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Domino’s YouTube video fright!

Posted April 17th, 2009 by admin | No Comments

“Nothing is local anymore,” Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre says. “That’s the challenge of the Web world. Any two idiots with a video camera and a dumb idea can damage the reputation of a 50-year-old brand.”

Read the full story here

Domino’s  got it right! Thay apparently responded pro actively to this malicious campaign by couple of their disgruntled employees.

What we are asking is …did they?

1) While it’s true, that it’s important to manage social media. Does this mean that you have to keep a tab on all the idiots out there? or just the popular ones?

2) YouTube’s role in this episode, Where do they draw the line? If Domino’s can’t protect themselves from malicious evil mongers, what do ordinary folks do?

3) Google AdWords has a ‘use of brand names’ policy albeit that too is on shaky grounds. Shouldn’t YouTube have the same? Would they be happy, say, if a video were to pop out tomorrow with the title  “YouTube’s Secret Porn Channel”

4) Although the first video was removed, at the time of writing this post the video has been re-uploaded by another apparently over zealous ‘consumer friendly’ person and has  generated more than 70,000 views. Somebody trying to make a quick buck? Are the people at YouTube asleep?

5) Lastly, one needs to ponder as to why this video became so popular? have all those ghastly “outrageous, unbelievable, etc video” shows on TV whetted our appetite for more? Are we looking for confirmation of our worst fears?

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YouTube, Facebook in the movies

Posted April 6th, 2009 by Siby Kuriakose | No Comments

Whenever a topic or a social action becomes the rage of the world more specifically the US first, it is enshrined in a movie for posterity. Books, magazines all do the same, but the reach and appeal of the cinemas is far beyond that of any the other media.
We decided  to list all the movies that we know of that have Web 2.0  i.e. YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and others that act as a significant plot influencer and are referred to by their brand names rather than fictional equivalents.
In no particular order,
1) The Rocker
– The ‘prom’ band shoots to fame because of a practice video on YouTube featuring their  naked drummer.

2) Disturbia

3) Hancock

4) Sex, Lies, and Myspace (expected in 2009)

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Slideshare – April Fools Day Prank

Posted April 1st, 2009 by Siby Kuriakose | 1 Comment

It all started this morning… We have the SemKraft corporate presentation on Slideshare which talks about SEO, PPC, Web Analytics and SMO and we put this in a few weeks back. I was quite happy when it got a few views and a couple of people favourited it too!

But frankly speaking if you want to be noticed on Slideshare or Youtube or any of the other agents of universal search and social media optimization you have to be a nifty virus snaking through people’s conciousness as well as their keyboards.

In fact when we saw today that the views had shot up 100 times the number it had a few days back we didn’t quite buy it… we were surprised yes! and did some quick research,  needn’t have actually..after all it was April 1st..duh!

It was a prank played out to the complete misery of slathering network executives, as evident from some of the rather pissed responses at their blog, but to the delight to most of us who find this insane race for eyeballs rather droll sometimes..

The prank? Quite simple actually, they inserted couple of zeros into the number of views for your presentation and suddenly everybody was happy or fooled!..while the guys at Slideshare must be saying gotcha! i can visualise some quiet hair pulling happening around the world.

Did anybody see anything else remotely close?

Oh! Yes! Google has always loved their jokes too haven’t they and CADIE with sentient capabilities can answer your email and more, see CADIES blog, it is quite hilarious…”Today Dr. Norvig asked me again: “What is CADIE?” CADIE, I answered yet again, “is the entity.”

and Reddigg! from the  guys at Reddit…very nice!!!

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Internet Penetration & Speed in India

Posted April 1st, 2009 by Siby Kuriakose | 2 Comments

” State of the Internet” report is in the latest quarterly study by Akamai Technologies, the US-based internet content distribution giant.

India, says the report, has an average internet connection speed of just 772 Kbps compared with the global average of 1.5 Mbps.

India ranks 93rd globally for broadband adoption (with 3.74 per cent connections at speeds over 2 Mbps) and is positioned at 55th globally for narrowband adoption (with 25.8 per cent of connections at speeds below 256 Kbps).

The report also notes that the number of unique IPs or internet addresses from India grew 42.91 per cent year-on-year, to 2.63 million.

Source: Akamai Report, 2009

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There are around 55.5 million Internet users (2008 figures), as compared to 376 million mobile subscribers in India

The number of Internet-enabled mobile phones is still small (estimated to be around 15-20 per cent of all handsets)

Source: Business Standard, 2009

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India had as on September 2008 45.3 million active internet users. Active internet users are those who have used the internet at least once in the last one month – this is an internationally accepted benchmark for enumerating internet users. Urban users continue to dominate internet use contributing to 42 million of the 45 million odd users.

In September last 2007, the number of active internet users in urban India was 36 million showing a year on year growth of less than 13 per cent. The study also found that the number of “claimed” internet users in September 2008 was 57 million compared with 48 million in September 2007, recording a less than 10 per cent growth. Claimed users are those who have used the internet sometime but not in the last one month.

