Monthly Archives: January 2013

Google Product Listing Ad

Started from September last year, Google Shopping US started to only show Google Product Listing Ad (PLA). Merchants need to place a bid to display their product listings in the site. They also need to pay for the click/traffic generated from Google Shopping.

Normally, such a move will drive merchants / retailers to walk away. However, the opposite has happened. A Marin report said that their clients has increased spending in Google Product Listing Ad by 600 percents. Marin also found that PLA generally have a higher Click Through Rate (CTR) and lower Pay Per Click. That would be a signal for merchants and advertiser to increase their spend on this channel.

From product management point of view, this is a good product strategy to position PLA as a separate marketplace outside AdWords. The competition in AdWords is so keen that some advertisers have already thought that the PPC has grown so high even for those tail terms. To increase the overall yield from the search traffic, the best solution is to create a second advertising marketplace which has already built a tremendous user base.

Even through many merchants are not willing to see Google Shopping has become a paid service, they have no choice but continue to use the service because they need traffic from it.

Vine : 6 second video app

Vine : 6 second video app

Twitter just released its IOS apps a few days ago called Vine. User can create a 6 second looped video and share it with their friends. Some comments said that this move is a better use of UGC (User Generated Content). I think Twitter is actually paving the way for video advertising.

Twitter, is a text based social network website in the very beginning. In Jun 2011, it started to provide image upload and sharing feature in order to retain users. The latest move is simply a step forward to support video creation and sharing for Twitter user. Twitter put this feature up as a separate app is a smart move since video content creation is a relative complicated process. Twitter want to keep Twitter layout and feature neat and clear for communication rather than content creation. Keep it as a separate brand also enables the content dissemination across different social networking website.

Back to the Vine’s feature, it is so simple and some commentator simply called it the 6 second video Instagram. I think there are a few good reason why Twitter would like to restrict video length to be 6 seconds:

1. The Internet users nowadays are very inpatient. The 6 second length limit is even shorter than a TVC which used to be 10 seconds or longer. This 6 second limit is a challenge the status quo and also the users – how to better use that 6 second video (definitely they cannot insert 200+ images inside like cinema movies).

2. In the longer term, when Twitter users and other vine users are used to that 6 second limit, will it be a new video ad format? Thank about the youtube video ad that users can skip the video after a few seconds. If the video ad is just 6 seconds long, it will be viewed completely before being stopped. As a result, advertisers can communicate the whole ad message to their target audience which will postively impact the campaign effectiveness.

3. The third point is also ad related. With this video content creation app available, Twitter can also unblock the advertisers who are affordable for video ad creation.

All these suggested why BlackRock was just reported last Friday (1/25/2013) that she has taken an USD 80 million stake in Twitter.

Google Ads Preference Manager

When it was rolled in 2011, there were posts saying that Google’s Ads Preferences Manager does not work. After almost 1 year and a half, the product has improved itself in both user experience, visibility as well as control.

'Why this Ad' feature in Google SERP

‘Why this Ad’ feature in Google SERP

The tool available when you click on ‘why this ad’ textlink at the top right hand corner of the ad module at the top. When you click on it, you will see the list of Ad showed in the result page. It will explained to you, 1 by 1, why the ad was matched and shown, e.g. it’s perfect matched to the search query, or it is related to the queries you have ever searched.

On the other hand, I’ve found something interesting that the Ads Preference Manager is also available directly along an Ad. Earlier today, I searched for ‘hosting service’ and there was a ‘Google AdWords’ ad in the right reel of the result page. Below the Ad Listing, there is a textlink enbled me to ‘block all ads from adwords.google.com’.

Textlink enable user to 'block all ads from adwords.google.com'

Textlink enable user to ‘block all ads from adwords.google.com’

The blocking record was then available inside the Ads Preference Manager Interface so that I can unblock it sometime later if I change my mind.

I think this would be a 3-win situations that:

1. For users: Google gives more control for users to opt out seeing ad from certain advertisers.

2. For Google: the tool created another channel to collect user feedback to enhance their Ad Matching and Ad Personalization system as well

3. For Advertiser: this tool would reduce the wastage of the ad campaign and indirectly help them to optimize negative keywords for their campaigns

On the other hand, I would like to highlight that Google does a very good job in put a video on their page to explain what and why they are doing this. As a Google users, I am very happy about it. Here is the help page and the video:

Google Personalized Ad : HelpPage

Video on Ads Preference Manager:

Kim dotcom announced the new MEGA

Kim dotcom is a familiar name whose megaupload service was involved in PR infringement cases in 2012. Now, the company has just announced a new service called ‘MEGA’.

When I accessed the site www.mega.co.nz, it redirected me to kim.com/mega/ which showed the banner below:

mega.co.nz banner on 1/19/2013

mega.co.nz banner on 1/19/2013

The page said the new ‘MEGA’ users no need to install Mega Manager in all computer you used. Now, the upload and download manager software is available online with resume capability. User can also mount the MEGA service as a file system or even a drive letter.

In terms of speed, it would be even faster than because it is cloud based system  connected to large number of hosting partners instead of handful of premium storage nodes.

Per techcrunch, the service fee will be tier based with a basic package of 50GB storage for free. The low end package will be 500GB (1TB bandwidth) at €9.99 per month.