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Deep World

(San)deep's World. Wise observations from Prof. Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Associate Professor of Marketing and E-Commerce, author, educator, Dad, coach, racquetball player, evangelist, speaker and thinker.

Friday, September 14, 2007

AdSense Report Card

I have a column on iMediaConnection that will be of interest to all of you. Here is an excerpt-

Google has built an advertising marketplace on the principle of opacity. Everybody involved is provided with a modicum of information rather than the complete picture. In doing so, the company creates an atmosphere that asks all involved to simply trust it. While Google might argue that this is needed to minimize opportunism by all involved, this is a dangerous way to run a marketplace.

Here is a top 10 list of what Google does not reveal.

10.Google does not tell advertisers where exactly their ad will get placed.

9. Google does not tell some publishers why exactly they shut them down.

8. Google does not share any network-level performance figures.

7. Google does not provide any information about how overall click rates have changed over time.

6. Google does not share any information on who clicked on the ads.

5. Google does not reveal what leads to higher placement among paid ads.

4. Google does not reveal how exactly it evaluates the quality of a text ad, i.e., the Quality Score. According to Google, the formula "varies depending on whether it's calculating minimum bids or assigning ad position."

3. Google does not tell advertisers what countries the users come from.

2. Google never tells publishers why they got paid a certain amount.

1.Google does not publish any research on ad effectiveness.

Grade: C

Here is an initial reaction to the article-

Excellent article! I agree with you that there is a huge opportunity for a company to develop a superior product to Google AdSense. I used it for awhile on our site -- but the ads that were being fed were trainers and coaches in competition with the Advisers who contribute to the site -- and the ads look junkie. When I called up Google to see if I could choose different advertisers (e.g. business books, career companies), they said, "Sorry. Can't do it. The computer chooses the ads that are delivered to you." This was an unacceptable answer -- so I dropped AdSense. Our most successful ads for the site have been custom sponsorships.

The full column is here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yahoo's Search Marketing Tutorials.

Yahoo is ahead of Google on something- the quality of its search marketing tutorials. See for yourself-

Bidding and Ranking Tutorial
Geo-targeting tutorial
Ad Testing tutorial

I wish the tutorials were more easy to find.

Prof. Sandeep Krishnamurthy's Shared Items on Google Reader.

I have been playing with Google Reader. See my list of shared items on Google Reader. I expect this list to grow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

From the Wall Street Journal: Three Myths on Boosting Search Engine Rankings.

Short Version-

Myth 1. You can be guaranteed consistently high rankings.

Myth 2. I need to submit my Web site to every search engine out there.

Myth 3. Repeating keywords will increase my site's rankings.

The article has a lot of good anecdotes. I recommend reading it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Top Search Engines in July 2007.

Top 10 Search Providers by Searches, July 2007
Provider Searches (000) Share of Total Searches (%)
Google 4,143,752 53.3
Yahoo 1,559,745 20.1
MSN/Windows Live 1,057,064 13.6
AOL 407,988 5.2 143,513 1.8
My Web Search 69,145 0.9
BellSouth 40,374 0.5
Comcast 37,311 0.5
Dogpile 25,675 0.3
My Way 24,534 0.3
Other 264,073 3.4
All search 7,773,174 100.0
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, 2007

Six Degrees of Bill Gates

Bill Gates is related to Steve Jobs!

Baseball team salary and their win-loss record

The Seattle Mariners are eight on the list!

The Power of Disgusting Advertising

A Freakonomics co-author figures out that ads work- especially, vivid and disgusting ones.

Swag, Swag, Swag

This is an open call for Swag! Send me swag. I collect it and use it in my marketing classes. Contact information is here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Google RSS Reader Adds Search

I have been a regular user of Google Reader. It is great to see that Google has added much-needed search functionality to it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2011

Every year Beloit College puts together a list describing the mindset of the entering freshman class. Here are the top items in this year's list-

What Berlin wall?
Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
Rush Limbaugh and the “Dittoheads” have always been lambasting liberals.
They never “rolled down” a car window.
Michael Moore has always been angry and funny.
They may confuse the Keating Five with a rock group.
They have grown up with bottled water.
General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
Pete Rose has never played baseball.
Rap music has always been mainstream.
Religious leaders have always been telling politicians what to do, or else!
“Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.
Music has always been “unplugged.”
Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.
They were born the year Harvard Law Review Editor Barack Obama announced he might run for office some day.
The NBA season has always gone on and on and on and on.
Classmates could include Michelle Wie, Jordin Sparks, and Bart Simpson.
Half of them may have been members of the Baby-sitters Club.

Opera, the Real Google Browser?

