Google in Hungary and search as such

How is SEM developing in Hungary?

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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.

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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 »