Search our articles on Google – from Google Search & AdWords to other Google Apps and news.

How Does Google Work?

Do you want to know how Google works? Check this neat clip from Matt Cutts of Google!

Google AdWords Workshop Announced

On Monday, 21st June we will be running a New Google AdWords Workshop. Why not book a place and discover how it could be used effectively for your organisation?

This 1-day (beginner to intermediate level) workshop will focus on how your business or organisation can use this tool to generate more relevant, quality leads and even increase website conversions. We will look at:

Setting up campaigns and exploring the difference between Google Search and the Content Network. We will also look at ad scheduling and delivery./

How to mine Google's Keyword Tool, competitor sites and campaigns and other sites for words that can be used for your campaign. The workshop will consider the various types of keyword matches: broad, phrase, exact and native and consider their various pro's and cons.

Ad Groups

How to create and maintain effective ad groups. What are the best average positions, clickthrough rates and bidding strategies you can employ?

Writing Ads
What are the words, phrases and sentences that can make people click your ad and even convert people when they arrive on your site. In addition, we'll explore split testing and keyword insertion.

More information on this course can be found on the Google AdWords page of Marketing Tom. This workshop will introduce the LATEST Google AdWords interface.
The cost of the workshop is £199 (+VAT) and I'll be offering, in the true sense digital marketing conferences/workshops, early-bird discounts of 20% for the first 4 people who book!

Is It Me Or Is Google Having A Bit Too Much Fun Today?

I was just doing a search on Google when I noticed something a little odd on the results part of the screen. This is what I found:

refreshing the page brought this:

and then this:

and this:




and then

and finally:


Watch The BBC’s Excellent Virtual Revolution Series

The BBC has recently aired a superb series called the Virtual Revolution. The series, in the words of the BBC, charts

two decades of profound change since the invention of the World Wide Web, weighing up the huge benefits and the unforeseen downsides

It looks at all aspects of the Internet from its humble beginnings, the use of it by states, the growth of ecommerce and collaboration. There are tons of interviews with people like Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Clay Shirky, Steve Wozniak, Marissa Meyer, Sir Tim Berners Lee, Stephen Fry, Chad Hurley, John Battelle and many, many more key players. Most episodes cannot be viewed on iPlayer (in the UK) anymore but I have found that 10-15 segments can be found on YouTube. And just to help you out, here is the complete first episode on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Google And The Real Time Web

I have tweeted about this before but don't think I have blogged about it. Around an hour or so ago I posted an article about Chris Brogan. This is the time that my TypePad dashboard logged that I had written the article:


I went off to lunch just after and curious as to whether Google would have spidered the page I typed in some keywords into Google and saw this:


To try and give you an idea of when I actually checked this out, I did another screen grab which included the time on my Mac:



I will try and check out how quickly Google actually indexes this page. You must also bear in mind that this site is built on a blogging platform and is updated quite frequently - there's two top tips for you!

Related Pages

Google now is indexing things from the real time web in SECONDS

Google Is About To Get Caffeinated With A Faster Search Index

Google Launches Real Time Search Results


Google listed the site within its search results in a few minutes

A Taste of Google Wave

There has been quite a lot of talk about Google Wave over the past couple of months and over the past few days Google has been sending out invites to selected members of its community. Google Wave is a social networking and communications tool that lets users collaborate on projects. As the Wall Street Journal blog puts it:

Wave is a new way for businesses and consumers to collaborate. It blends elements of email, wikis, instant messaging and social networking to try to make it easier for people to plan everything from a dinner to a presentation, in real time.

If you would like to find out more about Google Wave, take a look at this loooong video from Google!

not here

Virgin Mobile (and Orange) And How Not To Do A Google AdWord

Yesterday, I was sent a proposal for a phone contract - for a Blackberry 8900 and a Nokia 6303. Not knowing what the Nokia was like I decided to bang in the words "nokia 6303" into Google and follow the links. Virgin Mobile was the first sponsored link that I came across:


and so I clicked on the link. But instead of taking me to the Nokia 6303 web page they comitted the 'cardinal Google AdWord sin' of taking me to the home page:


And guess what? I then thought I'd try Orange:


and found something even worse:


Google Adwords is much like any form of linking on the web - always make sure you take people to the page they expect to go to when they clicked the link.

