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Archive for the ‘Search Marketing’ Category

Building a Real-Time Social Search Engine: Why Google Should Buy Twitter

Posted by June Xu on June 11, 2009

Article Link: Search Insider

Article Author: Rob Garner

Article Date: 10-June-09

From the Article:

Over the last 15 months, I have been analyzing both Twitter (feeds and search), and the Google “real-time” Search Options feature for Web Search (many months before release, a Search Options search box could be configured by modifying the URL with its date-based variable).  During this time, I have come to the following three conclusions about the prospects of real-time social search engines:  1) The reality of the robust real-time search concept is much closer than we think; 2) real-time search results have a number of common uses, and are highly preferable over “anytime” search for a wide variety of search tasks; 3) the best way for real-time social search to come to full fruition is for Google to acquire Twitter, and add a social network layer to its crawler-based real-time results.


Posted in Search Marketing, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

Twitter search engine Topsy launches with $15M

Posted by Andrew Daniels on June 1, 2009

Article Link: VentureBeat

Article Author: Camille Ricketts                  

Article Date: 01-June-09

From the Article:, launched last week, is a brand new search engine focused exclusively on Twitter content. Like Google, it presents its results based on popularity metrics, namely the popularity or influence of the tweeter in question — a factor determined by how many followers the user has and how many time his or her messages have been re-tweeted.

Posted in Brand Advertising, Search Marketing, Social Media, Start-Ups | Leave a Comment »

Five Things Wolfram Alpha Does Better (And Vastly Different) Than Google

Posted by michael hoydich on May 19, 2009

Article Link:  Mashable

Article Author:  Stan Schroeder

Article Date:  19-May-09


From the Article:

Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine. Perhaps it will one day become one, but currently it’s exactly what its tagline says: a computational knowledge engine. However, it looks like Google it provides you with answers and therefore most users will try to use it as a search engine, which doesn’t always yield good results. Once you start asking it the right questions, it’ll give you better answers.

Posted in Data & Metrics, Search Marketing, Start-Ups | Leave a Comment »

Why Do Traditional Advertising Formats Fail on the Web?

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 25, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

Posted in Ad Products, Brand Advertising, Consumer Behavior, Marketplace Trends, Research, Search Marketing, Traditional to Online | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

A Strong Appetite for Behavioral Search Targeting

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 16, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

By Kevin Lee, The ClickZ Network,

Demographic and behavioral targeting were sufficiently interesting to marketers that advertisers, on average, would pay 11 percent more for both behavioral and demographic targeting, according to the “2007 SEMPO State of the Market Survey.” The survey also finds that 57 percent of online advertisers polled were willing to spend more on demographic targeting, such as age and gender. While the survey doesn’t overtly specify that the primary targeted behavior was prior search (so-called search retargeting), the questions likely had respondents referring to that practice.

This is great news for search engines willing to provide advertising that allows marketers to behaviorally target consumers through graphical or textual ad units.

Despite talk of some kind of Yahoo/Google strategic alliance, Google isn’t nearly as pro search retargeting as Yahoo and Microsoft are. And if Yahoo were to reduce or eliminate its direct sales of PPC (define) search advertising, it would weaken its ability to sell behaviorally targeted ads on its own search traffic. Ironic, isn’t it?

While advertiser interest in behavioral targeting is very strong, there currently isn’t a ton of inventory available to retarget searchers. This results in the actual spending against behavioral search inventory being quite low. Forty percent of survey respondents said they aren’t currently targeting or retargeting searchers but to do so in the next 12 months. Current retargeting options are driven primarily by third-party ad networks that retarget organic visitors, paid search visitors, and often general site visitors.

I’m excited to see what kinds of behavioral search targeting options show up this year (and next), in part because the engines’ behavioral search options will deliver far more scale than we can currently deliver using cookie targeting within third-party ad networks.

