Google just upped their record from the 4th quarter of 2008 by 17%.  So how much is that, exactly?  Revenues in the 2008 4th quarter: $5.70 billion.  And they’re only improving.  Revenues in the 2009 4th quarter: $6.67 billion.

The fact that this is only for one fourth of the year blows my mind.  If that stays consistent, then that’s in the neighborhood of $25 billion a year.  They’re doing okay.

If you want to get more of the details on these numbers, check out this article from Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land.

Google’s made a little tweak to AdWords, so now you can put an ad that will show on cell phones that lists a business number.  If the owner of the phone calls that number, that counts as the click that is paid for.

The benefit of this is that it’s a very quick hot lead for anyone who advertises on the mobile network.  And it’s easy to do, since it defaults to all devices in AdWords, anyway.  To make sure you’re listed, check to see that mobile devices are checked in your settings in the campaign settings in AdWords.

Also, to have your phone number listed, you can either have the business information synched up with your business account or enter it manually, both done inside of the AdWords campaign settings.  Make sure whichever you do that you include your phone number.

Then to see the results, just choose the “Filters and Views” drop-down list and choose “Segment by”->”Click Type”.  This will show which clicks were URL clicks, and which were calls, from either the Ad Group or Keywords tabs.

It’s just an addition Google’s made to AdWords, and sent out an announcement through email to Google advertisers.  This could be a good change for people who use AdWords for markets that actively use their cell phones.

It looks like holiday shopping this year has moved even more heavily online.  As companies are realizing that more people are actively searching online for their commercial searches, they’re starting to see the value of search engine optimization.

Because of this, the IT industry is starting to anticipate a high demand for SEO skills in 2010.  (Yay for us professional SEOs!)  In Great Britain alone, demand for SEO and online marketing skills went up by 40% last year.

The skills of SEO, pay per click management, social media marketing and web design are all being looked for, ideally in a combined package.  SourceWire has all the details in an article based on this story in the UK.  (And I have to add a little something something here – Tulsa Marketing Online does in fact do SEO, PPC, social media and web design.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

Google’s changes lately have been quite thorough.  They’ve made changes for AdWords, they’re changing the way the search engine itself operates, and now they’re coming out to take a stand against online scams.

In particular, the schemes for how to “work-at-home” to use Google and make a ton of money are starting to get shut down by Google.  Google is starting to file lawsuits against these companies to bring them down.

For most people, these are familiar schemes – you see them in banner ads, with text like “Use Google to make 1000s of Dollars!”.  They generally operate by having a kit you send out for and then have you set up for automatic billing once a month (and many people don’t realize there’s automatic billing).

CNN has a bit more detail in this story.  I did find it rather amusing that under this story in their sponsored links, one of the ads said “I’m glad I lost my job! Jobless Dad makes $6493/month working online from home. Read how he…”

It seems like the focus for a lot of internet marketers is finding that top trafficked keyword.  However, this can be a mistake by not focusing on the true marketing involved.  In some cases, the top traffic keyword is not one that will bring conversions.

Putting focus purely on the traffic numbers for keyword research is the reason many internet marketers are not able to pull the profit numbers many others do.  Making sure you focus on the consumer and their intent more than the pure traffic size is key.

This can be done more quickly using PPC, but at a price.  And in SEO, solid keyword research must be done to target proper keywords – a mistake here will cost a lot of time and money.

Evan LaPointe goes into a bit more detail about all of these factors at Search Engine Land.  At any rate, it’s good to remember that the focus should be on the human experience, not just the analytics numbers.

It looks like with the latest AdWords update, they’re starting to put any local advertisements in Google AdWords into Google Maps.  You can see images of some examples of that here, in Search Engine Land.

The ads appear almost the same as Google Local listings, only with blue numbered pushpins instead of red lettered pushpins.  I’ll most definitely have to look further into AdWords to see exactly how to take advantage of this new update.

It looks like smaller cities are starting to see their businesses move more online with web sites, online marketing and social networking.  This would not surprise me too much to see, as the demand here for Tulsa SEO has increased, as well as for Tulsa website design.  I’m willing to bet it’s very similar in other cities.

In this case, it appears that Columbus is definitely on the list of cities rising in their online presence, and it’s showing for several different types of markets.

So Google made a few major updates this last weekend to AdWords.  I manage several different accounts, so I’ve seen first-hand what kind of impact this has had.

First of all, they updated the AdWords Editor – a great tool, by the way, I highly recommend it.  You can find it here: AdWords Editor.  But yeah, they made a few tweaks, in particular I noticed changes to the Campaigns tab.  You can now affect the ad schedule from here, location changes, so forth.  And if I remember right, the “Keyword Opportunities” option in the Keywords tab is new, as well.  It’s the Google machine offering suggestions on keywords that might be relevant to your ad group.

The other big change I saw was Quality Score.  The Quality Score on a lot of my keywords dropped.  In some cases, heavily.  Google is getting tighter when it comes to looking at relevance between keywords, ads, and landing pages.  In particular, the landing page.  The average QS used to be around 7, you had to be pretty far off to drop much below that.

Well now I’m seeing an average closer to 5, and only very relevant pages are getting 7 or higher.  A page has to be completely relevant and contain a lot of solid info (as well as be on a high quality site) to get a 9 or 10 now.

Not sure how this will affect advertisers, but it may be interesting to watch.  It does mean that I’ll have to be a lot more careful with the quality of pages I point my ads to.  I recommend you do the same.

I found a very interesting article today, through NPR.  It’s talking to Bob Garfield, and references to his book The Chaos Scenario.  Essentially, the article was covering the changes in marketing we’re seeing today.

The world as all advertisers knows it is changing.  Changing drastically.  Marketing is not dying – it’s being reborn.

Most people are moving online.  Using the internet for almost everything now.  I know that I can count myself in with this – if I’m looking for an address to meet with a business, where do I look?  The internet.  If I want to find out when the next showing of the new movie I wanted to see was out is going to be at, where do I look?  The internet.  If I want to BUY a ticket to said movie without worrying about waiting in line?  The internet.

Everything is becoming available online, so it is becoming apparent that everyONE is going to move online.  Newspapers are losing customers, magazines, even TV as we’ve known it.  (Ever heard of Hulu?)

For companies who advertise in any sort of fashion to keep up, they’ll have to go where the people go.  This means moving their marketing online.  This is also going to also mean a change in the people using online advertising, and the difficulty it will be to be seen in different markets.

As Bob stated in the article, the times, they are a’changin’.  If businesses don’t start changing with the times, then it’s only a matter of time until they go extinct next to the old forms of marketing.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it’s looking like newspaper advertising sales are dropping, and dropping hard.  The fact is that more and more people are turning their advertising online.

The reason for this is because more people are using the web now for almost everything – if you consider it, it makes sense.  If you want to check to see when a movie’s playing, you go online.  If you want to find directions to a new address, you go online.  If you want to find the best place to buy a new set of speakers, you go online.  If you want to check your bank account, you go online.

More and more people are starting to turn towards doing everything online – it makes sense, since you can do a large variety of things in one place.  Since this is where things are going, more companies are starting to turn their marketing budgets to the online world to connect more with people.

It makes me excited to see, mainly since I feel like I have an inside scoop on what’s going on for marketing online (since I spend every day working with it).  I do think it’s going to mean more and more businesses will be turning to put their focus online.  The drop in advertising sales for newspapers means it’s a sign of the times changing, and it’ll be interesting to see where things progress from here.