It's free. I signed up for it and I'm trying it out. It's in beta and still a bit buggy. It looks very cool. More in a few days. 0 comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2008  

From a Google blog, I read Craigslist has RSS feeds for their pages. Another site is a collection of classified ads from the entire USA. This means you can use an RSS reader to notify you of new jobs. You select the type of job and it gives you a fresh list of new jobs. Learn How to Use an RSS Reader. 0 comments

Tuesday, January 15, 2008  

Google ABM: finally released an ABM tool. This has been one of the most requested tools for several years. This tool is as significant as the release of Google Analytics. ABM (Automated Bid Management) tools automatically adjust your bids for optimal results. Instead of manually adjusting bids (time-consuming and mostly on a rough guess), ABM tools can adjust bids literally every few minutes in increments of one cent. And it can adjust bids based on location, so there can be different bids for ads in NYC and Palo Alto. You get the best possible bid at that minute, for that day, for that city. Best of all, Google's ABM tool is free. Other ABM tools can cost several thousand dollars per month.

To qualify for this tool, you must have campaigns with 200 or more conversions within the last 30 days. If so, go to the campaign's settings and look under budget options. 0 comments

Sunday, January 13, 2008  

"What Goes Up...": The House Bubble has finally burst. In the chart, we see the historic trend for house prices. It has shot up out of proportion. As we know from all bubbles, the price always returns to the base. House prices are projected to fall 40% (Paul Krugman) or 38% (Eric Janzsen). See Krugman's article (with more graphs, etc.). There is also a very good article about bubbles in Harpers Magazine (Feb. issue, not available online).

All of this is bad news: expect a severe recession that will last several years. Large corps have already begun to prepare for recession: they are cutting costs by laying off workers, reducing inventory, etc.


Thursday, January 10, 2008  

HDR Photography: There is a new way of taking photos to create some very nice images. "HDR photography" produces photos with a wide range of tones. The eye can see far more tones than a camera (a camera captures 300 tones, but the eye can see 30,000). By adjusting your digital camera, it can take a set of photos, which you then open with a software tool that combines the photos. The result is one photo with a broader range of tones. It looks remarkable. You can take photos in fairly dim light and get great results. This is actually pretty easy to do. In fact, there's a great tool for this, and it works better than Photoshop. Here's another example. The HDR tool is Photomatix at (free, unlimited trial version).


Wednesday, January 09, 2008  

Looking for Breakfast in Silicon Valley? Here's a list of Silicon Valley Breakfast Places. 0 comments

Thursday, January 03, 2008  

Have you seen the little taxi in your Treo PDA? Every once in a while, a little taxi cab races across your screen. "Easter Eggs" are jokes inserted by the engineers when they wrote the code. I called Verizon about this; they had never heard of it. Here's a pix. 0 comments

Wednesday, January 02, 2008  

Looking to sell your Palo Alto house? Or buy a house in Silicon Valley? Two of the top SV realtors have been sending out a research newsletter for years, and they've finally gotten onto a blog. If you're in the house market in Palo Alto or Los Altos, keep up with real estate at's Blog. 0 comments


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