Also fascinating is a little-discussed facet of behavioral search targeting with graphical or textual ads within traditional banner inventory: competitive targeting. This would be where we advertisers are given opportunities to target users who are searching for our competitors (brands, names, or sites) — not within the SERP (define), but within textual or graphical ads served on Web pages or within applications such as messaging apps and widgets. This competitive retargeting of search behavior opens up a whole new area of advertising, providing a way to get messages in front of in-market consumers without the pesky trademark issues that continue to plague the SERPs.

I expect to see significant new behavioral options emerge at search engines other than Google this year. What’s driving this trend? A high level of interest in behavioral inventory, plus the fact that overlaying search behavior on a display ad network or another display ad inventory management system results in a higher yield on that inventory than on remnant prices otherwise available.

It’s likely that whatever cool behavioral targeting options are rolled out will come from Yahoo or Microsoft. Google, on the other hand, has indicated publicly on more than one occasion that it isn’t comfortable with implementing a search retargeting program. Some of these communications post-date the completion of the DoubleClick acquisition.

The topic of behaviorally targeting searchers is particularly relevant given the recent hubbub surrounding the failed Microsoft-Yahoo merger. There’s rich irony in the fact that Microsoft and Yahoo are both big believers of behavioral targeting within an automated Web-based or API (define) driven marketplace. Each entity owns display advertising exchanges and uses profile data to target display advertising. Microsoft even uses profile data to allow marketers to bid-boost against demographic segments.

Current retargeting campaigns that my team and I have run through third-party providers have amazing ROI (define) and work very well, but they suffer from volume shortages. With site-centric retargeting, we only have an opportunity to find (and retarget) those individual searchers we’ve seen before (and cookied) during a site visit.

Within a search environment, the percentage of searchers that we could cookie might (optimistically) be 5 percent of the total search audience, except on brand searches (meaning that our average CTR (define) on search keywords is 5 percent). The search engines, on the other hand, see 100 percent of the search audience and therefore have a cookie base 20-plus times larger. Far greater scale is available once one has the larger cookie base. Another great advantage is that some searchers routinely ignore the paid listings. So unless a marketer has high organic rank, the opportunity to currently capture cookies is limited to paid search.

Given the willingness of Microsoft and Yahoo to embrace behavioral search retargeting, they have a huge opportunity to meet the escalating demand for this approach. That includes structuring their offerings to allow for behavioral targeting against competitive searches, regardless of their SERP trademark policies. The appetite among our clients and the SEMPO survey respondents is particularly strong for in-market consumers who have voluntarily shared with search engines their needs, desires, research interests, and preferences through a combination of voluntary profiles and their searching behavior.

Posted in Ad Products, Ad/Behaviroral Targeting, Search Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

SEO Strategies for Large Websites – Link Building

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 10, 2008

Article Source:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Earlier today I attended a Search Marketing Now Webcast on SEO Strategies for Large Web Sites: Using Content to Build Links and to Drive Traffic. Featured speakers were Vanessa Fox, Features Editor, Search Engine Land and Rupali Shah, Senior SEO Consultant, 24/7 Real Media.

Vanessa spoke about link building and viral marketing and how you can use the content on your site to promote your site. She discussed traditional link building vs. viral link building. She mentioned that when link building anchor text is crucial. Authoritative links are definitely more valuable and relevant links are most useful.

Traditional link building consists of directories, press releases and such. Viral link building is more community based (consider sites like DIGG and such). A great strategy is to do both. Viral link building has lots of potential but it tends to convert at a lower rate and is cyclical.

Viral Link Building

  • Social media sites (DIGG, HUGG)
  • Social Networking (communities)
  • Viral Marketing (word of mouth, people emailing around links and information exchange)

Viral Marketing Steps

  1. Start with your audience (your actual target audience who you may be marketing to as well as the influencers who can reach your target audience)
  2. Pinpoint social media and social networking sites that are specific to your audience. A-class bloggers can influence your actual target audience.
  3. Create content that is of interest and relevant to your audience.
  4. Create “hooks” back to your site. Calls to action to your site.

Examples of viral content includes things such as Top 10 Lists, How To’s, Videos, Quizzes, easlily scannable text, topical events. Ensure that this content is easily accessible. Vanessa mentioned to think beyond page views, create content that entices “web stickiness” and increases the time spent on your site.

