Business issues - a general catchall for all seo business related discussions

An Economists View on Click Fraud - Reyes talking Bollocks?

Thread Title: An Economists View on Click Fraud Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jupiter analyst Niki Scevak gives an economists view on click fraud in the post threadlinked above.

In light of what Google CFO George Reyes said about click fraud threatening the G biz model Niki's thoughts on the subject make for a good read:

Firstly, click fraud is a bad thing that should be policed and eliminated by the engines and they have no excuse now that they have $50bn market valuations to hire scores of click fraud cops to eliminate it. But it will have zero impact on Google's revenue, or any other search company, and zero impact on the growth of that revenue.

Here's why. Click fraud is already priced into the cost per click. Marketers bid based upon how well the leads that Google and others send them convert into, in most cases, direct sales. That means that if one person out of every hundred buy, and they make $100 per sale then they will spend up to $1 per click. Now out of that 100 clicks, the fact that 50 (gross exageration used for effect!) of them are click fraud is irrelevant. If Google eliminates click fraud then that means that one person out of fifty will now buy, and so the marketer will be willing to pay up to $2 per click now.

The volume will decrease but the cost per click will rise to balance this.

Emphasis mine.

He goes on to say that Reyes would be better off doing his accounting than spouting off about click fraud (paraphrased heh..).

So, is George Reyes just spouting off about stuff he doesn't understand? Probably not eh? If that's the case, why is he making these statements?

Meckler on Vertical Markets

Thread Title: Vertical, Vertical, Vertical Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nice post by Jupiter boss Alan Meckler on, yep, you guessed it - vertical markets..

The fact is that this trend has been going on for years. But it is only in the previous few months that the business press is realizing that vertical "is in." Just as Danny Sullivan is predicting that vertical Search Engines might well be the next wave of Search, vertical shopping is already the next wave of etailing. We are even seeing this in the verticality of auctions sites, event ticket sites, travel sites and and a host of other fields.

Verticality is what has made our JupiterWeb sites more significant than the tired horizontal tech trade print magazines. Going further, our owns the editorial side of the Search ad industry -- an honor that 5 years ago would have been part of the industry weekly Advertising Age

Interesting if not entirely new stuff...

Paying for Online Content - Poor Figures and Dismal Future

Thread Title: The right price for cyberspace Thread Url: Thread Description:

Every now and again you hear rumbles of "the free web cannot last" and the like from somewhere or another, it's become a regular part of the underlying debate on the internet itself.

The struggle to fleece consumers continues though despite seriously shite figures from the first half of this year. This FT report comes in via PC and makes for a good read. The upside of paid content is the emergence and almost certain boom in mobile content delivery - subscribers are used to paying for starters and carriers are adept at sneaking costs and profit margins in as "usage costs".

Trashing Competitors via their Comments System

Thread Title: Campaign of criticism on Web Design from Scratch Thread Url: Thread Description:

Scenario: You set up your business site listing services you offer and you enable user comments - Along comes either a competitor or someone with an axe to grind with you and starts trashing you, your company and your services using your own website.

Some would say it's a stupid move to enable comments at all, Kim Krause certainly doesnt think it wise:

Ben, isn't allowing comments (uncensored) on a services page a little like shooting yourself in the foot?

For myself, I've come to regard comments as an excuse to trash people and spread hatred. It's a free pass and it's just too easy for people to use them to get away with things they might not say to people in person - face to face. When comments become weapons, they lose their worth in my eyes.

Having had a fun time with this particular member of cre8asiteforums when i dared critisize his website in a "review my site" thread I'd say he's being a little over-dramatic but it does pose some interesting questions:

Does opening up your products or services to public debate help or hinder? Is it adding value or creating a PR nightmare?

Personally im all in favor but with the caveat of "with moderation" - you can't stop people from criticizing if you open yourself up to it and invite it of course but you can weed out the obvious trolls.

Commenting on products/services - What do you think?

Social Media used in Knowledge Mgt for Businesses

Thread Title: venue A/Razorfish uses blogs & social networks for internal collaboration Thread Url: Thread Description:

Forresters Charlene Li has an interesting post about how AA/Razorfish use blogs and social media for knowledge management, peer review and team collaboration.

"Forrester envisions a day when new employees on their first day will be handed a sheet of paper with their phone number, email address — and a URL for their blog. The company would give all of its employees a personal internal blog where they could provide project updates, trip reports, and market intelligence — anything that they think others should know about the work that they are doing. This information could then be tied into the company's VoIP phone system — for internal calls, the caller's photo, title, bio, and a link to his blog would appear on the computer screen. The blog content would give context and background for the call, making it unnecessary to send extra emails or to have extensive discussions about a project."

