Google Plus invite give away

Would you like an invite to Google Plus, Googles new social network, the “Facebook and Twitter killer”?
I have a few invitations, post a comment here with your gmail address (currently it seems only gmail accounts are accepted, you should also have filled out your google profile)

For Swedish speakers this is another option to get a Google+ invitation: gratis

[Edit: As I understand it Google Plus is now open for all gmail accounts. I still have plenty of invites, so comment here if you want one and don’t have a gmail email address]

Filter by Label in Gmail

I have just started playing around with Filters in Gmail. This is one thing that took me some time to figure out, how to filter by label. It turns out it was quite easy, it seems you can use any search string in the “Has the words” field of your filter. To get a label you simply put “label:your-label-name” in there.

You will get a warning: “Warning: Filter searches containing “label:”, “in:”, or “is:” criteria are not recommended, as these criteria will never match incoming mail.”
I think this makes sense as incoming email would not have a label.

More Gmail search options can be found here

Google Adwords Conversion Optimizer Sucks

I’m running a few Google Adwords campaigns but I must admit I’m not doing it properly. I’m too lazy to do proper follow-ups, check what new keywords are hot etc. So being lazy I’ve been running the Budget Optimizer for a long time. The Budget Optimizer lets you set a monthly budget and is then supposed to use its intelligence to bid on keywords to maximize the number of clicks you get each month.

Being even more lazy I switched to the Conversion Optimizer without following up how it was performing. This was about a year ago. Early this month I finally did the follow up – simply comparing the number of clicks, cost and conversions to before. The result – about 30-50% less clicks and conversions than before. Cost – the same.

Confirming this I changed back to the Budget Optimizer on April 10. As you can see on the graph I had one day of “down time” and after that conversions and clicks raised at the same cost.

Google Adwords - Before and After turning off the Conversion Optimizer
Google Adwords - Before and After turning off the Conversion Optimizer

In all fairness I also did another change, on April 7 I turned on show in Search Networks, which seems it had some effect also but mainly on that same day. Conspiracy theory: Did the Conversion Optimizer then quickly learn and brought down my conversions again the next day? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m sure there are a lot of settings and tweaking you can do to improve the numbers I have been getting. But again I have been too lazy to find out. But then again Google market these tools – Budget Optimizer and Conversion Optimizer – as tools for people like me, who are too lazy to follow-up and do their own keyword bidding.

Next on my todo list is to follow up on how good the Budget optimizer actually is compared to manual bidding…

Google Wildcards and Personalized Search

After setting my own personal blog posting record in October I have been silent for a few months… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Just stumbled across this today – it has probably always been there and most of you probably already know about it, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. You can use wildcards in Google, for example search for “IBM acquired * in 1995” on Google.

This is just another typical example of how you (ie. me) think you know a product and are “happy enough” with it to stop learning more about it. (More in the Google Help Search Basics…)

Speaking of Google I read in one of their offficial blog posts that they will now provide personalized search results when you are logged in:

Keep in mind that personalization is subtleโ€”at first you may not notice any difference. But over time, as the search engine learns your preferences, you’ll see it. For example, I (Sep) am an avid Miami Dolphins fan (no joke). Searching for [dolphins] gives me info about my favorite football team, while a marine biologist colleague gets more information about her salt-water friends.

This sounds great to me, but of course it again raises important questions on privacy – I’m not too sure that I want all searches I’m making stored somewhere, available to who knows who.
Living in a pretty well developed democracy I’m not too worried about government finding out stuff about me but it’s not hard to imagine that a country like China can leagally force Google to give out information about its citizens. And it’s not too hard to imagine a future bug that by mistake will give the whole world access to your searches if they now your email address (that you use to logon to Google) – all of a sudden your employer knows that you’re looking for a new job, your wife that you been searching for xxx, etc…
Not to mention all the new work this will bring to all SEOs (Search Engine Optimizers) out there ๐Ÿ˜‰