I always end up with a ton of open tabs in my browser. Here’s some of the things I’ve enjoyed, but won’t do a full-scale blog post about. You might have missed these the first time around:
– Mike Grehan noticed a Google experiment to let users suggest urls to Google for specific searches. If you repeat the search, your suggestion will show up at #1 for you. Google is always running a bunch of experiments; I just like the idea of users contributing suggestions to Google.
– I noticed two good articles about using AdWords well. The first one is from Amy Konefal. She walks you through separate bids for content vs. search ads; the ability to not show ads to sites you choose to exclude; Google’s Placement Performance reports, and how to check the return-on-investment (ROI) for individual sites; how to ramp up advertising using site targeting for sites that perform especially well; and how to mine Google’s new Search Query reports to find new keywords to bid on, or poorly performing keywords to exclude by adding as a negative keyword. You should really go read the whole post though; it puts some of Google’s ad tools in a nice historical perspective. It also drives home that Google provides a lot of tools for the advertisers that are willing to invest the time. I believe that the more familiar you become with AdWords, the better your ROI will be.
– The other AdWords article I enjoyed was by a post by Brad Geddes. Geddes discusses some of the same ground as Konefal from a slightly different viewpoint. Geddes additionally mentions geotargeting to improve your ROI, the fact that you can exclude IP addresses from seeing your ads, the fact that Site Exclusion allows you to block an unlimited number of sites, and Google’s invalid clicks report. That report tells you how many ad clicks were discarded by Google so you didn’t have to pay for them. Geddes points out that the invalid clicks report can help reconcile your analytics results with your ad clicks. Together these two articles cover a lot of AdWords tools. There are still a few other things you can explore, such as auto-tagging your ad clicks so that things like page reloads and back-button navigation don’t cause confusion.
– Walkscore takes an address and estimates how “walkable” that address is. It looks at things like where the nearest grocery store is, how far it is to the nearest bookstore, etc. It’s a pretty neat use of web APIs for maps.
– I’m normally not a sucker for Matt-baiting. I didn’t link to the Cartoon Matt doll (until now, I guess). But I have to say that I really enjoyed LOLCUTTS. Very creative, Michael. I’m surprised that you didn’t take advantage of some of my sillier photos.
– People have figured out how to compile and load native apps on the iPhone. One recent thing I’ve seen is an NES emulator for the iPhone. It’s not something I’d run, but I still like the idea of being able to run my own programs on the iPhone. Now if homebrew iPhone apps could read the tilt sensor well, maybe I wouldn’t have to carry a pedometer in my pocket.