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    35 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2008 5:05 PM by SBC Team

    Event: Search Marketing with Google

    CommunityTeam Adventurer
      Community Members,

      Please join us in welcoming Jon Kaplan to your Small Business Online Community. Jon is here to answer questions related to search marketing. Today, Jon will be using the screen name GoogleKaplan.

      About Jon:
      Jon Kaplan is the Industry Director of Financial Services at Google. He oversees sales and operations for the Financial Services industry in North America. Jon has been with Google for over 4 years and previously worked at the Economist Group/

      To all Community Members
      If you have questions for Jon, post it here by simply hitting reply and then refresh your browsers often to view Jon's responses. Jon will try to answer as many of your questions as possible; however he may not get to all of them. You must be a registered user of the site to particpate.

      Join Now -

      The event will be moderated to queue the questions for our guest. After a question is posted it may be delayed and/or moved into a queue. You do not need to repost. Your question has been received but is in a queue waiting for the guest response. Please note, Jon will first answer the pre-event questions that community members were kind enough to ask in advance.

      Remember the community guidelines; stay on topic and be professional.

      So, what's your question?
        • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
          Bluesuit Adventurer
          How are images searched on the web? Is it based on the image's title? Does size or type of image file play a role in searchability?
            • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
              GoogleKaplan Newbie
              In general, search engines are text based. This means that in order
              to be crawled and indexed, your content needs to be in text format.
              This doesn't mean that you can't include images, Flash files, videos,
              and other rich media content on your site; it just means that any
              content you embed in these files should also be available in text
              format or it won't be accessible to search engines.

              For the slightly more sophisticated:
              • Don't embed large amounts of text inside images. Googlebot won't be
              able to index the text in these images. Provide detailed captions and
              descriptions of images you use - this is the text that Google will use
              to index your site.For the advanced:
              • Use detailed alt text to describe the content of your images.
              Googlebot cannot read text embedded in images. Therefore, alt text is a useful way to give Google information about an image.
              For the really advanced:
              • See Google's new interactive game that helps label new photos that have been uploaded:*image**labeler*
            • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
              designer Tracker
              I'd like to ask If GOOGLE is going to release anything NEW that would benefit the classic dot.coms? I have tried Google Ad Words but lost nearly $1,000.00 trying to lure not even one new client. People are having lot's of success with Blog's that are cheap and easy. I feel cheated that I spent so much money on my Web site with a graphics designer, Webmaster and did it the classy way, etc. and when it comes to search engines, or GOOGLE...the Blog's and silly celebrity gossip sites seem to be getting all the high ratings and hits. Thank you so much!!!
                • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                  GoogleKaplan Newbie
                  I'm sorry you didn't have success in your first try! To answer your
                  question, while we don't design features specifically for dot-com vs.
                  traditional companies, there are a lot of tools and products that you
                  can take advantage of. The first step is making sure you completely
                  measure the outcomes that are important; what is a successful
                  'marketing event' in your eyes. To do that most effectively, many
                  customers have started using advanced analytics programs on their
                  websites to measure everything, from where the user came from, to what
                  they did, to where they dropped off in the process. Many providers of
                  this technology charge thousands of dollars per month; Google has a
                  free analytics product called (surprise) Google Analytics. You can find
                  more details here:

                  Other tools to consider: website optimizer, which will help with multi-variant landing page testing (*website**optimizer),* Google Labs, that showcases many of the new and exciting products coming out of our engineering team (, and Experimental Search, which highlights some of the newest search ideas (

                  Outside of adwords, we're doing alot of testing in offline media
                  (print, tv, radio), display advertising (content target banners) and
                  Video (YouTube) -- where we can profile target your ads to right

                  Give it another shot using some of these tools!
                • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                  designer Tracker
                  Sorry, 1 more...(because Google is like GOD) ha ha...for small business owners....


                  Q. I noticed the last 2 weeks or so on Google,
                  I would type in: Kenneth Fron


                  and then my jewelry Web site would come up at the top real nice and below it there would be about 6 links that would be shown to click BUZZ, About, Catalog, etc. It looked sharp and gave a more detailed breakout if someone tried to search my site, to know they can select a certain page.

                  I noticed last night, it was all gone.

                  I randomly googled a few other people or places and some sites had what I had before, others didn't. I wondered if they were testing something? I started to think maybe I had something set up real nice and then it was gone. Some people have mentioned that since I didn't generate revenue for anyone, like have banner ads, didn't have Google Ad Words, etc. I was sort of dropped??? Thank you so much!
                    • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                      GoogleKaplan Newbie
                      Thanks for the question - I believe you're referring to 'site links', which are the listings below the natural result that give more detail about the site and save users time so they can quickly find the information they're
                      looking for. They actually aren't based at all on any revenue generating equation; paid and natural links are considered separate (think editorial vs advertising).

