Komodo Links: Connecting with Customers, Great Company Blog, and EDU Blogs

Komodo Links is our only post for this week, but its full of quality links for any small business owner looking to grow their business online.

Nick Berliner posted five more solid tips to help you connect with local customers through your website. To read the first five tips, click here.

So what makes a great company blog? Check out Mack Collier’s series of posts at Search Engine Guide for some solid insight. All four are definitely worth reading. On a related note, we are in the process of overhauling and upgrading our blog. The final product won’t be ready for a few more weeks, but we’ll keep you posted.

ZDNet has an interesting post about a newly-launched site called blogs.pi.edu. For the low low price of $50, you can have your own blog with a .edu domain. This has bad idea written all over it.

Check out this clever graphic by Elliance. Search benefits of the Blogosphere….for song birds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Komodo Links: Google Universal Search, Robot Language, and EULAs

We’ve got a short edition of Komodo Links this week. Two posts from the Google Webmaster Central Blog and a humorous post from Techdirt regarding companies EULAs.

The Google Webmaster Central Blog had an interesting post from earlier this week about taking advantage of universal search. The post has some good tips for small businesses to make the most of local search, video search, image search, and personalized search basics.

Google Webmaster Central also launched a Robots.txt Generator available in Webmaster Tools. Read all about it at the Webmaster Central Blog.

Techdirt has a humorous post about how companies don’t even read their own EULAs. The post includes some funny examples.

Komodo Links: AdWords Demographic Bidding, Limiting Consumer Tracking on the Internet, Phorm Knows Everything About You

Today we have a short but very sweet edition of Komodo Links. This week’s edition is all about online consumer data, those who track and sell it, those who use it to target ads, and those who want to stop it. Read on and let us know what you think.

In January, Google invited AdWords advertisers to join a beta test of a new demographic bidding feature. Today demographic bidding is available for all AdWords advertisers. Demographic bidding is a feature that helps advertisers target ads to users of certain age groups, gender or a combination of both. Advertisers can use demographic bidding for both contextual and placement targeting and with CPC and CPM bidding. You can also use demographic bidding to refine your ad’s reach on certain sites in Google’s content network. Advertisers can also access demographic reports in the AdWords Report Center to see how well their ads are performing across different demographics.

Here is a perfect follow up to the AdWords demographic bidding announcement. The New York Times reported yesterday that New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has drafted a bill “that would make it a crime for certain Web companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent.” Yahoo and Microsoft have already sent lobbyists to meet with Mr. Brodsky. The article covers some interesting issues that this bill raises.

Some interesting highlights from the article:

โ€œA law like this essentially takes some of the gold away from marketers,โ€ said Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. โ€œBut itโ€™s the right thing to do. Consumers have no idea how much information is being collected about them, and the advertising industry should have to deal with that.โ€

โ€œThere has really been no harm shown by behavioral targeting or third-party advertising, so this rush to regulate the Internet is really unnecessary,โ€ said Mike Zaneis, vice president for public policy for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry group that represents companies like Google and Yahoo.

Moreover, Mr. Zaneis said, the New York bill threatens to undercut the business model that supports the Web. โ€œIf you take the fuel out of this engine, you begin to see the free services and content dry up,โ€ he said.

And to finish up, check out Janet Meiners’ post at Marketing Pilgrim about the British company Phorm. Apparently Phorm is using British ISPs to track every single action a British web surfer takes to be able to show them ads. The company claims they have access to the surfing habits of 70% of all British households that have broadband.

Komodo Links: Self Serving Reviews, FriendFeedFeed, an Open Letter to Google, and AOL Buys Bebo

We’ve got some interesting and humorous links from the past week for this installment of Komodo Links. So sit back and enjoy while you wait for the weekend to begin.

RealSelf.com, an independent site for consumers to discuss anti-aging treatments, has accused plastic surgery corporation, Lifestyle Lift, of breach of contract and computer fraud. Basically RealSelf.com claims that Lifestyle Lift agents posed as patients and posted positive reviews about Lifestyle Lift procedures. These charges were filed as a counterclaim to a Lifestyle Lift lawsuit filed against RealSelf.com for trademark infringement. MediaPost has more on this plastic surgery soap opera.

Here’s a funny post (and comments) about FriendFeedFeed. FriendFeedFeed, currently in “pre-beta,” aggregates all your social networking aggregator feeds into one aggregated feed of aggregator activity feeds. Definitely a quality piece of Web 2.0 satire.

On a more serious note, Danny Sullivan writes an open letter to Google. In the letter, Danny asks Google to divest itself of Performics, DoubleClick’s SEO firm. “Google’s in the SEO business now, …conflict of interest? You bet.”

And in an unexpected move, AOL buys social network Bebo for $850 million. In response, AOL users ask their grandchildren, “what’s a Bebo?”

Komodo Links: Why Data Matters, Landing Page Load Time and Quality Score, New Yahoo Maps Data, Zuckerberg on Facebook

It’s Friday and its time for some Komodo Links. Google, Yahoo Maps, and an interview with Mark Zuckerberg are on the list.

The Google Blog posted Why Data Matters a couple days ago. A great read including “a brief history of search.”

In the next few weeks Google’s AdWords will begin to factor landing page load time into your quality score. The primary goal is to improve the user experience.

Yahoo Maps has been updated with new data and functionality.
Improvements include:

  • 300 cities with new neighborhood data added throughout North America
  • 12,000 new neighborhoods added
  • Expanded worldwide coverage
  • New Points-of-Interest (POI) information

And to finish up, BusinessWeek has a short interview with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. In the interview Zuckerberg discusses Sheryl Sandberg’s role at Facebook, their expansion plans, and his perspective on a possible initial public offering of stock.

Komodo Links: It’s all about Microsoft and Yahoo

It’s the end of the week so that means it’s time for Komodo Links. Yes I’m still in the office on a Friday night. We’re heading out for the IFA annual convention tomorrow so we’ve been tying up all the loose ends today. This week’s Komodo Links has a laser focus. It’s all about Microsoft and Yahoo.

Have a great weekend everybody.