In case you missed any posts last week, here is the TKG blog highlight reel. Click below to read each post in full.
On the Road, Talking ‘Local Local’ and ‘National Local’
You learn a lot from talking to local advertisers. Occasionally, I get to leave my Ivory Tower, and give a speech or appear on a panel in front of local advertisers. Generally, I’m talking “Local Local.” A couple of weeks ago, I was in Atlanta to address the Buck Rogers society of the Photo Marketers Association (i.e., photo stores). What I found is that these prototypical small-business owners – in their 50s, all male and mostly bearded – are pretty much up-to-speed with their Web sites. They’ve also done a good job assembling e-mail lists. But they aren’t necessarily doing much with either of them. (read more…)
Solving the Online Video Monetization Challenge
Video search engine Blinkx has taken a considerable step toward monetization by developing an ad serving technology that contextually matches advertising with video clips. Known as Blinkx AdHoc, this will offer a few different ad formats including insertion of small text and graphic ads within video clips at appropriate moments, based on the same voice recognition technology that drives its flagship video search engine. This will bring Blinkx from a video search engine to a publisher network consisting of more than 12 million hours of video to be monetized – a video AdSense of sorts. Speaking of Google, it too is rumored to have video ad matching technology in development, which combined with AdWords and AdSense would make it a powerful force in this developing space with lots of implications for local. (read more…)
Yahoo! Makes First Post-Semel Move
Answering the question posed yesterday (“Where do we go from here?“), Yahoo!’s first move out of the gate in the post Terry Semel era was to acquire high school and collegiate sporting site Rivals.com for a rumored $100 million. This is a content move, meant to bolster the artillery of Yahoo!’s media group, which has floundered in many ways since the departure of its head, Lloyd Braun (Braun’s departure happened in conjunction with December’s corporate reorg). The wheels for this move were in motion before Semel resigned earlier this week. (read more…)
Dex Gets a Web 2.0 Injection
R.H. Donnelley’s DexOnline got a face-lift, rebranding and a few functional enhancements yesterday. The new site, now known as DexKnows.com, was launched throughout Dex’s 14-state region and includes new personalization features (MyDex) and enhanced maps. These provide a noticeably improved site experience over the previous version. Personalization and Ajax-based mapping are becoming clear standards in local search, and IYPs, as they should be, are beginning to play ball in various ways. There also seems to be an uptick in site redesigns lately. Looking forward, using other trends in the IYP space as indicators, user-generated ratings and reviews could be next for Dex. (read more…)
Comedy Club Sells Local Ads in eNewsletter
I love to see examples of grassroots innovation in local online marketing. One of my favorites is an e-newsletter from Sprocket Entertainment, the producers of a local comedy night in my hometown of Carlsbad, CA. Sprocket is a start-up by two comedians that also produces shows in Spokane, WA. It gets everyone to sign up for the newsletter when they use PayPal to buy tickets to their once-a-month event at a renovated theater, which they consider an alternative night out for “people who aren’t into loud music and pickup bar scenes.” (read more…)
Yahoo (and MySpace): Where Do We Go From Here?
The New York Times reports today on the many directions possible for Yahoo! in the wake of Terry Semel’s resignation as chief executive. Among this range of options is everything from giving up on paid search (outsourcing Google to place search ads) to staying the course with Panama as well as the developing “amigos” newspaper consortium and the Right Media online ad exchange it recently purchased. These would represent a multi-pronged strategy to battle Google in its growing ad placement ambitions across a variety of formats and media – a battle Google appears to be winning. (read more…)
More on UGC: Google Maps Joins the Pack
Google has shown a clear interest in beefing up the content that is available to users in Google Local and Google Maps. A few months ago, it announced new features to its Local Business Center to allow businesses to add or edit information about themselves. This is very much in line with good SEO in making these listings more robust and also more user-centric. Now Google has also integrated user reviews features for any user to contribute information or opinion on a given business. (read more…)
Local.com Adds Travel (Makes Sense)
Local.com is in a different “local” category. It aggregates a ton of local content and features, but it doesn’t necessarily vie with local Yellow Pages or search sites for everyday local traffic. Maybe it would if it could. It has added a lot of functionality. But mostly, with its easy-to-remember URL (which it paid $700k for) and helpful grab bag of local features, the site gets its traffic from the type of occasional user who is not particularly adept at using Google or too impatient to do so. It claims quite a few of those – 10 million every month. (read more…)
Changing of the Guard at Yahoo!
Today’s news is that Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel is stepping down from his position, which will be filled by founder Jerry Yang. Meanwhile, CFO Sue Decker will become president. It should be anticipated that Yahoo!’s executive change, which isn’t particularly surprising, will set in motion some other big changes. The company has recently been demoralized by the widening gap with Google and a sense of drift. One of the reasons Semel was initially brought on board at Yahoo! was to grab the big deals. He made some (i.e., Flickr), but many big deals obviously were missed (i.e., Google, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook). (read more…)