                      We only show sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful
                      to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms
                      to find good sitelinks, or we don't think that the sitelinks for your
                      site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them. Note that we only display sitelinks when a site has a minimum of
                      three sitelinks available. At the moment, sitelinks are completely automated, but in the future, we may incorporate
                      webmaster input.


                      If you think that the sitelinks displayed for your site are
                      inappropriate or incorrect, you can block them so that they no longer


                      To block a sitelink, first ensure that you have verified ownership of the site. Then:

                      1. On the 'webmaster tools dashboard' (within, click the site you want.
                      2. Under Links, click Sitelinks. If we have sitelinks information for your site, we'll display a list of sitelinks.
                      3. Click Block next to the sitelink you want to \\ remove. Please let us know why you want to block the sitelink - it will \\ help us improve the way we generate and display sitelinks.
                      Hope that helps clarify site links!
                    • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                      HumanArrow Adventurer

                      If I have a $1,000 and want to advertise locally using Google. What form of advertising would you recommend that would take my advertising dollars further?


                      Directing Traffic To Your Business!
                        • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                          GoogleKaplan Newbie
                          Local targeting is something Google, and search engines in general, does very well. With Google's AdWords system, you can locally target your search ads so they only show up when someone searches for your products/services in a defined area. For instance, let's say you sell widgets. You could say to Google, I only want users from the city of Charlotte, NC to see my ads for widgets. Google will then only serve your text ad when someone from Charlotte, NC searches for the term widgets (or related searches). In fact, you get as finite as targeting by radius around a certain point (say 20 miles around your branch/store) or even what is called 'trapezoidal targeting', where you set the customized parameters of the targeting (say for instance, the bay area where someone doesn't need to drive over a bridge to get to you). The possibilities are limitless.

                          Another way to locally target is focusing display ads (banners) on sites that cater to a certain city. We have relationships with thousands of 'local' sites (newspapers, community sites, magazine sites etc), where through one buy, you can purchase all the relevant local sites. Combine this targeting with some of the analytics tools I mentioned in a previous post, and you've got a great campaign!
                        • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                          DomainDiva Ranger
                          Our aircraft records and maintenance biz app is starting beta testing soon. We are going to do launch announcements and some hard advertising in aviation mags, but we don't have a lot of money.

                          I was approached by an internet 'ad words' person who quoted me 15,000.00 per month! Impossible for us to do. Is there any hope for a newbie with great keywords and a small budget?
                            • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                              GoogleKaplan Newbie
                              Wow sounds like an interesting new application you're launching! While many people think about Google as a pure consumer service, the fact is that it's a great medium for the B2B audience as well. In fact, we were just named the #2 B2B advertising medium from B2B Magazine's "Media Power 50" -- just behind the WSJ. We're really excited about this!

                              The approach I would take is to strongly consider what marketing outcome would be viewed as a success. Are you trying to drive leads? Do you want people to sign up for a webcast/white paper? Do you want them to take a demo of the new product? Or do you want them to buy something on the spot? From there you can devise your search strategy. The question becomes, what keywords would lead people to this outcome? What is each outcome worth to me? (Hint, again, analytics can help with all of this!). And if Google can send lots of traffic that converts at the appropriate ROI, then maybe you'd be willing to continue advertising.

                              But Google does give you the ultimate flexability to set up your campaign, and your budget, to fit your needs. So while $15,000 might be the total opportunity, you have the ability to spend as much or as little as you care to. Google allows you to set a 'daily budget' that won't be overspent - and it can be as little as $10 / day if you just want to test!
                            • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                              NatOnline Tracker
                              A lot of webmasters talk about paid links, what about big review sites marketing with ppc, etc... passing Page Rank?

                              Do you consider that is not paid links? And why?

                              Thank you
                                • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                  GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                  While this is not my area of expertise per se, I do know that Google and most other search engines use links to determine
                                  reputation. A site's ranking in Google search results is partly based
                                  on analysis of those sites that link to it. Link-based analysis is an
                                  extremely useful way of measuring a site's value, and has greatly
                                  improved the quality of web search. Both the quantity and, more
                                  importantly, the quality of links count towards this rating.

                                  However, some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of purposefully buying
                                  and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the
                                  links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their
                                  sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of
                                  Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's
                                  ranking in search results. You'll notice that Google does not allow anyone to pay their way into our natural search results -- just a part of our core belief of objectivity.


