EarthLink Traffic Builder – A Good Deal or Not?


EarthLink Business Solutions, a division of EarthLink, Inc. (the web hosting company), is introducing a subscription service where EarthLink Business Solutions “guarantees” the number of clicks or “visitors” to their customers’ business website.

EarthLink Business Solutions calls this new service “EarthLink Traffic Builder”. The subscription term is 12 months and “guarantees” up to 4800 clicks per year. Although EarthLink Business Solutions’ Traffic Builder starts at $66.95 per month with no setup fees, if you pay $66.95 per month (a whopping $803.40 per year), the guaranteed number of clicks to your website is only 360 clicks (about one click a day). Furthermore, the cost per click (commonly referred to as CPC) is $2.31 per click! This is not the only problem I have with this program.

EarthLink Traffic Builder

What’s important here is that before you sign up for a subscription service like this you understand what you’re really getting into–and that you might not be getting a ‘good deal’.

Once you sign up, EarthLink Business Solutions “develops and optimizes search terms, creates ad copy, and then loads it across its network of search engine giants such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. When an Internet searcher types in a keyword, the businesses’ ads show up adjacent to the search results on the page.”

What EarthLink Business Solutions doesn’t tell you is who exactly will be performing this service for you. Most likely, one of the EarthLink Business Solutions’ employees or one of the company’s subcontractors may be choosing the keywords and writing the ad copy. Are these people qualified and experienced enough to look at your business and your business needs? Will they take the time to get to know you and your business and talk to you about your ultimate goal, which will most likely be to bring more qualified customers to your website? You may be better off hiring someone who has several years’ experience doing this–someone who will not bid on keywords that you don’t care to be paying for.

According to EarthLink Business Solutions, you will “receive monthly performance email messages.” When it comes to a Search Engine Marketing program, this is unacceptable–if a business is paying for clicks to their website this should be monitored at least several times a week if not daily.

In order to get the guaranteed (advertised) number of 4,800 clicks per year, you must agree to a 12 month subscription of $759.95 per month. This totals $9119.40 per year or $1.89 per click (This is $1.89 per CLICK, not per VISITOR to your website. The same person might click on your ad once a day, costing you $1.89 every time they click).

Let’s take a further look at what you get for $9119.40 per year:

If the website attracts more than the guaranteed number of clicks, there are no charges for additional clicks. On the other hand, if an account underperforms, EarthLink Business Solutions proactively modifies the editorial content, keywords, generic and geographical search criteria, and automatically uploads changes to the search engines, guaranteeing results for each service package.

Most likely, EarthLink Business Solutions will pay the search engines a lot less than $2.31 per click. Earthlink Business Solutions will pay the search engines the same price that you could pay if you went directly to Google, Yahoo!, or MSN. This means that EarthLink Business Solutions could end up paying $.23 cents per click, they could charge you $2.31 per click, and they could be pocketing the difference. The search engines call this “search engine arbitrage” and take a dim view of it–they discourage it greatly. For more information about “search engine arbritrage”, search Google for “search arbitrage” or “search engine arbitrage”. [Read more…]

Marketo Search Marketing Tools Integrated with AppExchange


Marketo, a company that provides marketing automation software that helps B2B marketing professionals drive revenue and improve accountability, has integrated their PPC (Pay Per Click) tools with Salesforce and they’re now available on the AppExchange.

Marketo AppExchange

Marketo’s Search Engine Marketing software helps optimize the process of generating leads using PPC. Business to Business marketers can now manage the entire process: from keyword management to bid optimization to landing page creation and testing.

Marketo Search Marketing currently comes in two modules, Marketo Pay-Per-Click and Marketo Landing Pages. Both are pre-integrated with Google AdWords. Both modules allow you to bridge the gap between generating pay-per-click traffic and converting traffic into leads.