Source: Study by IMRB & IAMAI

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InternetWorldStats.com (IWS), a website that combines multiple data sources. IWS combined data from the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, Nielsen Online, GfK and US Census Bureau, and its latest global figures puts the number of internet users in the world at 1,596,270,108.

According to IWS, the top 5 countries with the most internet users are:

1 – China (298,000,000 users, or 22.4 percent of their population)
2 – US (227,190,989, or 74.7 percent)
3 – Japan (94,000,000, or 73.8 percent)
4 – India (81,000,000, or 7.1 percent)
5 – Brazil (67,510,400, or 34.4% percent)

Source: Yahoo India – 30th July ‘2009

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Forrester Report

The number of internet users worldwide is expected to touch 2.2 billion by 2013 and India is projected to have the third largest online population during the same time, says a report. “The number of people online around the world will grow more than 45 per cent to 2.2 billion users by 2013 and Asia will continue to be the biggest Internet growth engine.

“… India will be the third largest internet user base by 2013 – with China and the US taking the first two spots, respectively,” technology and market research firm Forrester Research said in a report. Globally, there were about 1.5 billion Internet users in the year 2008.

Titled ‘Global Online Population Forecast, 2008 to 2013′, the report noted that emerging markets like India would see a growth of 10 to 20 per cent by 2013.
“In some of the emerging markets in Asia such as China, India and Indonesia, the average annual growth rates will be 10 to 20 per cent over the next five years (2008-13),” the report said. India’s number of Internet users was estimated to be 52 million in 2008.

Source: Times of India & Forrester Research – 21 July ‘2009
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if you find the above information useful, please be nice enough to leave a note…

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Ask.com uses Google Adwords

Posted March 25th, 2009 by Siby Kuriakose | No Comments

Are we the first to notice this? We didn’t check but nevertheless we feel quite strongly about this and wanted to know what the rest of the world thought about it.
Ask.com the Search Engine that has often been hailed as the one that pioneered a lot of technology but missed the bus when it came to monetization has adopted an interesting approach now.
On Google.co.uk we did a lot of searches and realised that a common factor in the paid search results was the ad for Ask.com!
We were surprised! aside from the fact that they are competitors with Ask even indulging in aggressive advertising against Google’s monopoly what is Ask.com trying to achieve here? is there a cost arbitration reason here? or it just a branding exercise?

Ask.com advertises on Google!

Ask.com advertises on Google!

We personally loathe clicking on a search result ad to be only taken to another search results page with more ads!
The ads on Google.co.uk are generated dynamically given that the landing page is a search results page, that would be rather obvious.

So what we want to ask (ahem!) is?

Why? Does Ask know that their search results are qualitatively better than Google’s? Would the user switch search engines once he is convinced that Ask is a better search engine (assuming that were to be true) and gives more relevant results? Is this  a desperate attempt at shoring up market share? or like their earlier print advertisement a sneaky way of getting at “sleep searchers” ?
What about the advertisers on Ask.com?, by way of their famous deal inked sometime back, Ask uses Google’s text ad platform which means the advertisers on Ask.com are using Google Adwords. Confused? Seems like a maze doesn’t it?
The ads on Google seem to be relevant and we suppose it goes through all the rigorous quality score check and all that jazz, but what about the ads on Ask .com? To us they seemed rather irrelevant. So is Google to blame here then? or is it Ask?

Ask.com Landing page with Google Ads!

Ask.com Landing page with Google Ads!

Somebody has to ask these questions?

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Web Analytics Solutions & Providers

Posted March 16th, 2009 by admin | No Comments

This  list is to guide and inform, and may not be complete.  Please let us know of missing vendors by posting a comment. We are not endorsing any of these vendors by providing this list.

AT Internet

Auriq Systems (RTmetrics)

BLVD Status

Coremetrics

DC Storm

Digital River (Fireclick)

etracker

eVisit Analyst

Facilitate Digital

Foviance (WebAbacus)

Google Analytics

Intellitracker

Lynchpin

Lyris (ClickTracks)

Marketwave

Nedstat

Omniture

RedEye

Site Intelligence

SmarterStats

Speed-Trap

Unica (Affinium NetInsight)

Urchin Software from Google

VisiStat

WebTrends

WiredMinds

Woopra

Yahoo! Web Analytics

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Adwords Quality Score, Ad Rank & CPC:Really well explained!

Posted March 13th, 2009 by Siby Kuriakose | No Comments

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Posted in category: Pay Per Click | Tags: , ,

SearchCamp.in India Day 2

Posted March 2nd, 2009 by admin | 2 Comments

Reporting from SearchCamp India, Chennai, March 1

Day 1 highlights are here

Day 2 began pretty much the same way i.e, horribly late which skewed the schedule for the rest of the day.

