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How Facebook Intends to Get Back on its Feet

facebook logo

How's Facebook Doing?

Not so great obviously! So far, the stock exchange hasn’t been so nice to the American company. The share price went from 38$ down to 20$ since its entry in the market. However, it hasn’t planned to let it go. Even though the net result is less good than last year, it remains close to what was expected and we can see a raise of the benefits compared to last year.

Recently, Facebook has done a few modifications on its website that has now more than 950 millions of users. The company of Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new feature that allows the advertiser to promote their page newest status to more fans than it’s usually done.

More recently the social network announced the launching of a new possibility for companies to advertise on its website. First, they will add new options for the facebook pages to target their fans more precisely.  There will also be the release of a new feature very similar to Google Adwords, that would allow the advertiser to sponsor the keywords. The advertiser would buy keywords paid on PPC but since they can only redirect to a facebook page, they won’t be able to buy just any word.

On a SMM point of view, this is a really great opportunity to have better results with your Facebook company page. The ROI will increase dramatically. But keep in mind that you have to make sure this is really the kind of advertisements your company needs and that it is part of a marketing plan you’ve established before. If any doubt, you should contact our web marketing agency!

Will this New Marketing Feature be Efficient?

If Facebook manages to success as well as Google did, that would probably put them back on tracks.

However, you must keep in mind that Facebook’s users are often dissatisfied with the advertisements they found too often on the website. According to a survey of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Facebook would be, amongst all the social networks, the one that users are the less satisfied with. Let’s hope that this new kind of advertisement won’t be too intrusive for the user.

Anyway, this might be the hand Facebook needed to be back on the market for good, considering the number of users (that has decreased by 4,8% during the past 6 months according to Nielsen) as well as the price of its shares. Maybe they will even catch up on Google shares that are valued at 641$ by the time I write this article.

Anything else we Should Know about the American Social Network?

Latest rumor would be that Facebook’d like to be a new actor in the mobile phone’s market.
So far, it has been denied. But you know what they say: Rumors always have a part of truth.

Too Many Ads on Your Website Could Harm SEO

No Ads

Google will be paying more attention to the ads on websites. The search engine’s goal is to penalize websites that abuse of advertising, said Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, during his keynote session at PubCon in Las Vegas.

Google Penalizes Ad Heavy Pages

Google’s search algorithm will be able to analyze the proportion of ads, as well as their visibility compared to the real content of the page.

Ad heavy websites usually make it difficult for users to find good content on web pages, notably because ads usually obscure content. 

Others websites that abuse of advertising also try to fool users in making them believe ads are part of the content, especially affiliated websites that want monetize their website by generating more traffic through sponsored links. 

In these both cases, websites may be considered as spam by Google, and see their rankings dramatically decrease.

Above The Fold Ads

Besides, displaying too many ads in the “above the fold” section of your website is also something to avoid in terms of SEO.  “Above the fold” is the area of a webpage that can be visible without scrolling. 

However, this announcement is a bit odd since Google AdSense advices you to place ads above the fold.

Google Is Not Perfect

Matt Cutts also admitted that Google’s search algorithm still occasionally makes mistakes and unfairly marks a website as spam. 

If your website has been marked as spam but you don't agree with this decision, you can report the problem to his team of spam experts.

SEO always evolving

As Matt Cutts noticed, “SEO will always be evolving”. Google strives to deliver a better search experience to users with better, fresher, and more personalized results.

After every update on search algorithmic or release of new Google service such as Google Instant, everyone wonders whether SEO is dead, or even whether SEO is spam.

Well, SEO survived Panda update, and will survive Google’s latest search algorithm update that allows users to get fresher results.

Read more about our SEO tips for Google and Baidu.

Online Ad Revenue to Pass Newspapers


The Internet is expected to beat newspapers in advertising revenues in China by 2012, according to a recent report released by the Data Center of China Internet (DCCI).

Online ads still behind TV and newspapers

Online advertising revenues are expected to reach 46 billion yuan, thus passing the 42 billion yuan earned by newspapers, by 2012.

Therefore, the Internet will become the second-largest media for advertising in China, behind television advertising.

Last year, television advertising revenue hit 76 billion yuan, far ahead of newspapers (37 billion yuan) and online ads (26 billion yuan).

China’s online advertising market is underestimated

Although online advertising is going to grab some share in country's advertising market, its value is still underestimated.

Indeed, there is still a huge disparity between Internet user penetration rates, and the proportion of online advertising accounting for the whole advertising market. 

Internet users in China reached 450 million in November 2010, and thus represented around 34% of the overall population. However, online advertising only accounted for 11% of the market in 2010. 

China’s online advertising market will continue to grow dramatically as advertisers begin to recognize the marketing value of online videos, social networking sites and other types of Internet products. 

