EJM Designs Limited Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MSNBC.com's Unfortunate Juxtaposition

I'll let the graphic I pulled from the site today speak for itself:

MSNBC Horse Body Weight FAIL


Google, Rush...What Happened Last Tuesday?

I've received emails and phone calls and it seems the question that keeps coming up is: what the heck was that?

That is, in reference to my post on Rush Limbaugh, Google Adwords, and Goldman Sachs. And if you haven't had the pleasure, click that link!

The Setup

A friend of mine called me and said "Turn on Rush. He's talking smack about Google or something." And low and behold - as explained in my post - he was. The unfortunate thing about mixing politics and technology is when one is relatively well-versed in one, they are generally deficient in the other. Case in point: Rush's implication was that links and placement were being purchased and there might even be an outright collaboration between Google and the White House.

The truth was simple enough: White House PR was buying Adwords phrases. Just like anyone else can do.

The Plan

Shameless promotion and exploitation. Something Rush said stuck with me: "If you type 'goldman sachs sec' into Google...'"

Rush Limbaugh has millions of listeners across the country and his show is syndicated and paced through every time zone so I can pretty much guarantee those words are going to be spoken every hour between 1pm EST and 3am PST.

A quick search (as Rush told me to do) displayed 2 ads: The White House ad and one more saying "Not just the Obama's Ad." In other words: Open field.

The Moderation

Step 1: Provide something that is both intelligible and educational. That was easy. A basic tutorial on what are paid ads and what are not with reference to the ease of creating an ad campaign is exactly what I was aiming for.

Step 2: Do not turn it political. That was a little more difficult. I have no problem staying away from the Goldman Sachs topic in the posting, but I have a solid peeve spot for people with very large audiences opening their mouths about things they know little or nothing about and making things up that support their end of an argument. And I knew if I directly attacked Rush Limbaugh for doing so, I'd be shifting from business to politics. I believe I succeeded.

The Numbers

I ran the ad nationwide from Tuesday at about 2 to 10pm. Then switched the geographical focus to Ohio only and Wednesday morning knocked it down to Greater Cincinnati.

As of this posting, in a little over 48 hours, I have over 7,500 impressions with over 760 clicks, pulling a CTR of a little more than 10%. Average CPC was $0.41, landing me at a little over $300 for this experiment.

Was it worth it?

Short answer is: if one of the 4 leads I now have pans out, then yes. If not, I've hopefully educated some people who may not have known how Adwords work, and for me the education of someone that prevents a later misunderstanding is worth every penny. Ounce of prevention and all that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wonder and Woe and Humility


After our universe began, it took 385,000 years before the basest of molecules were formed because what we call matter outnumbered anti-matter by one in a billion.

9,000,000,000 years later, our planet Earth was formed.

4,500,000,000 years after that, it's now.

Molecules forming, suns exploding, every piece of you now is a result of cataclysmic events. Every piece of you is more or less from a star.

From the beginning of the universe, energy has turned into matter, matter to energy, to make you and the world around you. Billions of years to form your world, hundreds of millions of years of life transforming for you to read this right now.

So what are you doing today?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Twitter: I'm Sorry: Hollywood n Drama

I scraped and plodded and searched but it looks like all the Twitter stuff this week is, well, crap. So let's just get this over with. Friday the 13th remake sequel dead in the water via Twitter, Lindsay Lohan tweeted some overly-dramatic whining about her dad and cops, Ooh, live tweet with the cast of Eclipse, and OMG Perez Hilton and Spencer Pratt start a Twitter war!

Please flush the toilet on the way out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Dynamic, Spooky Truth of Google

Spotted in this month's Wired (18.05):
Found, Then Lost

In his article about Google ("Inside the Box," issue 18.03), Steven Levy used the phrase "mike siwek lawyer mi" as an example of a search that showed Google's power and effectiveness - how easy it is to find an individual lawyer in Michigan! But since the article was published and blogged about, those links crowd out Mr. Siwek, and his Web site no longer appears in Google's top search results. So very ironic.

And that me blogging about the letter discussing the blogging that changed the dynamic will also have an effect? Downright spooky.

Reminds me of that time I took over Jaguar Grooming in Cincinnati, Ohio...

Google, Rush Limbaugh, Goldman Sachs

A friend of mine alerted me to Rush Limbaugh's show today where he was talking about Goldman Sachs and how if you typed "goldman sachs sec" you'd get Barack Obama's website. But the language Rush was using was a little troubling. He said "Google takes you there" and that President Obama (or, realistically, his PR folks) was buying links and making a strong insinuation that Google's search results were being influenced by the White House.

And as soon as I got back to the office, I realized the mundane truth: The President's PR force, in light of a drive towards financial reform, had bid on the phrase in an Adwords campaign. Just like anyone can do.

As a matter of fact, I just began a campaign myself for "goldman sachs sec" that you can see as well if you type those words into Google. Just to show you how easy it is - and take advantage of a happenstance spike.

