Archive for October, 2007

Google Price Fixing with Ad Quality

October 24, 2007

When you own 50% of any market, especially one that supplies mostly small and medium businesses, you’ve got a great opportunity to take pricing.

Take pricing?  Yep, just raise the minimum CPC on those PPC ads, and you can add millions to the bottom line.  How?  Something Google is calling Ad Quality, and because they are taking pricing, they need a new tool to show people their ads now have poor Ad Quality.

But Google does no evil, they save puppies, and don’t flaunt their private jets or exclusive Federal runways. 

Great, here’s a real life example that can only be explained by Google taking pricing:

* Created a new ad in Adwords for a very specific keyword and landing page
(both requirements for good Ad Quality)

* The keyword ran for a total of zero impressions
(Google must already know the keyword with existing data or it’s an Ad Quality issue)

* Traffic Estimate tool says that Google doesn’t have enough data on the keyword
(Ok, so it has to be an Ad Quality issue since it didn’t have any impressions)

* The brand new Ad Quality (price fixing) tool shows that the Ad Quality is ok
(Now I don’t get it, it’s neither data or Ad Quality, seems like you want me to spend more money without giving an actual reason other than you run the ad network)

The best part about this whole pricing scam is that Google, because they’re not evil, gives you the chance to buy your way out of the problem.  It says, just increase your bid, then your ad quality won’t matter as much.  I finally found a need for Yahoo.

Fire Protection 2.0

October 24, 2007

I love that quote about history repeating itself, especially if the event only happens every year. 

The talk of the week has been the absurd imbalance in property taxes and how everyone forgot they were coming.  I can’t wait for the legislation that requires impounds instead of leaving it for someone to save on their own.  Good thing you can put in on a credit card!

Now we have the Southern California fires and because it’s been a few years, we didn’t bother to figure out a new way to fight them.  New delivery mechanism?  New chemical?  Nope, still got hundreds of guys in trucks with limited water supply and shovels.  That’s right, shovels.  Maybe they’d be more comfortable in a covered wagon and burlap sack.  And once those guys kill themselves, then we try to drop some water or pepto bismol and get it over with.

I don’t understand why we put a single person on the ground.  We’ve got trained military pilots that can drop a bomb from 10,000 ft with precision, so if we let them get within 1,000 ft they’d probably not hit too many houses.  Since the best attack is always from the air, but is the most difficult to do because we have to fly too close to the ground, seems to me we should develop a delivery system for the pepto and be done with it.

Believe it or not, Boeing is at least trying.  Of course, the better solution is a bigger container, possibly with a compressed air timed explosion that could disperse the pepto once the retardant bomb was at the optimal height for coverage.   It can’t be that difficult, and it’s far cheaper than all the overtime the ground crews are racking up. 

We can chat about this in two years when the fires are back and we’re still sending firefighters to risk their lives.