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Mar 12, 2009 - Spotting things you'll want to see today.

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Googling your behavior
From now on, Google Adsense knows where you were last session

Internet ads targeted by browsing history have existed for awhile but they took a giant leap on Wednesday when Google announced that they would be making their ads more 'interesting'. Nicole Wong, Google's Deputy General Counsel took the first swing against the inevitable privacy backlash by outlining their policies of transparency, choice and control. Ars technica blogged about those same privacy concerns but also described the options that Google was providing for opt-out and modification. Still, as GigaOM pointed out, users might be wary of a company that hires trucks to drive through their neighborhoods taking pictures. PC World was one of several voices who pointed out that the opt-out process was cookie based and if the cookie got removed or if the user switched to a different browser they would be back in the cross hairs.

The long term prospects for behavioral targeting were also widely debated. Cloud Ave argued that internet privacy was just an urban legend anyway and that Google's targeting would benefit all involved. Blogging for Epicenter, Ryan Singel suggested that all of Google's efforts at collecting data were aimed at creating valuable users that they could then sell to the highest bidder. Speaking from experience, SEO Chicks used the word 'terrible' to describe click rates from behavioral targeting. Several bloggers pointed out that Google's own Matt Cutts had once railed against the prospects for behavioral targeting.

How accurate could Google's aim be? Probably pretty good, based on a list of 25 surprising things that Google knows about you compiled by the e-Justice blog.


The most useful posts of the week

[Get involved and help your friends - share a permanent copy of these lists via Facebook Facebook , Digg Digg , Delicious Delicious, or LinkedIn LinkedIn]

Social Media

  • 4 Annoying Twitter Myths (Scott Fox)
  • What the Most Popular Brands on Twitter Are Doing Right (WebProNews)
  • the inside scoop from facebook advertising - the day I spent inside (dk's Purpose)
  • Harness The Power Of Twitter For Local Marketing (Search Engine Land)
  • 8 Ways the Changing Facebook Home Page Will Affect Application Virality (Inside Facebook)
  • 100 Twitter Tools to Help You Achieve All Your Goals (Online Best Colleges)
  • How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions of Fans (All Facebook)
  • Top 20 Emerging Facebook Apps (Inside Facebook)
  • Facebook Advertising - An Opportunity for Deep Targeting at Very Low Cost (SEOmoz)
  • 11 Ways to Find Brands & Companies on Twitter (Online Marketing Blog)

Please follow us on Twitter!
(Special thanks to @larrybrauner)

Search Marketing

  • How Google Really Wants You to Optimize Your Site (SitePoint)
  • Five Pure-Play PPC Search Engines to Try (Website Magazine)
  • Comprehensive Keyword Analysis: It Is Not All About Keyword Research Tools (Search Engine Journal)
  • How many links per page? (Matt Cutts)
  • Optimize Web Pages for Google Image Search (Google Operating System)
  • PPC Tip: When to Use Negative Exact and Negative Phrase Match (Get Elastic)
  • How the Growing Long Tail Affects Your SEO Strategy (Search Marketing Sage)

User Experience

  • 40 Beautiful Examples of Vintage and Retro in Web Design (Six Revisions)
  • 10 Keys to Crafting an Effective Call to Action (Whoa Factor)
  • Slideshows In Web Design: When And How To Use Them (Smashing)
  • Huge Navigation Menus: Ordering by Popularity Vs. Alphabetical (Search Engine Journal)
  • The Periodic Table of Typefaces (Download Squad)
  • Redesigning Craigslist With Focus On Usability (Smashing)
  • HTML Validation: Does It Matter? (Coding Horror)


  • Find your best subscribers: why and how (Email Marketing Reports)
  • Why Now's a Good Time to Take a Look at Your Welcome Emails (Be Relevant)
  • Email Marketing? Your Mission is Permission (VKI)
  • What’s wrong with this email? (Blue State Digital)


  • SEO & Analytics: 4 Useful Ways To Assess Your Organic Traffic (Search Engine Journal)
  • Segmenting Twitter Traffic in Google Analytics (Conversion Counts)
  • Control Your Search Result URL (Google Analytics Blog)
  • Using Different Cookies when Tracking to Multiple Accounts in GA (Luna Metrics)

Radar Screen:

  • Google Voice: A push to rewire your phone service (Webware)
  • Facebook Announces Advanced Ad Targeting Features (All Facebook)
  • Twitmatic turns Twitter into a TV channel (Webware)
  • Cliqset Could Be The Web's First Read-Write Identity Provider (Read Write Web)
  • TwitteReader is like Google Reader for Twitter
  • Tekarma: A Social Homepage for Every Product (ReadWriteWeb)
  • Gossip about the news with Google Reader’s new comments (Venture Beat)
  • All new connects members to other social networks within (Blog Herald)
  • Google launches free online analytics training (Biz Report)

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