Does a loophole exist in Google and in U.S. trademark policies? In one lawsuit, a judge ruled that a company that bought competitive trademarked keywords it didn't use in ads was not infringing on trademark. As for Google, in the United States the search engine doesn't monitor the use of trademarked terms as keywords, according to a source.
"We're pretty much screwed." That's the way aimClear CEO Marty Weintraub describes some of the changes Google began putting in place Monday as it began rolling out real-time search and personalization for Web queries. While it's clear how those shifts will influence people searching for information on Google's engine, it's a little less clear how the changes will affect marketers' SEO and PPC campaigns.
A group of college students who consider Twitter an annoyance? Who knew? We heard it from the their own mouths at the Search Insider Summit's consumer panel. These kids said they're buying (and searching) online at least once a week, for everything from textbooks to DVDs to hard-to-find mountain-climbing gear.
Just in case you weren't at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit last week, I'll tell you what went down during a conversational keynote between two search gurus -- Rand Fishkin and Rob Griffin. There was talk of optimizing social graphs, the continued viability of SEO, and Twitter's ability to cannibalize links.
Citigroup Internet analyst Mark Mahaney describes himself as one of those people who publish lots of PDF reports full of crap. His opener at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit on Thursday received plenty of laughs, but was followed by 20 minutes of insightful commentary about the recession's impact on Internet commerce, travel, advertising and search spend.
Google has decided to limit sampling of paid content on publishers' sites -- to five free clicks daily per user. Well, actually, it's given publishers the option to do so. Publishers who charge for content will find that Google has changed the parameters of its First-Click Free program. How will the five-click cap affect paid search campaigns or search engine optimization strategies? And then there's the display ads and rich banner ads that won't get seen because people might not register or pay for the content on the publisher's site.
Think of retargeting ads as a form of regifting. With online holiday shopping well underway, advertisers might want to consider retargeting consumers who searched for items on the engines, made it to the retailer's Web site, but for some reason abandoned the shopping cart before completing the purchase. In fact, in a survey released this week, almost half the participants said retargeting was the No. 1 underutilized online marketing technology.
Web sites will replace brick-and-mortar stores within five years. I realize that's a bold prediction, but here's why: Retail stores selling everything from clothing to high-ticket items like flat-screen televisions will turn into warehouses where consumers can touch and feel the merchandise, but Web sites, supported by search engines and site search, will become the cash cow for the retail store.