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Marketing/Ecommerce Research

Ecommerce, web marketing and development news and research by Michael Bloch of Taming the

Last Build Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 08:52:02 +0000


Clever Link Request Scam

Wed, 21 Aug 2013 08:52:02 +0000

I read an interesting link request today that wasn’t all that it seemed. The person introduced themselves as a school teacher and said her students have been referring to a certain page I maintain as resource. After gushing about how great the page was, she then requested I add a link to the page in […]

Consumers Cool With Retargeting

Sun, 18 Aug 2013 08:20:13 +0000

An increasing number of consumers are aware of retargeting – and most don’t mind it. Close to 60% of US online buyers surveyed in April 2013 by Adroit Digital and Toluna said they had noticed ads for products they had viewed on other sites during their subsequent online forays. According to eMarketer, 30 percent had […]

A Rethink On Email Subject Line Length

Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:14:11 +0000

I’ve developed a new habit when scanning through the many emails I receive; one I didn’t realise I had picked up until today – and its changing my thinking about subject line length. I use Outlook and I was scrolling through the oodles of backlogged industry publications I receive and noticed the way I was […]

Google Authorship ‘Theft’ Impacting Rankings?

Sat, 10 Aug 2013 07:41:39 +0000

Google’s Authorship feature may be having some nasty effects. In a nutshell, Google Authorship is about linking a specific piece of content with a specific person or web site via a Google Plus profile. But what happens if someone republishes content from a site on their own without attribution and adds their own authorship tags; […]

Google Updates ‘Link Scheme’ Definitions

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 00:40:22 +0000

Building links? You probably want to be aware of some changes Google has made to how it defines a ‘link scheme’. While these have been talked about for a while, they are now ‘official’. Updated a couple of weeks ago, the new additions are: – Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor […]

Oz Biz Encouraged To Bypass Geoblocks

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:50:12 +0000

We live in the lucky country – unless you’re buying certain types of software; downloading tunes or streaming movies. A Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has determined Australian businesses are paying up to 50 per cent more for IT products. It’s such an issue that even our own government is advising Australian businesses to […]

Don’t ask dumb-ass questions

Sun, 28 Jul 2013 06:58:48 +0000

They say there’s no such thing as silly questions. There are when it comes to customer support. An important part of customer retention is support. I think support is really undervalued by many merchants, and this is reflected in the staff they select or how they direct those staff to operate. I don’t think I’d […]

Ad Spend Per User

Sun, 21 Jul 2013 07:14:11 +0000

How much are advertisers collectively spending to reach each US online user annually? US advertisers spent an estimated $144 (in nominal dollars) reaching each online user last year. It’s a big jump from the $36 per user spent in 2002, which was due to the effects of the dotcom bubble bursting and other economic woes. […]

The End Of The Telegram? Not Quite

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 07:18:41 +0000

Good riddance to an antiquated communications method or misty eyed nostalgia? – a bit of both I guess. The Central Telegraph Office in New Delhi was the world’s last major* commercial telegram operation. After 162 years, it has now also ceased operations, with the last telegram sent on the weekend. In its heyday, the service […]

Die, Infographics – Die

Sun, 14 Jul 2013 04:44:36 +0000

In 2011, I lamented infographics. Nothing has changed in nearly two years and I had hoped they would be a threatened species by now. It wasn’t to be. In any week, I’ll still get a half dozen or so emails from companies that have developed infographics they want me to publish. As soon as I […]

Vale Douglas Engelbart, The Mousefather

Thu, 04 Jul 2013 10:45:53 +0000

When we think of the people behind computing and the Internet, certain names spring to mind. Douglas Engelbart likely wouldn’t be one of them, but should be. In 1963, Mr Engelbart was working as a computer scientist at the Stanford Research Institute and developed a wooden block with two rolling discs called an “X-Y position […]

Social Signals And Google Rankings

Tue, 02 Jul 2013 08:20:21 +0000

While it stresses that correlation does not equal causation; a new study indicates social signals have a strong presence in top ranking pages. SearchMetric’s “SEO Ranking Factors – Rank Correlation 2013 for Google USA” notes that high ranking pages also have a high number of likes, shares, tweets and plus ones. Something not mentioned in […]

Stop Forum Spam – A Useful Tool

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 07:23:07 +0000

It can sometimes be tricky to judge whether a first time poster is a spammer. Stop Forum Spam can help you discern spam from ham. Forum spam can often be easy to detect; but occasionally you may come across a post that is difficult to label one way or the other. For example, a post […]

Subject Line Analysis Report

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:52:45 +0000

A study based on trends in the performance of subject lines in 90,000 email campaigns (2.2 billion emails) has been released. The Adestra report is quite detailed, so here’s a few highlights of words that aren’t so good in subject lines: Free Only Learn Report Today Webinar Monthly Get Register Don’t miss Re: Fw: There’s […]

Australian Online Shopping Mainstream

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:17:09 +0000

It really wasn’t all that long ago people would see my email address and ask “what’s that?”.How times have changed. According to the recently released State of the Nation Report from Roy Morgan Research, the first quarter of this year saw online shopping go mainstream in Australia. Australians spent $24.3billion online in the 12 months […]