With regards to social networking try to become an expert in a community, be sure to comment in the forums and such. Participation is important. Using Facebook news feeds for posting blog links is an example of how you can leverage social networking.

Rupali went on to discuss link baiting. She illustrated examples that they have used for clients with success. She mentioned that link bait content is content that is used to improve the quality of the content on your site. It should be useful, important, newsworthy, topical and can at times be humorous or controversial.

Some types of link bait to consider using include:

  • Tools
  • How To’s
  • Top 10 Lists
  • Videos
  • Topical Articles
  • Analytical Reports
  • White Papers
  • Announcements

When planning out and developing your link bait content, Rupali suggested that you should brainstorm the concept for the content. Your industry knowledge may provide a competitive advantage for you. Look for information gaps in your industry. Be the first to address these gaps. Thought leadership is a great way to create linkbait.

So where can you find ideas for linkbait content? Use Google Suggest to search for a topic. Type in something like “how to choose”, “how to improve”, or industry specific terms. In addition, look at industry news sites to see what the current buzz is about. Using MSN adCenter Labs you can also use the keyword funnel to find link topics. People who search for mortgage rates may in fact be looking for mortgage calculators. Calculators are great forms of linkbait.

The key to linkbaiting is to ensure that your content is informative and relevant. The quality of your content will determine the success of your link bait. Strive to provide value.

Marketing Your Linkbait

  • Make your content easy to share – DIGG, reddit., YouTube, nice sites, niche directories.
  • Communicate Your Linkbait to your existing network – newsletters, email signitures etc.
  • Publish a Press Release to announce important content/information
  • Incorporate Offline Marketing – brochures, ads, events to communicate your online tools, calculators etc. Add links to the linkbait.
  • Provide Support and Content Details – people may have feedback to share on your linkbait.
  • Keep Your Content Alive – leave the linkbait content on your site. Make it easy for users to access. There is nothing worse than a broken link to linkbait content.

Rupali went on to discuss a case study as to how they used video tutorials as linkbait content for an online education site. They promoted the video through YouTube, press releases, newsletters and a video sitemap. The goal was not only to generate more links to the site, but also to use as a lead gen tool via registration process to view some of the content. The results were that the link popularity shot up by 1000 links. Organic traffic to the site shot up and memberships increased.

Issues with Link Baiting for Large Corporate Business

  • Website Structure / CMS Restrictions
  • Time and Resources
  • Bottom line vs. creative strategy
  • Convincing Upper Management


  • Create a sub-site, sub-domain or microsite
  • Hire an SEO and PR form
  • Brainstorm with SEO consultant or manager
  • Collect examples of successful campaigns / case studies

Vanessa addressed a question about content behind a login. Search engines will not index this content and will most likely abandon at the login page. Links to this content are pretty much irrelevant. At least make some of this content available outside of the password. At least 25% or you will risk high abandonment rates.

I posed a question with regards to blended search results in terms of whether links to items such as video or blogs carry more weight than links to traditional webpages. I did not receive a response to this. It poses an interesting scenario though doesn’t it? Is a link to a webpage the same as a link to a video?

Overall it was an interesting webcast that dealt with some of the fundamentals of link building that truly can be used for any size of busainess not just large corporations.

The end of the presentation mentioned a couple of upcoming Search Related Conferences that you may want to check out: SMX West in Santa Clara in February and SMX Social Media in Long Beach California in April.

Posted in Ad/Behaviroral Targeting, Data & Metrics, Demos & Audiences, Marketplace Trends, Research, Resources, Search Marketing, Site Development, Start-Ups & Venture Capital | Leave a Comment »

Local vs Search, the Online Ad Battle Begins

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 6, 2008

Article Source:

By Dave Porter

(AXcess News) Reno – The Internet appears to be pulling more ad dollars from traditional media like print, television and radio during a time of lean advertising budgets, but even though there is a slowdown in ad spending, the real battle online appears to be ‘big box’ vs local.

