Tuesday, January 30, 2007

 
When is a blog not a blog?

Tuesday afternoon
Development spend: £13,072
Greyness of sky on 1 (lightest) to 5 (darkest) scale: 3

That previous post about Google seems like a lifetime ago (actually most things seem like a lifetime ago now, every week takes me somewhere I've never been - like yesterday, filing in my first VAT return - never thought I'd be doing that this time last year.)

Anyhow, the Google wars post. I'm angry about adwords still, but too busy to carry on the war. We've exchanged emails, I mentioned competition law, then the Google emails went up a step. I chatted to like-minded folk on the Techcrunch.com lounge about it, followed a few links and have a better understanding of how the whole thing works (or in my case doesn't work).

Basically, if you sell widgets and want to encourage people searching for widgets to click on your ad for the lowest adword campaign cost, you need to write 'widgets' in your keywords, 'widgets' in your ad headline and 'widgets' on the landing page you're directing clickers to. And not have too many other businesses competing with you for widget as a keyword. And have a Google-secret-number percentage of widget-seekers clicking through from your ad.

That's a summary of my research/Google's explanations on adwords pricing. Didn't exactly work that way on my tests, but then I'm not trying to sell widgets and Google clearly have some other things they throw into the mix that they don't explain.

End result is I've spent £195 on adwords, got a total of 763 click throughs - 65% from the ads showing on Google's content network (ie everywhere there are google ads that aren't on Google's search pages) rather than through people putting in my keywords as a search term, and only a handful of conversions into people signing up to sweeble.

I've wasted hours of time trying to keep my ads active on the keywords I want for longer than a day, before Google bump up the rate by 1000% and switch me off, but in the end I've given up. It's a crap system for anyone not selling a specific product to specific audience. And it's too expensive.

Bored with it now and switched it off.


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Notice I put a link in the rant above? That was deliberate (duh, yeh!). Last night, I was reading about the start of weblogging (Stuart Allan, Online News, Open University Press)and realised that I'm not writing a blog here. I thought I was, but it seems blogs share certain characteristics, including hyperlinks to other sites, other stories, relating to the issue being commented on.

I've not even got around to clicking the switch to turn this blog into the souped-up version Blogger's new owner Google is pushing (can't turn a bleedin' corner on the web nowadays without crashing into a Google offshoot or squashing a Google spider)- there was a form, questions, I wasn't ready. Sorry, maybe another day.

So... adding hyperlinks, surfing the net for cool new stories you might not have seen, showing off my knowledge of life, the universe and the web. I'm meant to be doing all of that, not just keeping this pseudo-diary of single-issue (sweeble) ramblings hidden in the atomic mushroom of 60 million blogs.

So this isn't a blog.

And I'm still not running the Starship Enterprise.

Oh well. What's next?

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