Online Advertising Privacy Regulation: In It To Spin It!

AdAge is talking about the release of the free privacy online icon to smaller companies, not just the license of them to large companies. The icon allows users to opt-out of behavioral targeting. Here’s what the icon looks like:

Free Privacy Online Icon

Open or Closed

It’s not black and white but if it were, there would be ‘open’ people, and there would be ‘closed’ people with regard to behavior online.

Open: Yes, pay attention to my behavior so I don’t receive irrelevant ads. Oooh, horseback riding just a couple of miles away!
Closed: I do not want you to track anything I do online. And, stop sending me stupid ads! (?)

Open: Remember me. I’m terrible at remembering passwords and I sign up for a lot of stuff because I love the Internet.
Closed: Do not save or cookie any information of mine. Hey why do I have to fill out this form again! (?)

Open: Online privacy controls are fine, but allow me to hand the keys over to the Digital Advertising Alliance or FTC. Innocent until proven guilty. I have little to hide.
Closed: I demand online privacy controls, um I have no idea how to use them exactly, what does this lever do? (?)

My point is, smart people are making legislation in 2012 to give you closed people options, for your protection. But, you are wearing swimming earplugs to the fire hydrant party, it’s underkill.

You know how when a police car rides up behind you arbitrarily, though you are doing nothing wrong, he’s like a yellow jacket flying around your picnic sandwich, your heart rate increases, and you wish he’d leave? On the other hand, when the neighbors are fighting in the middle of the night and it sounds like are going to kill each other, when you see those red and blue flashing lights you feel safe and happy they are there?

That’s my policy. The government has every right (and responsibility) to protect you. You, as well, should have every right to opt out of that. Me? My policy is be careful with my money, and separate my spam from my important email, but other than that, I fall hard into the ‘open’ category. Here is a Klout.com list you can follow of others I find ‘open’ on Twitter:

My “open” list on Klout.

(…and by the way, I’m open to suggestions to that list. Because I’m open. You get it.)

Either way, as usual, expect growth in online ad spending in the upcoming years:

Online Ad Spending Forecast

Because as web sites, blogs, magazines, promotions and more expand online, so does the advertising landscape:

Online Ad Channels

The biggest activity (behavior) we take part in online (beside perhaps the one-handed 30-second rewind ~ meow!) is search. Here is where you’ll see most of the digital advertising:

Market Share by Search Engine

I Hate Shopping

An estimated that 30% of online digital ads ($28.5 billion) in the U.S. use behavioral tracking, says AdAge. I want my advertisers to know me, what I like, and how I act. Maybe I’m lacking the old-fashioned gene that makes people drive to a store and walk around looking on the racks and shelves for supplies. It just feels a bit Little House on the Prairie to me.

Online recommendations (live or culled), stylists and catalogs with fun interactivity and social sharing sounds better. Webvan is gone but did you notice Safeway has taken it back up?

SEO and Article Farming: An Update

Stop Article Farming

The SEO honeymoon is over.

Eric Schmidt himself admits other sites are doing admirable things to be found online.

Are you of the opinion that article farming is the next best way of building links and gearing traffic to your web pages? It WAS a valid (though tedious) trend of augmenting SEO campaigns until Google updated its search algorithm to limit the impact of article marketing!

Due to article farming, relevant results had almost become a needle in a haystack. Users had to sift through multiple result pages, only to find regurgitated junk. Google needed to clean its SEO landscape if it had hopes of surviving the competition unleashed by Yahoo! and Bing. This search engine giant responded with an update that changes all article marketing rules.

Quality Metrics Have Been Upped

The SEO campaigns that survived, did it solely on spins and extensive submission to hundreds of article directories. The change will give top priority to brands. Now the thrust will be on high-quality content. Therefore, webmasters should concentrate more on:

  • Becoming an industry expert or authority in their niche. The quality of the content should be made very high. If such content cannot be written in-house, it can easily be outsourced.
  • Restructure the importance of article directories in online marketing strategies. Reduce publishing content on article directories; keep more content on their web sites.
  • Attain more natural link progression, rather than quick, paid links. An effective method can be to interact with audiences on niche forums, sell ideas and bring them to the site.
  • Social media integration. Google has already started giving importance to social media content in its search algorithm. Thus, social media, now, will have dual benefits. It will help in direct customer engagement and indirectly, increasing search ranking.
  • Create mechanisms to track metrics from your search results. O-p-t-i-m-i-z-e.

So, content will continue its reign as the king. However, for a bigger impact, webmasters should aim at creating an authoritative presence.

Socializing on connections

Click to listen > Lisacast with guest Liad Agmon on Social Search

One entrpreneuer’s to do list

  1. Serve in the electronics R & D lab for the military
  2. Study computers, film and TV at the university
  3. Build a start-up and sell it to McAfee in order to:
  4. Fund Israel’s highest grossing film in the last quarter century
  5. Move to San Francisco

Following your passion

Liad Agmon, co-founder and CEO of Delver, has 15 years of experience in the communication and security industries.  He holds a BA (cum laude) in Computer Sciences from Tel-Aviv University, and is a member of Israel’s Broadcasting Authority Internet Committee.  But that’s not why he ended up in the tech industry. He did it to raise money for another passion, film. See, Liad also studied film & television there in Tel-Aviv. This is Liad’s blog, by the way:

Liad Agmon's blog

Liad  was the assistant director at Israel’s top grossing film in the last 25 years – a French-Israeli co-production called “Turn Left at the End of the World”. He also produced and directed the DVD featurette “The Troupe – 25 years later” and he wrote for some of Israel’s top stand comedians. This impressed me, he says to himself: I need money for a film. Ok well I’ll just build and sell a company.

I mean here’s an interesting, creative kid. And it takes someone like that to create cutting edge software. It was Liad’s passion, his personal passion, that drove the creation of Delver.

Personal passions connect us socially too. In his interview on Lisacast, Liad talks about friendship coefficients and why he thinks the world could be ripe for social search.

[Social search] can happen only at a certain point when the market has matured and there is enough social content out there that you can index.

— Liad Agmon

What’s Delver look like?

Check it out yourself and click to listen to the interview, recorded and rebroadcast live on BlogTalkRadio > Lisacast with guest Liad Agmon on Social Search