                                  So while I can't comment specifically on comparison sites, the above hopefully give you some good guidelines.

                                • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                  domesticList Wayfarer

                                  I have couple of clients for Google Adwords and I found that Google charge for Clicks that are not a potential or expected visitors, for example I want to pay google only for my USA viewers. Why I am getting hits from outside USA and then charged $$$ for those CPC whereas I selected my Target Market as USA.

                                  This needs to be addressed and resolved. Most of the advance user should have the same question.

                                    • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                      GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                      We certainly agree that if you're getting clicks outside of your desired geo-targets, that we need to investigate. It is possible that, in some cases, you could get clicks from outside your geo-targeted area (including outside of the USA) if you have geo-modified keywords in your account. For instance, if you have 'charlotte bank' in your keyword set, it's possible that people outside of Charlotte are searching for a bank in Charlotte (say, if they're moving there from another place). In this example, even though the person was outside of Charlotte physically, they would still see your ad -- because the geo-modifier is in the keyword.

                                      That being said, if you don't have geo-modified keywords in your campaign, or believe there's something else going on that doesn't make sense, please send us a note by hitting the 'Contact Us' link in the top right of your AdWords Center.
                                    • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                      xenopod Adventurer
                                      I have a few questions. I am hoping since this is awhile before the event that you may have a chance to address my questions.

                                      I saw recently on slashdot (article link here:
                                      8/06/02/230247 ) that Google has started to provide real time pricing information for the NASDAQ. Will that soon be expanding to other areas? What other tools does have to offer the public and do any of those offerings target small business owners? How does the stock quote data collected by Google compare to the offerings of OpenTick (link: ) and what does Google offer that provides an edge or spin to just collecting and presenting data? Has any consideration been given to creating forecasting tools or creating an API to access the data Google collects from the market so others can create some applications along those lines?

                                      A different article refers to another post on the Google blog about opening up some of the search algorithms. Have more details been prepared on that or is there any idea when more details will be discussed? Will there be allowance for interactivity for code revision from the community? Are there any fears about releasing more details on specific algorithms leading to new exploits to subvert google?

                                      Finally if you could take a look at this thread (link: http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.banko
                             ) I think everyone on the forums would appreciate your insights from the conversation there.

                                      I'm sorry I know I have asked quite a bit, but it isn't everyday we have this sort of opportunity. I deeply appreciate you taking the time to read through this post and any responses you can give would be great! Thank you.
                                        • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                          GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                          Thanks for your questions! Let me try to tackle them one at a time:

                                          Google Finance: First, you should bookmark the Google Finance blog at It has all of our significant announcements and new developments. You may have seen Google Finance launch with an incredible charting functionality, that now has been copied by most of our competitors. The use of AJAX technology (think dragging the map or chart) was revolutionary! Since then, we've launched enhanced features for the serious trader including the overlay of information like news, dividends, splits, trading volume and after-hours trades. The next phase is possibily to tap into the collective wisdom of developers and traders to enhance the features we bring to bare. You can imagine this is not as simple as it sounds though, with data agreements in place that cover only certain use cases. But stay tuned - Google Finance has a lot more to offer!

                                          With regard to opening up the search algorithm, please check out the most recent post from our VP Engineering Udi Mander, who is in charge of Search Quality:
                                          troduction-to-google-search-quality.html . We're definitely interested in doing many of the things you mention!

                                          Finally, that was an interesting article you referenced; while I can't comment specifically on all of the things highlighted in that article, I would refer you to our search quality engineer Matt Cutts, who has his own (authorized by Google) blog where he posts many of the same themes, or at least our take on them! This site can also help wiht question #2.

                                          Good luck!
                                        • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                          FCPainter Adventurer
                                          Jon, as a fellow OWU Bishop, thanks for appearing. Here's my question: How do you suggest a small busienss use online and offline (e.g. google ads) to support each other. What have you seen work?
                                            • Re: Google is coming on June 16 to  SBOC!
                                              GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                              Go OWU!! The combination of offline and online is one of the most exciting areas Google is getting into right now. With our partnerships in the offline space with the Dish Network (TV), Clear Channel Comm (Radio) and over 700 newspapers, we now have a compelling offline media platform to accompany our online offerings of search, display and video. Our most sophisicated customers are using the advanced analytics that we are offering in all three offline platforms:


                                              Each of these platforms provide unique measurement and insight not currently available. Check out the demos and case studies! After you run an offline campaign, it's always interesting to see what the impact of that campaign was on search query volume. Use Google Trends ( to see if you're offline campaign led to more people searching for your brand or products. You can also see the search volume by geography, so if you ran a local campaign, you could see what the impact was in that local market specifically! Very powerful...

