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Thank You, Jay!

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A few weeks ago Jay blogged about requesting reinclusion in Google for a domain name.   Recently, I purchased an important domain name even though it wasn’t listed in Google.   I bought the name along with an information-rich website, and following Jay’s advice, I requested that my name be reincluded in Google.

After a few days, I noticed some traffic from Google on the website.   Interested, I did a Google search (as I had done before), and now appearing as the #1 listing is my domain name.   I wasn’t aware that I could ask Google to review my website for reinclusion until I read Jay’s blog, and I would like to publicly thank him for pointing this out.

Industry Veterans Launch TheDomains.com Blog

MostWantedDomains.com, a closely held company founded by domain industry veterans Michael and Judi Berkens, just launched launched their blog, TheDomains.com. One of the features they created is the “Domain Parking Stock Index,” a weighted average which tracks all public companies which either own large domain portfolio’s and/or make a significant income from parked domains or PPC revenue.

The initial DPSI index includes Google, Yahoo, Baidu.com, Dark Blue Sea, Marchex, and Banks.com. It will be interesting to see if the DPSI becomes a barometer for the health of the domain investment business.

I wish Mike and Judi all the best with their new blog, and I look forward to reading their insight.

Behavioral Targeting: Making Websites Smarter

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Direct marketing is the art of presenting a consumer with a an offer that is compelling enough to elicit a trackable response. Creating a compelling offer continues to pose challenges in many marketing channels such as direct mail and telemarketing channels, but it is becoming easier for online marketing, with the help of behavioral targeting. By tracking consumer web surfing habits, marketers are able to use that data to offer consumers what they expect them to want, which can enhance their online experience and generate revenue for marketers.

Behavioral targeting is utilized to maximize the effect of “intuitive marketing,” giving consumers what they want the moment they probably want it. This helps websites stay ahead of the curve by enhancing the consumer web surfing experience. Online marketers know that if they make the consumer a compelling offer at the time they are most susceptible to processing the offer, it is more likely that they will react positively to the offer.

Applications such as Google’s  Gmail  and  Adsense  don’t necessarily need to rely on behavioral targeting, as their programs can detect content and provide related advertising links. Websites that might not have this type of keyword tags can be most positively impacted by behavioral targeting. According to an article appearing in  CNN, “Behavioral targeting brings capabilities to sites without good or reliable keywords — for example, a social-networking profile that touches on dozens of hobbies and interests at once.

Online marketing firm  eMarketer  believes that $1 Billion will be spent on behavioral marketing in 2008, and by 2011, the spending will increase to around $3.8 Billion, up from $220 Million in 2005. This shows the amount of faith marketers have in behavioral targeting, and it appears that its working. As technology continues to develop, I expect there will be new ways to detect what a consumer is looking to find, enabling direct marketers to successfully turn intuition into ROI.

Learn About Google at the Apple Store

I just returned from a trip to the Apple Store on Fifth Ave in NYC where I had an appointment with an “Apple Genius” to learn more about my MacBook. The store was completely packed, and it seemed like there were a ton of people speaking different languages. While the weak dollar may spell trouble for Americans, our Euro-toting counterparts are certainly taking advantage.

The main purpose of my visit was to learn a bit more about my new laptop and the Leopard operating system. The Genius showed me some cool features that I didn’t know about, which was very helpful. I also asked him to show me some important websites where I could find useful downloads to fully take advantage of my new computer. He bookmarked MacUpdate.com and a few other interesting sites.

Because I am a big Google user, I asked him some Google/Apple/Blackberry connectivity questions, and while he gave a me a little bit of help, it would have been even better if he could have shown me more.

That got me thinking.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Google opened a kiosk in the Apple stores to teach people how to use Google products in harmony with Apple products? I think this would be mutually beneficially for both companies, as Google would benefit from the exposure, and people would find more satisfaction with their Apple computers if they learned how to use various Google products on their Macs or phones. Both companies are cutting edge, and they probably hire the same type of driven people as employees.

I would love to learn more about Adsense, Google Storage, Gmail…etc, and as a person that likes to learn by reading and listening, it would be great to have a “Google tutorial.” While Google could set up kiosks in other places, I think it could be in the best interest of both companies if Google’s presence was seen in Apple stores.

(*Just as a bit of disclosure, I own a small amount of shares of Apple stock)

Argument to Remove Registrant Search Tool

In a blog post on November 11th, Jay Westerdal asks his blog readers for their opinions on whether DomainTools’ controversial Registrant Search tool should be taken down. Although I think it is a cool tool, I believe I have a strong case for why it should be taken down, and my case is supported by evidence provided by Jay in this morning’s blog post, “Chameleon typo squatters.”

In Jay’s newest post, he discusses how some people attempt to mask their identity by registering domain names using other companies’ registration information, with the only difference being the admin contact email address. Jay cites the example of the domain name GoogleWishes.com, which appears to be owned by Google, but uses a different contact email address.

With the  Registrant Search tool, this domain name would presumably be listed in Google’s list of domain names, when someone performs a Registrant Search using “Google” as a query. Because the email address differs from the actual email address used by Google in their domain registrations, this domain name does not appear to be owned by Google. However, GoogleWishes.com would appear in the list along with other Google properties such as  Google.com,  GoogleMaps.com,  GoogleVideo.com, and many more.

I know you can whittle down your results by entering more information (such as the usual admin contact email), but if a person ordered the results based on what appears in the Whois.sc/Google.com listing – (Registrant Search: “Google Inc.” owns about 8,211 other domains), this name would probably appear.

Although the domain name GoogleWishes.com would probably not hurt the image of Google, a devious person could severely impact a competitor’s or opponent’s image by registering pornographic or trademark infringing domain names in someone else’s name. Unless a careful examination is made of each name in the list, the Registrant Search tool could be damaging to the victim of a “chameleon typo squatter.”

Pump your Gas and Google

Ever find yourself at a gas station looking for directions?   When I was younger, my family pulled into a gas station in the Bronx, New York looking for directions out of the Bronx.   My dad asked the station clerk for directions, and she replied, “fill up your tank and I can help you.”   My dad filled up the tank and went back for the instructions, to which the woman replied “sorry, no hablo English.”

Soon, you won’t have to rely on the gas station service clerks for directions.   According to a CNN article  and the Gilbarco Veeder-Root website, Google has formed a partnership with gas station pump maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which just introduced their Applause Media System.    Gilbarco’s  pumps will  now include an Internet connection displaying Google’s mapping service on a small screen.

At first, pumpers will be asked to find their location by scrolling through many popular categories, including hotels, restaurants and hospitals selected by the gas station’s owner.   Once a destination is selected, the pump will print out directions.

This is another way Google is becoming involved in the search business.   Some of the other non-traditional search engine searching you can do include:

  • Dialing 1-800-GOOG-411  for free phone number services.
  • Texting “GOOGL” along with a business and city, and Google will send you the address and phone number.
  • Searching using  a Blackberry or other handheld device – Google.mobi

Someone asked me what I thought the % of people who would use the Google  pump maps  vs. in-car GPS systems.   That got me thinking, why doesn’t Google  develop an inexpensive  Google Maps branded GPS system?   Better yet, why not develop an in-car computer system to allow motorists to connect to the Internet using Google’s technologies?

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