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Google Video Ads Hit UK

Google users in the USA have had video ads served to them via the Google AdWords scheme for some while.

All pay per click adverts are generated by bidding on keywords and can produce great amounts of traffic to your website. If you're not sure what pay per click is then click here for a brief presentation from DBS.

The "video unit" adverts are nestled amongst the text adverts and take the form of an image with an embedded video player - all you do is click the play button if you want to watch it.

This is what they look like:

This image doesn't work if you click on the play button - but if you look at these examples of Google Video Unit ads you will get the picture (pun intended).

YouTube provide the technology for this. Now we know why Google bought them.

Google have launched this technology in the UK.

In a press release, David Thacker, group product manager for Google stated...

"the program (surely he meant programme?) will create a new revenue opportunity for publishers and content owners, and help advertisers reach their target audiences in new and innovative ways".

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Beware of this Postal Scam

Police and The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following postal scam, particularly in the run up to the Christmas period, when people are more likely to be expecting parcel deliveries.

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 0207 239 6655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at
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Yahoo Local Results Sponsored Listings - save 10%

By looking at web stats I see that after Google, the search engine that sends the most traffic to our clients' sites is Yahoo!

Yahoo has now introduced a Yahoo! Local Results feature. Google has had a similar feature for quite a while now. The graphic below shows the results for a search on "solicitor liverpool" using the Yahoo! search engine. The top two results in blue are pay per click adverts and the Local Results begin underneath these.

If you click on the Local Results in the red box above it opens up into a page that looks like this:

Four sponsored slots are available (2 at the top plus 2 at the bottom) which include your company name, phone number, addresses, a web link, a descriptive 40 character tagline and a logo.

As you can see – Irvings Solicitors have taken one of these sponsored listings for the search term “solicitor Liverpool”. Irvings have used a unique 0800 number for this advert to monitor its response by phone. We can monitor the hits or click throughs using our web stats package.
You can buy Yahoo! Local Results sponsored listings for as many search terms as you want to ie Irvings could also have a sponsored listing for “law firm Liverpool”.

We have negotiated a 10% savings on Yahoo! Local Results if you book and pay through DBS.

The sponsored slots cost in the region of £150 to £350 for a six month period depending on the area and business type.

I think they are a good idea and worth doing. The listings are being marketed quite aggressively on a first come, first served basis so if you are interested please either phone me on 0800 988 8366 or email me know as soon as possible and I will get a firm price for you on the search term(s)
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UK Internet Register

The UK Internet Register is rearing its ugly head again.

This is what I said in May 2007 and it still holds true today....

I had a solicitation forwarded to me by a client that they received from the UK Internet Register. The solicitation asked for a cool £639 + VAT for an advert in their register. Beware - this is a scam and the outfit involved have operated several ruses aimed at parting you with your cash.

The forms look very convincing but don't respond to them and don't send any money.

If you receive anything suspicious then please fax it to us on Freefax 0800 988 8367.
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What's a blog?

Blog is short for "web log".

Blogs are websites that can be added to easily by anyone. You don't have to have computer programming skills or be a web developer to set up and add to a basic blog.

Blog technology is powered by several companies. One of the most notable is Blogger which is owned by Google.

To set up a blog you need to visit and decide on a user name and password. You can then decide on the look you want from a selection of templates.

There are lots of extras you can add to your blog to customise it such as pictures, links to other sites and an archive system for your posts.

Blogs are ideal starter mini websites but they can be useful to businesses in other ways - more later....
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Advanced Broadband for internet users in Lincolnshire

Being a Nottingham lad I don't very often extol the virtues of another county but...

Lincolnshire is a fab county to live in - great schools, low crime rate, reasonable house prices etc. and of course we have the Lincolnshire Riviera of Skegness (see image on right), Mablethorpe and Anderby Creek.

The downside is that the county has had a reputation of being a provincial backwater unlike say Nottinghamshire who are seen as a regional leader. However the big chiefs in Lincolnshire are getting their act together in terms of IT and the internet and have realised that broadband is crucial for rural businesses in Lincolnshire.

We are in the process of obtaining advanced broadband with a low contention ratio. Allow me to explain..

Think of broadband as a pipe delivering to your house. At the moment what comes down the pipe is a lot slower than what you can send up the pipe. This makes downloading quick but sending information slower. Advanced broadband has the same speed up and down. It comes from a signal rather than a phone line and the maximum number of people you can share the signal with is 10. The number of people that share broadband is called the contention ratio. The less people the better the speed.
Because the speed is so fast it can handle phone calls as well as normal stuff like email. This is called VOIP or voice over internet protocol. My personal slant is that VOIP is coming but we aren't quite ready yet.
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Black Hat Search Engine Optimisation

I am probably showing my age but in the old cowboy films the good guys wore white hats and the baddies had black ones.

