Friday, December 30, 2005

Online Shopping Surges - 12/30/2005
comScore Networks reported: "the total online shopping revenues for the period Nov. 1 through Dec. 25 totaled $18.11 billion--25 percent more than last year. "

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hitwise: Google Dominates Search - 12/23/2005

SEARCH GIANT GOOGLE CONTINUES TO dominate all other search engines and directories sites, according to new data by research company Hitwise. Of the top 15 search engines and directories, Google's market share last month came to around 42 percent, with an average session time of more than 12 minutes. Google's next closest competitor, Yahoo!, garnered a market share of just 17 percent--although average session time, at more than 11 minutes, was close to Google's. MSN Search came in third, with around 14 percent market share and an average session time of almost seven minutes.
DoubleClick: Consumers Growing Clever, Comfortable With E-Mail

"New consumer data shows that e-mail marketing works--quite well, in fact. Seventy-eight percent of respondents to DoubleClick's sixth annual consumer survey, "E-mail Solutions," said they've made a purchase as a result of receiving an e-mail, 59 percent said they've redeemed an e-mail coupon in a store, and nearly one-third said they've clicked on an e-mail and made an immediate purchase. Users are now comfortable with e-mail; the report says they understand and accept the fact that marketers collect and use data to send them relevant e-mails. However, they are very worried about viruses, spyware and phishing scams: 75 percent fear viruses, 67 percent worry about identity theft, 66 percent are concerned about spyware, and 61 percent fear scams. For the report, DoubleClick polled one thousand e-mail users between May and June, working with ROI Research and Greenfield Online's panel of 900,000 U.S. households."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

MediaPost Publications - Yahoo! Search Tells Marketers To Tighten Ads - 12/20/2005

Click above to read an article, but the details of my email read:

"How this change impacts your listings:
* Yahoo! will display shorter descriptions for SponsoredSearch listings
* You don't have to make any changes to your listings; they'llbe automatically shortened for you when displayed on Yahoo!
* If you'd like to optimize your listings for Yahoo!, beginyour description with one short sentence that includes yourkeyword and focuses on your most important information inthe first 70 characters
* Over time, we will fine tune the exact character count thatwe believe works best for advertisers and search users
* Most of our partners, including MSN, CNN, ESPN and Infospace,will still display longer descriptions for your SponsoredSearch listings, though the exact length may vary frompartner to partner"

This really makes it easier for us becase Yahoo has decided to copy the Adwords style. No more separate ad creation! :) Life is good!
According to a Holiday eSpending report, online shoppers spent $18.6 billion (excluding travel), from November 05 through Dec. 9, 2005. That is up almost 16 percent from last year.

And accoring to an online survey of 1000 adults around 19 percent of adult shoppers indicated they haven't started their holiday shopping.

I can't wait to see the December numbers, but I don't think online spending numbers will compare unless there is a really a Santa that can deliver by Christmas Eve. :)

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Global Spec Confirms what we all know is true.

From the GlobalSpec's 2005 seminar series, "Leads to Sales: Building the Bridge," they presented facts about a supplier's technical audience, including: more than 70% of engineers and technical professionals state their preferred way to contact suppliers is through e-mail or supplier Web sites.
Pheedo Study: Stand-Alone RSS Ads See Higher Click-Throughs - 12/14/2005
"CONSUMERS USING RSS READERS ARE more likely to click on ads presented as stand-alone posts than on ads within posts--7.99 percent to 0.85 percent--according to research conducted this fall by RSS company Pheedo and set for release today. "

The report also notes readership rises at the beginning of the week--peaks on Wednesday then declines. Avg weekend readership is 70 percent lower than weekdays. Bloglines is also the RSS reader of choice.
Search Use Continues To Grow:
"by Gavin O'Malley, Wednesday, Dec 14, 2005 6:00 AM EST

WEB USERS CONDUCTED MORE THAN 5.1 billion search queries in October--marking a 15 percent increase from June, according to a Nielsen//NetRatings report released Tuesday.

Google maintained its leadership position, garnering 2.4 billion search requests, or almost half--48 percent--of all searches. Yahoo! accounted for 21.8 percent of all searches, followed by Microsoft's MSN, which was responsible for 11.3 percent of search activity.
Time Warner's AOL was in fourth place, with 358,667 searches, or 7.2 percent of search activity. Currently, Google powers AOL's search engine and receives revenue from the company. But, with Time Warner considering a range of options for AOL--ranging from spinning off the company to doing some sort of joint venture with either Google or Microsoft--that deal might not continue for long.

If Microsoft starts powering AOL's search engine, and AOL continues to account for the same proportion of search activity as at present, MSN would have nearly the same traffic as Yahoo!, the current second-place holder.

Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that search activity on InterActiveCorp's Ask Jeeves almost doubled--growing from 75.81 million searches in June to 133.93 million searches in October--still, the engine accounted for just 2.6 percent of all searches.

Additionally, consumers searched for images 328.28 million times in October--a 36.6 percent jump from June, reported Nielsen. Local searches grew by 19.2 percent in that time. "

Friday, December 09, 2005

Search Execs: Big Brands Muscling Out Small Players - 12/09/2005

"THE INCREASING POPULARITY OF SEARCH engine marketing for branding purposes has brought well-monied advertisers into the game, while crowding out smaller advertisers, panelists said Thursday at an SG Cowen and Co. Internet conference.
Describing the expenditures as 'irrational,' Panelist Bill Wise, CEO of, said that branding-focused advertisers are willing to spend whatever it takes to get their keywords listed. 'Big companies will spend a lot of money to get that market share,' he said. "

Bill: This is not a bad strategy, ranking number one gives revelance (in a searchers mind). Perception is reality. Little guys can compete cheaply in the easy to enter PPC space and look like big guys. Can big advertisers could push out the little guys out and then return to lower PPC pricing (Due to less competition) to achieve the same position?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Online Video Advertising to See Tremendous Growth: Report

"November 30, 2005 -- Is the explosive growth of Internet video advertising bad news for television advertising? Not really.

"Television and the Internet will find ways to complement each other, winner-take-all is not the name of the game," says David Hallerman, Senior Analyst at eMarketer and author of the Online Video Advertising report. "Video represents common ground for the two media, not a field of battle."

EMarketer estimates that spending for Internet video advertising in the US will nearly triple in 2007 to $640 million from this year's $225 million. By the end of the decade, advertisers will spend at least $1.5 billion on video ads online. One of the main drivers of online video advertising is broadband adoption in the home.

