Thursday, June 21, 2012

Google AdWords Prohibits Money Lenders and Loan Sites Targeting the Singapore Market

Google AdWords is in the way of adhering to the Singapore Law on restricting money lender sites in advertising with search engines’ sponsored links (such as Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter).

As of June 2012, Google AdWords prohibits the advertising of money lending services such as cash loans. This is in compliance with the clarification memo issued by the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office (IPTO) of Singapore, under the Ministry of Law, that lists the permitted and restricted media channels where members of Singapore Money Lenders Association can advertise.

Since November last year, the IPTO states that licensed money lenders are permitted to advertise only in the following media:

*online and print business directories
*web sites owned by the money lenders
*within the place of business of the money lenders

Meanwhile, the following advertising channels are prohibited by the IPTO:

*social media sites like Twitter and Facebook
*sponsored links through search engines
*print media directories that caters just to moneylending businesses
*online directories that are supposed to be for other business categories

Non-compliance on the aforementioned rules may result in the revocation of the money lenders’ license and is an offence punishable on conviction, with a fine not exceeding S$20,000.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Google AdWords Keyword Auction Insights

If you’re SpyFu or KeywordSpy, this might be a bad day, as Google’s basically doing what you’ve been doing all along, with its Keyword Auction Insights which accurately shows AdWords competitors of AdWords advertisers.

Instead of using the Ad Preview and Diagnostic Tool or running a quick test query, Google AdWords now lets you see whom your keywords are competing with. 

Select one and only one keyword at a time and view the report by dropping down the Keyword details menu. Auction Insights is right there.

You can see on a keyword level the below five statistics:
  • Average position
  • Impression share
  • Overlap rate (how often you and the competition impress simultaneously)
  • Position above rate (this tells you how often your competition appeared above your ad in the results)
  • Top of page rate (how often the ad was above the organic results and not to the side. It is the percentage of times that it appeared in top position out of all the times that it appeared, so this can be a high number even if your impression share is <10%)

You can only download the report one keyword at a time as of this writing. So, just like with keyword diagnostics, we’ll all be wishing for a way to download this info in bulk and I'm sure mighty Google is certainly working on it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Medicine Story: On Love and Forgiveness

A work colleague recounted the following story during our lunch today. I guess it’s worth sharing as we all need to let go and forgive from time to time. 

"A boy was born to a couple after twelve years of marriage. They were a lovely couple and the boy was the apple of their eyes. When the boy was around two years old, one morning the husband saw a medicine bottle open. He was late for work so he asked the wife to cap the bottle and keep it in the cupboard. The mother, preoccupied in the kitchen, totally forgot the matter.

The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to the bottle and, fascinated with its color, drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine meant for adults in small dosages. When the child collapsed, the mother hurried him to the hospital, where he died. The mother was stunned. She was terrified how to face her husband.

When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child, he looked at his wife and uttered just four words.

What do you think were the four words?

The husband just said "I Love You Darling."

The husband's totally unexpected reaction is proactive behavior. The child is dead. He can never be brought back to life but there is no point in finding fault with the mother. Besides, if only he have taken time to keep the bottle away, this will not have happened. No point in attaching blame. She had also lost her only child. What she needed at that moment was consolation and sympathy from the husband. That is what he gave her.

Sometimes we spend time asking who is responsible or who to blame, whether in a relationship, in a job or with the people we know. We miss out some warmth in human relationship in giving each other support. After all, shouldn't forgiving someone we love be the easiest thing in the world to do? Treasure what you have. Don't multiply pain, anguish and suffering by holding on to forgiveness.

If everyone can look at life with this kind of perspective, there would be much fewer problems in the world.

Take off all your envies, jealousies, unwillingness to forgive, selfishness, and fears, and you will find things are actually not as difficult as you think."