It is no surprise then that the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) industry refers to those who recommend dodgy tactics to their client as "Black Hat SEO's".

Just when I thought I had seen it all I met with a pucker accountancy this week who had an entire section of hidden text on their home page. The concept isn't hard to grasp. If you have a purple background on your website then you put purple text on it. Humans can't see it or read it but search engines can. The whole thing is designed to trick or manipulate search engine results.

Google take a pretty dim view of this and other black hat tactics.

Google do offer some help and advice to webmasters. This is what they say about hidden text:

If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages.

The accountancy firm risk having their website banned from search engine results as a result of the advice they were given.

Sometimes this type of advice comes from web designers who don't grasp the concept of legitimate SEO tactics too well. Sometimes it comes from Black Hat SEO companies.

You knew it was coming but....
Use a trusted and respected internet marketing consultant to avoid these pitfalls.
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DBS is awarded Google AdWords Professional Status

David Clarke - a partner at DBS - was recently awarded Google AdWords Professional Status after achieving 87.1% in a 100 minute examination.

This distinguishes DBS as skilled internet marketing professionals.

The examination covered some exciting topics for Google AdWords features that haven't yet hit the UK. Look out for image and video ads - they are on the way.

We will soon be displaying the Google AdWords Professional logo on our website and email letterhead.

We have offered pay per click services to our clients for several years through Google, Yahoo and MSN and have achieved some outstanding results for a range of businesses offering professional services through to Ecommerce.

Passing the exam brings the advantage of promotional credits to new advertisers which we intend to hand out in the form of free clicks on a first come first served basis.
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DBS goes International

We recently received an enquiry via our website for an international 0800 number from a health company based in the USA.

After fulfilling the telecoms order we got in a conversation about the company's website and how to make it perform better in search engine results.

As a result we have been invited to optimise the web site for Wise Choice Medicine of San Diego, California. They specialise in non-surgical cataract reversal.
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DBS adds Skype to its web site

DBS launched Skype on both its web site and blog this week to provide its existing and potential clients with an extra point of contact.

DBS feels that online brochure sites are becoming a thing of the past and that it is more and more important to add interactive features. Skype fitted the bill as it enables our website visitors to speak with us with just the click of a button.
Skype is simple to set up. DBS chose to route all Skype calls through a headset that connects directly to a computer. Instead of phone lines all calls through Skype use a broadband connection.
Contact us to see how it could work for you.

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The BBC iPlayer

The BBC is changing the way that broadcasting works here in Britain, forever. The iPlayer has the hype and capability to entirely alter television to be a self-selected experience, completely shattering the need for a television schedule.

So far released as a test version, this player allows the user to select a choice of transmitted programmes whenever they want to view them. The BBC kept this a ‘soft’ release allowing them keep tabs on the technology, building up to a full-scale release without any pressure from mountainous amounts of users.

This is not a new idea though. Channel 4 have been doing this since late last year (4oD), which has been a remarkable success gaining independent programme makers extra revenue. ITV is also slowly lifting the curtain on its new £20million website. However the BBC is the biggest name in the UK’s television media and soon the UK’s viewers will be able to freely download all BBC owned material with a 7 day lifespan.

The computer is fast growing its roots into the home entertainment realms and with increasing technology being built to support it, all television production companies will have to adapt to survive.
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Myvu Personal Media Viewer

The iPod’s 2.5” display makes for pretty uncomfortable viewing. Great quality, but the screen is just too small to get into anything longer than a few minutes.

The Myvu changes this. An accessory of an accessory, it acts like a pair of futuristic glasses, projecting the images fed from the iPod onto the inside of the lenses.

This coupled with noise reducing in-ear sound stemming from the glasses’ arms, creates a great surround sound movie experience that is truly personal. To stop the viewer from alienating their safety, the Myvu also gives room to view above and below the frames.

The Myvu is powered by a battery that subtly attaches to your iPod and has around 8 hours of operation. It is compact, well designed and is the best media player of its kind on the shelf.

PRICE: £229.95
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A new London area code number is available

In a move by Ofcom to increase the capacity for numbers in London and unite the London area the 0203 number has been introduced to be used alongside the existing 0207 and 0208 numbers.

Existing 0207 and 0208 numbers will continue to work in the same way.

DBS can offer local/virtual/ghost phone numbers for the new 0203 area code and over 357 UK towns and cities.
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Glastonbury shies away from internet ticket sales

40% of the tickets for next year's Glastonbury Festival will now be reserved for telephone sales announced Michael Eavis - the festival's organiser.

