SES London 2008 – All Star Web Analytics

I didn’t make it to Search Engine Strategies yesterday as I was busy getting set up for my announcement today about the UK adExcellence Launch.

The SES Photos I posted yesterday have been doing the rounds, and as you can see the event was pretty big and everyone was having a great time.

My favourite session on Monday was the Orion All Star Analytics Panel:

Jim SterneBryan EisenbergBrian CliftonIan ThomasSteve Jackson

I think it was a bit of a coup having some of the worlds finest web-metric minds on one stage, and the hour wasn’t a disappointing one.

Moderated by the enigmatic Kevin Ryan, the session dived straight into why advertisers should take advantage of the free packages out there – Google Analytics and the spanking new Microsoft Gatineau.

Brian E was quick to encourage people to go with them as they would have 65-70% of the functionality of more sophisticated, paid-for solutions.

It didn’t take long for the issue of privacy to come up. Should advertisers trust such big companies with their data, especially as they’re running the PPC campaigns many advertisers rely on for traffic too?

Jim responded to the doubts about trust and privacy by saying search engines know an awful lot about us and poo pooed the notion that anything sinister was going on by saying, “I’m upset that my bank knows how much money I have?!”

There was a suggestion that because the engines might know the conversions advertisers receive, they could somehow artificially inflate CPC prices. Brian C was quick to dismiss this by saying the market sets the price in the auction not the engine.

An over-riding theme was one concerning the lack of actual analysis of the data. Companies simply don’t have the resources to look at the data and take action. Steve talked about clients of his who are companies part of larger groups. The larger group has an analytics solution which, when the reports filter down to the individual company marketing departments, they simply don’t know what to do with the data.

Some expert tips included:

Jim – Look at behaviour. Segment based on your audience behaviour, finding out why a particular segment landed on a particular landing page using a particular KW.

Brian C – Check your bounce rate. Why are users coming to a page and then leaving it without going anywhere else on your site? - A single page visit.

Ian – Check out Gatineau’s demographic capabilities. See which age/genders favour what pages and adjust landing page products and text accordingly.

The there was talk of marketing effectiveness. The need for people to start using analytics wholesale is apparent but some companies are starting to get and understand the opportunity to take an authoritative view of the site.

All the panellists agreed that analytics isn’t accurate – you’re looking at trends. A lack of standardisation, different methodologies, different sessions and suchlike mean having spot-on stats is unlikely.

Before they all gave a “must-track-stat”, the subject of social-networking was touched on. How do you put a $$ value on a conversation? It’s not just about traffic, you’re driving customers to take action, to buy something or sign up.

Social measurement will involve tracking the conversations and assessing their impact but organisations have to get involved and wake up to this new phenomena and get out of their two-dimensional view of their world.

Killer Tips:

JS – Think E-Metrics not just Web Analytics

BE – More awareness of conversion rates

BC – A/B testing

IT – More understanding of privacy issues

SJ – We need to create a culture in companies to embrace web analytics

A point Ian made stuck out for me, when he foresaw analytics automatically being folded in to online advertising products and services in the future.

What does he know that I don’t? Better get a job in Redmond!

{UPDATE 22/2: Ian now wants you to Trust Him!}

Microsoft Says It’s About “Interoperability, Opportunity and Choice…”

Well it was significant!

The Beeb has reported on the announcement that we’re opening up some of our software by publishing some key “blueprints”.

“Our goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies,” said Steve Ballmer.

Reckon this follows on from the success of things like adLab and the KSP - give people access to develop using APIs and you end up with the mother of all keyword research tools.

Question is…..what would you build?

Microsoft Executives to Make Significant Company Announcement

But it ain’t about the proposed Yahoo! acquisition!

More here: Press Release

How Many ZunePhones Are We Working On?



IMRG – January Online Sales Up 75%

The Interactive Media in Retail Group have said that UK stores saw a massive jump in online sales shopping this January compared to last year…


  • 75.5% rise in online shopping
  • £4.5B spent online last month
  • 62% average growth in online shopping over the last 10 months
  • 63% over the last 3 months is double the 25% it was this time last year

Could be as a result of sales search terms being up 249% in January!!!

Check out the benefits of joining the IMRG and get you hands on these fabulous reports here: IMRG Sign Up

SES London 2008 – A Few Pictures

SES London Photos… 

The Search Engine Strategies London Expo Hall

The All Star Web Analytics Panel – All On Their Mobiles!!

Jim SterneBryan Eisenberg - Ian ThomasSteve Jackson

What is it with analytics and chelsea boots?


A very svelte Dixon Jones..

The Dyson hand dryers eveyone was talking about!

Joe & Jon

We love Kristjan!

The fabulous Christine Churchill


Beijing Olympics Blogging Guidelines

Athletes and officials at the 2008 Olympics have been told if they write a blog it has to be “dignified and in good taste!” writes MarketingVox

This is the first time blogging has been officially allowed “as a legitimate form of personal expression” and “not a form of journalism.”


I was asked today if I could dig out Microsoft’s blogging guidelines. I’m not sure if they’re public but I’ll see what I can do….

UK’s Most Popular Websites – Nielson 2007 Research

No suprise really, but as the UK’s leading search engine, Google has come top in some research published by Nielson NetRatings.

With almost 25m visitors a month, they beat MSN/Windows Live Messenger (14.7m) and eBay (14.5m) as the most popular online property.

Facebook grew its audience 781% from 1.1m to 8.9m but was NOT the fastest growing site.

That crown went to Beat That Quote who welcomed a whopping 1,165% more users than in December 2006!

Download the report here: Winners On The UK Web

Please Seek Medical Advice First Mate!

From Gatineau…

MY Bytes – Helping Teens Understand IP Laws

Microsoft has conducted some research in the US on how familiar teenagers are with intellectual property laws. The Genuine Software Initiative commissioned the study asking 7th to 10th graders if they knew the rules around downloading music, pictures, movies and software from the internet.

They found that if the teenagers knew the laws, they’d be less likely to flout them. Just 11% said they were “clearly” familiar with what was right and what was wrong when it came to IP.

“Teens who were familiar with downloading rules credited their parents, TV or stories in magazines and newspapers, and Web sites — more so than their schools — as resources for information about illegal downloading.”

So Microsoft has launched an educational website – My Bytes - it compliments an educational pilot aimed at schools they’ve kicked off in conjunction with Topics Education.

“The curriculum is focused on preparing students for the digital age, helping them understand in a meaningful way how intellectual property rights affect their lives and sparking discussion to clarify the “gray areas” in protected and shared content.”

The site lets kids develop their own intellectual property and create their own ringtone by mixing it online.

Wholesale education has to be a good thing! Every time I visit my nephews, the oldest one is 11, their PC is clogged up with all sorts of stuff they’ve swiped online, either not knowing how or why they’ve done it in the first place.

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