Advertising revenues in China's major media (billion yuan)

Advertising revenues in China's major media (billion yuan)

The biggest advertiser online in China in 2010 was the computer industry (36% of total online advertising spending), followed by automotive, clothing, and real estate. 

CTR Stopped Declining


A recent global study by mediamind shows that CTR (Click Through Rate) of standard banners has been declining for several years.

Indeed, average CTR was 0.16% in July 2006 and gradually decreased to 0.12% in January 2007, 0.11% in January 2008, and 0.08% in January 2009. 

Average CTR stabilized

However, it now seems that CTR has stabilized around 0.09% since January 2010.

CTR (Click-Through Rate) 2006-2010

Click screenshot to enlarge

More ads means smaller CTR

This overall decline between 2006 and 2010 may be explained by two major reasons:

Frist, an increase in the number of display banners on websites makes them less and less novel to users which in turn effects their willingness to click on ads.

Second, the dramatic development of online advertising has resulted in users being exposed to more and more ads. However, the number of ads that a user clicked on did not catch up with the number of ads displayed, thus resulting in a decline of the overall CTR.

Small display spending doesn't mean high CTR in China

Below is an analysis comparing CTR and average display spending per household in several countries.

Display spending per Internet household and CTR

Click screenshot to enlarge

The study shows that the more money spent on display banner advertisement (i.e. the more users are exposed to display ads), the more CTR declines.

For instance, countries, like USA and Japan, with higher online display spending per household tend to have a lower CTR. On the contrary, other countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Russia, with lower display spending, have a higher CTR.

In China, both display spending per Internet household and CTR are rather low compared to other countries.

MSN Launches Advertising Platform in China


The Microsoft Network (MSN) has launched its advertising platform adCenter in China.

Microsoft adCenter targets Chinese exporters

The US Internet giant says it wants to target Chinese exporters willing to advertise overseas. Microsoft adCenter helps businesses advertise online such as on Microsoft's Bing search engine.

The service will earn profits via selling English key words to Chinese companies. These key words, once purchased, appear on search results of Bing, MSN's portal websites, Wall Street Journal, and some famous social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook.

Currently, Microsoft adCenter operates in the US, Canada, UK, France, and Singapore. Microsoft hopes revenue from the pay-per-click ads will account for half of MSN China's business in the future.

Google vs. Microsoft, battle of China

By launching adCenter in ChinaMicrosoft clearly wants to grab market share from rival Google.

In January, Google said it would not filter its content according to Chinese regulation, and threatened to pull out of the country. It later shut down its Chinese site, redirecting  mainland users to its unfiltered site in Hong Kong.

In July, following its standoff with Beijing over filtering search results, Google cut ties with two major Chinese advertising agencies, namely Universal Internet Media and Xi'an Weihua Network.

Google's advertising platform AdWords accounts for about 20% of China's online market. Contrary to Baidu which dominates the market, Bing has a tiny market share, that is why Microsoft looks for a search engine partner in China.

Google is Using You to Promote Your Competitors!


Do you know that Gmail uses your information to display ads promoting your competitors? I know that can sound weird but let me explain about what I discovered.

Gmail displays ads relevant to your interests

A prospect used his personal email address to send me a message. He was asking me for more information about our web design and SEO services. Nothing amazing here. Yet, when I read his message in my Gmail inbox, I saw ads related to LED companies.

OK, I know that the ads that appear next to my Gmail messages are related to my interests. Google uses a contextual advertising technology, so that these ads can be be relevant to my interests. The technology isn't only based on the information contained in the displayed message but also on any recent messages in my inbox. 
However, what is amazing here is that there wasn't any word about LED in the message, neither in any of my previous messages. So, why did Google show me ads about LEDs?
Gmail inbox screenshot

But Gmail promotes your competitors behind your back too

I actually figured out that my potential customer's company operates in the LED sector. Gmail knew his interests in LEDs and thought that I could be interested in LEDs too. In the end, Gmail was promoting LED companies which were actually his company's competitors!

Ok, now what if he was writing one of his prospects?

Well, his prospect would have the email, and next to it the competitors' ads! Isn't that crazy?! Google puts it that way : if you're interested in LED, and you write to someone, this someone could be interested in LED's too! yeah, sure that someone could click and give money to google adwords... But google use me to target my prospects and show them my competitors to increase his revenues !!

Does that mean that when I write people using my gmail to their gmail... google displays web design and seo ads? that could seriously piss me off... what about you?

What if I am using a Hotmail / Yahoo, or any other Email client?

Well, then Google cannot track me easily, and gmail will probably not show relevant ads when I write anyone. Which means that they cannot use me to take my prospects away anymore...

Google is in fact encouraging us to use their competitors' emails services ...


Why does Google do that?