Reinventing CRM - Top 10 Revolutionary Technologies

Thread Title: 10 Technologies That Are Reinventing the CRM Industry Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nice article over at with good write ups on each of the following tech.

VoIP Web Services and Services Oriented Architecture Speech Applications Outsourced Application Delivery Social Networking Wireless Connectivity and Applications Presence Technologies (RFID, POS) Open Source CRM Embedded Analytics and Business Intelligence Queue Management

Nice shortened list lifted from Dana's Blog

Ecom: What to do with Dead or Slow Moving Inventory

Thread Title: Are you on top of your inventory? Thread Url: Thread Description:

So you have a pile of dead stock taking up space in the warehouse, or a product is showing serious signs of being dead in the water from the get go, whaddaya do?

sun818 asks the above of the wmw ecom guys and get's some good answers and discussion for his trouble.

From luckychucky

I have a huge dataBase of strong buyers, my solid regular customers, and they certainly love a good deal. Problem is I don't want to ruin them with a flood of crappy merchandise sold at my cost. For one thing, they'd get stuck with slow-moving stinkers which would haunt their future opinion/ re-ordering of my products. They won't remember the bargain offload price. They'll only see unsold, dead merchandise and think of me, full of resentment at having been duped, burning with regret over getting suckered into a ton of junk, just because they couldn't resist a bargain..

and from Rogerd

The really, really important thing is to spot the bad inventory EARLY while you still may be able to market it at a reasonable price. If you sell fruit or fish, your inventory will let you know when it is going bad; if you sell computer parts, fashion merchandise, or anything else, though, you'll have to rely on your sales tracking systems.

I've had good luck with closeout flyers (by mail) or "specials" pages (on the web) to move odds and ends at a reasonable price. If you've made a major buying error, though, relying on some kind of jobber/liquidator may make sense.

Google News Bombing - A New but Unsurprising Twist

Thread Title: Personal Attacks Make Google News Thread Url: Thread Description:

Yesterday Threadwatch reported on teh bizzare case of Psycho Boy Jacek Rutkowski's disturbingly insane obsession with Russell Beattie. Russell is a well read blogger who likes to mess with mobile phones and was recently hired by Yahoo!

Following Russell's post, Threadwatch and countless others reported the story and linked Psycho Freak's name to the post Beattie was forced to put up to defend himself. see the results here. -- that's a name bomb okay? Right, well it turns out that the psycho boy (that's a name bomb to) website is indexed by google news.

So, we now have Google News Bombs - see the damage here. This new twist on the classic name bomb is a little more disturbing as Dave Winer writes as it can add a note of real legitimacy to results pages.

This site, like Dave's is not indexed by G news (GG, you wanna lend a hand here? lol..) which is a shame, Dave's is because (presumably) it is news only written by one person and thus falls outside of their incusion criteria (i couldnt find a link for this but was once rejected for the news source only being written by one person) This site is probably just to new and i've not tried to suggest it.

PayPal Profiting from Fraud at the Expense of Merchants?

Thread Title: Fraud - Whose responsibility? (PayPal) Thread Url: Thread Description:

JohnScott over at V7N is talking about an interesting clause in the PayPal agreement which essentially covers chargebacks, there are some particularly intriguing arguments in the thread but what it boils down to is you get charged $10 if someone lies to paypal - sounds a might iffy to me and John certainly thinks so:

How does PayPal suppose that we are to avoid it? PayPal is the one who knows the credit card number, the address associated with the credit card, the three digits on the back of the credit card, etc. By being a payment processor, I'd think they were be in the ideal position to assess the legitimacy of a credit card purchase.

They always come through as "un-authorized", so it's not a matter of the customer asking for a refund. It's a matter of the customer lying to PayPal and saying he didn't use his account to submit.

Buyer Complaint Process Requirements

In order for a transaction to be eligible for Buyer Complaint Process review:

* You must have used PayPal to pay for your purchase. * You must not have received the item that you purchased. * You must file a claim within 30 days of payment. * Your purchase must be a tangible item. Services and intangible items, such as emailed recipes and e-books, are not covered.

According to that, a person who submits to BlueFind isn't even eligible to complain to PayPal about it. It isn't a tangible item.

And, if a dork wanted a refund they could just ask me to refund them and remove the listing. I've refunded payments on many occasions when the submitter wanted to be listed in a category that wasn't suitable for the site.

Apparently this is from his directory submissions where one charming individual keeps deciding that he didnt really make those submissions..

