Archive for January, 2007

Two things are utterly amazing to me:
(1)  How some people interpret data
(2)  The power of media bias
Take a recent piece by MarketWatch:  "Some Google advertisers cutting spending"
Sounds bad, eh?
Key word is "Some"… Google has zillions of advertisers spending $7 billion or so a year… turns out MarketWatch only interviewed six advertisers.  Nice sample size.
The lead quote is from someone who says:  "We’re testing print ads right now."
Right.  Print advertising is so easy to test.  Talk about a giant step backwards.
The article is rich in ridiculous statements.  Take this one:
     "If enough of those companies curtail their Google spending, it could begin to depress the company’s annual revenue growth rate, which is already expected to slow to 47% this year from 80% in 2006."
Why not just come out and say: 
     "If ALL of Google’s customers stop advertising, Google’s growth will screech to a halt."
That’s a true statement, isn’t it?
     "Google declined comment for this story."
Google declines to comment on all stories.  What a pot-shot.
     "Going forward, we see no convincing reason why online advertising costs shouldn’t continue to rise." (Mark Mahaney, Internet analyst at Citigroup.)
And this is bad?  It’s supply and demand:  Too much demand, not enough supply.  Believe me, if it were reversed — and keywords began to fall — now that would be a cause for concern.
     "Most online advertisers are happy if their so-called conversion rate is about 5%."
On what planet?!  Average click-through is 0.5%-1.0.  I’m hoping this is just a serious typo else this is just horrible reporting. 
Here’s a guy who says:  "You couldn’t get a worse performance."  The article goes on to say:  "As a result, he’s planning to cut his Google ad spending by 40% or more."
Huh?  If it’s the worse, why isn’t he cutting it all?  It’s either not the worse or it’s a particularly dumb statement.
Here’s the craziest part of the whole article… the final paragraph actually clearly articulates why Google is a phenom:
     "Google’s expansive advertising network and its No. 1 Internet search engine still make it a necessary part of any online campaign. Saying goodbye to Google and its huge audience is a risky move for advertisers.
     Yet even those who will spend at least as much money on Google this year as they did in 2006 say their decision has more to do with improvements they’ve made on their own, rather than any increased satisfaction with Google’s ad service.
     Sackrowitz of Bare Necessities said he won’t cut Google spending, but only because his company has developed expertise in converting clicks into sales.
     "We’re getting healthy enough returns, but it’s a testament to how we’ve done a better job of converting shoppers to buyers than our competition," he said. "We’ll stay the course, but I wish (keyword) prices were lower." "
Great.  Like it’s Google’s fault when someone creates a good or bad ad.
But, no doubt, it is great to be "a necessary part of any online campaign."
That pretty much sums up why GOOG is in a special position these day.
Ugh.  I expect more out of MarketWatch.