For obvious reasons, to increase the number of clicks on the ads displayed within gmail and thus earn more money. Usually, when Google has to chose between increasing money AND user privacy/scandal, they chose the latter. May I remind you that they don't display ads on their homepage (well, actually they do for their own services and Chrome, but that's fine). I think it's a very stupid move from them... and I wouldn't be surprised to see them change their policy if there was a scandal. The thing is, very few people know about it, so there is no scandal... for now.

My advice would be then to not use your Gmail account for professional purposes, otherwise google could use you to promote your competitors behind your back!
Oh ! wait... do they do the same with Google APPS, that target mainly companies... maybe it's time to avoid Gmail...

Google AdWords changes its trademark policy in Europe


Google announced yesterday that it would change its policy allowing trademark owners to request the exclusive use of trademarked search keywords in its online advertising service Google AdWords

Already in place in Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the US, the new policy will be effective in Europe in September.

Google AdWords allows advertisers to use trademarked keywords

Under the previous system, brand owners could file a trademark complaint with Google that would ban third-party advertisers from using search trademarked keywords. 

However, the European Court of Justice ruled in March that allowing third parties to bid for trademarked keywords was within the bounds of intellectual property law. 

The brand owners will still have the right to file complaints with Google which will take the ads down if they agree that the origin of the goods is confusing like in the case of counterfeits.

More relevant results, more revenue

Google thinks that auctioning the trademarked keywords to multiple bidders allows the search engine's users to find more relevant results like reviews, second-hand sellers and retail locations.

It will also enable Google to boost its own earnings from online advertising which account for 97% of its overall revenues.

Google launches location-based mobile display ads


Google introduced AdWords location extensions that let advertisers put their businesses' location and phone number on a Google map ad for mobile websites and applications. The company is looking to target ads to smartphone users who often use Google Maps to get directions and find businesses.

Ads on Google Maps with location extensions

Google Maps users will see such ads surface as banner text ads with a business icon that expands to show the business location on a Google map along with the ad creative, click-to-call phone number and directions.

Click-to-call ads let advertisers add local business numbers alongside their destination URLs in mobile search ads. When smartphone users search for a local business from their mobile phone (such as Apple's iPhone and Android phones) and see ads that have these numbers, they may simply click the number to call the business.

While one may think that a Google ad that leverages user location would leverage the GPS capabilities of handsets as well as Google's location servers, Google will merely use IP addresses to determine users' locations.

Location extensions ads have greater ROIs

Business advertisers are actually not charged when users click to expand the map or get directions, advertisers are only charged when a user clicks to call the business or clicks to visit its website.

Click-through rates are also up 6% when Google provides a phone number and 8% when it offers a local address with ads.

Google launches new image search ads

Google unveiled a new design for Google Images which comes alongside the launch of a new ad product.

Google Images new design

Google rolled-out a new design for its image search product Google Images. It consists of a tiled layout with instant scrolling between pages and larger thumbnails.

New design for Google Images Screenshot

The new design enables you to scroll up to a thousand images in one page. Larger thumbnail previews on the results page and the hover pane that appears when you mouse over a thumbnail reminds me of Bing's image search, as you can see below:

Bing images search screenshot

New "Image Search Ads"

Google has also launched a new type of ad format called “Image Search Ads” that allows advertisers to include text AND thumbnail images in ads, above regular image search results.

There have always been text ads along Google Images but never with pictures (except a few cases). Now, everyone can easily advertise on Google Images with pictures.
The ads don't interfere with organic search results. As Google says, they're clearly marked as sponsored links, with a different color background. Check it out yourself:
Google Images with pictures ads screenshot
The new format will pop up only on Google Images for right now but Google explores possibilities to adopt the format on other products including their search engine.
Google Images is actually doing over a billion pageviews a day. When Google Images launched in 2001, 250 million images were indexed. Today, there are over 10 billion images indexed! in China is now!

google china advertising offline for its new web address

 Google china, while might still be leaving, is now advertising offline and online for its new web address

go on, just try this google new chinese url by clicking here

It's actually just a redirection 301 to this address

As you can see, there is a source tag at the end of the address so that the google guys eventually know how many people are using and how many are still using, that let's them see two things :

1) If their advertising is efficient, to make people aware of

2) If the new address is used, because people might still type thanks to old habits.

Google, don't do Evil

What I also noticed is that they advertise on... their homepage. Wasn't that the sacred page of google, free of advertising, sometimes even free of everything.

And they do it in a very suprising way. Offline, they use buses, which is totally ok. but Online, They use a kind of subliminal advertising: when you reach their homepage, you see a big for less than half a second! People around me had it and didn't even notice it, because it disappears in the blink of an eye.

What the hell is going on at google china?


ps: thanks to cedric from pharos education for the picture. And Guys, if you have a camera and picture something interesting, feel free contacting me!

pps: those of you who tried, well, it doesn't work, i tried it too ;o)