Opera 9.5 just launched and this blogger now calls Opera, the real Google browser. Are you buying it?

Content for iGoogle.

Remember when Google declared it was not a portal when it launched iGoogle. Now, there are people selling content modules for iGoogle personalizations.

Google's Moon Shot

Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker writes about Google's Book Search. Here is an excerpt-

"Every weekday, a truck pulls up to the Cecil H. Green Library, on the campus of Stanford University, and collects at least a thousand books, which are taken to an undisclosed location and scanned, page by page, into an enormous database being created by Google. The company is also retrieving books from libraries at several other leading universities, including Harvard and Oxford, as well as the New York Public Library. At the University of Michigan, Google’s original partner in Google Book Search, tens of thousands of books are processed each week on the company’s custom-made scanning equipment.

Google intends to scan every book ever published, and to make the full texts searchable, in the same way that Web sites can be searched on the company’s engine at At the books site, which is up and running in a beta (or testing) version, at, you can enter a word or phrase—say, Ahab and whale—and the search returns a list of works in which the terms appear, in this case nearly eight hundred titles, including numerous editions of Herman Melville’s novel. Clicking on “Moby-Dick, or The Whale” calls up Chapter 28, in which Ahab is introduced. You can scroll through the chapter, search for other terms that appear in the book, and compare it with other editions. Google won’t say how many books are in its database, but the site’s value as a research tool is apparent; on it you can find a history of Urdu newspapers, an 1892 edition of Jane Austen’s letters, several guides to writing haiku, and a Harvard alumni directory from 1919.

No one really knows how many books there are. The most volumes listed in any catalogue is thirty-two million, the number in WorldCat, a database of titles from more than twenty-five thousand libraries around the world. Google aims to scan at least that many. “We think that we can do it all inside of ten years,” Marissa Mayer, a vice-president at Google who is in charge of the books project, said recently, at the company’s headquarters, in Mountain View, California. “It’s mind-boggling to me, how close it is. I think of Google Books as our moon shot.”

Google’s is not the only book-scanning venture. Amazon has digitized hundreds of thousands of the books it sells, and allows users to search the texts; Carnegie Mellon is hosting a project called the Universal Library, which so far has scanned nearly a million and a half books; the Open Content Alliance, a consortium that includes Microsoft, Yahoo, and several major libraries, is also scanning thousands of books; and there are many smaller projects in various stages of development. Still, only Google has embarked on a project of a scale commensurate with its corporate philosophy: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

In part because of that ambition, Google’s endeavor is encountering opposition. A federal court in New York is considering two challenges to the project, one brought by several writers and the Authors Guild, the other by a group of publishers, who are also, curiously, partners in Google Book Search. Both sets of plaintiffs claim that the library component of the project violates copyright law. Like most federal lawsuits, these cases appear likely to be settled before they go to trial, and the terms of any such deal will shape the future of digital books. Google, in an effort to put the lawsuits behind it, may agree to pay the plaintiffs more than a court would require; but, by doing so, the company would discourage potential competitors. To put it another way, being taken to court and charged with copyright infringement on a large scale might be the best thing that ever happens to Google’s foray into the printed word."

Top Viewed Properties on Zillow.

This is strange. The top five properties on are in Mountain View, CA, Mint Hill, NC, Oakland, CA, San Diego, CA and Fort Collins, CO. Fort Collins? Yup. What is stranger is that the Fort Collins property is dramatically cheaper than the rest. It is listed for $153,900 in comparison to the top property which is listed at $1.599 million. That does not make sense. I doubt if the Fort Collins property has a high level of genuine interest. Some real-estate agent has had his interns clicking!

The other thing that surprised me was that the top house was viewed 218 times in a week. That's it? That is nothing for a $1.6 million home. Many of those views were probably the lister and his/her real-estate agent.

Dan Pink finds the best quotes.

Quote of the day-

"A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner."

See What Google Talk Users Are Listening To

Man, I feel old and out of touch. The top artists are- Linkin Park, Kanye West and Green Day.

Defusing a Google Bomb

Interesting paper-

Defusing a Google Bomb

Harvard University - Harvard Law School
Yale Law Journal Pocket Part, Vol. 117, 2007

Anonymous internet defamation is nothing new, but the recent Autoadmit controversy highlights one particularly difficult aspect of this problem: Google bombing. As private individuals are defamed on popular anonymous message boards, searches on Google and other engines return the defamatory posts as top hits for those individuals. This short essay suggests a notice and takedown solution modeled after the DMCA's similar provisions. I argue that such a solution is much more effective for the Google bomb problem than for copyright infringement because the parties involved are much more likely to have similar legal resources than in copyright disputes.

