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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
August 2003 Newsletter - SIC ISSUE

Hi,
Welcome to August's Software Marketing Resource News.

CONFERENCES
*******************

European Shareware Conference - Make your reservations now ! The European Shareware Conference is scheduled for December 08 and 09, 2003 at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, Germany. This is a great opportunity to network with developers and industry professionals.

Developers who attended the recent Shareware Industry Conference in Rochester, NY can attest to the power of networking. A number of sponsorship opportunities exist at reasonable prices. Details on the European Conference can be found at http://www.euroconference.org The Shareware Industry Conference was a *huge* success. If time allows I'll send out a "recap" of the conference events for those who were unable to attend. Look for this mid-August.

HOW BIG IS TOO BIG?
*******************

Its been a very busy month for Digital River. On July 16, 2003 Digital River announced their purchase of Silicon Realms, the makers of Armadillo. As I understand it Digital River intends to integrate the software protection methods from Armadillo into a wrapper for their e-commerce properties (RegNow, RegSoft, and Digibuy) this will allow them to further expand their affiliate networks. The other hot news from DR is that as of August 1, 2003 Digital River purchased Wintronix Inc. (aka "Reg.Net") a competing software registration service.

Reg.Net, Inc. is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital River, Inc.,and will continue to do business as Reg.Net. At this point, and a point stressed at SIC by Digital River, all of DR's acquisitions have remained intact with the same staff managing each. How long that will continue remains to be seen. I imagine at some point it would make sense to consolidate the properties, but for now DR appears to remain committed to keeping each of its subsidaries running as they were prior to the purchases.

Simtel (another Digital River property) purchased File Basket and updated the look and the technology to their download site, one of the few remaining that continues to provide file hosting for software developers. The sites new look can be seen at http://www.simtel.com

EMAIL NEWSLETTERS
*******************

I saw a great tip that I'm still yet to try, but its worthy of a mention. When you are sending out a product announcement, upgrade notice or something similar to newsletters subscribers, send it to a variety of spam filters first. By passing your news to spam filters, you may find with a little tweaking that your news lands in your customers hands rather than a bit bucket.

SEARCH ENGINES
*******************

This month is definitely a month of search engine changes. How anyone not completely immersed in the industry keeps up is beyond me. I've included some of the latest search engine industry bomb shells.

KANOODLE - Effective August 1, 2003, Kanoodle.com will be moving all bids to a minimum of $0.05. Advertisers who currently have bids below $0.05, will have until August 1, 2003 to change their current bids. On August 1, 2003, all bids below $0.05 will automatically be set to $0.05.

FINDWHAT - FindWhat.com announced its intention to merge with Espotting, the leading PPC advertising medium in Europe. Together, our two companies create the largest international footprint in the PPC advertising industry.

Effective September 1, 2003, Findwhat's minimum bid will be raised from $0.01 to $0.05. Bids made prior to September 1st will remain at the their bid price $0.01 to $0.04 providing that you do not change those bid amounts after September 1.

YAHOO & OVERTURE - Yahoo announced that in a deal, comprising of $1.63 billion in cash and stock, it had acquired Overture. This combination, bundled with the recent aquisition of Inktomi, positions Yahoo to once again become a force in the search engine industry.

According to a recent article Yahoo! is committed to preserving Overture's partner network of leading Web properties, such as MSN, Lycos and InfoSpace, and continually innovating its products and services to meet the needs of both advertisers and affiliate partners. It is unclear how the properties will be consolidated and reflected in Yahoo's search results.

MSN - MSN is launching their version of content matching (ads that are related to the content provided on the page). Termed WebRelevance Microsoft will provide shopping ads that are similar to the web pages content.

Google Adwords - Google has responded to much of the feedback from advertisers and has begun testing a new AdWords Interface for advertisers that has additional functionality. The new interface includes improved reporting (graphiing), and the easier handling of ad groups. https://adwords.google.com/select/new.html

PAY PER DOWNLOAD
*********************

CNET has launched a new Pay Per Download program. Each month developers can bid on categories or specific keywords. The top bidders listings are given priority and the advertiser pays for completed downloads. Minimum bids are $ .15 for each completed download, details can be found at http://www.upload.com

CONTENT ADVERTISING
*********************

GOOGLE ADSENSE - Google has added context searching which allows webmasters to add Google Adwords to their website and earn a percentage of any click revenue. If you have a content website you can signup to deliver content specific adword text boxes, by spidering the site Google dynamically determines what sites ads are appropriate and match the content presented on your website. Webmasters can filter sites to prevent competitor ads from displaying. I've done a test on 3 sites and initial results look promising.

It appears to be a nice way to generate secondary revenue on sites where affiliate programs don't perform terribly well. The reporting is very limited the number of sites that you can filter is limited. At this point webmasters cannot make any changes (color, font, size, border, etc..) to the adboxes so that they better match with the look and feel of the site. What this means for Adwords advertisers is still unclear. Will the percentage of clicks drop due to lack of relevance and increased impressions? Something to watch for to be sure. http://www.google.com/adsense/

I've heard rumors that Google is becoming very choosey about what sites they accept into their adsense program. They only wish to affiliate with sites that provide *content*.

SEARCH TIPS
*******************

Many of us search every day but only a few of us have ever taken the time to read the search guidelines.

The following helpful tips will help you take more control when searching

[brown dog] - square brackets will trigger on brown dog but not on brown and white dog

brown dog - will trigger both brown dog and brown and white dog

"brown dog" - will trigger on brown dog but not on dog brown


NEW RESOURCES
*******************

SITE PRONEWS - If you have a Webmaster application that you would like listed on the SPN site, send an email with details to: wapps@sitepronews.com

FreeTech Mail - directory of IT Newsletters - http://www.freetechmail.org

SEO Chat - http://www.seochat.com


SITES WITH NEW LOOKS
*******************

I did a couple quick site updates this week giving old sites new looks. Please feel free to comment on the new appearances:

Messaging Software - http://www.messaging-software.com
Monitoring Software - http://www.monitoring-software.net

Sharon Housley
Software Marketing Resource - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
NotePage, Inc. - http://www.notepage.net


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