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Google’s Keyword Tool Explained

A friend of mine and fellow PPC analyst asked me if I had noticed any difference in the performance of my PPC search volumes in the last few months. While things seemed to be normal on the results end, they were significantly off my projections, in the bad way.

For those of you that do not follow such nerd-dom, it is worth restating that  in mid September Google changed the way the Adwords Keyword Tool compiled data. Simply put, the end result of your PPC campaigns did not change, but the estimate of the data from the Keyword Tool will now be significantly reduced. This is because the search volume estimate is  now coming from results only, not the included partners like and

This is significant because certain people use certain search engines. I have noticed for  years that Yahoo is used by older generations and depending on your keywords, and ad copy, your click through rate will show that.

It is always important to get a second opinion with other tools like wordtracker and using your own analytics. At the least, update your projections based on the new data.

The Streisand Effect and Why Lawsuits Are Considered A Marketing Tactic

No, I’m not talking about the super sensational club hit called Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce, but the promotional effect. It all started with a National Geographic Photographer taking pictures of the California coastline for the California Coastal Records Project, and apparently a picture of Barbra Streisand’s secret mansion was snapped unknowingly. The diva sued the photographer to remove the image and essentially put the address of the secret mansion on public record. Oops.

Barbra Streisand's Mansion on the California coastline

Overzealous lawsuits are common in the US, especially by those with cash and no brains, but there is an interesting effect with lawsuits other than your secret mansion being exposed: Links. I know it sounds ridiculous, but they tend to be juicy back links. Everyone loves to point out ridiculous lawsuits like chubby girls suing McDonald’s for their food choices and robbers suing their victims for injuries, and naturally they get passed around quickly.

That is why I was not too surprised to see SEO Book list Suing Google as their #62 link building suggestion. Yes, it works, but they rightly put “Proceed with Caution” nearby.

It seems that useful, relevant content would be the way to go. I say grow up, stop externalizing your link building efforts to the courts and learn to take responsibility for your decisions. If you do get those links, I hope you spent just as much money on content, if not more.

Why Social Networks Aren’t The Best SEO Links

I keep reading about how link exchanges are terrible and can permanently damage your rank. This is true, you should know by now that there is no magic bullet for SEO. It takes good ol’ (relevant) hard work.

But many people are suggesting the treasure trove of social networks as a source of links. This comes with a major caveat, NOT ALL SOCIAL NETWORKS CREATE LINKS EQUALLY.

Twitter has been pressured (probably by Google) to attach ‘nofollow’ tags to outgoing links on tweets. What does this mean? It means you can post nonillion (yes, that’s a real number) links from as many Twitter accounts as you can marshall and it won’t count as a back link. Sorry.

nofollow tag, the link killer

The 'nofollow' tag, the link killer

Facebook does the same. In fact, Facebook has a function called UntrustedLink, which essentially is an anti-spamming tool. It adds the ‘nofollow’ tag so that search engines do not follow the link. This means no link credit.

What it can help you with is getting traffic through those tweets and hopefully those will get indexed by the search engines. So once again, build links by doing something remarkable. Then links will come to you, and of course you can always supplement that with traditional link building. But remember, if it’s too easy, you’ll get penalized, or no credit at the least.

Digg and Delicious are still search engine and link friendly, but it appears that Reddit is not. Any other updates on link friendliness? Comment below!

How To Hide A Page From Navigation In WordPress

I was tinkering around in PHP for hours until I stumbled upon this perfect post for editing your WordPress theme to ignore certain pages. Great time saving tip!

How To Convert An Excel List Of Keywords To A Comma Separated List

Let’s say you’ve got your master list of keywords, for SEO or Adwords all ready to go. If you’ve done your homework, and read the Long Tail, you know that you should have a few thousand keywords. They’re primed, relevant and sure to please the Adwords Quality Score and you need to copy these in a more text friendly manner for say, meta keywords tag. This is something so small, but can take up so much time if you don’t know how to do it.

Converting Excel lists to comma lists

Converting Excel lists, to comma lists can be time consuming without such a simple trick

  1. Take your long list, and copy it into a blank Notepad document.
  2. Select All and copy it again into a Word document.
  3. Use Find and Replace to find “^p” without the quotes, and replace with “, ” without the quotes. I suggest putting a space after the comma to separate the values.
  4. Hit Replace All.

Now you have the Excel list, converted to a more user friendly view that is more helpful for meta keywords and backing up long lists. Want to convert back? Just switch the two values in Find and Replace.

Motorola Droid or Milestone Multimedia Dock Crashing After Android 2.1 Update?