According to eMarketer, ad spending in 2008 will “bounce back”, increasing 3% and television will see the highest growth thanks in part to the election and the Summer Olympics.

Still, the Internet is expected to show a healthy gain as well.  According to a December, 2007 Borrell & Associates report, “2008 Outlook, Local Online Advertising”, total online ad spending is forecast to grow by 1.8%, while offline ad spending was estimated to shrink by 1.8%.  That’s a far cry from eMarketer’s forecast, yet Borrell’s prior market estimates have been far more accurate in consideration of the researcher focusing more on local advertising.

“Even with the Olympics and presidential election campaigns on the horizon, overall ad spending in the US is in the doldrums,” says eMarketer’s David Hallerman. “Except online.”

Hallerman says that “US Internet advertising will not only be more resilient than traditional media, it will grow. In fact, in 2009, 10% of all US ad dollars will go online.”

Stepping forward in the minds at Borrell & Associates to the most recent Report, “2008 Online Promotions – The Big Shift”, Borrell & Associates made a bold prediction.  That a shift in ad dollars was underway with promotional advertising rising to the top while Standard-sized ads (banners, skyscrapers et al) would shrink dramatically.  In fact, the researchers over at Borrell & Associates were already downplaying ‘standard advertising’ online back in December, predicting then a severe drop in web advertising dollars this year.

“We are seeing a distinct shift of business spending away from classic online advertising per se toward non-advertising marketing expenses – the more nebulous category of ‘promotions’,” said Borrell & Associates founder, Gordon Borrell.

“The Internet provides tens of thousands of marketing channels that allow businesses to reach consumers directly with information on pricing, sales, features and new products,” says Borrell.

While Borrell’s report gives some startling predictions, such as, Online display ads (Web page banners, pop-ups, etc.) have lost their luster; and, Paid search advertising is likewise facing a luster-loss, the ‘big box’ theory of major search providers consolidating is threatening the pricing model for competitors.  While lower ad rates may be attractive to online advertising buyers, some of the allure comes in the form of logistics in doing business with one resource capable of handling a large ad budget, where spreading those ad dollars across a host of local sites is more difficult to manage and monitor.

So the question arises, who’s right, Borrell or Google?  The answer is, both.

Borrell notes that the web is creating opportunities for viral marketing, such as an online video of a new beer which when post online gets handed around by viewers.  That branding tactic works well, but production may not fall into the hands of the brew mister as much as at it rests in the hands of skilled public relations providers.  Borrell was sharp enough to note that in its report in which they predict that “Online promotions, including the revitalized and expanded practice of public relations, will nearly triple over the next five years to $22.8 billion, surpassing all other online advertising categories (paid search, banners, email, and online audio/video advertising.)”

Oh wow, you say.  That is a startling revelation indeed!    So far the paid researchers who derive the bulk of their revenue from reports gleaned off of information from the top search engines and major websites haven’t responded to Borrell’s ‘revelations’ and for good reason – they’re not about to get into a credibility war with the maverick of online research and king of local – Borrell & Associates – as it could cost them plenty.

The ‘big box’ dominance of Google’s combination with DoubleClick is certainly going to affect the online advertising market and the most likely area will be in ad costs falling as the mass-market appeal of one-stop advertising online takes hold.  Recently, Google and Yahoo tried teaming up with Yahoo looking to display Google ads, which appears to be getting a green light from regulators while the rumors of whether or not MSN will be combined with Yahoo still echo through the tech blogger world.

I have often argued that people should pay more attention to the fact that while the bulk of traffic lies with the top search providers, there is more action in the long tail of the web and Borrell is saying the tail is now getting more diverse and with it greater opportunities to brand products and promote online on a local scale.  Underneath it all is one recurring theme – geographic.