Mr Eavis felt that 2007's system had favoured those with high speed internet access. The swing towards telephone sales is thought to have been introduced to help teenagers with mobile phones buy tickets.

This year's festival has been heavily criticised as being too "middle-aged".
Looks like mum and dad snapped up the tickets on broadband while the kids were just that little bit too slow.
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What is the most visited website in the world?

What would you say is the most visited website in the world? Google? Yahoo?

You may be surprised to hear that the answer is with an estimated 180 million users worldwide. Many of you may not even have heard of MySpace. It’s a social networking site that enables anyone to create their own space to which they can add their own news, views, thoughts, pictures, music and video. It’s a combination of an online journal and scrapbook.

Once you are a MySpace member you can invite others to interact with you and build up groups of friends, schoolmates colleagues etc.

It would be fair to say that the first social network sites were predominantly filled with teenagers but the no-so-youngs are joining in too.

MySpace had 69 million visitors in May 2007 and its close rival Facebook had 23 million. Serious traffic like this has encouraged online advertisers to place banners and video adverts on MySpace creating close to $25 million in May 2007 with an anticipated 30% growth each quarter. MySpace’s advertising clients include Ford, Vodafone and Proctor & Gamble.

MySpace is owned by Mr Murdoch. He bought it for £290 million in 2005 – seems like a shrewd move to me.
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MySpace and the future of social networking sites.

Chris DeWolfe – co-founder of has made public his plans to exploit the popularity of social networking sites. DeWolfe recently raised the prospect of a partnership with eBay to offer MySpace users an online shopping service.

Social networking sites do what they say on the tin. Users can create their own page to which they can upload photos, music and videos to share with friends. I used to define social networking sites as Friends Reunited for people who haven’t left school yet but my opinion is slowly changing.

If you have teenager they will probably have a page on and To score one million cool points with teenagers set up a MySpace and Facebook account and then show it to them.

MySpace had 69 million visitors in May 2007 compared with Facebook’s 27 million.
This captive audience is all ready being hit with banner advertising, which if clicked on often takes users to a brand’s MySpace profile. A good example of this is clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch’s. The idea is to set up a community or social network around a brand to encourage interactivity and brand loyalty.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that social networking sites are just for kids. Major brands such as Ford, Proctor & Gamble and Vodafone are all advertising heavily online.

MySpace has constantly added to the services it provides including a classified section and an instant messaging service. Another exploding market is online video advertisements. This is currently at the experimental stage but is certain to be a huge revenue stream.
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Yahoo bring in ex boss Yang

Yahoo have kicked out their Chief Executive Terry Semel at a fractious AGM.

Mr Semel passed up the opportunity to buy Google in 2002 for $5 billion. Perhaps he is reflecting on this now because Google makes more money in a quarter than Yahoo does in a year. In short, Yahoo has been left standing by Google.

Google realised early on what a great money spinner paid for advertising (pay per click) could be. Yahoo can be criticised for doing too little too late but they are still a major player in the pay per click market.

Yahoo has asked its founder Jerry Yang to take the helm. Google’s meteoric rise must be galling for Yang as Google’s rise was in many ways a carbon copy of his “baby”.

Google’s roll out of free web-based versions of MSN’s Word and Excel is believed by some to be the precursor of an uneasy marriage between Yahoo and MSN. This may be the only way to check Google’s runaway success.

However an upbeat Yang seems keen to keep the circling sharks at bay when he states. “We need to execute better and to get better fast.”
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Idea Volcano

Two young British entrepreneurs have recently launched a website for business ideas.

The object of the site is to match together people with innovative business ideas and those that are looking for ideas.

The non-profit making site is an internet blog. A blog is short for “web log” and is a website that is very easy to add articles and post comments to without having any web development skills. Any entrepreneur can post a blog and anyone can contribute to the blog.

More than 100 entrepreneurs signed up to the website in its testing phase.

In a way this is quite an interesting social experiment as the ownership of the idea is down to the people taking part in its development.

As Murray Wells, one of the co-founders, explains “In our experience no one has ever got an idea off the ground without telling people about it.”

One school of thought could be that if you had an absolute corker of a business idea the last thing to do would be to share it with complete strangers. Busy business people who have absolutely no time to develop their “killer” ideas should visit the site at:
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High speed broadband firms are slow to deliver

The overwhelming majority of high speed broadband companies are failing to deliver the services their advertising promises.

Only one in five homes is getting the speed they signed up for according to research conducted by

Over 43,000 broadband users were interviewed and of the chief culprits identified was Sky. Only 6% of Sky broadband customers achieved 16Mb speed in the Sky “up to 16Mb” package.

TalkTalk, Orange and BT offer an 8Mb package yet less than half of their customers get this speed.
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List your business for free on the Daily Telegraph website

The Daily Telegraph stated recently with perhaps a hint of arrogance that:

“We are the natural home of UK entrepreneurs.”