Sessions:

“SEO Basics – Things You Must Know”…scheduled to start at 9 am!. did not happen at all..i guess we really didn’t need to know after all.

“Advanced Techniques in SEO – Stephan Spencer”…for me personally this was the one session that rose from the ashes and redeemed the event to a great extent. Not that the session wasn’t fraught with issues, started really late, laptop for webex meeting unavailable and for the latter part of the presentation we stared at a blank screen. But Stephan Spencer from Netconcepts who is releasing a book titled the same as the session was concise and articulate and also offered some really useful tips and tricks for SE optimizers (bumping your competition off the search results!..that was really news for me)..a screencast is available here we think

“The right kind of Marketing Mix during Recession – Kalaivani Sadagopan”…Kalaivani used real world examples from her company Caratlane (offers diamonds and diamond jewellery online) and made a pretty strong case for effective and adaptive marketing tactics during a recession. Very well done!

The above two sessions extended well into the scheduled tea break and so the organizers must have decided to pull the plug on the next session which was “Effective PPC Campaigns & Landing Pages” – Palani Balasubramanian, and went straight into the “Q&A Session with Adam Lasnik (Google).

Search marketers in India seem to go into a tizzy whenever faced with the opportunity of meeting somebody from the mothership. When Adam let it drop that he worked a few feet away from Matt Cutts..i’m sure i heard a collective gasp from the audience. He was assaulted with a barrage of questions and some of them were “refereshingly blunt” which he had been warned to expect, but he handled all of them including the “bouncers” with consummate ease (the only slip, if you can call it that, was when he reffered to Google Local as Google Loco! Don’t fret Adam it could even be a new product!!) and left every body wanting more. This was evident from the fact that most people surrounded him before, during and after lunch that followed the Q&A session. Although he gamefully stayed till the very end of the day i have a sneaky feeling that he must have been relieved when it was finally over :) .

“Using Analytics to track Paid Search Metrics – Reema Thakur”…The ‘first Indian GAAC’, a fact that Trinadh had gushed about in the earlier session.  Using a client case study, Reema offered useful insights into using Google Analytics effectively to analyze and improve paid search campaigns. Very well done again and the ignorance in the audience was very palpable :)  one note though..selling should always be subtle..

“Local Search – Suresh Babu”…Using local search to gain a competitive advantage. Useful tips.

and… curtains!

Hopefully the organizers will improve upon their failings and have a better version in Bangalore the next time around.

Special mention: Kiruba Shankar artfully engaged the audience and the speakers with his one liners and breezy comebacks..one shudders to think what the event would have been like without his presence..kudos!

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SearchCamp.in India Day 1

Posted March 1st, 2009 by admin | 1 Comment

Reporting from SearchCamp India, Chennai, Feb 28

First the good news…the website was back online before the event began. We told you about the rather embarrassing shutdown of their online presence here.

Now the bad news…are we as a nation very callous about the value we attach to other people’s time? The event scheduled to start at 9, with registrations at 8!, began well after 9.45 a.m. “Force majeure” that very appealing clause in most agreements was invoked, “unnatural fog conditions in Chennai” was the proffered explanation.

The other grouse that we have is…when a schedule of events and list of speakers is announced it builds a lot of expectation. Plans are made and others abandoned based on this promise. We understand that there maybe changes to the schedule or abandonment of sessions for whatever reason..but what would be appreciated is to respect people and inform them in advance (there must be a reason why you take our contact info).

The Sessions:

Kiruba Shankar was not available for the welcome address so Kapil Nakra stepped in.

Keynote or should i say “keynotes” speech was delivered by Vivek Bhargava of Communicate2.

“Keyword Research Tools & Techniques – Abdul Khimani”…Why do we need to be told stuff that we already know? and when i say we I’m including the most basic practitioners. What does this establish? I hope these are not branding and self fulfilling exercises…What we expect from speakers is a qualitative difference in content from what is freely available on th web.

“SEO for E-Commerce – Srikar Nagubandi”…We have a piece of unsolicited advice..if the session is going to be a webex meeting..why not just make it a higher quality webcast? and have the speaker take questions at the end of the webcast. Very nice presentation with tips and tricks for e-commerce site owners.

“Web Analytics – What’s next?” – Trinadh Rao…We’re still waiting for the answer.

“Usability, Conversions & SEO – Vishal Sampath”…Overbearing and pedantic.

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Posted in category: SEM India | Tags: ,

SearchCamp India off to an inauspicious start

Posted February 26th, 2009 by admin | 1 Comment

Is Searchcamp 2009, a 2 day event to be held at Main Auditorium, Tidel Park, Chennai on 28th February and 1st of March 2009  off to an inauspicious start?

Visitors (like yours truly) to searchcamp.in who wanted to check schedules were surprised to be met with this announcement…

Is this a game you think?

Is this a game you think?

We will keep you posted…

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Posted in category: SEM India | Tags: ,