Local is becoming king and through it new, more creative ways of reaching customers are developing.  Video and even content is being used to achieve a geographic appeal.  Perhaps where that’s winning out is in the fact that major newspaper websites, along with Yahoo and Google, have been unsuccessful at capturing the geographic theme of marketing on a national scale.  That may be due to their inability to cooperate because they’re so large and bulky.  Enter PR.  Public Relations firms on a geographic scale are able to come up with creative ways of reaching local audiences online and can virally expand that both regionally or national.  E-mail may be playing a part, but content appears to be winning out in presentation format where a dining out section of one local website is being used in consort with other local sites to generate an interest through their online promotion.

But firms like Marchex are also getting in on the ‘local’ theme and have teamed with local content sources in sharing both content and advertising.  That kind of creative thinking is on the rise and more boutique advertising agencies like are coming up with ways to lure ad dollars through both innovative technology and targeted intelligence.  Newer technology providers like are also attracting partners who are looking to team with innovative agencies in combining both cutting edge technology and better performance matrix of delivery in order to compete.  So while Borrell cites a shift in ad spend, I say parallel to that is a shift in cooperative public relations, where innovative firms are combining technologies and resources to offer ad buyers better conversion rates to compete with the lure of big box ad providers like Google.

Posted in Local, Search Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment » Partners With MediaSpan to Deliver Local Search Solution to 1,500 Newspaper, TV and Radio Companies

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 4, 2008

Article Source:

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Corporation (NASDAQ: LOCM), a leading local search engine, today announced a strategic partnership with MediaSpan, a leading provider of digital content management and online marketing solutions, to provide Local.coms Local Connect local search platform to more than 1,500 of MediaSpans newspaper, TV and radio clients.

Our local media customers are always looking for new ways to engage their audience, increase traffic and drive new revenue streams online, said MediaSpan executive vice president, online services, Steven Barth. Local.coms proven private-label platform meets this need by providing powerful local search technology as well as added revenue and growth opportunities.

The Local Connect platform enables regional media publishers to incorporate Local.coms powerful local search technology into their website via a customized, private-label local business directory platform. Local Connect also represents added revenue opportunities for websites by allowing them to integrate and enhance their own advertiser listings, as well as local and national sponsored listings from Local.coms large network of advertisers. To experience Local Connect visit:

We are pleased to partner with MediaSpan and their regional media partners. This is expected to greatly expand the reach of our Local Connect platform, which in turn should increase the volume of organic traffic across the network, said Malcolm Lewis, vice president and general manager, private-label. Online local search continues to grow and remains a vital component for regional media sites throughout the U.S.

As part of the partnership, MediaSpan will license Local.coms local search patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,231,405. Implementation on the sites will begin in the second quarter.

About Local Connect

Local Connect is a leading private label local search platform for local media companies. Newspaper publishers, TV stations and radio stations can utilize Local Connect to incorporate local search into their websites, driving incremental traffic and new online advertising revenues. Local.coms Local Connect search network reached record traffic of 4.7 million monthly unique visitors in February 2008. The network is one of the largest local search syndication networks, publishing business information on over 570 regional media sites, including newspapers, TV and radio stations, and city portals.

About (NASDAQ: LOCM) is a top U.S. website and local search network attracting approximately 15 million visitors each month seeking information on local businesses, products and services. Powered by the companys proprietary Keyword DNA® and patented local web indexing technologies, provides users with relevant local search results, which include special offers, user ratings and reviews, local businesses website links, maps, driving directions and more. Businesses can advertise on via a selection of subscription, pay-per-click, banner and pay-per-call ad products. Local Mobile provides local search results to mobile phones and wireless devices. The company serves the UK market at claims U.S. patent numbers 7,231,405 and 7,200,413. For more information visit:

About MediaSpan

MediaSpan ( powers digital content management and online marketing solutions for the worlds leading media companies including Reuters, Citadel / ABC Radio, Sun Media, Gannett, Radio One, Sandusky, South Central Radio, Scripps and Media General. MediaSpan Online Services ( provides a comprehensive suite of website management and marketing solutions. MediaSpan has development, support and sales offices worldwide including locations in Ann Arbor, MI, Melbourne, FL, New York, NY, London, England UK and Irvine, CA.