Google Sued for Copyright Infringement & Unfair Competition

Thread Title: Pornographer sues Google on 12 grounds Thread Url: Thread Description:

Seems that Google may be in hot water for Copyright infringement - a porn mag (http:/*/ is claiming this and unfair competition over use of their images by Google. We talked about copyright and search engines just last week. and in that thread Woz said:

Basically the SEs are working in reverse to copyright law and often cross the line IMO. My prediction is that one day there will be a major court action which will shake up the SE business big time.

Here's a couple of quotes from John Palfrey's blog (threadlinked above):

A pornography publisher, Perfect 10 -- I'm sure you could find it if even I don't link to it! -- filed suit in federal district court in California against Google and 100 does yesterday on Friday, November 19, 2004, according to the complaint (I have redacted the complaint to remove pages 36 - 54, which include graphic images). Perfect 10's 12 claims listed in the complaint include alleged infringements of copyright, trademark, and right of publicity as well as unfair competition.

In short, Perfect 10 says: Google is profiting -- a lot -- from the bad acts of others and they should stop doing it and pay us for what they've done. Unpack the logic and it gets tortured pretty quickly (I'm sure Perfect 10 has *never* gotten any of its purported 100,000 unique visitors per month from Google nor have any of them paid the $25.50 per month for access), but the gist of their argument is plain. I suspect that Perfect 10 will not be the last to go after Google's riches with such a series of claims.

and some more from this Red Herring story

Most of the violations alleged by Perfect 10 are copyright claims. The suit states that Google’s search results pull up photos of nude female models that belong to Perfect 10. These search results, according to the suit, constitute an infringement. Google’s search picks up the photos from other Internet locations, which are described in the lawsuit as “stolen content sites,” or web sites that steal images and allow Internet users to avoid paying subscription or membership fees for members-only pornography web sites. charges $25.50 per month and counts 100,000 visitors per month.

Ecom Guys - Want to sell more stuff?

Thread Title: Profit margin for return/refund policy Thread Url: Thread Description:

Its a good subject, really more business 101 than www 101 but enlightend by;

"As a whole, most e-commerce customers don't return products, but feel that the ABILITY to do so is vital. It's like a buffet... nobody ever eats $10 worth of food, but they like that they could if they wanted to."

Deab has a great point too, turn a legal obligation into a selling point. [I believe our American comrades would call that a win-win scenario]. pages - Admissible as Evidence

Thread Title: Internet Archive’s Web Page Snapshots Held Admissible as Evidence Thread Url: Thread Description:

The Standford Law School for Internet & Society are reporting that a US judge has ruled that's Way Back Machine pages are admissible as evidence.

Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys rejected Polska’s assertion of hearsay, holding that the archived copies were not themselves statements susceptible to hearsay exclusion, since they merely showed what Polska had previously posted on its site. He also noted that, since Polska was seeking to suppress evidence of its own previous statements, the snapshots would not be barred even if they were hearsay. Over Polska’s objection, Judge Keys accepted an affidavit from an Internet Archive employee as sufficient to authenticate the snapshots for admissibility.

Story via BoingBoing

Using PageRank for Economic Gain

Thread Title: Thoughts about the PR Economy Thread Url: Thread Description:

These are some thoughts I've had recently after reading some posts about "Limited PR Theory" and the doubling of the Google index.

With the recent rise in importance of inbound links in the latest Google algorithms webmasters have begun enormous link building campaigns, adding link directories to their sites, gaining reciprocal and triangular links etc. I've been thinking more and more about how PR has become a virtual commodity which has a real monetary value. If you look at the money markets, you find that traders can make millions of dollars on minor fluctuations in prices between different currencies. If this theory is applied to the economy of PR then it is plain to see that due to the irregular updates to PR a company could exploit the same principle e.g.

A New Rule in SEO: The Beckham Rule

Thread Title: David Beckham and SEO Thread Url: Thread Description:

This is one of those threads that makes you think. NFFC applies soccer to SEO in such a way to make the point: Rules affect behavior, and you really need to think ahead of the search engines.

Search Marketing Association EU Launch Public Blog

Thread Title: Search Marketing Association EU - Public Blog goes Live Today Thread Url: Thread Description:

SMA-EU have launched a blog, a good start regarding member communications and hopefully an indication of the kind of commitment to members and interested parties one would hope for in light of sempo's shameful attitude to such issues.

Mikkel deMib Svendsen

There are many ways to communicate with members of an organization like SMA – blogging is one of the fastest and least intrusive ones. We will be sending out news on the mailing list too and probably host a local forum too when time is ready for that but to speed up communication we decided a blog would be a good start. This is an easy way for the working group to keep coming members up-to-date on what we do and not the least provide members with tool to comment it all.