According to eMarketer, the number of US broadband households will more than double from 2004 (at 34.3 million) to 2008 (at 69.4 million).

The key barrier was passed earlier this year, when more than half of US online households connected via high-speed access. Advertisers seeking a mass audience can now look online. By early 2008 more than half of all households - online or not - will log-on via broadband. "
comScore Media Metrix Search Engine Ratings
By Danny Sullivan, Editor
August 23, 2005

"The comScore Media Metrix qSearch service measures search-specific traffic on the internet. qSearch data is gathered by monitoring the web activities of 1.5 million English-speakers worldwide (1 million in the United States) via proxy metering."

Here's the results -

"Search Provider Percent Of Edit Listings Percent Of Paid Listings
Google 46.4% 52.5%
Yahoo 30.5% 46.0%
MSN 15.5% 0.0%
Ask 6.1% 0.0%
Other/Mix 1.5% 1.5%

Here's a breakdown on how Search Engine Watch has compiled these figures from those in the chart above.
Google: Editorial is combined share of searches at Google and AOL, while paid includes searches at Ask. Ask does have its own self-serve paid listings program, but this was not active in July 2005.

Yahoo: Editorial is share of searches at Yahoo, while paid includes searches at MSN. MSN does have a relatively small paid listing program of its own, one due to greatly expand toward the end of 2005.

MSN: Editorial is share of searches at MSN, which uses its own technology. Paid is covered by Yahoo, as explained above.

Ask: Editorial is share of searches at Ask. Note that some at My Web Search, other search engines beyond Ask are offered. At Excite, meta search results that include Google and others are shown. There's no way to separate out non-Ask powered results from the Ask figure provided by comScore.

Other: Share of searches from other sites that use their own technology or editorial processes. May include also some share that belongs to the other provider categories already named. However, there isn't enough detail to properly break out these shares. "

Monday, November 21, 2005

Search Engine Use Continues To Surge
by Wendy Davis, Monday, Nov 21, 2005 6:00 AM EST

"SEARCH ENGINE USE HAS CONTINUED to surge in the last year, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and comScore Networks.
Forty-one percent of 1,577 Internet users surveyed by Pew in September and October reported that they had visited a search engine the previous day. When Pew conducted a similar survey in June of 2004, just 30 percent of Web users said the same. In fact, the only Web activity more popular than searching was using e-mail; about 52 percent of U.S. Web users told Pew researchers they had sent or received e-mail on the day before being surveyed this fall. "

Whats' interesting is that...
"Heavy use of search engines correlated with broadband connections, according to the report. Seventy percent of survey respondents who had broadband at home and work reported that they used a search engine the day before the survey, compared to just 33 percent of those with dial-up connections."

And... "Search use also seems to correspond with affluence. On a typical day, 52 percent of Web users in households earning at least $75,000 used search engines, compared to just 29 percent of those with household incomes of less than $30,000. "
Search Engine Stats
Google Web Search had 75 million unique visitors last month, followed by Yahoo! Search (68 million), MSN Search (49.7 million), Ask Jeeves (43.7 million), and AOL Search (36.1 million), according to comScore.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Google Personalized Search Leaves Google Labs:
"Google Personalized Search went live, says Search Engine Watch. The new feature reorders search results based on a user's search history in order to make them more relevant. Users will also have the ability to search through their history, allowing them to revisit previously viewed pages and bookmark those pages in order to find them again easily. However, personalized search is not something that just happens organically; it's an option offered through a Google account, which users receive when they sign up for AdWords, Gmail and other services. Other enhancements made to the product include a more sophisticated remove-results feature that lets users block individual results, URLs, or even whole domain names from search results. In the future, Google plans to integrate personal search with Google News, which, by the way, is still in beta, for some reason. News searches will be accessible through user history (although Google only maintains news stories for up to 30 days after publication), and will also contribute to search results. This feature is expected "soon."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Matt Cutts has confirmed that Hidden CSS text can get your banned.
"Google has the right to decide not to return that site in our search results, because we feel that hiding text that is not visible to users is deceptive. "

Lots of concerns over the current list of white hat uses of CSS hidden text, but it makes sense for Google to place content over design when only taking content into account.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

MediaPost Publications - Behavioral Targeting Increases Conversions - 10/26/2005
by Wendy Davis, Wednesday, Oct 26, 2005 6:00 AM EST

SERVING ADS TO CONSUMERS WHO already have demonstrated an interest in the product or services offered by the marketer is a more efficient use of online ad dollars than serving ads to the public at large, according to a study released Tuesday by America Online's

For the study, evaluated the performance of three online ad campaigns--in the financial services, automotive, and education spaces--conducted between July and September. For all three campaigns, served identical banner ads to Web users at large, as well as to users who had visited a site relevant to the marketers' business in the last 30 days. For example, for the car campaign, targeted people who had visited a car research site within 30 days, and then compared how that group responded to ads with how consumers at large responded.
The company found that conversion rates were higher for the group that had been targeted based on Web surfing than for those served ads on a more random basis. The car campaign saw a 323 percent increase in conversion rate, defined as completing a registration form. The finance campaign saw a 90 percent increase in conversions, defined as opening an online bank account; and the education campaign saw a 105 percent increase in conversions, measured as those who filled out a registration form.

At the same time, in a counter-intuitive finding, the study also revealed that click-through rates were lower for the targeted group than the more random ad viewers. Click-throughs for the car campaign fell by 64 percent for the targeted consumers; for the education campaign, the rate fell by 22 percent; and for the finance campaign, the drop-off was 56 percent.

The lower click-through rate came as a surprise to researchers, who had expected that users who were tagged as potential customers would want to click and convert at a higher rate than the more random users.

One theory that might explain the lower click-throughs is that some Web users are simply more curious about ads than others, said Eric Eller, director of behavioral marketing at Eller suggested that targeting might also filter out the more generally inquisitive types who click on ads without any intention of purchasing. "When you target a group," proposed Eller, "you're losing the clicks coming from the generally curious."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Webisodes return, now as advertising!

"The Wyndales are a typical American sitcom family. Dad is a dolt, and his college-age rock musician son writes all about his pop's antics on his blog.

But don't look for the animated gang on television. The Wyndales are starring in an Internet series, with weekly webisodes that are meant to entertain - and sell health insurance.