Marketo Pay-Per-Click
Marketo’s pay-per-click management software drives traffic to Web sites by improving the performance of paid search marketing campaigns. The solution uses a portfolio-based bid optimization algorithm to maximize business results for a target budget. It also enables marketers to make “what if” forecasts for leads and opportunities generated from search, to manage thousands of keywords, and to continuously improve pay-per-click campaigns through rigorous A/B testing.

Marketo Landing Pages
Marketo’s landing page optimization software converts traffic into leads by letting users create, publish and test branded landing pages in minutes using an intuitive PowerPoint-like interface. Custom landing pages improve PPC campaign performance because relevant landing pages get better ranking and dramatically higher conversion rates. [Read more…]

Visual Sciences Launches New Version of Keyword Bid Management Solution

Visual Sciences

Visual Sciences, formerly known as WebSideStory, has launched “Visual Sciences Bid 2.0”, a keyword bid management solution (a pay per click PPC bid management solution). This new version adds new capabilities and functionality in an attempt to streamline campaign management and increase ROI.

Visual Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSCN) is a leading provider of real-time analytics applications, This latest version, called Visual Sciences Bid 2.0, adds Yahoo! Search Marketing to the list of supported PPC (pay per click) search engines and has new infrastructure enhancements and features. The new enhancements and features include a new budget and listing management capability, an optimized user interface, and international character support.


Visual Sciences Bid 2.0 includes the following important enhancements:

— Yahoo! Support: Adds the Yahoo! Search Marketing Platform to the already supported Google AdWords(TM), increasing the application value for search enging marketers

— Improved Listing Management: Enables advertising creative to be leveraged across multiple ad groups, resulting in significant productivity gains to the ad management process

— Campaign Level Budget Management: Increases control over budgets by separating search and content network advertising spend

— Automated Bidding: Helps marketers achieve specific online CPA and ROI goals through auto-bidding rules

— Full International Character Support (Unicode): Enables global management of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) activity [Read more…]

Microsoft Office Live Adds Sponsored Listings

microsoft office live

Microsoft and have reached a deal to allow Microsoft Office Live customers to manage their Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns on two of the top five search engines–with one service.

Microsoft is adding the Ask Sponsored Listings to the Microsoft adManager Beta PPC search advertising service. Microsoft’s adManager allows you to purchase and manage pay per click advertising directly from the Microsoft Office Live platform. Ask Sponsored Listings is joining the MSN(R) network and MSN Live Search as official distribution sources for Microsoft Office Live customers’ PPC ads.

Ask Sponsored Listings (ASL) is an automated, open-auction system that allows search markters and businesses to buy, manage, and optimize PPC and contextual advertising campaigns on the ASL publisher network, which includes the search engine.

Microsoft’s adManager helps small businesses manage the pay-per-click advertising process. Once you set up up an account with Microsoft adManager, you can immediately select keywords to create ads and set up bid amounts. Microsoft adManager will work within your budget, as well as target the campaign at the local or national level. In addition, Microsoft AdManager will show results through reports that describe which keywords are driving customers to your Web site.

Microsoft Office Live is a complete, affordable set of easy-to-use Internet-based software and services that helps small businesses attract new customers, keep in touch with existing customers and easily manage their business from virtually any location. By combining the power of software plus services, Microsoft Office Live helps small businesses establish a professional Web presence, stay in touch with their customers, and easily access company information from one complete online location. More information is available at

Ask Sponsored Listings (ASL), introduced in the Fall of 2005, is an automated open-auction system allowing marketers to purchase, manage and optimize campaigns on the ASL publisher network, including More than 48,000 advertisers use the system to bid on more than 25 million keywords. Additional information about ASL is available at

One the world’s largest online advertising solutions and sales groups, IAC Advertising Solutions offers complete solutions for a variety of communication needs and a comprehensive range of advertising products, including search, media, and direct marketing. Search solutions include Ask Sponsored Listings, an automated open-auction system allowing marketers to purchase, manage and optimize campaigns on the ASL publisher network, including

Media solutions include online templated ad units and integrated sponsorships, as well as offline media capabilities on IAC’s network of leading online brands, including Ticketmaster Citysearch, Evite,, iWon, Excite, and Expedia. Direct Marketing solutions include email, lead generation, co-registration, sweepstakes and promotions. IAC Advertising Solutions is a division of IAC Search & Media, a wholly-owned business of IAC (NASDAQ:IACI).

Yahoo! Search Marketing Names Did-it a Certified Ambassador Agency

Did-it, a full-service online advertising and marketing services company, has been qualified as a Certified Ambassador Agency by Yahoo! Search Marketing. The Yahoo! Search Marketing Certified Ambassador tier is designed to meet the needs of higher-performing agencies, SEMs and other search marketing resellers who channel a considerable amount of their clients’ quarterly ad-spend to Yahoo! Search Marketing.

According to Yahoo! Search Marketing:

The Certified Ambassador tier is designed to meet the needs of high-performing agencies, search engine marketers (SEMs) and other resellers who channel large amounts of business to Yahoo! Search Marketing. Prior to attaining Certified Ambassador status, all program participants must prove their success as Ambassadors.

Yahoo! Search Marketing Certified Ambassadors receive prioritized service.

The Sponsored Search Certified Ambassador designation is designed to enable search engine marketing companies to list their clients in sponsored search results across the Web. It allows the search engine marketing company to control their clients’ position by the amount the client bids on keywords and pays only when a customer clicks through to the client’s web site.

Did-it is a full-service online advertising and marketing services firm and the industry leader in search engine marketing. With award-winning expertise in search engine marketing, auctioned media management and targeted online advertising, Did-it has been leading the evolution of online marketing with its blend of technology, intelligence and passion since 1996. Through its multi-disciplinary methodology, Did-it combines top-tier Search Engine Marketing Strategy, sophisticated analytics and modeling, and best-of-breed technology to produce unmatched SEM results for its clients. Did-it was co-founded by Executive Chairman, Kevin Lee.

Did-it recently caught a considerable amount of attention from their peers (other search engine marketing consultants and other search engine marketing firms) when Threadwatch, a popular marketing and technology web site, sponsored a contest which involved one of Did-It’s employees, Dave Pasternack. The goal of the contest was to see which search engine marketer could “outrank” others in a SEO contest. The winner of the contest was later announced.

E-Commerce Web Sites Continue to Dominate PPC Advertising

comScore has recently conducted a study on the relationship between paid search marketing (pay per click advertising) and retail e-commerce. The study, based on the March, 2007 comScore qSearch Marketer report, revealed that e-commerce web sites are the most frequent users of Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine marketing; each of the top ten search engine marketers were either retail or comparison shopping web sites.

According to comScore’s data, close to 20 billion sponsored links were served up to internet users in the United States. eBay was apparently the top search engine marketer—they had 802 million sponsored link “exposures” during the period. In March, 2007, the top ten paid search PPC advertisers were either retail or comparison shopping web sites. They made up sixteen percent of all sponsored links. eBay, as previously mentioned, was the top advertiser, followed by with 366 million (1.9 percent), and with 357 million (1.8 percent).

Top Sites Generating Search Engine Sponsored Link Exposures

March 2007

Source: comScore qSearch, Share of Voice Report

                  Sponsored Link          Share of
                  Exposures (000)      Sponsored Link

Total Internet        19,762,951           100.0%                 801,744             4.1%              365,766             1.9%             357,012             1.8%              297,649             1.5%               284,328             1.4%             283,574             1.4%            245,398             1.2%               202,482             1.0%               163,220             0.8%                 123,009             0.6%

comScore also looked at the referral activity by the top search engines in directing click-thrus to retail sites. Google’s web search accounted for 57.3 percent of all click-thrus and directed 53.8 percent of the click-thrus to retail web sites.

