Bits & Bytes for June 30, 2004

Google Tinkers with AdWords

Google introduced minor changes to AdWords it says will make its paid listings more relevant. The initial changes effect only broad-matched terms, but later enhancements may incorporate other types of matching.

To illustrate, Google gave the example of an Alaskan cruise provider who bids on the broad matched term “cruises,” only to have its listing disabled later for poor performance on non-relevant terms like “Hawaiian Cruises.” Under the new matching system, Google will now display the customer’s ad under searches it deems more relevant, such as “Alaskan Cruises.”

Google emphasized the changes would not necessarily translate into better click-throughs for every customer, but would rather improve the overall relevance to any given query’s results.

“Our ad quality improvements will help us be more precise in identifying the most relevant ads for a particular query, which may mean more clicks for some ads and fewer clicks for others,” the company said in an email to its customers.

Linkshare Bows Analytics Product

Affiliate marketing player Linkshare has beta-released an analytics platform for its merchant clients. Called Synergy Analytics, the new offering provides reporting and analysis in an interface that’s integrated with Linkshare’s flagship applications.

“LinkShare tracks a tremendous amount of data for our clients’ online marketing campaigns, and we realized that our clients were not effectively and efficiently turning that data into meaningful answers to their business questions,” said Stephen Messer, chairman and CEO of LinkShare. Issues 1.5M Shares of Private Stock raised $16.6 million in a private placement of 1.5 million shares of stock. The selling price represented a 10 percent discount on the five-day average closing bid price, the company said.’s shares dropped slightly following the announcement.

“As aggressively pursues mergers and acquisitions which will complement its current meta search engine, ad network and email marketing activities, enhancing the company’s financial capacity is integral to the execution of our profitable growth objective,” said David Goldman, executive chairman of

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