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How mad can you be when it’s free?

One of the odd things about getting so many services for free on the Internet is that we might feel obligated to be grateful even when something doesn’t work as well as we need it to. Just that situation cropped up for a speacialty retailer who struggled to make use of Google Website Optimizer. It’s free, and it works very well for many companies, boosting their conversion rate with relentless testing of possibilities through multivariate testing. But what if it doesn’t work for you? What do you do then?

Google logo render - Mark Knol

Image by mark knol via Flickr

Our heroes in this story worked gamely to take advantage of Google’s free tool, but ultimately it came up short for them. I suspect that they are still grateful to Google for offering a free tool that whet their appetites for this powerful testing approach, but I asked them to write up their experiences with GWO so that others can benefit from their struggles. If you’re interested, check out our latest Do It Wrong Quickly case study, “Google Website Optimizer Disappoints.”
Do you have a story to tell where you were able to “do it wrong quickly”? E-mail your entry to me and maybe it will appear on this site, too.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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