Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

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Announcing Adylitica

I mentioned Adylitica earlier in my blog as the new project I’m working on with my partner in crime: Marc Wandschneider. So what is it?

One thing I’ve noticed working at my last job is that Search Engine marketing is the future of advertising, but hard to do right.

Old media marketing is dying and for good reason. Not because it only offers fuzzy targeting, or that it’s expensive, or that you can’t make small buys and scale up. There’s a thousand reasons online marketing is better, but number one is volume. It’s easy to get a hundred thousand people to look at your stuff online, but for print that’s a real challenge, especially if you care about demographics or intent to buy.

Well I say it’s easy, but it’s only easy if you know what you are doing. The thing about the web is that it’s chaos, and everyone is equal. Your “viral video” will be on even ground with a million ninja cats videos. Your website is just one of billions and paying consultants to make it super spiffy probably is just going to be a waste of money.

Your best advertising dollar online is likely to be spent on Google
Adwords where you can leverage money directly against results and pay
as you go.

But even Adwords is for suckers if you don’t know what you are doing. The reason is mostly because your competitors are also buying Adwords. If they aren’t today, they will be soon. And when your competitors buy the same exact keywords, if you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll start bidding your profits away to get the same customers. That’s the first problem.

The second problem is Adwords is a guessing game. People are searching for literally a billion different search terms every day. Your task with Adwords is to figure out which subset of those terms are being performed by people who will buy your product, at a rate cost-consistent with the price of those keywords, which is variable from day to day, even hour to hour.

And that highlights the third problem, if you shotgun it and stockpile a large set of keywords, Google will levy large penalties against you for not being targeted enough. Google wants to keep the quality of Adwords high so people actually look at them, which means if you don’t also pay attention to quality and individually make sure each ad matches your keyword, you are going to lose money fast.

Of course you can always go the SEO route, and pay zero for the keywords you want. But now you are playing a game where the rules are unpublished, a hundred snake oil salesmen want to sell you a hundred different solutions, and any changes you make will not take effect for months until Google does another recalc or you get un-sandboxed or into dmoz, etc. Also take into account Google constantly changes their rankings, so what worked for your SEO yesterday might not work today.

All of this is complicated stuff. Typically we see overworked marketing guys taking on this stuff, or often companies hire people full time just to optimize Adwords and SEO.

I think there are two problems here. One is to do Search Engine marketing right you need someone working on it full time, otherwise you either waste a lot of money or miss out on sales/leads that could be acquired cheaply. The second problem is that to hire someone to do Google marketing full-time is unfeasible for a lot of companies.

My new project Adylitica is targeted at solving this. It’s a self-service tool to run Adwords and SEO automatically. Your marketing guys should return to doing real marketing - reaching out and engaging with actual people, not fiddling around with the adwords management console and meta tags in html. And if they are not fiddling around with adwords all the time, then you should be getting more leads/sales and lower dollars/conversions than you currently are because that fiddling is actually vital stuff.

The tool is aimed at people who are doing medium to large adwords buys, people who don’t have the resources to have a fulltime “manage Google marketing” department, but still use adwords as a key part of their marketing. We’re still working on the alpha of the adwords component - but the seo component should be available in limited beta at the end of the year. A beta of the Adwords tool will be ready next year.

Our take on both of these things are a complete re-think of the tools that are already out there, which we have really seen to be really lacking as a replacement for a full time optimize Google guy.

It’s still too early to lay out exactly how the AdWords stuff works in detail as we’re playing around with it heavily, but I’ll talk about the SEO part in another post. It’s based on similar themes to what I worked on previously at BEA and SourceLabs - at SourceLabs the open source community site I designed draws 1 million visitors a month from search engine traffic.

Anyways if you do Search Engine marketing we need you for our beta program or just to talk to us about how you do search engine marketing and what advice or problems you have!

If you have advice or want to be involved with the beta please send me mail at info [at] adylitica.com or at


The SEO beta will be ready by the end of the year or January 2009 - we will be charging for as it is already fairly mature and compelling. We can however only support 8 people at first - (1 spot is taken). The Adwords beta will be released next year for free, also in limited beta.

Read the original blog entry...

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