Pete and Xiola Linden Interview

Canary Beck has an article: Pete Linden Shares Linden Lab’s Sophisticated Approach To Marketing Second Life At SL12B. It is based on a video of Pete and Xiola at SL12B’s Meet the Lindens. She is making the point that the communities idea of the Lab not marketing Second Life is simply wrong. But, she makes no comment on how well, or not, they are marketing SL.

Cozey Contemporary in monotone

Cozey Contemporary in monotone by Wendz Tempest, on Flickr

I suggest reading Canary’s article. I think it gives a good idea of what the Lab says it is doing. But, like many things what we think we are accomplishing and what we are accomplishing are often different. Looking in the search engines on ‘fashion’… it just ain’t happening. 


Virtual fashion – 31 million hits, No SL ads, no hits in the top 30±, Walmart has better placement.
Virtual fashion games – 24 million hits, No SL ads, no hits in the top 30±,
Second Life – 526 million hits, paid ads, owns the first place position, I usually have 1 or 2 listing on the page – today 1.
“Second Life”  – 19 million hits, paid ads, owns the first place position
“Second Life” fashion – 19 million, No SL ads, 3rd place link that leads to Destination Guide.


Virtual fashion –  5 million – no paid, none ln top 24
Virtual fashion games – 13 million – 1 paid, none in top 24
Second Life 103 million – I never show up…
“second life”  – 10 million
“Second life” fashion – 10.5 million – No paid, 5th place link to Destination Guide


I don’t use Bing. I don’t care.

The Lab has created a landing page for ‘fashion.’ It was HARD to find and I was looking for it. That’s not good. It should have been in my face with every search I made. In general a page in the Second Life Destination Guide comes up for the term Second Life Fashion, which I see as way less than ideal for attracting users interested in fashion than the apparent ‘fashion’ Landing page.

You’ll notice I commented about the number of paid ads coming up for a search term. I didn’t take the time to fully research the Lab’s ad campaign. There are tools that allow me to determine an estimate of how much someone is spending per month on the keywords I’m interested in. For those doing Search Engine Optimization, SEO – which is all about getting a link on the right keyword to appear on the first page of the search results, there are tools to let us look at our competitors campaigns. That was too much work for this article.

One also needs to understand that just searching and looking at results doesn’t show you the entire picture. Ad campaigns run on services like Google’s AdWords have numerous optimization tools and controls. I can target north or south American, Europe, Asia, or by location – like county, state, city, zip code, time of day, language, demographic… and control the budget, which means Google computers will figure out how many ads to run per hour so the budget is used up each day and ads appear throughout the whole day or just within your targeted time frame. This means as a searcher you might not see ads at the time they search. That doesn’t mean ads are not running, just that you are not in the bulls-eye area at that moment. Or your Google profile may suggest the ads for SL are something you’re not interested in. Basically, you may or may not see SL ads at any given time for numerous reasons.

While it is not an absolute, you can reasonably assume that if over a couple of days you search for your virtual world interests and don’t see links leading to the part of Second Life you are interested in, the campaign is lame. That is enough for many SL users to assume the Lab is not marketing Second Life. While not accurate, it is a reasonable assumption.

4 thoughts on “Pete and Xiola Linden Interview

  1. Hi Nalates, thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting on my article – I appreciate it. I also did some of the searches you did when researching my article, and found the same results – try as I might, I just can’t get their ads to show up for me.

    As you say, there may be several reasons for this around campaign optimisation – I will put forward one more possibility: IP exclusion. As it seems like you might know (due to sounding to me like you have some experience in the field), you can exclude IP addresses by campaign, so that all ads in that campaign are blocked from computers and networks associated with those addresses. Since Linden Lab has all of its users IP addresses, and is likely able to export/import them into their GA settings, a smart suggestion by a paid search consultant would be to exclude the addresses that will likely not be your customers – therefore tremendously reducing the average cost-per-click. This would be especially prudent for campaigns that had no direct revenue potential and are more long term (like the Lab’s).

    One might say, well why did some searches come up with ads but not others, but that might be subject to the campaign settings that were set up by the search agency. With that said, you are completely right in saying that the average searcher’s assumption might be justified in assuming LL isn’t marketing online. But again, as you point out, it’s an assumption that is incorrect nevertheless.

    • You might be right. I do see the AdWords banner ads when visiting web sites. So, I am pretty sure the Lab is not running any ad blocking by IP address.

  2. You forgot the worlds best search engine: 🙂 Make sure to check it out. It even has an SL ad

    • Duck is my second or third choice when I can’t find something. But, they have a really small market share.

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