Remember webisodes? Now they're back, this time as advertising vehicles, courtesy of a robust online ad market and growing broadband audience.
EHealthInsurance's Am I Covered? ( made its debut last week. Today, Jeep's We Are The Mudds ( series premieres, joining other recent webisodes from Unilever's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter ( and Target ( "

Friday, October 14, 2005

Watch This Car Disappear

"Pontiac introduced its limited edition Solstice on 'The Apprentice.' When the episode ended, viewers were pointed to Yahoo! for additional information about the vehicle. Pontiac's goal was to sell 1,000 cars in 10 days.

Mark-Hans Richter, Pontiac's director of marketing, was dumbstruck by the results. 'A 10-day program was over in 41 minutes for the first 1,000 Solstices. We thought about 10 days was reasonable for a car no one's driven before.' Not only did Pontiac make its target before the show even aired on the West Coast, but 4,000 additional cars sold in advance of the launch -- Pontiac's entire first-year production.

'That's $125 million worth of steel that has been moved in about four hours,' pointed out Jim Moloshok, Yahoo!'s just-departed SVP of entertainment. 'This shows that online can move big-ticket items. Maybe a CPM-plus-CPA model could be considered by automakers. What percentage would GM be willing to give back as a sales commission?' he mused, adding, 'Some people went to Pontiac's site, so we can't take all the credit.'

'Going into this you don't know what to expect because you don't have a lot of control,' Richter told me. 'You're yielding control for potentially more risk, and more reward.'

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Students: Search Engines More Credible Than TV Ads - 10/12/2005
by Wendy Davis, Wednesday, Oct 12, 2005 6:00 AM EST

"COLLEGE STUDENTS RELY ON SEARCH engines more than any other media--including magazines, newspapers, and television ads--according to a new study by Yahoo! Search Marketing.
For the study, Yahoo! and Hall & Partners surveyed 486 college students in August, and Greenberg Brand Strategy conducted in-depth interviews with 12 students. Researchers asked students to rate various information sources--including search, family and friends, and traditional media--on a five-point scale.

The findings, presented Tuesday in New York, included the conclusion that 81 percent of college students rated search engines as the best source of information; friends and family were rated best by 64 percent of students, while just 34 percent said traditional media was their best source of information. (The numbers add up to more than 100 because an information source was considered 'best' if students placed it in the top two boxes on a five-point scale.) "

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Power of Default Values (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox):

"How gullible are Web users? Sadly, the answer seems to be 'very.'
Professor Thorsten Joachims and colleagues at Cornell University conducted a study of search engines. Among other things, their study examined the links users followed on the SERP (search engine results page). They found that 42% of users clicked the top search hit, and 8% of users clicked the second hit. So far, no news. Many previous studies, including my own, have shown that the top few entries in search listings get the preponderance of clicks and that the number one hit gets vastly more clicks than anything else.
What is interesting is the researchers second test, wherein they secretly fed the search results through a script before displaying them to users. This script swapped the order of the top two search hits. In other words, what was originally the number two entry in the search engine's prioritization ended up on top, and the top entry was relegated to second place.
In this swapped condition, users still clicked on the top entry 34% of the time and on the second hit 12% of the time. "
One in 10 Blog Readers Say They Tap RSS for Content

"A recent study published by Internet media and market researcher Nielsen//NetRatings found that nearly one in five U.S. Internet users now visit blogging and blog-related Web sites, and that 11 percent of those who say they visit blogs also say they use Really Simple Syndication to sort through the increasing number of choices available.

In a June survey for the August study, 'Understanding the Blogosphere,' nearly five percent of people who read blogs said they use feed aggregation software, and more than six percent said they use a feed-aggregating Web site. Nearly 40 percent had heard of RSS, but either don't use it, or don't know what it does, and 50 percent had never even heard of RSS.

But the percentage of people using RSS could actually be much higher.

An August Nielsen//Netratings survey of 2,129 U.S. Internet users found that 83 percent of survey respondents who were identified by clickstream data as RSS users were unaware they were using the syndication technology. Nielsen//NetRatings attributes this to sites such as My Yahoo!, where users can customize content without knowing anything about the RSS feeds that make it possible. The survey also found that RSS users are significantly more engaged"

Friday, September 30, 2005

Google Tests AdWords Promotion
"Google Tests AdWords Promotion
by Shankar Gupta, Friday, Sep 30, 2005 6:00 AM EST

SEARCH GIANT GOOGLE HAS STARTED promoting its relatively new feature that enables advertisers to target individual sites and pay on a cost-per-thousand impression model, rather than Google's usual pay-per-click formulation.

For now, Google has placed links that read 'Advertise on this site' and on certain sites within the Google Network. Clicking on the link takes visitors to a landing page that details the program. Marketers that click on the link but don't have a Google AdWords account are walked through the process of establishing one before being allowed to bid on ad space on the site. "

Bill: Check out the ask the builder site for an example.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blog Champions: High Click-Throughs Offset Low Reach - 09/29/2005
by Shankar Gupta, Thursday, Sep 29, 2005 6:00 AM EST
"DESPITE THEIR RELATIVELY LOW REACH compared to mass media outlets, blogs and other consumer-generated media channels can be extremely cost-effective in driving Web traffic to campaign sites and creating interest, said panelists at the OMMA East Conference on Wednesday.

Panelist Brian Clark, the CEO of GMD Studios, recounted a campaign that his agency ran for Audi, titled 'The Art of the Heist.' Just one-half of one percent of the media buy budget, Clark said, was spent on BlogAds--a firm run by panel moderator Henry Copeland, which sells ad space on some of the highest-trafficked blogs. Those ads, Clark said, ended up accounting for 29 percent of the traffic sent to the campaign's landing page. "

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Experts: TV Creates Awareness, Web Influences Behavior - 09/27/2005
by Shankar Gupta, Tuesday, Sep 27, 2005 6:00 AM EST
"ALTHOUGH TV STILL DOMINATES THE advertising world, companies are turning more and more toward interactive and viral media as a way to influence consumers directly, said panelists at Media magazine's 2006 Forecast on Monday.

'In the studies we've done, traditional media is a great way to raise awareness,' said panelist Steve Farella, the CEO of Targetcast TCM. 'If you want to influence people, it's interactive and individual media.'