In comparison, Yahoo!’s web search directed 27.2 percent of click-thrus to retail web sites, followed by MSN Web Search (10.4 percent), AOL Search (5.8 percent), and (1.6 percent).

SubmitNet Offers Marketing Tools Through ProStores

SubmitNet Inc., a company whose headquarters is in Portland, Oregon, and a company that provides customized technology-based platforms for Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing solutions, is going to offer marketing tools to small and medium-sized businesses through ProStores, which is an eBay company.

Working through the ProStores Developer Network, SubmitNet has put together a marketing solution that allows ProStores’ clients to incorporate multiple Paid Search (Pay Per Click or PPC) solutions and allows you to manage it from one interface.

ProStores merchants are now able to add PPC solutions (paid search solutions) with a few clicks — companies don’t have to struggle through the set-up and management process directly through each individual search engine.

This new add-on stops the process of trying to control advertising budgets and review ROI through multiple interfaces. Once ProStores clients set up their internet store, it’s a matter of only a few clicks to add on PPC advertising.

ProStores, an eBay Company, provides small- and medium-sized businesses with the ability to create professional, full-featured online storefronts that include sophisticated shopping cart and inventory management functionality, as well as provide customized branding and store domain names.

The SubmitNet Solution is available to ProStores members and can be added to an existing membership; for more information please go here.

SubmitNet is a Search Engine Optimization company that specializes in private label, technology driven, innovative web site submission and analysis tools. Avidly serving the small- and medium-sized Web businesses. The company’s business model fortifies the web site builder with powerful, optimization tools that are implemented by a company’s web designer. SubmitNet becomes a support mechanism.

Update: Links in this post have been removed, as they weren’t working at last check. November 16, 2014. and Google Announce Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords

google logo       salesforce logo

Google and have formed what they’re calling a “strategic global alliance”. They’ve partnered to offer a new product called Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google Adwords. This new product combines the power of Salesforce’s on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) applications with the power of the Google AdWords pay per click (PPC) program to integrate sales and marketing. With this new product, Salesforce and Google is attempting to provide everything a company needs to “jump start” its customer growth using a single on-demand service.

By combining Google AdWords and CRM, both organizations are attempting to essentially “bypass” and “get rid of” the services of a search engine marketing team to manage a company’s Pay Per Click programs. While this new solution is a win for Google, it could be outright dangerous for companies that are Salesforce customers’ employees managing the PPC accounts are not trained Search Marketing professionals, and a lot of the company’s marketing dollars could go to waste as a result.

salesforce dashboard

As part of this new Google/ strategic global alliance, is the first company to resell the Google AdWords platform. is acting as an official distribution channel for the Google AdWords product. The Google/ strategic global alliance is across forty three countries worldwide–and encompasses distribution, technology and co-marketing efforts.

Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords is an integrated solution that gives companies tools to acquire new customers and grow their business. By including most parts of the customer lifecycle (advertising, creating leads, closing business and retaining customers) in one solution, Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords allows companies “to jump start their business” by creating an internet marketing and sales presence. Essentially, it’s just another automated search engine marketing product that attempts to bypass the quality services of search engine marketing professional who are trained to do things such as extensive keyword research, write quality ad copy, and use their experience and skills to “optimize” pay per click marketing programs.

Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords includes an exclusive login page. Joint customers can go to the Google web site right now right now and login to their AdWords account or you can access Salesforce directly at here.

Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords is available right now in a five user edition for a special, 30 day promotional price of $600 per year. This includes a $50 Google AdWords credit. The $50 Google AdWords credit is available to new Google AdWords advertisers in the USA, Canada, and Mexico only (customers from the other 40 countries where this new service is available are simply out of luck, they are not eligible for the $50 Google AdWords credit). The list price of Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords is $1,200 per year. AppExchange applications may require an additional fee. For more information, visit or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