                                              Of course, anytime you do an offline campaign, make sure you have an accompanying serach campaign to ensure you capture users searching for your brand!
                                            • Re: Google will be here today @ 2PM EST!
                                              NatOnline Tracker
                                              I've got a question for John Kaplan from Google:

                                              Why does Google rank sites in the top 5 with keyword rich domain names and page titles, but with no contents or pages?
                                              Thank you.
                                              • Re: Google will be here today @ 2PM EST!
                                                NatOnline Tracker
                                                I've got another question :

                                                I've seen many e-commerce owners that have created multiple sites. I understand that some secure their businesses online in case a technical problem arises on one of their e-commerce. I have also discovered that some e-commerce owners rank high on Google for certain keywords, then secure their ranking with multiple domain names, with the same descriptions, keywords, etc..., monopolizing the top positions. I think it is an unfair practice, and a kind of spamming too. What Google is planning to do to prevent that and keep a fair ranking competition for all e-commerce owners in the same field?
                                                  • Re: Google will be here today @ 2PM EST!
                                                    GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                                    Your question gets to the heart of search quality - for advertisers! In general, we do not allow the same company to serve up two identical ads with different domains. If those situations are found by users, competitors or our policy team, they will be 'linked' -- meaning that those two ads can never show up at the same time. Because some people try to take advantage of the system, we don't always catch it right away, so we rely on users and others to help monitor this policy. But if an advertiser purposefully does this several times, they will not be allowed to set up a campaign again. The caveat is that one affiliate can run at the same time as the parent company, as long as the domain is different. Additional affiliates would need to be linked ...

                                                    It is critically important that our ads are as good as our natural results -- they should be a service to the user. If you see things that seem to comprimise the user experience, contact us!
                                                  • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                    SBC Team Guide
                                                    Hello Community,

                                                    Jon will be addressing the pre-event questions directly to start things off as questions begin to pool in the queue. Just a reminder, Jon will get to try to answer as many questions as possible, however he may not get to all of them.

                                                    Take it away Jon!
                                                    • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                      CommunityTeam Adventurer
                                                      Jon is answering the pre-event question the Community right now, but please continue to post your questions to Jon. He will be here until 5PM ET.

                                                      Remember: The event will be moderated to queue the questions for our guest. So your post will be delayed. You do not need to repost. Your question has been received but is in a queue waiting for the guest response.

                                                      Also, don't forget to refresh your screen periodically!
                                                      • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                        SBC Team Guide
                                                        We're going to give Jon a 5 minute break to rest his fingers and to stretch his legs.

                                                        Community, great job posing such great questions. Send more if you haven't submitted one already. If you have, thanks! Jon will try to get to it as fast as he can.
                                                        • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                          SBC Team Guide
                                                          Ok, Jon's back!

                                                          Let's pick up where we left off!
                                                            • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                              SBC Team Guide

                                                              Great job with the pre-event questions Jon! We have plenty more in the queue. Let's tacke those next.

                                                              amspcs asks:

                                                              Re Adwords...How do you suggest we novices go about determining optimal bid amounts? I have found that often, just raising the bid does little or nothing to improve placement or performance. Any tools you can think of to help *us *determine what the competition is biddin for a specific keyword so we know if we're even in the ballpark? What about ""---any comments *on *that service? AMSPCS
                                                                • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                  GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                                                  Keyword prices are an interesting concept. Most of our clients monitor them, but only in the context of how they are affecting their allowable cost per acquisition. If keyword prices go up, but conversion rates on the backend go up by the same percentage, they are less concerned than if kw prices go up and conversion rates go down or stay the same. Several of our customers do use 3rd party companies like keyword spy, although big advertisers will often use a company like Efficient Frontier who will plug kw pricing strategies directly into their account and adjust bids on the fly based on performance.

                                                                  We plan to bring more transparency to the bidding process in the future, so hang tight -- we know you need that!
                                                              • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                SBC Team Guide
                                                                Perfect! Next question is from simon07:

                                                                I've heard a lot of info about Google Maps recently. Can you talk about that application? Also, can you give advice on how businesses can increase their chances to appear in those search results? Does it all operate on the same search principles? Or is it partly driven by user interactions too? I noticed that users can submit reviews and ratings on businesses they find via Google Maps. How does that play into the search equation if at all?
                                                                  • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                    GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                                                    Another great question - this time about Maps! Maps is one of most interesting products and continues to evolve. Since buying a company called Keyhole several years ago that allowed you to see satellite imagery, we've now incorporated alot of community aspects into the product. Google Maps API is the key to this ( We are allowing developer, users and businesses to overlay local information -- from MyMaps, the Starbucks locations to StreetView mapping down to the individual streets! The power is in the depth and breadth of information we have access to and in the community feedback and features we've launched! Our transit information (public transportation) overlay was particularily impressive ...

