Microhoo: Back on the Table

As reported on NPR and everywhere else, game on!

Compared to last time, I think the odds of a deal going through now are much better.

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Keyword Research Tools

Lee Odden is running a poll on search marketers' favorite keyword research tools.

I do use and/or recognize most of those listed therein... A couple of them I've never heard of despite how I normally keep about 30+ tools on-hand for keyword research and analysis specifically.

I don't have a hard favorite, but the one I'd pick if I were limited to using only one (I normally don't settle for that for any given project), that one is in there... I won't say which it would be but I will say it's not the one leading in the poll, also it probably won't be the one to win which is kinda how I'd like it. Though many tools have redundancies in between my opinions here are pretty strong. On one hand I'd love to see certain tools get more developed, on the other if all SEOs were standardizing on them that would ruin some of the fun.

Anyway... Right now what I could really use would be a great keyword research tool for Chinese engines. Short of Baidu's popularity checker, Google Trends and Adwords, and the Chinese version of the Yahoo / Overture DTC it's still slim pickin's out there on that front as far as I can tell.

Wo bu hui jiang jon wen.

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do

About a week ago a lot of bloggers were up in arms about Yahoo of all people committing a bit of cloaking.

When things like this happen, sometimes it's just a reminder that nobody's infallible, even those who set the guidelines against which many marketers work.

However, sometimes it's something else. With the complexities of search, advanced work sometimes comes down to consciously committing certain acts that would otherwise normally be flagged as worst practice. N00bs should note that "Do as I Say, Not as I Do" comes up in search marketing from time to time, in association with this.

Take for example this image. It's from this page from the site of SMX, the new event series kicking off next week in Seattle.

Looks like a classic mistake: text as an image needlessly, right?

Wrong. It's not walking out on a weak limb to assume this most likely a very conscious site building decision.

The giveaway is in the site itself, and who it's catering to: Advanced search marketers. So of course, the team building this site wouldn't be caught with their pants down doing something like this. Calling them on it would be like the first-year music theory student who struts into class one morning proclaiming

I found a mistake that Bach made!

only to find the professor's reply is

Bach was one of the people who pioneered and wrote what eventually became the rules. What you found was not a mistake, but part of that process playing out.

Having this bit of text as an image helps preserve a bit of confidentiality and/or juice exclusivity. Unlike how content related to speakers and sponsors is presented, it helps avoid passing casually content love between the SMX brand and those of the attendees.

Simple, subtle, effective.

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Microhoo ("Micro-WHO?!?")

Microhoo (R)

Regarding to-day's Valleywag:

Google reported serious profits last quarter.

For a while now Microsoft has been called a big old giant getting left in the dust trying to reawaken (lots of $ in the bank left, just not enough to buy Google). Apps are moving off the desktop (they traditionally rule) onto the 'Net so they need to be able to evolve with that, if it's going to really be the future.

Yahoo posted unfortunate numbers from last quarter. There was a time when Yahoo could've bought Google, but Yahoo's CEO at the time particularly - a veteran not of Silicon Valley but of Hollywood - reportedly balked at Google's asking price. That move that may go down in infamy on par with the legend of the disinterest HP showed in Steve Wozniak's early prototypes for what (after he left HP to start Apple with Steve Jobs) eventually became the first Macintosh computer.

Google's eaten both of their lunches in search and has other strategic developments well underway:

  • Google Apps (like MS Office only from Google, and web-based instead of desktop-based)
  • Projects like Google Base raising eyebrows with everyone from commerce companies like eBay and Amazon, to media companies (e.g. Viacom) and others.
  • Petascale datacenters being built around the world to scale with the rapid growth of the Web and the world's information, which is a pretty serious concern (geek flashback: in the early decades of computing, machines big enough to fill much of our 3rd floor had less power than what currently lives in a modern cell phone).
  • Increased business development in China and other parts of Asia
  • A cozy-up with Apple around the pending iPhone (supports Google Maps as unveiled at Macworld)
  • And of course, recent acquisitions of YouTube and Doubleclick to expand their lifeblood advertising empire...
  • ...and who knows what other acquisitions of tiny startups or other companies they occasionally make without announcing it.

The idea of Microsoft and Yahoo in potential merger talks again hardly sounds illogical. Bring it, I say!

Predictions, anyone? Remember if you place any serious bets on it, there's always the option to do it in Second Life instead of meatspace... because it's also not so illogical that this could be bullshit (with one or more agendas behind it). 😉

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Wanted: Senior Analyst

Job Description

The Senior Analyst manages the data processing, testing, analysis, and determines data-driven strategy for our client advertising and marketing campaigns. This position will also work closely with their respective media, account and project management counterparts in ensuring campaign objectives are appropriately tracked and optimized. The Senior Analyst will design relevant marketing tests within the context of our campaigns that lead to improved learning and performance, analyze campaign activity from a variety of sources and provide compelling case studies by employing their analytic insight and present their findings, highlighting the key trends and learnings to our clients.


  • Develop measurable campaign objectives, and enable their tracking through site or 3rd party measurement tools: selection, implementation, usage
  • Define base metrics to inform current and future campaigns
  • Collect, normalize, and report on campaigns histories and current activity
  • Analyze performance reports for optimization and learning
  • Develop and present analysis to clients
  • Provide team leadership with media, creative, and account management
  • Manage day-to-day relationships with 3rd party vendors
  • Other duties as assigned


  • 3+ years web analysis experience including SEM (PPC, Paid Inclusion)
  • Excellent writing and editing capabilities
  • Familiarity with online analytics measures, terminology, benchmarks
  • Detail-oriented, with high standards for data accuracy and integrity, and quality of thinking and presentation
  • Excel skills, including pivot tables and vLOOKUPs for data manipulation
  • PowerPoint presentation skills
  • Ability to recognize and correct data problems and inconsistencies
  • Self-motivated, deadline-driven, ability to support multiple projects at a time
  • Understanding of strengths, challenges and complexities of online tracking
  • Skills with 3rd-party ad servers: DART, AtlasDMT, Mediaplex
  • Skills with 3rd-party site-side tools: Omniture SiteCatalyst, WebsideStory Hitbox, WebTrends, Coremetrics, Google Analytics
  • Understanding of statistical analyses, databases and site building basics
  • Bonuses: Experience with A/B and multivariate creative testing, experimental design, SAS or SPSS, e-mail campaign analysis, SEO

Agency.com San Francisco
55 Union Street
3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
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V: +1 415 817 3800
F: +1 415 817 3801

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Based out of Northern California, bl.asphemo.us is a bl.og dedicated to the advocacy and study of high-impact, data driven marketing disciplines and related concerns: Analytics and Data Mining, Marketing Automation, Integrated Advertising (targeting, retargeting), Demand Generation and Lead Nurturing, Social Media / Social Engineering (Crowd-hacking) and the new PR, Privacy, Security, CRM, SEO / SEM, CRO, ROI... more TLAs (three letter acronyms) than any sane person's daily lexicon should include.

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