There are many other sites talking about this strategic Google AdWords/ strategic global alliance:, Google in AdWords Alliance
Creating a Linked Google AdWords Account
Google and Salesforce Tightly Integrate Adwords Products
Salesforce & Google Adwords Alliance
Google and Salesforce create Ads-CRM partnership and Google form strategic global alliance
[NEWS] salesforce: Google and Salesforce Tightly Integrate Adwords …
Google, Salesforce miss the mark
Google, to partner on Web site, Google release first joint product

Yahoo! Search Marketing Opens Up Access to APIs

Yahoo! has announced that they’re opening up their Search Marketing APIs. They will have dedicated third-party partner services as well as free, open access to Yahoo!’s “Panama” advertising platform technology. Yahoo! expects that opening their Search Marketing APIs will drive further growth and innovation in digital advertising.

The new program is being called the Yahoo! Search Marketing Commercial API Program. Through the program, Yahoo! wants advertisers, developers and commercial partners including ad agencies and technology providers to build upon Yahoo!’s core search marketing technologies to enhance their existing business offerings or create brand new search marketing tools and applications.

Yahoo! is also providing a wide range of “value-added services” to help commercial partners gain greater insight into Yahoo!’s search marketing product roadmap and fully leverage Yahoo! Search Marketing’s APIs for clients.

The program consists of three levels of commercial partnership, including:

The Basic Level– Designed for small advertising agencies and early stage technology companies. Provides free access to the Panama platform and technical support, and leverages the Yahoo! commercial brand to develop and launch applications in the market.

The Advanced Level– Designed for fast growing technology companies and mid-size advertising agencies. Provides access to the Panama platform, dedicated technical account management support, service level commitments and listing in partner application directory.

The Elite Level Designed for leading technology companies and large advertising agencies. Enables these partners to leverage the Panama platform, resources and brand via regular business review, product council, roadmap coordination and joint marketing activities. Early participants in the Elite tier include Efficient Frontier, Omniture, SearchIgnite and The Search Agency.

Yahoo! Search Marketing’s Commercial API Program is immediately available to agencies, technology providers, search engine marketing firms and developers through the Yahoo! account management team or by going here.

Viacom and Yahoo! Strike Search Marketing Deal

Viacom and Yahoo! have announced a multi-year partnership whereas Yahoo! Search Marketing will serve as the “exclusive provider” of all sponsored search and contextual advertising on all of Viacom’s 33 broadband web sites–which includes,,,, and There is an additional potential for an expansion–to more than 140 more Viacom-owned web sites worldwide. The entire project will be powered by “Panama”.

In a press release today, Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, said:

“This far reaching partnership brings together world-class content and technology for the benefit of users and advertisers alike. Yahoo! has made impressive strides with its new search marketing system. As a global leader in content for every screen and platform, we couldn’t be more pleased to have them as a partner and we look forward to growing our relationship even more over time.”

Yahoo! currently provides search marketing products and services to hundreds of thousands of advertisers in 22 countries worldwide. Currently available in the U.S., Yahoo!’s new search marketing system is designed to deliver even more relevant sponsored search and contextual ad results to users. By encouraging advertisers to focus on the quality of their sponsored search and contextual advertisements, Yahoo!’s new system creates a more valuable marketplace for users, advertisers and publishers.

Viacom is the number-one online entertainment destination and the 11th most-popular overall destination on the Web. In February 2007, more than 90 million unique viewers flocked to Viacom’s online properties, which include an array of MTVN and BETN Web sites, as well as its other online properties (according to Internal Web Analytics Tracking and duplication from comScore Media Metrix February 2007).

Viacom’s web sites continue to hit new highs in traffic and streaming video. delivered a record 84 million streams in January, exceeded that mark in February with 85.1 million streams and again in March set a new record with 93.1 million. also delivered a record 25.6 million unique visitors in March. Also in March, Nickelodeon’s online properties had their strongest monthly performance, with pulling in almost 19 million unique users and TurboNick posted more than 80 million streams. had its best month ever for total traffic in March, with 10.7 million unique visitors. [Read more…]