SEM SEO Expert by Nima Asrar Haghighi: November 2005 - Toronto SEO, SEM, SMO, Web Analytics Consultant .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

SEM SEO Expert by Nima Asrar Haghighi

SEM SEO Expert” is a blog written by Nima Asrar Haghighi. Nima is an Internet Marketing Specialist with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. Contact: nima @ sem seo expert.com.

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Welcome to Nima Asrar Haghighi's blog covering Internet marketing topics such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, Web Analytics, RSS and online marketing industry as a whole.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Google Analytics - Is Google Changing the name of the game?

Google just recently rebranded the Urchin Web Analytics Service as Google Analytics. Even
better they now offer it for free. But what this revolutionary move means? The launch of Google Analytics affects small-businesses and enterprise marketers, Web Analytics Companies, other search engines (Yahoo, MSN, Kanoodle), and definitely Google's bottom line and future.

Small-business Marketers now have access to a decent application to monitor and measure the success of their Internet marketing initiatives. This free web analytics (or better to say Google Analytics) tool could positively contribute to the bottom line of small businesses.

Enterprise level marketers who have highly invested in a web analytics application might now feel disappointed at how much they have spent on the solution and infrastructure in place. Though they could reassure themselves that they have made the right decision by being early adopters and having access to higher quality tool.

Web Analytics Companies probably have a poker face. Now they have to think their marketing strategies and messaging over and come up with innovative solutions to compete with Google's marketing might. Google Analytics is definitely imposes the most danger to the very existence of low end analytics solutions.

With Google being the early to market with its analytics tool, they could lure away Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN AdCenter market share. GA offers added value to AdWords marketers by helping them improve their conversion rate and ROI.

The timing of Google Analytics is also important as AdWords was facing pressure from Yahoo Content Network and GEO targeting capabilities of MSN AdCenter. Now they could convince marketers to spend their advertising budget on Google as they could get a full, end-to-end package that helps them maximize their return on investment.

Above all, Google will get access to a sea of aggregated information where they could see the trends and improve their services accordingly. However, the danger is they would know which keywords are converting and what the cost per conversion for them. This will allow them to increase the minimum bid price for those keywords!

Google Analytics definitely changes the name and rules of the game. We have to see how things unfold and how Google's competitors, Web Analytics Association, and public react to the recent developments.


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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Are Cookies treated fairly?

Are cookies treated fairly? That is the question we need to ask ourselves. Nearly 40 percent of respondents to recent study on cookies conducted by JupiterResearch in April said they trash cookies monthly. This number is big enough to make Web analytics, Internet marketing and affiliate marketing industries worried. It means that the measurements on metrics such as number of unique visitors and number of conversions generated through an affiliate are not quite accurate.

The real question here is why an increasing number of people are deleting their cookies. I personally started deleting my cookies the very first year I started using the Internet in 1999. It was mainly due to the fact that I was not sure what cookies do and what sort of information they gather about me. Then the anti-spy-ware software programs fed my cookie-deleting obsession with indirectly suggesting cookies are not privacy friendly.

After few years of working in the industry, now I have a different view of cookies. Now, I don’t have a fear of unknown and I see the value proposition of cookies and know them to carry no code or viruses. Cookies offer Internet surfers with better experience through customized and easy to use websites and relevant ads. Even though cookies may carry information on where users have gone on the web, most of it is anonymously tracked and that is why I think cookies are treated unfairly.

In my opinion, one of the reasons why people started deleting cookies was the abuse of technology by some marketers as they bombarded Internet surfers with pop ups. To get rid of the pop ups, people started downloading anti-spy-ware software programs. This intensified the competition over market share among anti-spy-ware companies. To offer more to customers they started offering tracking and removing cookies in addition to spy-wares which in turns fed to the misconception that all cookies are harmful among average Internet users.

In addition majority of people could not distinguish between first-party, third-party, tracking cookies and with lack of education, and sometimes misinformation, see all cookies as harmful and start deleting them. While they do not mind providing more personal information to get discount cards or cable companies monitoring which channels they watch, their fear of unknown makes them wary of cookies even though they collect less personal information.

Of course there is always the danger of getting exposed to “Cookie Poisoning Attack”. I see this as a risk of using a new technology to thrive in such a fast paced life we have.

In my opinion, there is a need for collaboration between all web site owners, web analytic experts, Internet marketers and spy-ware companies to educate users. This could be in the form of coming up with a good list of sites with trusty reputation as initiated by Safecount.org or as simple as offering a brief introduction to cookies and how they are used on our websites.


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