The Telegraph have relaunched the business section of their website and added an area called “Launchpad”.

If you have a business that is less than two months old then the Daily Telegraph are offering a free listing on their “Your Business” directory.

This would be a good inbound link for a business to have as it is almost certainly regarded as a trusted site.

Please visit the link building section of our website for a full explanation of the value of inbound link building strategy.
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New Google "Street View" feature

Check out the new feature on Google Maps that is available in America by clicking here.

In the top right corner you can click on “Street View”.

Google have sent around a vehicle mounted camera and taken 360 photos taken at street level for entire cities! Note that you can “travel” down the street and pan around.

What gets rolled out in the USA normally finds its way to the UK so watch this space and be careful of the “Google Truck” if you are coming out of somewhere you shouldn’t be…
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Google is promoting its answer to PayPal.

Google are offering free processing of credit cards until the end of 2007.

Google's main competition in this area are PayPal and WorldPay.
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Yellow Pages Rate Cap Abolished

From the early 1990's Yellow Pages have been required to keep in place a rate cap on the increase of Yellow Pages advertising. The rate cap was put in place by the Monopolies & Mergers Commission. The MMC doesn't exist today - its functions have been taken over by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) . The rate cap was equivalent to the retail price index (RPI) less 6%.
The RPI is calculated by economists and represents a theoretical basket of everyday products - in layman's terms how much what you spend at the shops goes up.
Several years when inflation ran at 6% it meant that the cost of Yellow Pages adverts and associated products decreased by 2%.
The new rate cap will be the retail price index less Zero%. In other words Yellow Pages adverts can now be increased up to the rate of inflation. We fully expect Yellow Pages to take advantage of this with rate hikes in the 2008 financial year.
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Yell UK Annual Report

Yell recently published a financial report for the 2006 financial year.
UK revenue increased by 3% to £719 million. Their online directory had a massive growth of 61% which accounts for the revenue increase.
Printed directory advertising is on the decline. It fell 3.1% as the total number of advertisers fell by 2.6% to 450,000. This equates to roughly 12,000 Yellow Pages customers walking away. Whilst this is predictable I doubt that Yell shareholders will be happy. In our opinion the only way to grow their business will be by pushing hard this year - look out for some healthy rate increases too.
Whilst DBS believes that can drive business your way there are also many other alternatives to explore in terms of internet marketing.
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Free Marks & Spencer Vouchers - Too good to be true?

This week DBS received an email stating that if we forwarded it to 20 people we would receive Marks & Spencer vouchers up to the value of £500.

Sounds great but it’s a scam. These scams usually are designed to harvest thousands of email addresses based on our greed.

The one condition of this one was that it asked that copies of all emails should be sent to Andy Curran of Persimmon homes. Either someone had it in for Mr Curran and wanted to flood his inbox with thousands of emails or he gets bored at work.

Moral of the story: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
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DBS launches E-commerce Site for Gas & Hire Limited

DBS are very pleased to announce the launch of a brand new eCommerce website for Gas & Hire Limited who trade as Chesterfield Outdoor Leisure and Sheffield Outdoor Leisure.

Prior to this Gas & Hire Limited had a website but it was unable to sell products online. DBS has loaded the site with over three hundred products and associated images. Gas & Hire Limited started as a Calor Gas dealer but have diversified into ranges of outdoor leisure products such as gas barbecues, patio heaters, tents and an extensive range of camping equipment.
We are particularly pleased with the images on the site which can be seen in three different sizes from thumbnail upwards to almost a full screen.

The site is well worth looking at from a web development perspective and, who knows, you might be tempted into investing in one of their fabulous patio barbecues. Gas & Hire’s shipping charges are amongst the most reasonable we have come across.
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UK Internet Register

I had a solicitation forwarded to me by a client that they received from the UK Internet Register. The solicitation asked for a cool £639 + VAT for an advert in their register.

Beware - this is a scam and the outfit involved have operated several ruses aimed at parting you with your cash.

If you receive anything suspicious then please fax it to us on Freefax 0800 988 8367.
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Google announces new version of Analytics

As part of its internet marketing consultancy strategy DBS uses Google Analytics to monitor traffic and trends for the websites it designs and optimises. It is important for us and our clients to know more about the behaviour of people who search for and visit our sites.

At the moment Google Analytics is free. The latest version is bursting with new features and a fresh new design.

Long time users of the old interface should not fear, they will be able to use the old style interface for at least a month or more and old settings and configurations will not be changed.

The new features include: Report emailing, PDF exporting, Trend and "Over time" graphs which can compare time periods but not lose track of long term trends.
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