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How is SEM developing in Hungary?

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Earn money on YouTube

Posted by Annplugged on January 27, 2007

Goo(g)d news. Soon you will start generating money on YouTube.

How soon? We don’t know. But Chad Hurley announced at World Economic Forum, Davos on 27 Jan that they would reward users for self-generated content, saying “We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users.”

The idea is great, and I think it is a strong response to video sharing site Metacafé‘s challenge, where revenue sharing already started 3 months ago. Eyal Herzog, co-founder talked about it Digital Life Design conference (DLD07) on Jan 22, so it was only 5 days ago that I aired my criticism “How come YouTube seems to be unresponsive? Can they really be that comfortable in the stregthening competition? Lots of national video sites are mushrooming suddenly. Not only is GooTube lagging behind in building communities, and financially rewarding producers, it is also painfully low-performer regarding technology.”

Of course, it may have been originally timed to be announced at Davos forum, but it may also have been that many of the people at DLD07 in Munich also participated in Davos, and realized that Metacafé is very competitive, and is threatening to take away those precious eyeballs (already boasting 500.000.000 video downloads a month!)

How are they going to define self-generated? What will be the business model?

Will they copy Metacafé in the CPM based earnings? (5 USD/ thousand views) or will it be a more complex calculation including (on top of CPM or CPC)

  • viral effect: loads of inbound links from other blogs, and web pages
  • number of comments
  • number of video responses
  • number of shares (CPA)
  • number of times favorited
  • number of subscriptions, or the monthly growth on it

There are several factors that could be included potentially. How to make it simple?

Metacafé simplified it in the following way:

Metacafé, earned revenue from UGC“Producers get 5 USD/ CPM (a thousand views) if the total number of views go over 20.000 (Are you a producer? Just log in, and see how much you have earned. ” (Eyal Hertzog)

For YouTube, the good news is that Google AdSense payment model makes it easier to switch into the new business model and send money to content providers. Or even better, that they can count on the excellent technology of YouTube, (pardon my French) Google.

PS: the top earner on Metacafé, is not a simple user but a company: Reel Stunts Action Team, with several candidate films, but only one that generated all that 25.000 USD.

Update: Thanks to Philipp Lenssen and Tony Ruscoe for posting it on Google Blogoscoped.

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Posted in AdSense, clips, DLD07, Google, Google Video, Metacafé, Monetizing, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

How is Google generating revenue on YouTube?

Posted by Annplugged on January 26, 2007

Marissa Mayer’s answer is ‘we don’t know, we are still experimenting.’ (Digital, Life, Design conference, Munich: DLD07)

On Jan 25 2006 the first step towards actually integrating YouTube into Google’s products was taken: if you make a search query on Google Video, you’ll see loads of YouTube shots.

Liz Gannes on NewTeeVee is asking why is it worth running two video sites? (“why take a sidetrip to a search engine when you’ll end up on YouTube anyway?”)

In my opinion, that’s why:

As for running two sites (one for YouTube and one for Google video search): I think it is totally reasonable and profitable.

  • Reason 1: they have different profiles, roles, images as defined by Google (as Salar Kamangar put it, one for content the other for search – the options in AdWords)
  • Reason 2: with two brands you have more scope for experimenting
  • Reason 3: the combination of the above two

From the user’s point of view:

On YouTube you accidentally ‘stumble upon’ and interact

On Google video search you purposefully search and spend no time on socializing

From the media point of view:

YouTube functions as a content site of Google’s content network with a distinct community and with more scope for applying, testing various ad formats. And these tests, mind you, will be less affecting Google brand, as YouTube is separate. So video shots interrupted by an ad on YouTube will not clash with Google’s aim to ‘enhance user experience,’ because it is not Google. Being intrusive on YouTube while ‘finding out how to reduce being intrusive to the minimum’ works on the YouTube brand better and safer.

How they are carrying out video ads is absolutely an exciting question. When Marissa Mayer was asked about it at Digital Life Design conference (DLD07) in Munich, she said they are experimenting and gathering data, feedback, etc. on what works best. See: http://videos.dld-conference.com/ (day: Jan 23, The Billion Dollar Bubble). “There are lots of different business models… Maybe it means the user needs pay directly for the service, maybe it means advertisers will pay more…advertisers are good at valuing those eyeballs.” i.e. Advertisers will say how much it is worth them (even bidding?)

It is baffling though why haven’t they improved the searches (awful results pages, no need to describe them). Also, why haven’t they tried to experiment with dividing YouTube into two main columns as they do on Google search results pages: one column for organic video search and one for sponsored videos with bid management – based on similar principles to search algorithm.

But maybe this division is coming on Google video search – which, as a separate site, is of course worth being kept, if it works as an aggregator, and it will work as an aggregator indexing all sources they can/ are allowed to – with no social networking features, focusing on search, and potentially, with a differentiated method of generating ad revenue. One thing is sure, however, based on Google’s policy, I think it is out of question that Google could afford to be a biased video search engine – users’ trust is their biggest asset (besides lava lamps). So there is no way that they could push YouTube videos ahead of videos hosted on other sites.