I just got the Android 2.1 update on my UK Motorola Milestone (identical to the

Motorola Droid Milestone 2.1 Update Multimedia Station
Motorola Droid Milestone 2.1 Update Multimedia Station Crash Fixed

Motorola Droid, aside from some loaded software, and being GSM) and it fixes a ton of little things and add some nice new features that users have been requesting. But the moment I put it into my Droid dock (which is awesome for space savers like myself) it immediately crashed the dock/station application. Here’s the fix, which for some reason is nearly impossible to find in English. If for some reason you would rather read it in Portuguese, it is available here.

From the Home Screen go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications

Select  Menu Button > Filter -> All

Select “Base Multimedia” or “Multimedia Station” and select Clear Data.

Go back to the Home Screen and insert the handset into the dock.

Voila, no crash!

Solution by Danilo Araujo

Users, also had the same problem with the dock. To resolve follow these steps.

1) Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications
2) Button Menu -> Filter -> All
3) Find the application "Base Multimedia" and find the Clear Data option.

What The Hell Is Apple Doing Lately?

Honestly, Steve Jobs losing his mind. All this has happened in the last month or so:

1) Apple puts ridiculous restrictions in section 3.3.1 on what platform iPhone apps can be written on. This isn’t a platform killer, but it sure is asking for platform cancer.  Sure, the best apps usually aren’t written on the native platform, but this is really a high stakes move.What the hell is Apple Doing? Apple Logo with Question Mark

2) A college age guy finds the prototype for the next gen iPhone (left by Apple engineer Gray Powell) on the floor of a bar in Redwood City, CA, and sells it to Gizmodo (awesome tech blog) for $5,000. Not more than a week later after they post the pics, representatives from Apple show up at the house and get stopped by a room mate. Two days later, the top editor at Gizmodo Jason Chen gets his house searched and computers, cameras, mobile phones, American Express bill, bank checks and the iPhone prototype (assumed) raided by a combination of law enforcement agencies.

3) Apple bans apps that make fun of public figures. Are you kidding me? If the App Store was a news paper, there would be no political cartoons, no op eds of sarcasm and only information you were supposed to see. Wow.

4) Steve Jobs, the CEO who is known for personally emailing customers, told one person that if they wanted porn on their phone, they should get an Android phone. Well Steve, I have an Android phone and it turns out that it does have porn available. It also has EVERYTHING AN IPHONE HAS. Here’s the kicker though, Apple’s App Store is considered way to raunchy by the Parents Television Council to be for kids. Of all networks, Fox News gives you the dirt on what’s still available.

Wow, what a rough month for Apple.

New Rules for Foursquare

Foursquare is loading up on their rules to prevent you Foursquare cheaters (you know who you are!) Great piece on Mashable about how they won’t prevent you from checking in anywhere, but the points associated are another story.

Details here:

The Last Advertising Agency On Earth [VIDEO]

To follow up on my previous post about The End Of Advertising Agencies and The Beginning of the DIY Small Business Owner….

I couldn’t agree more:

The Last Advertising Agency On Earth from FITC on Vimeo


Cadbury Ireland Facebook Contest Shows Crowdsourcing Drawback: Plagiarized Works

A week ago Cadbury Chocolates Ireland announced the winner of their Cadbury Apprentice Contest to design a new Cadbury Milk Bar wrapper. All was well and the two top designers got well over 25,000 votes each. On Feb 15, 2010 they picked the winner, Sinead Costello. A lot of people voted for the design, but by the end of the day though, comments like this were appearing on the Facebook page:

It appeared that the entry was pretty blatantly copied from a piece called Waterfall Transforming Into White Hooded Monks.

Here are the two pieces below:

Needless to say there are some striking similarities in the waterfall section. Similar direction and an almost identical pattern.

The real give away is where the ‘milk’ breaks mid stream in some rocks, and the placement of the hoods and ‘monks’ is pretty much unforgivable. See close up below:

Plagiarizing works is nothing new, but in an almost admission of guilt, Sinead has apparently deactivated her Facebook page, probably due to the sheer amount of criticism she may have been receiving.

The real loser here is Cadbury though. Crowd sourcing is a great way to engage consumers for local markets and build a reputation, but crowd sourcing also involves the public and their apparently devilish ways.

Cadbury may have seen some advantage in the fact that any publicity is good publicity (hence this post) but it seems that the disheartened other designers who hopefully have not done such work, may have lost their enthusiasm for such a campaign.

Cadbury did respond with this though:

In Cadbury’s defence, they do have a rule that entrants “must ensure that:  (a) The entry is the entrant’s original creation and has not been copied, adapted or amended.”

Is it plagiarism? And how does Cadbury come out of this?

UPDATE: The term that should be used is spec work, not crowd sourcing considering there was no intention of collaboration between designers. Credit to David Airey for catching my mistake.

UPDATE: Cadbury had this to say:

Congratulations Paul!

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