Tag Archives: Tips

Getty Images Sues Users of Template Websites

Not only did I read about this on the Web, but one of my new clients has been sued by Getty Images for over $17,000. Here the full listing on Google.com if you are interested in reading more people’s comments on this topic. Many are calling it a scam, but use of licensed images for unlicensed purposes puts you in a very tough spot.

The person who I know who got sued, used a pre-designed template from another resource. Unknown to them, the template they selected used an Getty Image. Clearly the template designer had not purchased a license to resell the image and that is why Getty Images sued this person.

What ended up happening was the client on advice from his attorney, shut down his website, closed his business under that name, abandoned his domain, and had to open a new business. Wow, that is pretty harsh action to be forced to take. What if this happened to you and you really didn’t want to close up shop?

I guess the big takeaway on this is, if you use a template design, you now need to confirm that the template you buy has bought the license to any images in the design and has transferred the license to you. It is not good enough that a license has been bought by the original designer for their use, but that you must be covered as well. In most cases this means the original designer must purchase an extended license particularly for resale and boy those type of licenses are expensive.


Get an Invitation to Google AdWords Experiment and Try Before You Go Live

Everyone wants to try the new tools when Google rolls them out and here’s one for you to try that is by invitation only right now. It is called AdWords Experiment and I think it looks like a terrific new tool for serious users of Google AdWords.

There is very little doubt that Google AdWords is among the most effective forms of Internet marketing available in terms of both effectiveness and cost.  With immediate visibility and completely customizable content, AdWords allows users to quickly and efficiently target the people who would be most interested in the product or service that they provide at a price they can afford. 

With the ability to now run simultaneous programs side by side in your account, you can do AB testing like never before. Previously if you tried to test on your own, AdWords would only service the keywords with the best CTR making it nearly impossible to test similar keyword lists. This is critical when your keywords are broad matched.

In order to offer their customers the best possible results from using Google AdWords, the company has just launched the Google AdWords Experiment, or ACE, which allows AdWords users to measure exactly how effective their changes would be, prior to making them officially.  The test is accurate because you would be comparing your proposed changes side by side with your current campaign at the very same time – so no extraneous situations which may or may not cause changes in web traffic would have any bearing on the results.

If you like what you see from your changes in keywords and placement – you make the changes.  If your original campaign performed head and shoulders above the one you were considering than you can consider yourself lucky for not having missed any opportunities while you tested out new possibilities.

If you want to consistently make the most of your marketing efforts without ever having to risk making a change that you’ll regret, grab your invitation to the Google AdWords Experiment here and get started managing your campaign to achieve optimal results. This new tool is in Beta testing and only available by invitation so grab your invitation and be one of the first to reap the rewards of improved AdWords performance. If you like this tool, you may want to check out other cool tools that Google is working on in beta testing by visiting the Google Labs page.


WebCams 101

I just got a video camera for my browser and wanted to share with you how easy and fun they are to use. I actually decided to buy the webcam so that I could show my smiling face to clients when I am using Acrobat Connect. Acrobat Connect is my new online application sharing and conferencing tool that I use for clients and long distance contractor training. I am finding out that I am having a lot of fun with my webcam using Windows Live Messenger as well.

I use Windows Live Messenger to communicate with my independent contractors, clients with whom I am operating as their contractor, and even with my kids. I like the features, ease of use, and ability to see Yahoo users without them having to change instant messenger applications.

NNancy McCord as viewed in her new webcam.ow enter my webcam. First, I bought mine at Staples. I got a Logitech QuickCam for about $50. There are webcam versions from $25 all the way up to $150. In a snap I had loaded the software hung the camera on the top of my flat screen monitor and was looking at myself “live” via webcam.

Acrobat Connect auto-sensed my new webcam and started showing video online in the application immediately without any adjustments to my settings.

Windows Live Messenger also auto-sensed my new webcam and after clicking show my webcam in the settings options on the personal tab, other people with whom I am talking to via Windows Live Messenger can see and hear me online. The other party to your conversation has to have a webcam and microphone set up and installed to be able to talk back on a video call. I have to say that my new webcam is really very neat and super easy to set up. I only need to make sure that my hair looks great every day as you can now see me.

I have had more clients tell me how nice it easy to see who you are talking to and what cool new technology this is to allow them to see me online.

Up early working in your bath robe? Not to worry, you can choose a webcam model that comes with a lever to block the camera lens for added security on really bad hair days. Mine also has a software privacy screen setting to block video, so you can select to show your video only when you want.

Once you have your webcam installed, here are the steps on how to make a video call using Windows Live Messenger:

1. Click “Actions” in the top tool bar and then “Video” and then last of all “Start a Video Call”. You may also see an icon on the tool button bar just above contacts it looks like a phone with a piece of film behind it. You can click that icon if you see it to start a video call as well.

2. Live Messenger shows your online contacts. Double click the person who you want to talk to. The Live Messenger screen opens and you will see your live video on the right. If the other person has a video cam, you will be able to see them there on the side as well. For them to hear you, make sure that you have turned off microphone mute in your webcam software that is on by default before you start your call.

Wow, is that it? Yup, easy isn’t it. As you install your webcam software, sound wizards pop up and allow you to tune your settings, select which hardware to use for speakers and microphone, test settings, and to use Windows Live Messenger, Skype Video Calling, and even Yahoo Messenger Video Calling. Set up is easy and fast.

