The power of Google

The post was written in spanish by Miguel from marketing online valencia. My personal comments are added in gray without affecting the original content from Miguel.

This weekend (And yes, SEOs work 24/7/365) I’ve read some articles about the decision that had to take Raven Tools, after a change in Google Adwords policy and if we sum up another things that happened in the Web Analytics and SEO, the thing looks bad.

Or AdWords or out

The first thing you have to know is that if you live  from Google, your business depends on Google and if you don’t play with Google’s rules…you are going to be expulsed from the match. Said that, we enter in subject.

The scenerio is that Raven Tools, a company with online marketing tools, very useful for SEO competitive analysis has to make a decision at the time to renovate their Adwords API License. The Google team has told them that if they wanted to keep on accesing the API they have to stop using data of third party companies and cross them with the Search Engine Results, something known as SERPs monitor. Something that a very basic level could be “Free Monitor for Google“, but at a professional level you have to use Raven or Seo Guardian, Open site explorer or similar tools.

The problem is that Google does not like that some companies scrap their results to obtain rankings per keyword, and they don’t have a way to avoid it, because it’s not technically posible. So they have used AdWords access and their rules, that were already in place for long to apply the line that reads:

‘You won’t be able to access the API of AdWords […] if you use third party data that use information extracted from the search engine without Google authorization’

Hence, if your tool offers data from AdWords and search engine positioning at the same time, and those are not from Google’s (As is usual), you will have to select between having a system or the other, but not both.

In January 2012, Marketing Samurai, another tool that crossed data from both systems  decided to switch Google for Bing in their SEO monitor and they lost clients.

¿And now what?

So now you have to invest in 2 tools to do the same that you did before with only one. Oh wait, but SEMrush offers data from both sides. In the Congreso SEM of 12 Enero Fernando Angulo, of semrush, will tell us what they are going to do and how they are going to solve this, since they will also have to take a decision.

Open Site Explorer of SEOmoz has already dropped the AdWords issue, so it’s limited to monitor the ranking the same as MajesticSEO that only gives positioning and links.

So at the end is clear that if  you only do SEO you can go with one of this tools, but if you do online marketing then you will have to raise your budget for other analysis tools.

Well, but is that much… ¿ Are you sure ?

Google has the power

The percentaje of visits per keyword (not provided) goes in some websites from 25% till the overhelming 45%, facing the Google estimation that will not surpass 10%. My ass!!! For any analytics guy that knows maths, extrapolating or doing statistical inference (Like  @mlkubrick does in Forms to assign keywords *not provided*) when you have this margin of error you can fail bigtime, and I’ve already spoke about this with Lakil, Felipe and another SEOs.

– But fuck, it’s not to get like this, ¿Right?
– Is that you don’t know the best part

Now arrives Saint Google and is goint to do an update in the analytics, not in Analytics (that they are also going to do) but in the way to do analysis. So out of the blue they took a new tracking module (Analytics.js) that is going to replace the ga.js, but that is also going to bring I-don’t-know-how many functionalities.

One of them is to  ‘Raise the privacy for the users navigating the website’ (Really ?) and the tracking with Analytics will be by cookies (another cookies, not the ones that are in place now) that can, or not, pass the search information that is done in Google Search to arrive to the web page.

– Fuck, ¿ But are you sure ?
– No, but when we discuss this in #sempro I will see if the deepness of the thing

Hence, with this system they  will guarante the visit’s tracking , at the time that can kill the tracking of Keywords in the Search engine. So they will put the *not provided* to  100%, using the sampling of data, the infamous cookie or the best excuse. And then is when my malicious mind thinks, ahhh but they only need to press a button in the cookie to recolect this data and give it to Analytics, ¿ Right ?

And another minds shout: Google Analytics Premium !!! That it will be 100.000 € !!!

So now that Google has said that the ranking should not be used as a SEO metric, that is a mistake, that the good SEOs don’t have to look at that, that is all about generating good content, now goes and paints this nice landscape.

Samsung’s campaign in Madrid

gasolinera M-40 DGT image
Brief:
4 de diciembre de 2012 / Madrid gas station

Samsung praises their clients fidelity giving 50 € free in gas to all those that can show a Samsung device. This action had side effects as creating a huge traffic Jam and getting the gas station closed by authorities.

Translating the post written by Nicholas in puromarketing.com :

The campaign was profitable ?

At the time to evaluate the economic cost of the campaign, we get out the costs:  People that is in charge to make the campaign work + the gas that has been given out from the Samsung official account in twitter says that around 1000 persons benefit from the campaign:
50.000 € spent.

The profits are the following:  twitter mentions, Facebook, new fans, new followers, mentions in blogs and online newspapers, mentions in TV, radio, etc… That is hard to value, but if we calculate that 30 seconds in TV cost around  9.600 euros, and that a tweet, in this case the hashtag #enseñatugalaxy, was seen by more than 45.000 people,  the number of blogs and newspapers that published a related story are more than a 100 (Approx. data)
The profits can be valued in: 143.000 euros.

So using the ROI formula : (beneficio obtenido – inversión)/ inversión x 100 = 186

143000 – 50000 / 50000  = 186

So for each euro they spent they had a return of investment of  1,86 euros.

Now, with all my respect to puromarketing, that I follow in Twitter: I understand that all this are approximate data. But you cannot really calculate ROI this way.
First of all there are more operative costs. Samsung for sure invested more that only gas in this campaign. Marketing people + Authorities  plus I’m sure they had to pay the gas station and some fines. So definitivaly not 50000 €.
According to tweetreach #enseñatugalaxy had a reach of 74000  and about 79000 impressions. More than puromarketing says maybe because I’m posting this later. But even like this, where is the 143.000 € calculation coming from ?

And in the other hand, not all the mentions have been positive, I’m sure people that have been hours in the car just because of this marketing action have blamed Samsung, their personal and their mothers. Specially the ones that had to pay fines by the police.

I’m sure the only ones that are able to sensible measure ROI for this are the Samsung people itself with all the data. Any attempt to calculate this out of speculations is not feasible.

So has been this campaign profitable or just pure bluff ?  Time will tell.

To summarize, more than ROI, what I would evaluate in a campaign like this is if the branding action has been positive. If the people is more aware of the Samsung brand and if they are more likely to get a new galaxy in the following months after this. Or not.