[UPDATE: Either the unwanted attention from radio or an exhausted budget have caused the "Organizing for America" Ads to disappear.]

[UPDATE2: The ad is still there (just saw it), I believe cycling now that other folks have gotten in on the phrases.]

Search Engine Ads 101

For those of you who may not be aware, when you search for something in one of the main search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you actually get two types of results: organic and paid. Here's a screenshot from a search of "goldman sachs sec"

Goldman Sachs Google Search results

Now, pay close attention to the areas highlighted in red:

Goldman Sachs Google Search results

Those areas - the top and the right - are labeled "Sponsored Links." Those are Google Adwords or paid ads. Anyone can open an Adwords account, choose phrases, and pay for people to click on their ads. Mine are already running and leading back to this post. This is just how search engines work today.

The rest of the links on the page, the place where most people are drawn, are the news and video, etc. that are also listed. Those are organic listings.

In Closing

Unfortunately many people do not know how search results work (hopefully this helped for some) and even less will check the validity of the claims for themselves. The truth is not nefarious nor malicious nor collusive; it's actually a pretty clear case of Capitalism in action. Heck: even I got on board.

Monday, April 19, 2010

That Little Voice Inside Your Head

Everyone has one (or two or three...). It's that little voice inside your head. If you don't pay attention to it, know that you're not driving. Either way, know that you have control over it.

Generally, the Voice represents your inner-most psyche, and it can take many forms.

In a professional environment, the Voice can tell a writer "no, that's not the right word" or "rewrite that last sentence" or "no one is going to read this!" It can tell an entrepreneur anything from "you're on the right track" to "stop trying - you're going to fail!"

Personally, you may hear "you're too fat" or "you can't do this" or "why are you even trying?" But you can hear "you're watching what you eat" or "you have the potential to succeed" or "work for it and win!"

Do you get it yet? The Voice is not some other-worldly being or force. It is you. And if you pay attention to it - yes, all the time - then you can catch it when it dumps anything negative on you. Because that's you questioning yourself. But more than questioning, it's self-defeating.

So today's message is: pay attention to what that inner Voice is saying. It is a part of you. You can manage the message. Not only "can" but "must." If you let a negative attitude run your inner Voice, you will fail. Simple as that. It will feed you nothing but poison and doubt.

And I'm not saying that the process of paying attention and fixing this is one fell swoop; you will notice first the message, the inner-doubt. Fixing it is like training for a marathon. There will be negative messages that come through, but you simply dismiss them with notice and override them with a conscious control: "It may take time, but I will succeed."

Notice your inner Voice, manage your inner Voice to encourage you and point to success and you will have nothing but. Let it go, and that may be the sole reason for failure.

Success! You own it. Take control of it.

You FTW!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekly Inspiration: Growth!

It was inevitable. You're looking for inspiration and there it is right in front of you: Spring. Printemps as the French would say. (Sorry, listening to Rock Velours on Sirius right now.)

Spring in Cincinnati

If you have to ask why Spring is inspirational, you have bigger problems than what I can address in a blog post.

But here is Spring in Cincinnati: green, growth, color, leaves on trees, the odors of the flowers, life!

Yes, life! Everywhere you look: life! Things that have been dormant for months are coming out, returning, energizing.

And in that is this week's lessons:
  1. Business building: Whether you're new or been around for awhile, take advantage of the lesson of nature to grow. The tree knows it only has a few months to make the most of the new season; act like it, act like your only growth can happen now. Fire yourself up, energize yourself with the wonder outside your window! And get out there and get it done.
  2. And if you're in business now and lagging behind and can't seem to find your place, the message is the same: DO IT! NOW! Nature and energy and growth is all around you; borrow that drive, see it and follow it. You have no excuse except...nothing. Do or do not. Now's your chance.

Spring is the best time of the year to build a business, to grow an existing business, to drive yourself to make it bigger and better, to rein in quantity over quality.

It's yours to use. You can succeed or fail any time of the year. But now's the time to take a good look around and shout to the heavens "Success!" and make it yours.

So make it yours.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Videos: Tiger After Dentist, Old Spice, Trampoline + Pool FAIL

Tiger After Dentist

I was going to post the original Tiger Nike commercial here, but after finding out the audio was pulled from a 2004 DVD and (unsurprisingly) that his father wasn't really addressing the problem at hand, I was left only with the fact that Nike sees more profit than liability in the long-term investment in Tiger, to the point that they will exploit a recording of his own dead father. Boo.

So how about a parody instead? The audio is pulled from the monstrously viral David After Dentist, and is oddly relevant.

Odor Blocker from Old Spice

Have you seen the new commercials? Me neither. But they're Awesome. I guess it's not a coincidence they're directed by Tim & Eric from the Tim & Eric Awesome Show. Awesome. Here's the channel, and here's a few examples. Did I say Awesome?



Pool Trampoline FAIL

Because it all comes down to the FAIL. But wait, you say. How can a pool and a trampoline possibly combine into a fail scenario? Allow me to show you...