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Articles written by
Emily Winck
Director of Engineering
May 3, 2013

Trademarks: Where Does the Liability Lie?

At the end of the day, Google is a for-profit company. Over time, a misconception has somehow arisen that Google’s mission is providing the best search results possible out of the goodness of their heart. Not so; in reality, excellent search results provide two things: 1) a vast and continual source of information about consumers and 2) a built-in base of ad viewers. In fact, despite some diversification, AdWords remains Google’s main source of revenue, with $42.5 billion in 2012 advertising revenues.

With so much money on the table, it comes as no surprise that Google has been subject to significant legal controversy over the years. One of the most hotly contested issues Google faces with the AdWords program is trademark infringement. The pivotal determination for trademark infringement is use of the trademark in commerce. Unfortunately, case law remains ambiguous on the point of if buying and selling trademarks as keywords for advertising constitutes “trademark use.”

Part of the ambiguity derives from Google’s tendency to throw money at the problem, resulting in most cases settling out of court without a judgment, and part to conflicting opinions in different jurisdictions. Without a clear precedent delineating if bidding on trademarks will be considered illegal, Google has attempted to preemptively absolve liability through their Terms of Service Agreement. However, while the Terms may protect Google, marketers may be increasingly exposed to liability for trademark infringement they may not even be aware is occurring.

April 30, 2013

The Difference between Good & Great Developers

You probably work with a lot of “good” people. They know how to do their job and do a fine job of it. No complaints. However, if you’re lucky, a few of the people you work with are truly great. The basics of doing the job—knowing the programming language, being able to write a coherent email, getting stuff done on time—are present in any decent developer. And, while some developers know more languages and others are faster at completing tasks, what makes a truly great developers goes far beyond the technical knowledge needed to do a job.

April 22, 2013

The Faces of Earth Day

The thought of celebrating anything, even something as innocuous as Earth Day, seems inconceivable in the wake of recent tragedies. However, since the inaugural Earth day in 1970, the movement has been utilized as a tool to draw together opposing parties, organize protests against senseless injustices, and foment change in a population all too accustomed to the status quo.

It is with that spirit in mind that Nebo has decided to challenge our team this year. We want to move beyond the, "Oh yeah. That's today," mentality and take time to reflect on what it really means to live in a world where we're inexorably moving toward a future where the life we enjoy now will be changed forever.

February 13, 2013

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Site Catalyst Round 2

boxing fight card Google vs Adobe

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see." While Muhammad Ali’s famous quote addressed his strategy to defeat the reigning heavyweight titleholder, the underlying message is just as applicable when considering Google’s approach to becoming the Analytics champ.

For a company worth billions in assets and infrastructure, Google has remained just as agile and unpredictable as in its heyday as a tech start up. By constantly offering new services and nimbly adjusting existing features in response to customer needs, Google remains an unexpected contender—hitting hard and hitting where it counts.

Google has announced many exciting new features coming for Analytics Premium in 2013, such as a new measurement protocol, custom metrics and better support for offline traffic and conversions over multiple devices. SiteCatalyst, however, has already rolled out many improvements in areas such as reporting with its recently released version 15.

Does Google Analytics Premium have the juice to knock out Adobe’s updated SiteCatalyst, or does Adobe’s product have the upper hand? As promised, we’re taking another look at how our competitors stack up to see which analytics platform reigns supreme.

January 15, 2013

Bayes' Theorem & Marketing: What an 18th Century Reverend Can Teach Us about Conversions

“Those numbers are skewed.” “That survey is biased.” “Heresy!” These are explanations we’ve all used to excuse away numbers proving our theory or belief to be incorrect. While our skepticism is usually justifiable given the ease with which data can be manipulated and repackaged, we still don’t know when or why to believe in statistical results.

These same responses to unpopular statistics can often be heard coming from the mouths of website data analysts. Other than, “the tracking code didn’t fire correctly,” one of the most common web analyst defenses might be, “but it’s not statistically significant.” Given the general distaste among the marketing community for anything suggesting scientific leanings, these rationalizations are usually accepted without further comment or debate.

What’s interesting about this particular self-defeatism is that by refusing to delve into what the numbers mean, CMOs and even CEOs are handing control of their marketing efforts over to a data analyst who may not even know what their goals are.