How can YOU use video calling? Wow, the opportunities are endless: call grandchildren, see the new baby, really connect with team members – get to know your clients better connect a face with a name, try out new technology, or just have some fun. Get the free Windows Live Messenger now then go to Staples or your other favorite store and get your own webcam.


Backup, Backup, Backup!

If you’ve had your hard drive crash and have lost all your data, I will be “preaching to the choir”, as you will most likely have kicked yourself and then bought an external backup drive already. If not make sure to read this post so you are not kicking yourself in three months about backing up your data.

There is nothing worse than starting your computer and nothing happens. Especially if all your business and billing financial records on on the computer. For any business, student, or computer user regular routine backups should be part of your routine. Businesses should back up their systems at a minimum of once a day and should both backup to the working disk as well as to another network location and to an external drive. Sounds redundant doesn’t it, you bet it is, but have a problem and you will be so glad that you had multiple backups in different locations. For the typical homeowner and student backing up your computer may be best done once a week.

There are many backup utilities and some external drives even come with their own. I use several systems. I use the Windows backup utility that comes with Vista once a week and I use my Seagate External drive back up utility once a day. Once a month I back up to another location in my network.

With redundant backups you can assure that your data is covered and you won’t miss a beat if your system crashes, computer gets stolen, or your files get corrupted.


Identification of Trends Impacting Google Maps Placement

Image of a Google Maps exposure on Google.com.

I am starting to see a few trends in Google Maps that can be leveraged for placement and wanted to share them with you.

I have particularly studied several pest control firms up in the New York City and New Jersey areas. Here’s what I see in regards to who owns the top spot and on down. My comments below are based on what I see for the New York City search query above, but are matched with the New Jersey listings as well.

1. Typically the business with the most number of reviews will be placed first. These reviews are pulled from maps.google.com reviews as well as other review locations. The New York City reviews are being pulled from NewYork.CitySearch.com in the link above. All the business locations with the city name in the query with reviews are listed first and in order with the one with the most reviews listed in the number one position.

2. Google Maps then appears to pick up adjoining cities alphabetically with the business with the most reviews first. In the link above the first city was Astoria. The business listed had nine reviews.

3. Any businesses that had no reviews were then listed with the city that matched the search query first and then additional cities were listed in alphabetical order. So in this case the first listing without a review had a Manhattan address (as Google understands that this is New York City). The second business was in Astoria and also had no reviews. The next listing without a review was for Brooklyn.

Additionally Google will show a listing over another if it has a coupon. So if you have no reviews, but you offer one or two coupons, your listing will appear in a higher position than others without reviews and with no coupons.

It is easy to create coupons. You do so by logging into your Google Maps or Google Local Business Center account. Now getting positive reviews is harder.

My recommendation is that if Google Maps placement is valuable to your business is to get busy soliciting customer reviews. Provide clients with a link to post reviews directly on your Google Maps profile page when you have sold or completed your service. You may want to even encourage reviews with a small monetary tip, coffee cup with your name, or personal email asking for their comments and a link to your Google Maps page. I would also recommend that you create one to five coupons for your business.

This is the first real trend that I have been able to see in regards to how Google handles who gets placed where when it comes to Google Maps. At this time we do not offer Google Maps placement services as really getting reviews and creating coupons is about you and your interaction with customers directly and not necessarily something that should be farmed out. That being said, clearly the “nut has been cracked” so get busy working to improve your Google Maps placement starting with customer reviews and then coupons.


Our February Newsletter is Posted

This month we have some great topics in our e-newsletter. Here’s a quick review:

Are You Missing Google Local or Google Maps Exposure Opportunities?

You can get free exposure on Google.com, when you match a local search query, if you have a Google Local Business account. What makes it all even sweeter is that the exposure is free.

First, if you don’t have a Google Local Business Center account, I would strongly recommend that you consider setting one up as sometimes local searches are shown above the organic results accompanied by a map. Why wait when you can set one up for without charge? Read more…

Brite Idea Tip: Google AdWords Ads to Show on Smart Phones and Will Offer Click to Call

Google will be rolling out a new mobile advertising program in AdWords this month. But to have your ads show on iPhones and other smart phones you need to make sure that you are opted in. Here’s how you can tap into this mobile network so that when Google rolls out the program to your account you will be automatically able to participate.

For quite sometime in the campaign control panel you could select to show your ads on iPhones and Smart Phones or just on desktop PCs. Now Google is going to finally enable special features just for iPhones and Smart Phones. Read more…

Confused About the Google Caffeine Update? Join the Club

We’ve heard conflicting reports about the release of the new Google Caffeine update and whether it is already live. First, the professional chatter in the first week in January was that the new Google “Caffeine” algorithm was out. Then, on January 14th, the professional chatter was that, no, the algorithm had been delayed. So who do you believe and why would the update possibly be delayed?

As with all important new algorithm adjustments on Google, there is a fine tuning period after launch. When the infamous Florida update was rolled out several years ago, the blow back that Google received was so strong, parts of the algorithm were tweaked for performance to soften the impact or rolled back all together.  Read more…

If you have enjoyed these articles make sure to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.