Andy Atkins-Krüger

An association that represents its membership needs excellent communication - and communication is a TWO-WAY process. Blogs and forums are especially good at that so this is the first of those.!

Do Search Engines have the Right to Copy your Content?

Thread Title: has Google got the right to display my website? Thread Url: Thread Description:

This is always a topic of some contention: Does an SE have the legal right to copy, cache or just list links to a website. This WPW thread is frought with silly replies that totally miss the OP's point but amongst the garbage there are a few sensible comments on the legalities of SE's and copyrights.

thecat starts out with what to me is a pretty simple question:

Why has Google or any other SE got the right to display my website on its search engine? does it own the web?

if I took someone elses content or title and keywords and put the information on my site i'd be in trouble, so why can google or other SE's?

This is followed by a truck load of nonsense posts along the lines of "robots.txt", "because they can", "it's just how it works!". It's not untill quite late in the thread that PikoTech finally breaks the stranglehold of silliness and adds this to the fray:

Google labs actually have on their terms and conditions page that "You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the Site." (

Yet although they do have a robots.txt file for Yahoo! do have the Google labs website in their index. And I'm doubting very much that they wrote to Google to get written permission to add it to their index.

Does that mean Yahoo! should be prosecuted by Google? Also does that mean Yahoo! ignores robots.txt

after minstrel says point blank that SE's have the right to copy content the OP (thecat) asks "So if they have the right, do we?" and oh my, i just cant bring myself to repeat what follows lol! Go check it out, its a very, very funny thread.

Getting Down to Business

As far as i can tell, publishing links and snippets as descriptions would all be covered under "fair use" - this has been stated many times by many people. It's when you start talking about the idea of anyone displaying your entire web page (as in an SE cache) that the boundaries of fair use start to blur and we get to the real debate.

In Search of a Business Model for Bloggers

Thread Title: Betting on Tools that Power Blogs Thread Url: Thread Description:

Olga Kharif of BusinessWeek compares the blogging business model search with the early days of the commercial net and how, like then, picks and shovels are doing far better than anything else right now as VC's plough big cash into enablers and information culling.

The independent-minded blogging community may be chagrined to see, however, that the most obvious money in blogging is in the software that helps big companies establish and manage corporate blogs, as well as software that culls data from the ever-growing blogosphere. It's much like the early days of e-commerce. While e-tailers were spending and spending to build their Web sites, e-commerce software makers were raking in the cash. To use an analogy to California's gold rush: It wasn't the miners who got rich, it was the people who sold the picks and shovels.

That's certainly where venture capitalists are putting their money. "Anybody in the industry who says people haven't figured out how to make money on blogging are being ridiculous," says Brad Feld, a managing director at Technorati investor Mobius Venture Capital in Superior, Colo

Story via PaidContent

Push & Pull SEO - How to Draw Customers into a Bricks n Mortar Biz

Thread Title: Restaurant Promotion Thread Url: Thread Description:

Hyperperformance asks:

My question is that I would like to know of any suggestions or successful promotion campaigns that we can use here in taking advantage of a push/pull scenario. You know, push them to the "new" site with a promo that pushes them back to the resaurants?

He's getting some great advice from the HRF members! I especially like Scottie's idea for wine tasting nights. I just hope this restaurant is close to me so I can join in on the fun! ;)

Defensive SEO - Copyright KungFu & Name Trading Kick Ass Karate

Thread Title: How can you use SEO defensively? Thread Url: Thread Description:

This is a great thread, a real cracker! - No idea why the boys and girls at cre8 havn't sent it my way. Sheesh!

kajax101 is asking about a scenario in which a competitor company might take advantage of a common misspelling of his company name to leech traffic and customers. Black_Knight comes in with some good advice regarding legal recourse and defensive SEO.

The thread winds and turns and covers many of the things that can happen when a competitor decides to do the dirty on you and how you might combat some of those moves.

Here's one danger pointed out by BK:

Reviews can be optimised for your trademarks and such, under fair use. They really are talking about your product. Thus they can optimise extensively both on site and through third-party links, for your trademarks and company name etc.

Following on from that SEBasic gives some interesting commentary on how cloaking might be used. Great thread!

Time Tracking & Billing Software for SEOs

Thread Title: Time Tracking and Billing Software Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nice discussion from the mods over at cr8 on billing and time tracking programs. Funny how it's only the mods and a few hardcore members that post over the weekend on many fora - guess that's why they mod, they dont take a break! heh..

Featured in the discussion are: BillQuick, MyOB and Quick Books.