Algorithms, particularly poor ones, with insufficient human oversight is a problem that can affect both the competitive price setting for books and the bidding of paid search ads.

In a year when most did well, it’s important to consider whether sales dollars were still left on the table as spikes in efficiency hid under-performance at critical times.

Every year there is a certain snarky contingent of the populace that dismisses Cyber Monday as just marketing hype since, “it’s not even the biggest online shopping day of the year.” Well, let’s all hope that holds true in 2010 as the performance data has definitely taken a turn for the worse in the ensuing days.

Search log data investigation to see how often Google is serving brand ads when users search a non-brand string.

Growth in mobile device traffic has continued unabated since we last published our data on this topic in January. While still a small percentage of our clients’ paid search advertising clicks, mobile traffic share grew 48% from Q4 ’09 to Q1 ’10.

As a core component of paid search quality score, a strong Click-Through Rate (CTR) is vital for ensuring lower costs per click and higher ad visibility. If you are seeing your CTR decline over months or years it can be concerning, but not necessarily an indication of a problem with your copy or PPC program as a whole.

Yahoo! announced their Q4 ’09 earnings on Tuesday, making their best effort to portray a 4% year over year decline in revenue as a signal of a turnaround. While that certainly beats the 12-13% declines Y! saw earlier in ’09, there are still troubling numbers deeper in the report and in RKG’s data.

Traffic from mobile devices has grown tremendously over the last year, but the quality of that traffic may be sketchy.

Has eBay been phasing out syndicated Yahoo ads in favor of Google’s? RKG records indicate a major change in the search partner landscape.

Yahoo has been testing a feature that allows advertisers to add videos, custom search boxes or images to their traditional text search ads. As presented in Beta, the program seems more aligned with Yahoo’s bottom line, than with those of their advertisers.

Some follow-up thoughts on Google’s search-within-the-site.

What should I be looking for in respects to ROI on keyword spends?

ComScore’s Magid Abraham and James Lamberti explain Google’s “surprising” January PPC results.

We’re leading 3 sessions at the 2008 ACCM Conference in Orlando, May 19-22. The DMA has generously provided a 25% speaker discount for us to share.

We’re speaking at the DMA B2B Marketing Conference March 3-5.

Matchtypes and negatives play key roles in keeping your ads away from less relevant search queries.

Linking to a post today I wrote over at Search Engine Land on year-to-date trends in PPC.

I’ll be speaking at the DMA 2007 Annual Show in October 13 – 18 at McCormick in Chicago. Use offer code AN302 to save $150 on registration.

The long tail of search, examined. Excerpts from a longer post at SEL.

Excellent Alertbox from Jakob Nielsen on banner blindness. To whit: people effectively no longer see graphical banner ads.

Pay-per-click search is the largest single line in many web marketing budgets. To ensure your campaigns are healthy, you should conduct a PPC audit about every six months. Today we’ll discuss how to do a PPC cost data audit.

Google releases pay-per-action beta for content network.

Here are 12 tips for winning at paid search in 2007.

David set off a storm of righteous indignation from those who work hard in the SEO space, but part of the reason for his rant and mine is the great preponderance of hokum out there that has been spewed by the not so hard-working, not-so ethical members of the SEO community.

We’re honored three of our suggestions made the Catalog Success list of best tips of 2006.