But, said panelists, one of the major challenges online involves coping with the power consumers can wield over brand image. Panel moderator Steve Rubel, a public relations consultant with CooperKatz, cited the example of Federal Express, which came under fire after serving a cease-and-desist order to a blogger who had furnished his home using free FedEx boxes and chronicled the experience on his Web site. "

Monday, September 26, 2005

MediaPost Publications - Pew: Broadband Adoption Lags - 09/26/2005
"Fifty-three percent of Internet users now have high-speed Web access at home, compared to 50 percent last December, according to a Pew's May telephone survey of about 2000 consumers in the United States. That increase is far less steep than the jump from November of 2003 to May of 2004, when the number of people with high-speed home connections grew from 35 percent to 42 percent. "

Friday, September 23, 2005

MSN Search Relevance Roiling Microsoft

"MSN Search Relevance Roiling Microsoft

Microsoft asked Keynote Systems not to make a survey of search engine users available to the public.

The numbers didn't look good for the home team in Redmond, the Wall Street Journal reported, and that may have led Microsoft to request the suppression of a search engine study. In the study, MSN Search fell to 5th from 3rd among 2,000 users surveyed in the second quarter of 2005.

Relevance drove the drop, as 27 percent of users found their general search results lacking. 37 percent working with specific geographical locations, ie local search, didn't find the relevance they wanted, WSJ cites the Keynote survey as reporting."

"Yahoo figures in the MSN equation, because until February MSN used Yahoo's search to handle its queries. Since the switch to in-house search technology, users have fled for more relevant search engine sites, according to the report. "
Old Spice Boosts TV Campaign With Branded Sites - 09/23/2005
"Old Spice Boosts TV Campaign With Branded Sites
by Gavin O'Malley, Friday, Sep 23, 2005 6:00 AM EST

PROCTER & GAMBLE'S OLD SPICE is making an aggressive online push for 18- to- 26-year-old males by rolling out four interactive and heavily branded Web sites. For the effort, Old Spice enlisted independent agency and longtime partner EVB.
The first of the four destination sites, 'When She's Hot'--focused on an attractive young woman as she dances and sweats with enthusiasm -- launched several months ago, in conjunction with Old Spice TV ads created by Saatchi & Saatchi. "

Bill: This is a very effective use of online technology to boost a consumer brand. I haven't used Old Spice Deorderant, but now I have a long lasting visual attached to the brand. :)
I didn't use the mix tool, but it makes the video less edgy.

Visit and see if you agree.

PS: When You Stink didn't quite do as good a job, but would probably work for racing fans. I hear racing fans are the most loyal product consumers.

Monday, September 19, 2005

E-mail Outpulls Catalogs for DMer Web Sites:

"E-mail Outpulls Catalogs for DMer Web Sites
Sep 12, 2005 4:11 AM

E-mail outscored catalogs as a motivation to bring shoppers to a direct marketer’s Web site in the latest wave of the quarterly online marketing survey conducted by Decision Direct Research, the online research arm of direct marketing service provider Millard Group.

For the quarter ended August 31, 81% of survey respondents reported that they were likely to visit a direct retailer’s Web site after receiving an e-mail, compared to 78% who said they were likely to surf there after getting"

Bill: Wow great news!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

BURST! Media Study: Online Ad Clutter Can Negatively Impact Brands :
Online Ad Network News

"BURST! Media, an Internet ad services company, has found that for a majority of online users there is a low tolerance for more than two advertising units per web page and that users have a less favorable opinion of a marketer's product or service when their advertising appears on a web page perceived as cluttered.

BURST! surveyed over 3,100 Internet users to better understand how clutter impacts the web users Internet experience, and its impact on their perception of advertisers. The BURST! survey focused solely on advertisings- contribution to perceived site clutter. That is, it did not examine the impact site design or content may have on the web users experience."
Conversions Peak During Normal Waking Hours :
MediaPost Publications - 09/14/2005

"LATE-NIGHT TV INFOMERCIALS MIGHT HAVE led marketers to believe that those who view ads in the pre-dawn hours are likely to respond to them, but new research from aQuantive's Atlas suggests the opposite is true online.

A new study shows that Web users who view display ads during the workday and early evening are more likely to make a purchase, fill out registrations, or otherwise convert than consumers who see ads between midnight and dawn.

For the study, 'Online Media Conversion Rates by Daypart,' Atlas looked at online impressions and conversion rates for six advertisers over a three-month period last year. The advertisers included consumer electronics marketers, nonprofits, brick-and-mortar retailers, and information services providers.

Conversion rates peaked at around noon Eastern Standard Time, when conversion rates were around 36 percent higher than average for the day."

Bill: So the question is - Does this hint that more commercial transations are taking place, or are more people shopping during the day than at night?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

SEO vs. SEM optimization wins!

"MORE THAN ONE IN THREE search marketers who tap agencies for both pay-per-click services and advice on optimizing their sites to appear high in the natural listings said that optimization efforts pay off more than paid search campaigns, according to a new study by search engine marketing company iProspect and JupiterResearch. For the study, researchers surveyed search marketers last month, asking them to compare the return on investment for search engine optimization and paid search. Thirty-five percent of 138 survey respondents said that optimization led to higher ROI, while 11 percent indicated that paid search produced better results; 9 percent said the results were similar. "

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fathom: Keyword Prices Plunge Nine Percent - 09/07/2005: "Fathom: Keyword Prices Plunge Nine Percent
by Wendy Davis, Wednesday, Sep 7, 2005 6:00 AM EST
LED BY DOUBLE-DIGIT DECLINES IN the mortgage, telecom, and consumer services categories, search engine keyword prices dropped an average of 9 percent last month--to $1.50 from $1.65, according to Fathom Online. August marked the second straight month of falling prices; the average cost-per-click in July declined by 4 percent in the categories tracked by Fathom. Still, average prices were up by 13 cents, or 9 percent, since Fathom Online started the keyword price index in September 2004.
Last month, mortage-related keywords fell to an average of $3.81 a click, down around 41 percent from an April high of $6.49. Average prices for telecom/broadband-related search terms fell by 13 percent, from $1.72 to $1.49--lower than they've been since Fathom started its keyword price index last year. Telecom/wireless keywords declined by 10 percent to $1.03. "

A lot more great click cost data by market segment by month (9/04-8/05).
Study: SEMs Grade Staff Based On Traffic, Rankings - 09/07/2005
"A JOINT STUDY BY IPROSPECT and Jupiter Research expected to be released today found that 81 percent of organizations use search marketing metrics, such as Web site traffic and search engine ranking, to evaluate the workers responsible for search engine marketing. According to the study--based on a survey of 636 search engine marketers and 224 search engine marketing agencies--four out of five search engine marketers have their performance evaluations tied to some search engine marketing metric, while half of search marketing employees are evaluated on Web site traffic volume. Performances are tied to total sales generated by search marketing for just four out of 10 employees, and only 7 percent have their performance tied to traffic to brick-and-mortar locations attributable to search marketing. --Shankar Gupta "

Thursday, August 25, 2005

AOL News Joins the Big League of News Search Engines
"When America Online launched of its new portal back on June 21, the relaunch of AOL News went largely unnoticed. However, Nielsen//NetRatings has just disclosed its monthly data for July 2005 and it turns out that AOL News has a unique audience of 16.5 million.
While the unique audience of AOL News is about 29% smaller than Yahoo News, AOL News is more than 2.4 times larger than Google News and almost 6.8 times larger than This catapults AOL News into the big league of news search engines.

