Fush And Clicks

A Blog On All Things Digital (And Not).

Google “Zerg Rush”

Google’s latest easter egg (search for the “zerg rush”) is a point-and-shoot game that requires you to click on O’s to protect your search results. The term Zerg is a reference to the enemy alien species that appears in the game Starcraft.  They Zergs come quick and from all sides! Google tracks your performance with an APM rating (actions per minute) and Zerg head count. If you’re too slow, the remaining Zergs form the letters GG, referring to “good game”.

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Google Maps Cube Game

Google have now launched Cube, the Google Maps based game they featured in a video earlier in the year. The game involves navigating a ball across eight levels of Google Map-inspired stages, using your cursor to rotate the stage. Along the way, the game highlights features of Google Maps with the aim being to find the ideal route and the shortest completion time.

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Dove Facebook App Replaces Ads

UPDATE: campaign pulled after three days here

“Dove’s cutesy new Facebook campaign is revolutionary but threatens to disrupt campaign planning, a divided media industry has proclaimed.

The launch of the ‘Dove ad makeover’ Facebook app, which allows Facebook users to displace existing advertising messages on their pages with positive ads from Dove, has sent advertising and media bigwigs into a flap as they scramble to make sense of its wider consequences for the industry.”

See more at B&T.

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Campaign-Level Labels Now in AdWords

Also announced in the Inside AdWords blog recently, was the introduction (or should that be expansion?) of labels to campaign level data being individual keywords, ad groups or ad copy. Previously only available to labeling accounts, now all campaign-level data can be tagged with a category of your specification –  similar to what Marin already allows with its dimensions.

Labels are great for organising large amounts of campaign data such as by product, purchase funnel position, brand vs. non-brand or campaign priority. It provides a means of filtering data in the interface which would otherwise be quite difficult (and a major advantage of using the Marin interface for reviewing performance). Since we already use the functionality of Dimensions via Marin, we’d look to using the feature in AdWords slightly differently – such as by keeping an eye on head terms and seasonal activity such as promotions and campaign tests. The colours are also a bonus.

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More Transparency In Quality Score

As posted on the Inside AdWords blog, there is now greater transparency to Google’s Quality Score system. That is, when a keyword is hovered over in the AdWords interface, in addition to seeing the quality score, you can also see how it is performing on three levels: expected click-through rate, ad relevance and the landing page experience. Compared to other advertisers you can now get a sense of performance being above or below average.

The additional information doesn’t affect how Quality Score or Ad Rank are calculated, but it gives a good starting point when diagnosing keywords with a low Quality Score. The remains to be some mystery around the impact of account-level and non-Keyword factors that may still affect Quality Score as well as the nature of different search verticals.

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Mmm… Display URLs Upcoming Breadcrumb Trails

As reported here, Google will be adding the ability to show breadcrumb trails within the display URL of Google AdWords search ads. In the web context, a breadcrumb trail simply refers to the navigation path of any given page within a site’s hierarchy. An example of a breadcrumb trail and how search ads may show it is in the screenshot below.

It has yet to be official announced (but mentioned in the Google help page!) but it yet another example of Google replicating features of organic listings to improve their paid search offering. It has some great advantages for campaigns, as well as being able to segment out the performance of the breadcrumb trail via the interface. The extra line occupies more space and gives more text to show a potential user what the site is about.

Obtaining the top positions in search engine results page might be even more important given the additional visibility and the trail provides someone viewing the ad plenty of options for where they want to browse, potentially improving click-through rate. It also means deep linking should be considered often, given that the breadcrumb still allows more broader pages to be navigated to instead.

For the ad to include the snippet, Google needs to know which breadcrumbs to display, meaning marking up the site with rich snippets for breadcrumbs will be even more important (although these should already be in place to maximise organic listings). The display URL also would need to be the at the top domain only (so http://www.exampleshoes.com for the example), meaning it might lessen the need for detailed display URLs.

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Google Testing “Trusted Stores” Badges On Search AdWords

Over in the states, Google is testing their Trusted Stores in AdWords, with the badge appearing in the search ads of qualifying advertisers. Example as below:

The Google Trusted Stores program, which is not yet available in NZ or anywhere outside of the US at this stage, aims to improve consumer confidence by certifying the stores carrying the badge have met certain minimum standards in customer service and even some purchase protection for buyers. To be a part of the program, etailers must apply and provide a range of data to Google. To qualify, Trusted Stores must have a track record of on-time shipping and reliable customer service, including quick resolution of any customer issues. Although most users buying online are likely to already have a list of trustworthy stores and brands, the badge provides a sense of security to anyone new, or to new stores encountered.

A Google spokesperson, asked to comment on the test, sent a statement that said: “As part of the Google Trusted Stores program, we’re currently conducting a test with a small set of advertisers to help users identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience. In our ongoing efforts to provide ads that are useful and relevant for users, we’re experimenting with different ways to communicate information about the quality of the shopping experience for a particular advertiser in the search ad itself.”

The example provided is just one example of implementation and according to Google, a number of options are being trialed. The badge is eye-catching as it is somewhat unusual to see an image within a search ad.

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Volkswagen: Draw Beetle

Try/Apt and Volkswagen Beetle invite you to test your drawing skills with this amazing site launched for the Norwegian market. It starts simply: Draw a VW Beetle. Your artistic creation then trundles through various other scenes, and you’re asked to draw key parts of the story. For example, sketch a guitar and then watch a character play it, then make a bucket that will tip over and ‘paint’ your hand-drawn Beetle.

Try it here


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