Threats And Harassment Online Are Crimes

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 08:00:00 +0000

Forum debates can often degrade into slinging matches – and worse.I’m a member of a forum that can get a little rough and tumble at times. Aside from that, it’s a very useful resource – I just stay clear of getting involved in what can become heated arguments. The early warning signals are usually easy […]

Email Marketing Personalization Often Annoying

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:16:25 +0000

A recent survey has found poorly executed personalised emails are common – and annoying.Over 70 percent of people participating in a survey sponsored by Lyris and run by The Economist said ‘many’ of the personalised messages they receive are annoying as the attempts at personalisation are superficial. One of my favourite examples of superficial (and […]

PRISM – It’s Nothing New

Tue, 11 Jun 2013 07:22:31 +0000

I was surprised by the reaction after some details of the US Government’s PRISM program was revealed.In case you haven’t heard as yet; PRISM is a clandestine (well, not so much now) program run by the US Government that eavesdrops on the communications and data of non-US citizens; including Australians. There’s been quite an uproar […]

Australian Government Blocks 250,000 Web Sites

Sun, 09 Jun 2013 06:02:07 +0000

What is it about the concept of shared IP’s that government agencies do not understand?The US feds have been guilty of this in the past and it seems the Australian government haven’t learned from their mistake. Recently, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) fessed up to inadvertently blocking access to more than 1,000 legitimate […]

Internet Retailers Excelling

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 08:38:09 +0000

Consumers have given high marks to online merchants in relation to customer satisfaction.Both the Boston Consulting Group and earlier this year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index have noted the Internet retail sector is the clear leader in this regard. I still remember the days when buying online was such a touch and go affair – […]

Can Google Authorship Kill Traffic?

Fri, 31 May 2013 08:47:07 +0000

I’ve just read a very interesting report on one site owner’s experience with having their headshot next to Google listings.This site owner reports after his photo appeared next to listings, while his positions didn’t change the number of clicks plummeted by 50%-90%. After reading through his situation and thinking about my own Google usage, I […]

What is native advertising?

Wed, 29 May 2013 10:08:03 +0000

The definition of native advertising will depend on who you ask – but here’s a stab at putting an explanation to the label.Put in the simplest of terms; it’s content running on a publisher platform promoting an advertiser that blends in with that site’s ecosystem. The “ad” is usually wrapped in a story or some […]

The Changing Face Of Link Building

Wed, 22 May 2013 07:53:34 +0000

Link building is certainly changing – as is who the link builders are. Back in the 90’s and even up until a few years ago, I used to spend a lot of time in building links; whether it be through directory submissions, article distribution and such – but steering clear of link spamming. However, even […]

Extreme Puffery Pays Off

Wed, 15 May 2013 08:05:22 +0000

An Australian man with no previous career copywriting experience has found himself the center of attention after posting a rather unique classified ad.After engaging in what could be described as puffery to the nth degree; his ad for an old ute attracted over 200,000 views. Given it starts out like this, it’s little wonder it […]

Auto Play Sound Still A No-No

Sun, 05 May 2013 06:58:59 +0000

Don’t do it. Don’t let your advertisers do it either.It was 5.15am and my body was processing its first cup of coffee for the day. The house was quiet. I opened up a few browser windows to view some news items. It’s one of the things I love about the web – reading news stories […]

World’s First Web Site

Wed, 01 May 2013 08:42:00 +0000

CERN is marking the 30th anniversary of the publication of the document that made web technology free for everyone to use by commencing a project to restore the world’s first website (Sir) Tim Berners-Lee invented the web at CERN in 1989 and on 30 April 1993, CERN published a statement that made the basic technology […]

How Has Google Profiled You?

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 01:20:18 +0000

Google has made some interesting assumptions about my online habits, some of them way off the mark. What about you? A humorous article by Australian political journalist and commentator Annabel Crabb* highlighted Google’s clever/devious (depending on your take) method of scanning your Gmail activity to determine what advertising is displayed. Annabel’s experiment with this feature […]

Email Marketing Benchmarks – 2012

Tue, 23 Apr 2013 07:32:35 +0000

How does your email marketing open rates and CTR’s stack up against others? Some insights here.SilverPop’s 2013 Email Marketing Metric Benchmark Study reveals the following average unique open rates during 2012. Overall: 19.7% U.S.: 18.9% Europe, the Middle East and Africa: 19.6% Canada: 24.2% Asia Pacific: 31.5% Median unique open rate: Overall: 17.1% U.S.: 16.5% […]

Video Unavailable In Your Location

Mon, 22 Apr 2013 06:52:20 +0000

Living in Australia, I see this message all too often. At least Stephen Colbert’s crew makes it amusing.It’s terribly frustrating hearing about The BEST Video Ever, getting excited, clicking on the link, waiting for the video and buffer to be met with the message: “Sorry, this video is not available in your location”. I’ve seen […]

Seller Sues Buyer For Negative Feedback

Sun, 21 Apr 2013 02:42:34 +0000

It’s a messy situation and one with important points for both sellers and buyers to contemplate. A seller on eBay has apparently launched a law suit against a buyer who left negative feedback. In brief, here’s how the situation has been playing out: – Buyer paid for goods and shipping. – Buyer then had to […]