Brand / Domain Unique Audience (000)
Yahoo! News 23,210
AOL News 16,516
Google News 6,752 2,432"
Nielsen//NetRatings: Searches Up 3 Percent In July - 08/25/2005: "INDUSTRY WATCHERS EXPECTED THAT SEARCH growth would moderate in the summer, on the theory that consumers spend less time at their computers during the warm weather. But new figures from Nielsen//NetRatings show that U.S. Internet users actually performed more searches last month than in June.

Still, the growth rate was less impressive than earlier in the year; in the second quarter, users conducted 12.8 billion searches--5 percent more than in the first quarter.
Google once again captured the largest proportion of searches, accounting for 46.2 percent last month--down slightly from 47 percent in June. Yahoo! Search was responsible for 22.5 percent of July searches--up slightly from 22.3 percent in June--while MSN Search accounted for 12.6 percent of searches last month, up marginally from 12.5 percent in June. "

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Feedster To Start Ranking Blogs - 08/16/2005

FEEDSTER, INC., AN INTERNET SEARCH engine and advertising network for blogs and RSS feeds, today launches a ranking of what it deems the top 500 blogs in the United States, as determined by factors such as the number of inbound links and frequency of updates. "

Friday, August 12, 2005

New dynamic URL info from Google!
Matt suggests you need to stay below 3 strings (2 or less) and not use "id=" or more than 4 numeric characters.

Session Four: Day Three: Search Engine Q&A On Links:
"Q: Query strings at the end or URLs, when does that make it a problem for engines?
A: Matt said 3 or more, its not great, but GoogleBot sometime is smart. Don't use id= in it, and if you have numeric parameters, don't go above 4 numbers.
Kaushal agrees with Matt, but a limited set of parameters are ok.
Tim adds that if you have inbound links to those dynamic URLs, they will more likely crawl it. Yahoo! is less considered with duplicate issues."
MediaPost Publications - Google Search Share Continues To Grow - 08/12/2005

"GOOGLE, YAHOO! SEARCH, AND MSN Search were responsible for more than 93 percent of U.S. searches on the major engines last month, according to new data from Hitwise. Google accounted for 59 percent of searches across the major search engines last month--14 percent more than July of 2004. Yahoo! captured 29 percent of searches--about half as many as Google--while MSN trailed with 5.5 percent. "

Friday, July 22, 2005

MediaPost Publications - Nielsen//NetRatings: Searches Increase In Q2 - 07/22/2005:
"ONLINE USERS CONDUCTED MORE SECOND-QUARTER searches on Google than on Yahoo!, MSN, America Online, and Ask Jeeves combined, according to data released by Nielsen//NetRatings on Thursday. Overall, the space continued to grow in the second quarter, with users conducting around 12.8 million searches--up 5 percent from the first quarter, according to the report.
Some 6.09 million searches were performed on Google in the second three months of the year--6 percent more than the approximate 5.73 million searches performed in the first quarter.
At Yahoo!, the number of searches increased by 9 percent to around 2.8 million, while MSN saw its searches drop by 4 percent to around 1.59 million from 1.66 million. Second-quarter searches also increased at AOL (15 percent, to around 647,000) and Ask Jeeves (16 percent, to around 251,000).
For the month of June, Google captured 47 percent of all searches, compared to Yahoo!'s 22 percent, MSN's 12 percent, and AOL's 5 percent. Also last month, for the first time, My Way Search--a meta-search engine owned by Ask Jeeves--cracked the top five most popular search engines, accounting for 2 percent of all searches. My Way allows users to search using either Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves, or LookSmart, and carries sponsored listings above the organic results."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

24/7: Behavioral Targeting Yields Inconsistent Results - 07/20/2005
"24/7: Behavioral Targeting Yields Inconsistent Results
by Wendy Davis, Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 6:00 AM EST
SERVING ADS TO CONSUMERS BASED on the Web sites they visit sometimes increases click-through rates, but nevertheless 'will not always be the best choice' for marketers, according to a new behavioral targeting study by online advertising company 24/7 Real Media.
The study, the second in a quarterly series by 24/7 Real Media, found that marketers achieve varying results with content-based behavioral targeting--that is, serving ads to online users based on their Web surfing behavior.
24/7 Real Media based its report on hundreds of behaviorally targeted campaigns run during the first quarter of this year across hundred of sites, said Jack Smith, vice president, product strategy at 24/7 Real Media. The vast majority--91 percent--of impressions appeared on run-of-network inventory, while 7 percent ran on tier 2 inventory and 2 percent were on premium pages.
Overall, the report concluded, advertisers saw higher click-through rates, but not consistently so. 'There are no hard and fast rules that we could draw,' Smith said. 'It depends on who you're targeting and how well you know that audience.' "
Third-Party Cookies Crumble For E-tailers:
"Companies would do wisely to use first-party instead of third-party cookies, according to findings from Coremetrics research.
The company revealed findings from its LIVEmark Index, a service that provides benchmark performance tracking for over 110 online retail brands. It found anonymous traffic accounts for 13.8 percent of traffic on retail Web sites using third-party cookies. Retail sites that have adapted first-party cookies fare much better, with an average 0.6 percent anonymous traffic rate.
Warnings against third-party cookie use have become common of late. In May, WebTrends released similar findings and recommendations on third-party cookie deletion. The Coremetrics competitor also plans to publish updated research on cookie rejection. "

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Strategies for Improving Email ROI:

"Research Identifies Four Strategies for Improving Email Marketing ROI

Silverpop and eMarketer share insights

In the search for improved ROI, email marketers must strike a delicate balance between their mission to market brand and product, and their customers' acute sensitivity to receiving unwanted, irrelevant messages.