Do you approach Digital Marketing tactically or strategically?

A lot of the work that we do at Marketing Tom Media involves helping clients create Digital Marketing Strategies - either through advising them on training or sitting down with them and working out the detail of the actual strategy. So often I see clients being tempted by some some new, exciting application and want to sign up for it and apply it straight away. You've seen a competitor has a blog and another a Twitter account and feel that in order to keep up with them that you should do so to.

Well, hang fire!

Some of these tools may, or often may not, fit in with the digital marketing or social media strategies of these organisations but may not for yours. A couple of days' back Seth Godin wrote an article - when tactics drown out strategy - and said:

Most of us are afraid of strategy, because we don't feel confident outlining one unless we're sure it's going to work. And the 'work' part is all tactical, so we focus on that. (Tactics are easy to outline, because we say, "I'm going to post this." If we post it, we succeed. Strategy is scary to outline, because we describe results, not actions, and that means opportunity for failure.)

He further goes on to say that:

"Building a permission asset so we can grow our influence with our best customers over time" is a strategy. Using email, twitter or RSS along with newsletters, contests and a human voice are all tactics. In my experience, people get obsessed about tactical detail before they embrace a strategy... and as a result, when a tactic fails, they begin to question the strategy that they never really embraced in the first place.

We often have this discussion on the courses that we run, be they CIM courses or 1-day workshops. Students often say that they saw a great offer by Google (a free Adwords voucher), use their credit and say it never worked for them. Or they hear that MailChimp is being used by all and sundry but it doesn't work for them. Might it just be that they tactical approach is wrong possibly because they haven't properly considered their strategy.

When students do a course like the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing or a level 4 or 6 CIM course with us, they are often presented with a methodology like SOSTAC which gives them a framework for developing successful digital marketing plans. This is what SOSTAC stands for:

  • Situation Analysis
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics <-----
  • Action
  • Control

These frameworks are important as they give you and your colleagues direction (objectives) based on what is happening with your organisation at this moment (situation analysis), let you consider the right audience and channels to market (strategy), help consider the correct tactical tools and offer a mechanism for measurement of your activities (control). Notice where tactics sit - position 4 out of 6 in this framework! But time and time again we see people begin their Digital Marketing activities at this point. So, next time you see an article on Mashable about some new Web 2.0 application or a report from the Guardian about the top social media tools for business, pause and ask yourself whether it fits into your overall digital marketing strategy. If you don't have a digital marketing strategy, you know what you have to do!

Related Courses
CIM Qualifications (These courses cover both strategic and digital marketing issues).

What Is Going On With Google Local Results?

Have you signed up with Google Local Business Center and claimed your business listing yet? If not, you may want to take some time out and do it. Simply sign in to your Google account (you will need one) and add your business details. It's something I recommend that all of my clients do.


But what happens if your Google Local listing gets hijacked, spammed or disappears?

This is exactly what appears to have happened with one of my clients. My client is a 4 star hotel based in Wales. Some months back we noticed that when you typed in its keywords into Google instead of having the name of the hotel listed under Google Local (similar to above), an affiliate site appeared - using the hotel's name, offering reviews and even a picture (taken by the hotel). All links from this listing took you to the affiliate's site.

Kerching! A nice little percentage goes to the affiliate.

In order to remedy this problem we listed the hotel, followed Google's verification process and started appearing in the Google Local Business results. I thought this problem had disappeared until I took another look earlier today. This time (i'm pretty sure) appeared where my client's listing should appear and instead of a link to the client site, a link to the affiliate site had taken its place. And for some reason the telephone number was a mobile one, with the hotel number appearing underneath it.

Who is responsible for this? Is it the affiliate site? Or is it a 3rd party which receives a commission from the affiliate site? This is a bit like what you see with Amazon or eBay.

I'm sure that I have read somewhere that should nobody have 'claimed ownership' of the business listing it can default to an affiliate. Not sure if this is true or not.

Whatever the reason I find it quite poor that Google should have allowed this to happen. Surely if the business is located at an address and has verified this with Google, then that business and not an affiliate should be displayed. Something tells me that this is probably widespread across the whole of the hotel industry and affiliates are probably taking advantage of hotels' lack of knowledge of Google Local Business Centre and, in this case, some flaw in Google's system which lets affiliates or their partners 'hijack' listings.