Forward Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this document regarding our anticipated financial position, business strategy and plans and objectives of our management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this report, words such as ‘anticipate,’ ‘believe,’ ‘estimate,’ ‘plans,’ ‘expect,’ ‘intend’ and similar expressions, as they relate to or our management, identify forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to our management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to monetize the domain, incorporate our local-search technologies, market the domain as a destination for consumers seeking local-search results, grow our business by enhancing our local-search services, successfully expand and implement our outsourced, direct subscription advertising sales efforts, increase the number of businesses that purchase our subscription advertising products, expand our Advertiser and Distribution Networks, expand internationally, integrate and effectively utilize our acquisitions technologies, develop our products and sales, marketing, finance and administrative functions and successfully integrate our expanded infrastructure, as well as our dependence on major advertisers, competitive factors and pricing pressures, changes in legal and regulatory requirements, and general economic conditions. Any forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this paragraph. Unless otherwise stated, all site traffic and usage statistics are from third-party service providers engaged by the company.

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings discuss the foregoing risks as well as other important risk factors that could contribute to such differences or otherwise affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The forward-looking statements in this release speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement for any reason.

Posted in Local, Search Marketing, Television & Video, Traditional to Online | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Mobile Search on Cusp of Explosion?

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 1, 2008

Article Source:

By Judy Mottl
April 29, 2008

Five years from now search will be a key application for one third of the globe’s mobile device users, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Of the expected 4.2 billion owners of mobile devices expected by 2013, roughly 1.3 billion will depend on mobile device searches to find and locate “local” digital information. Most searches will happen in North America and Western Europe as the countries boast good local digital information suppliers (think yellow and white pages) as well as mapping data with good coverage of points of interest, according to the report.

The trend bodes well for Web search firms. For advertising boutiques and marketers looking for signs of the mobile search market’s growth, the report could be manna. Of course, all these growth expectations are built on a good user experience, the firm noted.

Search engine companies and online service providers are already making serious moves in anticipation. Yahoo and AOL are just two that recently announced initiatives tied to mobile device applications and development programs.

Total mobile search revenues are predicted to reach $4.8 billion by 2013 though Juniper warns of potential “advertising overload” that could act as a disincentive and ultimately limit adoption. That, in addition to continuing public concern about the use of online personal data, could impact mobile search adoption as well.

One trend propelling mobile search is the growth of the handheld marketplace. Research firm Strategy Analytics predicts 290 million mobile handsets will be sold this quarter, an increase of 12 percent compared to the second quarter of 2007.

“Mobile broadband development and the gradual reduction in data costs has encouraged a greater proportion of mobile users to surf the mobile Internet, as has the breakdown of operator “walled gardens,” John Levett, Juniper’s marketing and business development executive, told In addition, an increasing operator and vendor focus on ease of service usage has stimulated growth.

“The increased interest in mobile advertising, combined with a greater degree of Mobile Web 2.0 activity, are also factors encouraging adoption,” Levett added.

While adoption will be mostly in Western Europe and North America, Juniper said the demographics could change as network connectivity expands.

“We will see a marked increase in adoption in many developing markets where the fixed broadband infrastructure is limited and mobile becomes the de facto means of accessing the Internet.”


Posted in Mobile, Search Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Offline Benefits of Online Advertising

Posted by Mort Greenberg on April 11, 2008


April 7, 2008

The offline effects of online advertising has been a curious issue in the search engine marketing industry over the years. But according to published reports, new study conducted by comScore is shedding more light on the issue.

The study was conducted on a retailer that does $15 billion in annual revenues. Most of the revenues come from brick and mortar stores. During a three month period, sales increased 50% offline, which coincided with a display and search advertising campaign. Online sales also saw a boost of 40%.

This isn’t the first comScore study looking at offline ROI of online ads. A study from the summer of 2007 showed that consumers who “pre-shop” online spend up to 41% more in-store. Also, 82% of searchers conduct an offline activity to follow up on their query. 61% of them make purchases.

Posted by Nathania Johnson at April 7, 2008 9:27 AM

Posted in Ad Spending, Search Marketing | Leave a Comment »