Tool to See Competitors Adwords Keywords

I got pinged this evening on a new free tool that has been floating around. It’s a plugin for firefox called PPCSpy. Basically, you install it in firefox, and it puts a little icon down in the lower right corner of your page.

Turn the plugin on by clicking on the icon and do a google search for your desired niche. You’ll see a bunch of green boxes pop up under the adwords ads. Click those boxes and you get a sampling of the keywords that that advertiser is using.

With the free version, you only get to see the first 10 keywords, but there are levels of paid use that allow for 50 and 100 keywords. There’s plenty of other features as well that make it well worth picking up for free if you do any PPC work. Or at least at first glance.

I’ll be giving it a bit of a test drive over the next few weeks.

Win a Google Android G1 from Chitika

Chitika is having a contest to see who is making the best use of their Chitika Premium ad blocks in tandem with Adsense.

Since one of the best ways to earn the most revenue is by using AdSense and Chitika | Premium together on the same page, we thought we would hold a contest to see who has the best AdSense + Chitika | Premium setup.

All you’ve got to do is get them the URL of the site where you’ve got both Chitika Premium and Adsense set up. You can submit it in the comments of the announcement post or via email (listed on that post).  Best placement combo wins.

The grand prize winner gets their choice of a Google/T-Mobile Android G1, Blackberry Storm, or an Apple iPhone 3G 8GB.  Also, two runners up will get a cash prize of $200.  That’s nearly enough to buy your own phone.

I must admit that I had abandoned the Chitika program for quite some time due to lack of performance, but I was convinced to give it another try and it’s paid great dividends since.  What used to be a $3-4 a month payout, is now coming in at $50-$70!

Now, go and submit your winning placement!

Microsoft and Yahoo from a SEO/PPC/OnlineTrepreneur Perspective

Much has been said about the potential merging of Microsoft and Yahoo.  The talk has been exceptionally heavy in the last month or so.  I’ve talked about it here once or twice and probably will again.  But most of the talk has been around the technology ramifications of the merger.  The changes that would occur in search market share and what it would mean for Google.  But what about us?  What about the online entrepreneur? 

We do SEO, PPC and various other things that could be affected by a merger of Microsoft and Yahoo.  What changes can we expect from this merger if it were to happen?  Here’s how I see it going down.

In the world of SEO, it narrows things down a bit.  Instead of everybody trying to do the SEO for all three of the search engines, they only have two major ones.  Of course, I’m of the camp that thinks that you follow a few tenets and don’t worry about what any one individual search engine wants, so that doesn’t change much for me. 

From a PPC perspective, things will (regardless) change.  Even without the merger, things are changing.  Yahoo maybe in talks to test out using Google for search advertising.  I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen as it would be a major blow to Microsoft and when was the last time Google passed that up.  And Yahoo is unlikely to pass it up just out of spite.  If, however, the merger were to go through, it would form a viable competitor to the Google advertising engine.  Suddenly, choosing between the two would become a little less obvious.  Some don’t choose now, but there are many that only use one of the engines. 

As an Online Entrepreneur, the merger could mean several things.  The most obvious is a healthy alternative to anything Google.  For those that would actively rebel against The Great Googely Moogely, a merger could be very good.  Another, less positive, way to think about the merger would be the elimination of choice.  Instead of three engines, we would only have two.  There are many that can’t stand either Google or Microsoft and actively try to use Yahoo and others whenever possible.  The merger would cause there to only be two large choices.  The rest would be table scraps and not push enough traffic to worry about.

In the end, I can’t say whether the merger will go through or not.  Yahoo doesn’t seem to be very receptive and also seems to be getting quite a bit of help in thwarting the “attack”.  Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn’t seem all that willing to give up.  And let’s face it; Microsoft usually doesn’t give up.  They’ve lost a couple of times, but rarely do they give up.

Online Ad Revenue Hits New High

In case you missed it, the IAB announced that the online ad revenue for the second quarter of 2007 hit a new high.  Over 5 billion dollars.  Wow.  Some quick math will point out that we should be looking for a 20 billion dollar year in ad revenues online.  That’s impressive.

HipMojo points out that the big dog of the online ad game, Google, accounts for over 40% of the U.S. Online Ad revenue.  That also is impressive.  What’s more impressive, and I think more than a few people either missed it or glossed over it is the fact that performance revenue increased the gap between it and cpm (impressions) revenue.

What does that mean for you and me?  If we’re counting on Adsense, Adbright, or any other impression ads to pick up or sustain their levels, we better start counting elsewhere.  PPC (pay per click) advertising seems to still be rising, but I would guess that the large increase to the performance revenue is most likely due to affiliate sales.

So, how much affiliate work do you do?  I’d say you’ll be doing more in the next few months.  I know I’ll be focusing on getting my affiliate work in gear.  I’ve been doing poorly in that particular area so I have a lot of work to do.