'Part of what makes email marketing work--and what makes it complicated--is that, while people increasingly favor email, they hate unwanted messages,' said David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst, and author of the recent report, 'E-Mail Marketing: How to Improve ROI.'
So how do marketers ensure that recipients actually want their messages?
'Ultimately, the most important thing in email marketing is the notion of relevance,' said Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop and author of the book, 'The Quiet Revolution in Email Marketing.'"
Changing Channels and the Rise of Podcasting
"BY Mark Kingdon | July 19, 2005
Reaching a mass digital audience is getting easier as megaportals and search engines capture an ever-larger number of eyeballs. But crafting a compelling message, separating yourself from the competition, and reaching time-, and attention-, starved audiences are getting more complex as wholly new digital constructs gather momentum.
The digital medium is experiencing the same channel proliferation TV faced a decade ago, to the power of 10. The staggering number of programming choices isn't the only challenge. The real killer is there isn't a single remote control, screen, or access device, as there is with TV."
"With widespread adoption of iPods and MP3 players, the addressable audience has gotten much bigger. Jupiter Research estimates 18.2 million units will be shipped this year."

Friday, July 15, 2005 - Creating 'Quick-Links' Using a Custom 404 Page:

Excellent idea to shorten urls for print or handle common url mispellings. :)
Site provides actual example code.

"On of our hired hands started off along the lines of option #2, but I started thinking there hade to be a better way, and fortunately there is! What happens if you request and the directory doesn't exist? You get a '404 Page not found'-message. Hrmmm, let's check... yes you can configure what page IIS serves when the requested file or directory doesn't exist, but it doesn't seem to run the ASP-code put in the page. What eluded me at first was that in the IIS MMC you can set what type of page IIS should use for the error messages, the default is 'File' which just shoots the page to the user without any processing. Changing the type to 'URL' does the trick and any ASP code in the page is now processed. IIS sends the URL the user requested in the query string so it's available to our ASP code to check.
For More Information on Custom 404 Error Pages
To learn more about creating custom 404 error pages be sure to read Creating a Custom 404 Error Page. It is a very good and thorough article explaining how to setup such a custom 404 error page! Another very worthwhile read on the subject is Nathan Pond's Tracking 404 Errors.

So, the rest is pretty straightforward: In the ASP page IIS serves when it can't find a requested folder or file, check what folder the user requests and if it's one that you have anticipated, you redirect the user to the correct page in our case the frame definition page with a parameter indicating what page to display in the main content frame. "

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Latest Email Industry Metrics From DoubleClick: "Latest Industry Metrics From DoubleClick

DoubleClick recently released its Q1-2005 email metrics report.

Click-rates were fairly stable, dropping only a few basis points from 8.4% to 7.9%. range from 7.5% to 9.2%. Open rates continue their decline, dropping from 32.6% in Q4 to 30.2% in Q1. This drop has been pretty consistent since open rates peaked in 2003. While this last statistic might imply that people are reading less email, the consistent click-rates suggest otherwise. The most likely reason behind the drop is the increased used of image blocking.
The Quiet Revolution in Email Marketing:

"DomainKeys Gone Live

With nowhere near the fanfare accompanying SenderID record checking in MSN and Hotmail, Yahoo! quietly turned on DomainKey checking the other day.

Yahoo! appears to be taking smaller steps than Microsoft, which I think is a good thing. The presence of a valid DomainKey record is displayed, but bad or missing records don't appear to be shown or penalized. This is a nice contrast to Microsoft's somewhat abrupt requirement that SenderID be included for all mail into its servers.

For marketers, these two events mean that authentication is here, and it's here now. The first and best impact of these technologies is to take a bite out of phishing by pointing out clearly fraudulent email. Longer term however, these systems will provide a necessary component for the next generation of reputation systems.

Posted by Bill at 07:55 AM"
DoubleClick: Web Sites Influence Buying Decisions
"The report, DoubleClick's third annual Touchpoints study, examined how consumers rely on different media channels when making purchase decisions. For the report, researchers surveyed 2,110 adult Internet users in the United States last December, questioning them on the media channels that influence their buying decisions in 10 categories: travel, automotive, telecommunications, banks and credit cards, mortgage and investment, movies, consumer electronics, home products, personal and home care, and prescription drugs.
The study found that online sites are among the top four influencers in most of the categories surveyed. 'The Internet really holds its own fairly well compared to some traditional advertising media,' said Rick Bruner, DoubleClick's research director. 'When we ask people what most influenced their decision to purchase this product or service, Web sites outranked television ads in eight out of those 10 categories.'
Company Web sites specifically provided a resource for consumers in the 'further learning' phase of purchase, when a buyer has heard of a product but wants to learn more. 'Although company Web sites are not often cited as sources of initial awareness,' the study states, 'the Web sites of manufacturers and service providers are a critical resource when it comes to consumers seeking to learn more about the products they have heard about.' "

Friday, July 08, 2005

Google's Leap May Slow Rivals' Growth

"MSN and Yahoo! face new challenges as their share of search falls

Nearly a year after Google's (GOOG ) IPO marked the start of a new phase in Web search competition, the upstart is making industry giants Microsoft's (MSFT ) MSN and Yahoo! (YHOO ) look like also-rans. Google's share of U.S. searches hit 52% in June, up from 45% a year ago, according to Web analytics firm WebSideStory Inc. By contrast, Yahoo's and MSN's share slipped to 25% and 10% respectively. Says Mark S. Mahaney, an analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup (C ): 'People haven't been given a good reason to switch from Google.' "

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Keyword Prices Rise 3 Percent In June

Media Post
by Wendy Davis, Thursday, Jul 7, 2005 6:00 AM EST
SEARCH TERMS ACROSS A BROAD array of categories rose an average of 3 percent last month to $1.72--from $1.67 in May, according to the Fathom Online Keyword Price Index, expected to be released today. Overall, keyword prices were up approximately 25 percent since last September, when Fathom began publishing the index, which tracks average cost-per-click rates in eight categories--cars, consumer retail, consumer services, travel/hospitality, investing, mortgages, broadband, and wireless.
Keywords related to wireless services jumped by 19 percent to $1.19--the highest rate for such terms since the index started. Retail keywords rebounded to 53 cents--9 percent higher than last month's 49 cents, but still less than the November average of 60 cents. Terms in most other categories were up only slightly (investing--5 percent; consumer services--3 percent; mortgages--3 percent; cars--2 percent; and travel--1 percent), while keywords related to broadband fell by 2 percent to $1.97. "

