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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Overlay Advertisements in YouTube Videos

Posted by Jessica Madrazo on March 13, 2008

Overlay is simply defined as covering or spreading something over another, and that is exactly what YouTube has decided to do, to earn revenue from millions of videos and their potential profits from numerous page views. It is an effort to meet the visitors’ high standards with optimum services, and equally monetize the video streams.

According to Google, the new overlay advertisements function as pictures within pictures. 15 seconds into the video, an overlay ad appears on the 20% bottom of the video screen. The overlay emerges as translucent, around 80% transparent, and animates for ten seconds. As it has begun, it also ends automatically, and can be replayed by clicking a button.

The internet is actually not new to overlay ads. Although not popularized, many sites like Videoegg, Adbright, and Brightcove has been testing the waters for this new advertisement medium. The success of this type of classifieds has not been confirmed yet, and Google has been very careful with the undertaking of this new venture. It is said that Youtube will not put overlays in all their videos, but only with selected partners, and in a limited basis only, slowly progressing and widening over a period of time.

The Sandbox Theory

Posted by Jessica Madrazo on July 26, 2007

The Sandbox Theory

What exactly is the Sandbox Effect?

The Sandbox Effect is a theory wherein newly registered domains are placed in a sandbox or holding areas of Google indexes, and deferred there for about 6 months to a year until it is considered to be eligible for the ranking process.

It functions like a filter that affects nearly all websites. These sites under “probation” may possibly get into Google’s Search Engine Results Page but will not rank high regardless of its originality, quality, link number, and optimization. This restriction keeps some of the new websites from having success in search results.

It is said they have greater effects on websites containing more competitive keywords. The more competitive keywords you have, the longer you are kept in the sandbox. This explains why there is great commotion over the supposed initiation period.

Sandbox Effect: Does it exist?

The Google Sandbox is one of issues widely discussed nowadays by Search Engine Optimizers and Web Marketers. The sandbox, being a concern or a problem is yet to be answered by these experts and enthusiasts.

The discussions merely evolve around different results coming from varying tests to identify its existence, and if so, its functions.

Why would the Sandbox exist?

Whether it would end as being beneficial or destructive to Google is still a hanging questions for experts. The idea of spending for an optimized site, and being kept in a holding box is not highly appreciated by some, but for Google, it may be a price worth paying over the exploitation of some.

When a new site is created, no matter how optimized it may be for search engines, it does not automatically rank high in searches. In fact, it would have the least possibility of appearing in the search results pages. The reason for this is Search Engine indexing. For most engines, it takes months before new sites are completely indexed for rankings. Google on the other hand, being the prevalent search engine compared to its rivals Yahoo or MSN, have their more proficient way of indexing wherein, instead of months, would take only days for them to finalize indexing of sites.

Some Search Engine Spammers began to take advantage of Google’s indexing promptness, with basic elements of ranking algorithm. The month-long high ranking through excessive link building, would be sufficient to increase profits, and validate the costs of building the sites before they are banned. Once this happens, they need but create another highly optimized site, and continue the vicious cycle.

Google decided to carry on with the indexing pace, but with certain constraints. All new websites now had to undergo probation. Under the circumstances that they would pass the spam filters for the given time, these sites would be allowed to leave the sandbox and join the ranks of established websites.

What are the signs that the site is in the Sandbox?

If the existence of the Sandbox is considered, the first concern is how does one know whether or not their site is in the sandbox.

The signs are easier to identify than the existence of the sandbox itself.

Being in a sandbox does not equate to being banned, it is just being filtered. The two simplest factors are:

* Ranking higher with non-competitive keywords
* Ranking higher in other major entries

If the Sandbox truly exists, it is enough to conclude that Google has gone through great lengths to protect their users from irrelevant sites. Skeptics still believe this probation stage have a loophole, or at least, alternatives. And for some, it is enough to sit back, and be patient.