Tracking Yahoo & Bing AdCenter Pay-Per-Click Clicks in Google Analytics

Yahoo and Bing have finally finished the transition of moving all Yahoo! Search Marketing pay-per-click accounts over to Bing’s AdCenter platform. So now if you want to buy PPC ads on Yahoo or Bing, you have to sign up for a Bing AdCenter account and you have to advertise on BOTH Yahoo and Bing whether you want to or not, which kinda sucks. And not only does Bing power Yahoo’s PPC listings, they also power the organic listings. So essentially Yahoo & Bing are now the same search engine with different interfaces and functionality.

However, even though the two PPC networks combined forces, it appears there is no way to track visitors who clicked on an ad in Yahoo and visitors who clicked on the same ad in Bing in Google Analytics. This is going to be a problem that needs to be resolved quickly. Even though there is no way to advertise ONLY on Yahoo, I still want to know stuff like if the quality of the traffic from Yahoo is absolutely terrible while the quality of the traffic from Bing is decent so I can evaluate my options. Ideally, I would like to be able to use tracking URLs such as the following:

For all Bing ads:

http://d0x.com/landing-page.php?medium=ppc&source=bing&keyword=query

For all Yahoo ads:

http://d0x.com/landing-page.php?medium=ppc&source=yahoo&keyword=query

However, as it currently stands, there is absolutely no way to segment specific ads, keywords, destination URLs for Yahoo & Bing, and what I think is even more important, there is no way to segment the visitors to track them in Google Analytics. I was happy with the performance of my Bing PPC campaigns but it remains to be seen if the merger ends up drastically changing the performance. If it does, I’ll just pour more money into Google AdWords since their platform is 100x better anyway… not to mention, Google has twice as much traffic as Bing & Yahoo combined!

0xc0000142 Application Error in Windows XP

So my 5-year-old desktop runs Windows XP and has been running pretty well until the past few weeks, when I’ve been getting the 0xc0000142 Application Error. I searched Google for that specific error and have come across many different possible causes and potential solutions. It looks like the error is generated from failing to initialize a DLL file, but who knows which one it is. The solutions range from rebooting (didn’t work) to re-installing XP or a newer version of Windows (don’t have the original XP discs and the machine is too old to handle Windows 7). So, I guess my options are to either buy a new version of XP to re-install or upgrade the hardware on the machine and upgrade to Windows 7. I’m leaning towards the latter since it probably needs to be done eventually. 🙂

Client Poaching in the SEO & Search Engine Marketing Industry

Client poaching is running rampant in the SEO industry. I do a lot of search engine optimization and search engine marketing work for several different clients and have achieved much success for them over the years. Hence the reason why the same clients keep paying us each month. They realize the tremendous value of ranking well in the search engines for relevant and targeted keywords and thus are willing to pay us a premium to keep us working for them, rather than for their competitors. They’re happy so I’m happy. Everyone wins.

However, I cannot stand all of the shoddy so-called SEO companies that spam every contact form they come across with promises of “top rankings in all major search engines within 30 days” or “a free SEO analysis” for a fraction of the cost of what we charge for our services. It is certainly nothing new and if you’ve got a good relationship with your client, oftentimes the client is already aware that these kinds of inquiries are a dime a dozen and are often just straight up scams. But even if you do have a solid longstanding relationship with a client and they’ve been happy with the results you’ve gotten for them over the years, there is a point where they’ve gotten so many of these unsolicited emails from all of these different SEO companies who all promise the world to them at a fraction of what they have already been paying that perhaps they’ll think to themselves that maybe, just maybe, these offers may be worth considering.

I agree that some of these solicitations, albeit few and far between, can be awfully convincing and may warrant a second glance. I don’t blame the clients at all for considering their options. That’s the beauty of competition and capitalism.

My beef is solely with the never ending outright poaching attempts that bush league SEO shops constantly do. It’s sleazy, it’s slimy, and most importantly, it is what is giving the SEO industry such a bad rap as “snake oil salesmen.” Bottom line – Any reputable SEO firm worth their salt does not have to resort to bombarding contact forms and email addresses with unsolicited offers practically begging to steal clients away from other SEO companies.

(And to be honest, I’ve never lost a client to these so-called “client poachers” so it’s not like I’m writing this because I’m bitter. I’m confident enough in my ability to help businesses succeed online and I’ve got the track record to prove it. And if a client wants to try out some of these offers, then I’m not going to stop them. I’m just annoyed with getting these inquiries every single day!)