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Study: Readers Remember Ads That Interrupt Copy

"ONLINE READERS REMEMBER ADS BETTER when they appear in the middle of articles than in the beginning, but give more credibility to ads that appear at the start of an article--below the masthead and before the byline--according to a study by researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communication"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Big advertisers catch the bug for viral campaigns

"CANNES, France (Reuters) - Some of the world's biggest advertisers, including Microsoft and Anheuser-Busch, are increasingly turning to electronic word-of-mouth advertising campaigns as they seek inexpensive, provocative and entertaining ways to reach new customers.
Known commonly as viral advertising, the marketing strategy often can hide who's behind it and usually involves an online component to spur consumers to spread the message themselves with minimal noticeable involvement from the company."
Yahoo!: Online Banking Empowers Consumers:

"MORE THAN ONE OUT OF three single consumers say they prefer to apply for credit cards online rather than by mail or in person, while more than one in four would rather apply for mortgages online, according to a new report released Thursday by Yahoo! and Ogilvy One Worldwide.
For the report, 'Selling Money: The Impact of the Online Channel,' Forrester Research conducted an online survey of 2,687 adult U.S. consumers, while Flamingo International conducted in-depth interviews with 18 households. "

Thursday, June 23, 2005

United States Patent Application: 0050071741

Google's filing of a United States Patent helps explain Google Sandbox workings

Snipits of Jill Whalen's 6/23 Article

"++Google's Patent Implications++

"You may have already heard or read about Google's latest patent application regarding "information retrieval based on historical data"

See link above - WPS

"I wasn't surprised about the stuff in the patent that corresponded with Google's aging delay and its "sandbox" as I had already seen a lot of discussion on this. For those who aren't familiar with the aging delay and the sandbox, you'll want to note that there is a lot of disagreement over what causes a site to be thrown in the sandbox.
However, based on my own observations and the experiences of some trusted SEO friends, it's my belief that the sandbox is basically a purgatory database where Google places certain URLs based on a variety of predetermined criteria. (Much of this is spelled out in the first part of the patent application.)

The aging delay, on the other hand, is actually a subset of the sandbox. In other words, the aging delay is just *one* reason why a URL might get placed in the sandbox.

Basically, if you have a brand new domain/website, it will automatically land in the sandbox regardless of anything that you do with it. Your new website will be stuck there for an unspecified period of time (averaging around 9 months these days) and it will not rank highly in Google for any keyword phrases that might bring it any decent traffic. Yes, it can sometimes rank highly for the company name, or the names of the people who run the company. It may also show up in Google for a few additional phrases that other sites are not focusing on within their content. But new domains will not show up in Google's natural results for even slightly competitive keyword phrases until they are removed from the sandbox."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Survey: Two of Three Adults Use Search For News:
"THE MAJORITY OF ONLINE ADULTS--53 percent--use search engines most or all of the time they go on the Web, while only 4 percent say they never use them, according to a study released Tuesday by search engine marketing firm icrossing.
The report, 'How America Searches,' based on a Harris Interactive survey of more than 2,000 online adults, also found that most searches are conducted with specific topics in mind. When asked why they used a search engine, 88 percent of respondents said they did so to research specific topics; 75 percent searched for directions or maps; and 64 percent were seeking news or information about current events.
Of the approximately 1,300 adults who said they used search engines to look for news, almost half--45 percent--said they specifically sought alternative viewpoints, while 42 percent wanted additional information.

The report also found that more than four out of 10 users--44 percent--didn't know the difference between sponsored and organic listings."

Monday, June 13, 2005 - The Top 400 Guide

"Online retailing continues to be a significant merchandising channel, with e-retailing operations growing in sales, average ticket, conversion rates and more
By Mark Brohan

Ten years ago, long before the Internet investment bubble even began to build much less burst and was just beginning to sell online, few, if any, retailers could predict whether business-to-consumer e-commerce would catch on with customers or if the Internet would ever rival stores and catalogs as a serious sales channel.
But today, with more than a third of all households making at least one online purchase each year a figure Forrester Research Inc. predicts will increase to almost 40% by 2009 Internet retailing has clearly come of age and remains the U.S. retailing industry's fastest-growing sales channel.
U.S. Internet retail sales totaled $87.5 billion in 2004, up 25% from
$70 billion in 2003 and up 62% from $54 billion in 2002, according to Internet Retailer estimates.
Based on statistics compiled for the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide, the top 400 retailers in 2004 generated combined web sales of more than $51 billion and accounted for 58.3% of all U.S. Internet sales. In comparison, the top 300 web retailers in 2003 generated sales of $40 billion, 57% of all U.S. Internet sales."

eTail Hits Puberty
By Seana Mulcahy
(In reference to the article above)

"In a nutshell, the good news is Internet retail sales totaled $87.5 billion in 2004, up 25 percent from $70 billion in 2003 and up 62 percent from $54 billion in 2002, according to Internet Retailer estimates. eTailing is on the up and up, overall sales, average tickets, and conversions are steadily increasing. U.S.

Top findings of the study: The top 400 eTailers represent a combined bank of $51 billion USD. This represents 58.3 percent of all U.S. Internet sales.

Consumers are confident purchasing products and services online. Conversion rates are 2.5 percent on average. However, some sites reflect anywhere between 8 and 18 percent. While these numbers seem low, they have increased steadily. There is a huge potential for sites to make it easier and more convenient for consumers to click and buy.

The average ticket across all categories increased to 16 percent last year. The Computers and Technology category continues to lead the pack representing 28 percent of overall sales or $14.3 billion in Web sales (up from $10.9 billion).

Other Web retailing categories demonstrating solid sales growth are books, CDs, DVDs, and music, which increased sales 70 percent from $999 million in 2003 to $1.7 billion in 2004 and office supplies, which rose 23 percent from category sales of $5.2 billion in 2003 to $6.4 billion in 2004.

The top eTailers represent minimum sales in at least the $1 billion dollar range. To no surprise, according to Internet Retailer, they are as follows (in order of sales): Amazon, Dell, Office Depot, Staples, and HPDirect."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Comergent - 2005 E-Commerce Best Practice Survey:

"Conducted in March and April of 2005, The 2005 E-Commerce Survey provides a window into the current and future e-commerce plans of 124 companies from more than eleven different industries. Across industries, the survey revealed a great deal of diversity in the forces driving e-commerce, e-commerce spending, and e-commerce expansion plans."