Inside the Googleplex

The Economist writes-

"It is rare for a company to dominate its industry while claiming not to be motivated by money. Google does. But it has yet to face a crisis."

This is the interesting part-

"Google's success still comes from one main source: the small text ads placed next to its search results and on other web pages. The advertisers pay only when consumers click on those ads. 'All that money comes 50 cents at a time,' says Hal Varian, Google's chief economist. For this success to continue, several things need to happen.

First, Google's share of web searches must remain stable. Thanks to its brand, this looks manageable. Google's share has steadily increased over the years. It was about 64% in America in July, according to Hitwise. That is almost three times the volume of its nearest rival, Yahoo!. In parts of Europe, India and Latin America, Google's share is even higher. Only in South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the Czech Republic does it trail local incumbents.

Second, Google must maintain or improve the efficiency with which it puts ads next to searches. And here its dominance is most impressive. In a recent analysis by Alan Rimm-Kaufman, a marketing consultant, it took a whopping 73% of the budgets of companies that advertise on search engines (versus 21% and 6%, respectively, for Yahoo! and Microsoft). It charged more for each click, thanks to its bigger network of advertisers and more competitive online auctions. And it had far higher “click-through rates”, because it made these ads more relevant and useful, so that web users click on them more often."

GMail Videos Get Unbelievable View Numbers

GMail Behind the Scenes (Final Cut)

GMail Theater: Why Use Gmail

The Zune phone concept is not dead in the water yet.



The Freakonomics blog asks the question-

“Why are we eating so much shrimp?” Apparently, the per-capita shrimp consumption has tripled from 1980 to 2005. The answer- "A key factor is that prices have dropped sharply."


Marketing Words of Wisdom

Lars Perner has an excellent list of words of wisdom. Here is a sample-

Even if it ain't broke, preventive maintenance may still be cost-effective.

Market share, unlike body weight, is very difficult to gain and very easy to lose.

Being normal (of necessity) is not a badge of distinction.

A conscience, though an invaluable asset, can be a very expensive thing to have.

Consumers frequently make very reasonable evaluations of the relative merits of apples and oranges--how else could they choose between the two?

Verbosity is my business.

Facts without context are rarely meaningful.

Where there is no gain without pain, one should attempt to maximize the gain-to-pain ratio.

Segmentation is the cornerstone of marketing.

It is better to learn by adaptation than by imitation.

Though almost invariably less sweet, reviewers do resemble a box of chocolates in the sense that you never know what you are going to get.

No amount of reasoning is going to provide a definitive answer to an empirical question.

Assumptions kill.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"All Marketers Are Liars" by Seth Godin

Ths is an old, but great, video by Seth Godin.


Everybody seems to be speculating about the potential for Google to launch an industry-changing product- GPhone.

Wall Street Journal quotes me!

The Wall Street Journal had a story about voluntary pricing at small eateries such as Terra Bite. Yours truly was quoted. Here is the exact quote-

"You can encourage people to donate as much as they want," says Sandeep
Krishnamurthy, associate professor of e-commerce and marketing at the University of
Washington at Bothell campus. "And if you do that to the right audience in the right
way ... what ends up happening is that you save money [by not having to invest in a
large, paid staff or credit-card services] and people feel good that you're trusting them
so much. And I think you're going to end up seeing people giving good sums of

Pecha Kucha

Dan Pink has a new meme- Pecha Kucha. Use it at the next meeting- "Emotionally intelligent signage".

US Open

I was watching the match between Blake and Haas yesterday. It was an instant classic.

The New York Times put it best-

They tested each other’s will for more than three hours yesterday afternoon at the United States Open, in a match that held more plot twists than a Shakespearean tragedy, but now Tommy Haas and James Blake stood at the net and waited for the instant replay to determine how it would end.

The two men, whose lives have featured far tougher hurdles than that moment, looked at each other in helpless empathy. When the final call ruled Haas’s serve an ace, they could do little but share a warm handshake and endure their opposing emotions. Blake, seeded sixth, absorbed another heartbreaking five-set loss at Arthur Ashe Stadium, in a tournament he considers home. Haas, the 10th seed, reveled in an unlikely triumph.

“Anytime you play such a close match, you’re out there for over three hours, that’s the one thing in tennis, you’re pretty much by yourself afterwards,” Haas said. “When you have to deal with the loss, it’s tough. Obviously for the winner, it’s always such a great feeling.”

Haas’s 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4) victory sent him to the quarterfinals, where he will face the man who beat him in that round last year, Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.

Top 10 Sites on today

One of my favorites

One of my favorites