ITNorthWest Voice

This is a blog for all the technology entrepreneurs based in the North West of Ireland - musings about our business, companies, interests, trends and any other random thing that hits us.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tablane -- Funny things happening on the way to our forums.

Who'd have thought? For the last few weeks we've been running an AdWords campaign on Google for our new browser. To start with, I picked various obvious words like 'browser', 'tabbed browser' and so on. Then when Flock came out, I added that. (They haven't got a registered trademark yet, so this was allowed). Including Flock boosted our click-throughs, especially when our AdWords text said that our browser wasn't like Flock, but traffic was still fairly meagre to be honest. Anyway, negative advertising isn't big or clever. I took a step back. Our browser is based on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. This is deeply uncool, as many a breathless blogger will tell you. So last week, I changed our AdWords text to describe Tablane as 'Internet Explorer made cool!' and traffic has shot up. More accurately, traffic from Content has shot up. This is because, at a stroke, many, many more third party sites (or Content in Google-speak) suddenly appeared to be carrying our AdWords text. I think this is because including the words Internet Explorer made our text much more relevant to many, many more of Google's AdSense clients. So, warming to this line of thinking, I then included Internet Explorer as a keyword string, and, you guessed it, traffic has ballooned even more. And the really interesting thing, is that for every impression Flock is generating, Internet Explorer is generating fifty!! This doesn't mean, however, that our download rate is increasing by the same degree, which means that our return on AdWord spending is, in fact, getting worse. I put this down to the fact that we are still in beta, and most people are cautious about downloading unknown beta software on to their PCs. So we need to fix that. But this got me thinking about what business Google is actually in. A couple of months ago, I would have said 'Search', but of course, Search is really just a very expensive and complicated traffic generator. When I began the AdWords campaign, I thought Google's business was about carrying advertising. This is partially true, but, if little ol' Tablane is anything to go by, the advertising revenue being generated from click-throughs off the Google Website itself is only about 5% of the revenues from AdSense partner sites. So, in fact, Google is really the world's biggest Internet advertising agency. I bet Brin and Page never put that in their business plan.

1 Comments:

Anonymous keith bohanna said...

This is great stuff Julian - thanks.

11/22/2005 07:41:00 AM  

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