                                                                    For a business, it's important to make sure, through the API also, that Google has the most up-to-date information about your business. Often times, to generate natural search results, we use a third-party information provider (Yellow Page type of providers) who may or may not have the most updated info. It's best if you take a little time to update that info yourself. The ratings and reviews you mention don't measure into the natural search results, but is important as users consider transacting with your business -- think of it as CitySearch for Businesses.

                                                                    I could go on - but check out to see all of the interesting 'mash-ups' that have been created using Google Maps. The open API is fully in effect on this product!
                                                                  • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                    SBC Team Guide

                                                                    xenopod would like to know:

                                                                    What are some offerings from Google that would be particularly useful for small businesses that are just getting started? Aside from the API's are there other offerings specifically for small IT companies?

                                                                    By the way thank you for your attention to both these and my previous questions. It is most definitely appreciated!
                                                                      • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                        GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                                                        No problem - happy to do it! One of the most interesting areas of development for small businesses is in our applications. Recently, Google changed our 2 core areas of focus (Search and Ads) to 3 areas of focus (Search, Ads and Applications). Over the last several years, we have been busy buying companies and partnering with companies that can help us with this mission. Today, we offer a suite of productivity software that is either free or nearly free (depending on the program you select) and that allows you to focus on running your business -- not running your IT department! We offer corporate versions of GMail; spreadsheets, word processing and presentation software that allows you to collaborate online w/ multiple people working on a doc at one time; Google Calendar and Google Talk. All of this, plus a website creator, free analytics and a free website optimizer that I mentioned previously. It's very compelling to a small business owner who doesn't want to spend a ton of dough, but wants world-class technology along with security and support from Google. Of course, all of this is accessible over the internet, so no need for costly software installs on your decktop -- and your information/software is accessible from anywhere and with any device! It's really exciting ... lots of small businesses are signing up daily.

                                                                        Check it out at:
                                                                      • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                        SBC Team Guide

                                                                        Very helpful response Jon!

                                                                        akgold asks:

                                                                        Hi Jon, Thanks for all of your helpful answers. Here is my question: what do you see as being some of the biggest internet trends for the next 10 years? Google is clearly changing the way the whole world thinks about advertising and finding information *on *the internet. I was just wondering what neat things may be *on *the horizon that you can share with the Community. Thanks in advance! Andrew
                                                                          • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                            GoogleKaplan Newbie
                                                                            A great question to end my session on! The future looks bright and Google is preparing for the next generation of advertising and information. Front and center is the mobile revolution and what potential that has for both users and advertiser. There will be roughly 3 times as many phones sold in the world than computers in 2008 -- and in many countries around the world (including Japan and South Korea), more people access the internet from there mobile phone than from their computer. In fact, 80% of web traffic in South Korea comes over the phone! So Google is not thinking about information wrt computers, but rather device agnostic.

                                                                            From an advertiser POV, you can see how mobile phones could revolutionize advertising. Most new phones are GPS enabled, which allows us (and anyone on the network) to know exactly where someone physically is. Imagine a scenerio where, if you opted in (of course), Google could serve you a targeted, geo-specific ad on you mobile phone when you started walking towards a particular business. Let's say I opt in for restaurant information and ads. If I'm walking down the street in NYC and approaching a top-rated pizza place - that happens to also advertise with Google Mobile - that business could serve an ad when I'm approaching 100 feet of their location for instance ... and then send me a text alerting me to that fact with a $1 off coupon! Talk about precision marketing! That's the power of mobile ....

                                                                            It's going to be fun watching how this plays out, but rest assured, Google will always do it's best to be relevant to users and a must-buy for advertisers -- by providing precision, scale and accountability.

                                                                            Thanks for having me today and best of luck with your businesses!!
                                                                          • Re: Live Now: Google - Search Marketing
                                                                            SBC Team Guide

                                                                            On behalf of the SBOC Team and the members of the Small Business Online Community, we wanted to say we truly appreciated your time today and your professional responses to user questions.

                                                                            Community members, while our session with Jon has now concluded, please feel free to discuss today's session and the questions answered. Again, if you'd like more information about Jon and Google, visit:


                                                                            Thanks again,
                                                                            The SBOC Team