All Systems Are Go; Super Bowl In T-Minus 60

By Nathan Weinberg

The HDTV is set up, the signal is solid, the 5.1 speakers are spread around the room and the bass is pumping. I’m watching the pre-game show, eagerly anticipating what is going to hopefully be a tight, hard-fought game, with Super Bowl 41 (I’m not a Roman!) starting in one hour. My wife is making tacos (tacoes? taco’s? tacoz?), the drinks are cold, and the excitement is building. Are you watching the game? Who are you sharing it with? Who are you rooting for?

Don’t forget the commercials. Last year, Google put the commercials at Google Video, and hopefully they’ve got a similar deal this year. I’m hoping to be able to watch the best commercials over and over once the game is over, especially with “Criminal Minds” airing post-game.

February 4, 2007 by Nathan Weinberg in:

We Have Seen The End Of The Google Bomb

By Nathan Weinberg

Ladies and gentlemen, a part of the history of this great country has passed, as the great Google Bomb passes into history. Last week, Google pushed out an algorithm update that defused most of the great Google Bombs, removing the fun practice of innacurately skewing search results from their search engine.

What is/was a Google Bomb? Wikipedia explains:

A Google bomb (also referred to as a ‘link bomb’) is Internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to influence the ranking of a given page in results returned by the Google search engine, often with humorous or political intentions. Because of the way that Google’s algorithm works, a page will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page use consistent anchor text. A Google bomb is created if a large number of sites link to the page in this manner.

We don’t know the specifics of the algorithm change introduced by Google, just that it ends some of the most famous Google Bombs and probably renders a book or two inaccurate. The George W. Bush/Miserable failure bomb is gone, and the evil website is no longer the number one result. Philipp has a list of Google Bombs, and how their status has changed over time. Interestingly, Google Blogoscoped now owns the top position for one of the old Bombs, since news coverage of a Bomb seems to be the legitimate replacement for the Bomb.

The most important thing: Dan James is still the President of the Internet. I’d hate to see our great leader fall.

Dan James - President of the Internet

Did Google make the right move? Of course they did. Google Bombs, while seemingly innocent fun, are an affront to the honesty Google claims for its search engine. If bloggers can game Google for a political statement, then why should anyone trust its search results to be objective?

Posted: by Nathan Weinberg in:

Google Building Mini-Ad Networks

By Nathan Weinberg

Google has been sending emails out to publishers that use Google AdSense, advising them to prepare for a new “custom placement packs program” that will combine publishers into packages, so advertisers can easier find and target publishers under a certain topic. In a sense, each ad pack becomes a mini ad network for advertisers to target, increasing exposure for publishers who get into the packs. Since Barry published it anyway, here’s the email I got:

Dear Publisher,

After a recent review of your site, we would like to include in our custom placement packs program. Custom placement packs are selections of individually-reviewed sites designed for our largest brand advertisers.

We would like to feature your site more frequently in these advertiser packages, but to do so, we need you to place more image and text-enabled medium rectangle ad units (300×250) on your site. Visit to see a sample of the medium rectangle unit.

The medium rectangle is the most demanded size among our brand advertisers that utilize these packages for both text and image ads. These advertisers want to ensure they reach visitors on high quality sites like yours, and are willing to bid more for ads prominently displayed on these sites. They require that the units be placed “above the fold” on a page so that the ads are immediately visible to your site’s visitors without scrolling down.

If you decide to add medium rectangle units to your site, please notify us by replying to this email so that we can begin featuring your site in more of our advertiser packages.

We also recommend you use the newly launched ad placements feature to define your ad slots to advertisers so they can bid on specific placements on your site. For instructions on how to create ad placements, please visit .



AdSense Support

The custom placement packs take advantage of a new AdSense feature, ad placements, that allow publishers to describe their ad. If a publisher is placed in a pack, advertisers will either buy the whole pack for site-targeted advertisements, or drill into the specific sites in the pack, where your description can make the difference between extra cash and getting passed over.

Whether you got the email or not, I recommend all AdSense publishers jump in and create an ad decription for their ads. Follow these guidelines:

  • Do not label all your ads. The ad placement program is looking for ads that appear above the fold, or at least in a prominent place, and are of a significant size. Do not create a description for small ads, link units, poorly positioned ads. You want advertisers to target your most lucrative ads, so that your ads are competing at a high level with other ads in the pack, and so that your ads will enhance the value of the pack with high visibility and click rates. Do not label crappy ad units, only your best.
  • Include the ad size in your description. This was advice I got from an AdSense rep. Trust me, advertisers are looking for ads that match their image and video sizes, and an ad decription that includes the size will sell better.
  • Create your description on ad units that have support for video and image ads. These are advertisers looking for bold statements and brand advertising, and they may not buy your ad if it is text-only.
Posted: by Nathan Weinberg in: