Author: Andrew Girdwood

Andrew Girdwood

Andrew is an experienced digital marketer with more than 15 years in the field. He’s been Head of Search at bigmouthmedia, Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi and is now Head of Media Technology at Signal.

In his spare time he likes to do more of the same; running his own blogs, trying to be an early adopter and finding time for a cheeky computer game or two.

10 things affiliate networks can do to help content affiliates

This week I heard Helen Southgate, the MD of affilinet UK, speak at a performance marketing conference and say;

If affiliate networks don’t change they will gone in five years.

This isn’t another 'death of' post. The performance marketing sector is a £14 bn growth area.

There are pressures, though, and Helen isn’t wrong to urge change. I doubt anyone inside the industry would argue that there are no common demands that networks, agencies and in-house teams face.

One of those common issues is the feeling that there is untapped value in the large number of content affiliates available and a frustration this value is hard to reach.


SEO is D.E.A.D.

Despite the danger of over simplification, I rather like the acronym D.E.A.D. as a reminder on how to approach modern, multi-signalled, SEO

It's not really dead btw...


Six ways to avoid being smothered by die-hard compers

Like Us! Please! Like us!

Competitions have become a regular feature in social media campaigns.

They are common on Facebook and Twitter, starting to get a look in on Google+ and are a regular offering on the altar of blogger outreach.

There is a whole community of digitally savvy “compers” who spend hours each day tracking down the latest competitions. Their logic is sound: if you enter enough random draws then you will eventually win.

Once the comper community knows a brand or blog runs regular competitions they’ll keep a close watch for the next one.

Community sites like Loquax or even MoneySavingExpert allow compers to surface and share other competitions too.


Will 2012 be the year of the sock puppet Olympics?

The Olympics certainly are a double edged sword when it comes to marketing.

The rules and regulations are heavily enforced but not always widely understood.  

In the UK there's even the Olympics Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995 which means making mistakes with Olympic marketing may have very serious consequences.


Seven changes Search plus Your World brings to PPC

Search plus Your World is well underway in rolling out for English language searches.

The new evolution of Google is effectively live in the States and for many people in the UK, like myself, who search on the .com site by default rather than the 

Search plus Your World impacts PPC just as it impacts SEO. Let’s look at seven reasons why your PPC strategy might need changes due to Search+


The AdWords which could give you a criminal record

In 2012 the Olympic Games are coming to London. They bring one of the most strict and heavily enforced set of trademark restrictions, sponsorship and marketing rule sets in the world.


Using Google image search for affiliate recruitment

A good affiliate marketing campaign is one that has a fair spread of affiliate types. It is not all desirable to have too few driving too high a percentage of the earnings.

What if you were to lose one of those key affiliates?


Has Google just patented behavioural quality signals?

Google scored a new patent this week. Does it indicate a change in direction behind the search giant’s logic or even pose yet another problem to Google’s competitors?

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Four ways the SEO industry could rule the world

SEO has changed beyond recognition over the last ten years. At one point SEO was an obscure hobby for geeks chatting to one another over Usenet. Then it became a cottage industry. Then SEO became a career prospect.

Now it’s a huge industry that commands the attention of CMOs and CEOs of multi-national companies.


Four ways the SEO industry could kill itself

Generally speaking, it is a good time for search and for those who work in the sector. Many agencies are bucking the economic climate, budgets for SEO continue to grow and pretty much every decision maker on the client-side understands and appreciates the value of natural search.

The SEO industry, however, is not immortal. There are times when I genuinely worry whether it will shoot itself in the foot.

On that cheerful note, let’s look at four ways the sector could kill itself...


Exploding screen strategies

Conversations about three screen strategies became conversations about four screen strategies this year. It looked like tablets would be used concurrently with PCs and mobiles, at least for a while, so fashionable jargon received an update.

Where are we now? Five screen strategies? Five and half screen strategies? The number of screens may explode in the not too distant future. 

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The rise of the reverse affiliate

Affiliate marketing is one of the stalwarts in the digital marketing landscape. It seems to benefit from change as much as it benefits from a lack of change.

For example, over the years CPM prices in non-premium inventory have dropped and yet CPA rates and network overrides have remained largely unchanged.

That has allowed some savvy arbitrage players, like lead brokers or performance agencies, to make a whack of cash. It has also contributed towards the rise of the reverse affiliate.