 

Posted in AdSense, advertising, Adwords, clips, Google, Google Video, Monetizing, search, Video, YouTube | 3 Comments »

How many people use Google in Hungary? What about rivals?

Posted by Annplugged on December 3, 2006

According to Dennis Woodside, Google is used by 36% of the Hungarian web users (which is about 0,7-1 m users out of the 2-3 m Hungarian netizens, out of the 10 m people), in contrast to Poland where more than 80% of netizens use Google. The uneven distribution of Google’s popularity in Central and Eastern Europe should not come as a surprise at all: if local initiatives, national search engines are satisfying enough (and function as a multifaceted, one-off portal for the users in the given country, mostly ex-soviet block nations), they are more favored than Google (see the Czech), so Google Inc. needs to wait and use tactics adapted to local circumstances.
Right after google.hu, the second most popular ‘search engine’ (basically a catalog) in Hungary is Startlap (Starting page, literally) with 27% of the search volume pie, says Dennis.

Now the question arises: what does Dennis, or rather Google stats mean by the Startlap 27%?

If you open the catalog on startlap.hu, you can clearly see that Startlap uses two search engines, one called Tango (Hungarian development of Startlap in cooperation with Etarget) and the other one called Google.

picture-3.png

So it would be good to know how much of the 27% belongs to Google again. All the more as Startlap, as the main competitor of Google in the Hungarian search business, is gaining revenue by selling Google ads on its pages (search for AdSense) with the wide blue stripe and orange starlet of Startlap catalog.

picture-5.png

I am in really two minds about this issue: is it better for Startlap, which thus can generate more income for the site while providing better search results under its own logo by taking advantage of the Google algorithm, or is it better for Google by drilling into the Startlap empire and winning over ‘amateur users’ for Google? (by ‘amateur users’ I mean Hungarian internet users who are less tech savvy, and who tend to have Startlap as their default front page, plus their main search source)

I do not think that two market players consciously act like this, or have sized up the pros and cons of such a fused appearance as seen above. If so, Dennis would have mentioned this, or the director of Startlap at the Internet Hungary conference (Oct 2006), or any of my professional acquaintances in the SEM industry (as Hungary is so small that gossip travels faster than some downloaded files).

But these are all assumptions. I’ll forward this blogpost to Dennis, and we will see how he reacts. Of course, I will kindly ask Startlap’s representatives on this slightly confusing issue, too.

Let me know if you experience similar semi-fused solutions in other (emerging) countries, please.

Posted in AdSense, advertising, Central Eastern Europe, Dennis Woodside, Emerging markets, Google, Google Adwords, Hungary, Lap.hu, rivalry, search, Search Engines, SEM, Startlap, Tango | 5 Comments »

How threatening is click fraud in the Hungarian search landscape?

Posted by Annplugged on September 27, 2006

Very briefly, and luckily, not much, at least, compared to the much wider The sensational click fraud symphony in C by Wolfgang Amadeus Press

reaching English speaking search landscape.

Why not? I asked László Fazakas manager from Arcanian Consulting SEM agency.

Basically, he said three arguments:

First, due to the limited number of Hungarian speakers in the world and in Hungary (the latter is 10 million speakers, and approx. 2-3 million users), we have a natural defense against click fraud: the Hungarian market is of relatively limited size. So the Hungarian guy called Roland Kiss in Business Week’s cover story stating that he can make up to 70.000 USD per month through ‘paid reading’ (practically click fraud) did not get rich from targeting Hungarian marketers. On the one hand, he would have needed to suck away all the total monthly national revenue from the whole Hugnarian market for that, according to Laszlo’s estimation. On the other hand, the article states that he was heavily exploiting the content network run by Yahoo, and as you can see in József’s research, Yahoo is non-existent for Hungarian users, in sharp contrast to Google’s strengthening presence: Google (62.71%), Lap.hu (a link catalog: 25.16%), Vizsla24 (7.41%), Tango.hu (1.43%)

 

Further, the Hungarian internet culture is still in its infancy, and as a consequence, there are very few really popular sites in Hungary (e.g. Origo, Index, Startlap), and a growing number of smaller sites (like the fledgling blog community of Blogter). These bigger sites and portals have personal contacts with online marketing agencies and marketers, so we could say that the 300-500 sites woth being considered are easily manually picked and not automatically included in the content network. Besides, Etarget (the sole major rival of Google Inc. in Hugnary) has managed to make successful contracts with large scale site owners for click based ads. So what counts as a big fish in Hungary is more controllable this way and provides a sort of additional natural protection against vivid fraudulent clicks.

Third, it is the domain process: unlike in the US where it takes some minutes to get a domain name, we have a long and painful process to acquire a domain in Hungary, consequently, web sites are not mushrooming from one moment to the other.

Regardless of these contextually given protective measures, search agencies as well as other online and interactive agencies are concerned about the news sensationalizing click farms, paid reading sites and whatnot. So they feel the need to assure clients that the search industry is a trustworthy field, therefore, the unknown and exaggerated phenomenon of click fraud will be treated, and due analytical attention (and compensations) will be paid.

I have run through some of the comments on Business Week site, and I have the impression that Google will need to further enhance their communication with the public regarding algorithms, the proportion of click frauds (already promised to be shown in Google Analytics, as far as I understood), the way Google controls the speedily growing content network etc.

The other thing I have found totally clear is that everybody takes it naturally that internet based marketing should be 100% accountable and accurate, while there are no huge scandals and regular press releases on old media accountability. Why not?

Escaping back to PR, print ad and direct mail campaigns (as one marketing agent, Henry from Silicon Valley was writing on Sept 22) appearing as an expectation on the clients’ side seems to be absolutely baffling for me. Admittedly, it is not a source of income for TV ad viewers to watch highly untargeted ads, and it is impossible to get paid for reading print ads, but there is a lot of money openly thrown out of the window, undetected. No noisy press releases either.

Last, I assume click fraud should be acknowledged as a criminal activity with legal consequences in the near future: it is clear from the interviews of the Business Week that those who misuse the system either are (pretend to be) unaware of click fraud having a ‘fraudulent nature’ (surprise surprise), or they are simply enjoying earning money illegally and getting away with it. True, there are no news on lawsuits involving average citizens for their clicky wrongdoings.

Posted in Accountability, AdSense, advertising, Click fraud, Content Networks, domain, Emerging markets, Etarget, Google, Hungary, Index.hu, Lap.hu, news sites, Old media, Origo, rivalry, search, Search Engines, SEM, Startlap, statistics, Tango, Vizsla24 | 2 Comments »

Hungarian news sites in the Google News & the AdSense content network

Posted by Annplugged on August 9, 2006

If you are interested in what Hungarian sites are crawled for news items in the Google News service, Philipp Lenssen’s page (Google Blogoscoped) gives a good overview.

Following the order of sites in his list, let’s have a closer look at the sources, and check if they are making profit from AdSense or not:

168 óra (hours): Hungarian weekly, the English option is placed in a really challenging place, hidden as the last item on the left side of the menu entitled Aktuális. Banners, flash–no AdSense

BosNewsLife: “Central Europe’s First Christian News Agency”

Budapest Business Journal: quite self-explanatory on content. The site has a “Featured links” part (hotels, entertainment etc.), besides pop-ups and banners, but it is not quite clear how advertisers can get in this section–no AdSense ads.

Budapest Sun: their positioning is true ‘Hungary’s leading English language newspaper.’ And the site utilizes the AdSense solution to generate further income. Not without flaws though: “Stop the viloence: Calls from public and foreign ministry.” Maybe it is more dangerous than violence?

The Budapest Times: excerpt from the editorial policy “Our coverage is unbiased, independent and 100% to British/German standards of journalism, offering in-depth stories on politics, business, economy, social issues, culture and the arts.” Many button size banners (among them banners in Hungarian for some genuine taste), no AdSense.

Caboodle: belongs to the All Media Hungary Group (similarly to PestiSide ) and is part of the AdSense content network (both sites, in fact)

Gizmodo: ‘a technology weblog dedicated to everything related to gadgets, gizmos, and cutting-edge consumer electronics.’ It is available in several other languages besides English (Italian, Spanish, French–no Hungarian option though). The site is part of the Gawker Media network–and I have no idea why it is enlisted under the ‘Hungary’ category on Philips’ list. Anybody help me? Anyway, besides graphic ads “You can buy a text link immediately by visiting Adbrite.”

Global Auto Systems Europe: industry news (cars, of course) “Based in Budapest, Hungary Global Auto Systems Europe is serving world-wide audience with Central European automotive industry research and analysis capabilities.” No AdSense.

HVG: Hungarian economic weekly, the English option is placed in a really challenging place: can you see ‘English summary’ in the middle of the left side of the menu? Banners, flash, banners, flash, banners, flash etc.–no AdSense.

Játékok (Games): online game magazine. The language is quite inconsistently mixed–more for the Hungarian gamez audience than for foreigners. AdSense ads run at the bottom–least efficient placement.

MédiaInfo (MediaInfo): hmm, for the English version you need to check out the last icon on top of the site (with all the customized orange icons it is again puzzling to spot it immediately)–that’s The Flag. Tha target readers are those that are working in the media industry. No AdSense.

MTI (the abbreviation of the Hungarian Telegraph Office) ‘Hungarian News Agency Corp.’ for more than 125 years. News only for subscribers, who cannot see AdSense. I liked this headline “New rhinos quarantined but pleased with local melons” It would be appetiser to read about fresh melon services or how about the zoo?
Portfolio: I only got the error messages from Google News (404) but the name of the site works: Online financial journal with tiny letters, lots of content and few banners. No AdSense, unfortunately. UPDATED version of 22 Aug: “The most frequently crawled online financial journal with tiny letters, lots of content and few banners. No AdSense, unfortunately(!): as a reader I miss it, what if I thought of buying a related article?”

Believe it or not, the list ends here–hopefully expands in the future as many other news sources are not crawled yet.

Posted in AdSense, advertising, Blogoscoped, Content Networks, Google, Hungary, news sites | 5 Comments »