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2010 Google Online Marketing Challenge is now Open!

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on November 22nd, 2009

2010-google-online-marketing-challengeThe 2010 Google Online Marketing Challenge is now open to students from all over the world. This will be a great hands-on exercise for undergraduate or graduate students in classes such as advertising, ecommerce, integrated marketing communication, management information systems, marketing and new media technologies.

Each Student team receives US$200 worth of free online advertising credits with Google Adwords which needs to be effectively put to use to maximise results working in tandom with local businesses.

Developed by professors in collaboration with Google, Teams outline a strategy, run a campaign, assess their results and provide the business with recommendations to further develop their online marketing. Teams submit their reports and are judged by a panel of independent academics from all over the world.

The 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge saw 2,187 student teams from 57 countries around the world taking part in a global online marketing competition. And now, the 2010 sequel to the competition is now live.

The 2010 Google Online Marketing Challenge is open to any higher education institution from anywhere in the world. If you are interested you can register now for 2010 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

Google Search Results now include Forum threads

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on October 1st, 2009

Google had added yet another search feature to its search engine that will now start showing additional info, from threads on forums, based on relevancy to your search query.

In Google’s words –

This new addition to Google search results applies to sites that tend to have a large number of posts on a specific topic. When several different discussions on a site are relevant to your query, we indent them under the primary result and include the date of each post.

Basically this means good news to the forum owners who has loads of content on any given topic or keyword. Google instead of diluting its results with multiple listings will bring the same into single listing with related listings. When your search query matches more than one thread on a forum, Google might list down some of those threads right in your web results.

For example if you search for [rome to paris train] you will see, below the sixth result, a list of relevant discussions on various ways to get between these cities.

Google Search with forum results for Rome to paris train

Google Search with forum results for Rome to paris train

Above results show the different options for the user which makes life easy for him to decide and go after instead of researching back again on a vast forum.

Idea behind this Google Search with forum listings could be to increase the quality of listings and to reduce the dilution of its own search results not by listing multiple forum threads.

Would be interesting to see how Google takes its search listings for Social Media sites and Micro Blogging sites.

Google Analytics feature that predicts and suggests is Coming Soon

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on September 29th, 2009

Imagine how easy life would for a web marketeer if today’s analytics tools can analyse the historic trends and give auto suggestions for tomorrow. With the raising websites the need for analysis of operational metrics is on the raise to understand and better the websites to meet customer expectations.

There are plenty of Web Analytics tools that are available on the market with Google Analytics only being the free tool that is available which is giving a tough fight to the paid analytics tools like Webtrends and Omniture. With the recent Acquisition of Omniture by Adobe the Analytics market has even hotted up.

Google Analytics Tool

Google Analytics Tool

The competition is hard and there is no convincing solution which has proven beyond doubt to have all the answers (on a very high level that is).  And the biggest bit of irony is that web analytics tools which charge customers see their biggest competition in a free tool, and one that can sustain itself to no end being free.

Recent  Reports from Media Source says that “Google is working on a Google Analytics tool that would allow users to view on the dashboard the most important data first — not the top 10 keywords or pages on a Web site by column, but statistical data and conversational information alerting them to dropping conversions or declining sales.

This could be a very interesting feature for the web marketers that could help them push the right content to the users at the right time based on the historic data. Google Analytics Auto Suggest feature will bring the web marketers and the Business managers attention to areas that need immediate attention.

Imagine an intelligent Analytics tool that can suggest changes, offer alternatives, forecast and predict trends and draw attention to figures that marketers would otherwise overlook. Suddenly we are looking at a far optimized web and a richer user experience among other benefits.

While it does put a lot of questions to other analytics tools both paid and otherwise, it also sheds light on where traffic analysis as a niche is heading.

Google Fast Flip – Read News Headlines faster

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on September 27th, 2009

Google launches the new Fast Flip news service that aims to improve the way people read articles online and encourage ‘serendipitous browsing’. According to GoogleFast Flip is a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles. Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers.”

As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting. At the same time, we provide aggregation and search over many top newspapers and magazines, and the ability to share content with your friends and community. Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, by taking cues from selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and journalists that you seem to like. In short, you get fast browsing, natural magazine-style navigation, recommendations from friends and other members of the community and a selection of content that is serendipitous and personalized.

Google Fast Flip News Service

Google Fast Flip News Service

Fast Flip Users can either browse through articles based on the most recent, most viewed or most recommended stories, or search for articles by topic or keyword. Clicking on an article takes the user directly through to that publisher’s website

Google partnered with over 50 publishers to offer the Fast Flip services and the Revenue generated from the advertisements served alongside the article will be split between Google and the relevant publisher, with content providers taking the “majority” of the revenue. Some of the major publishers include New York Times, Atlantic, Washington Post, Fast Company and Newsweek.

For the mobile users Google also made a Mobile version of Fast Flip with tactile page flipping for Android-powered devices and the iPhone, so you can browse on the go.

It will be interesting to see how Google Fast Flip fares among the users and the serious online news reading community.