Good resource for eComm bench marking.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

SEO Your PDF's - Does This Work?
"In Adobe Acrobat 6 there are two places to input content into a PDF file. The first place is under File / Document Properties and the second place is under Advanced / Document Metadata. Under File / Document Properties there are several menus but the most relevant for our purposes is the Description menu. Under the Description menu, there are fields for Title, Author, Subject and Keywords.

Now to confuse matters more, let's go over to the Advanced / Document Metadata menu. There are a couple of choices here, but let's once again look at the Description menu. Under this Description menu, there are fields for Title, Author, Description, Description Writer, Keywords, Copyright State, Copyright Notice and Copyright Info URL."

Looks like a bunch of PDFs just got religion. PDFs are now ranking higher than some of our obscure pages, probably a result of the Bourbon update. Need to go back and do a a better job of including Acrobat properties. As an Example the titles are being displayed as the PDF file name...
Website Purchase Decision Report

"FOR CONSUMERS WHO SHOP ONLINE, purchase decisions are driven by factors other than price to a surprising degree, according to a study expected to be released today by research company ForeSee Results.
'While price can have a positive effect on satisfaction, loyalty, and buying behavior, it is seldom the key determinant of how satisfied a site visitor is--and never appears as the determining factor, on average, in whether a purchase is actually made,' the study stated. "

Study looks at consumer satisfaction with websites, for: price, selection of merchandise, look and feel, navigation, etc.
Perception Is Reality - Editorial - CMO Magazine

"Perception research is a different animal altogether. It's more about sniffing out new opportunities rather than looking back to see how well you've done. Perception research can reveal much that is hidden. It can expose a client's unmet needs and unexpressed thoughts such as brand-promise expectations. It can reveal a client's desired price points or attraction to certain services and attributes or illuminate how a client is affected by an industry's evolution. It can also show a professional services firm where it is positioned versus its competitors in the mind of the client or prospect. Finally, perception research helps a company test strategies that will differentiate it from competitors."

Good primer on what is Perseption Research and it can identify a customers buying motives in a way satisfaction interviews doesn't.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Questions for GoogleGuy: "Questions for GoogleGuy"

New web board specifically set-up for Burbon Update questions to Google Guy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Yahoo! Mindset - Cool Search tool:

This is a Yahoo! Research Labs demo that applies a new twist on search that uses machine learning technology to give you a choice: View Yahoo! Search results sorted according to whether they are more commercial or more informational (i.e., from academic, non-commercial, or research-oriented sources).

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Google Suggest - Neat keyword tool.

This is a cool application in Beta that works as you type, Google will offer suggestions based on their indexed pages and provide the number of competing web pages. Don't get too excited, remember it only returns the pages it found, not how people are actually searching.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Very Cool Example of Flash Configurator

Tahe a lok at how IKEA used flash on it's on the floor to increase sales.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

WCP Online: Creative Marketing: Creativity Defined

"Unlike art, creativity in advertising must have a destination in mind. Such a destination or goal falls under two major headings: image/brand building and immediate action. Under those headings we need to decide what that image/brand should be and/or what action do we want the audience to take.
Once we know our desired destination with a clearly defined communications goal, the creative process can begin. The best creative starts with brainstorming. Pack a room with half a dozen free thinking individuals and tell them where you want to go. Let them come up with dozens, if not hundreds of ideas and jot them all down. At the end, choose the one that best meets the stated goal along with being relevant, memorable and impactful.
We italicized free thinking because that is what makes one creative: having the ability to think outside the box. Where some people have a natural affinity to think that way, others can actually learn it by using the proper tools. Here's how.
Let's say that our message goal is "Chopped beef for 99 cents per lb. at Fred's Meat Market." There are nine techniques we can use to make that simple message creative. These techniques include: adaptation, exaggeration, comparison, elimination, demonstration, borrowed interest, slice of life, reversal and substitution.
Using exaggeration in this example could show a couple barbecuing in the back yard of their mansion when old friends arrive and are astounded at the opulence of their hosts' dwelling. The payoff comes when the man of the house reveals he can afford this lifestyle because he buys, "Chopped beef for 99 cent's per lb. at Fred's Meat Market." Add Ed and Trixie Norton as the hosts and Ralph and Alice Kramden as the guests and you've got borrowed interest.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New Firefox Viral Campaign Results

These are great results that needed to be shared...

THE FIRST-EVER FIREFOX AD CAMPAIGN launched last week with a set of viral spots created by French viral agency Pozz. The campaign, created for the Mozilla Foundation's European affiliate, was viewed more than 300,000 times over the weekend, according to Tristan Nitot, the co-founder of Mozilla Europe. Firefox, an open source browser available at no cost on Mozilla's Web site, has been edging upwards in market share, stealing users from Internet Explorer, the Web's dominant browser. By mid-April, Firefox had increased its market share to 10.28 percent from 4.23 percent, according to Janco Associates.

To see them go to I think the office the best viral campaign, it's also the most bizarre.
Segmenting Your Market Based on Customer Needs and Values
: "Ever wonder where companies come up with those catchy market segment names? Like "True Believers?" Or "Scornful Skeptics?"
Segments like these go beyond mere demographic or geographic similarities. Such groupings are based on more powerful emotional criteria-that is, how people view a product category and the needs they expect to have fulfilled.

In our previous article, "Taking the Hocus Pocus Out of Market Segmentation," we discussed the more straightforward approaches to segmenting a market using demographic, geographic, pyschographic and even behavioral characteristics. Those approaches are all examples of a priori segmentation, where the variables are selected before the segmentation analysis begins.

When segmenting a market based on customer needs and values, you don't know what the variables are until you first survey customers and identify the range of needs and values they have. This is known as post hoc segmentation, where segments are based on responses that are available only after a survey or study has been conducted."
Forrester Research: US Online Advertising And Marketing Forecast.: "The report includes data from an online survey of 99 leading marketers and four forecasts: US Online Advertising And Marketing Spending, US Search Marketing Spending, US Online Classifieds Advertising, and US Email Marketing Spending.
Key data points include:
Search engine marketing will grow by 33 percent in 2005, reaching $11.6 billion by 2010. Display advertising, which includes traditional banners and sponsorships, will grow at the average rate of 11 percent over the next five years to $8 billion by 2010.
New advertising channels will draw interest and spending from marketers. Sixty-four percent of respondents are interested in advertising on blogs, 57 percent through RSS, and 52 percent on mobile devices, including phones and PDAs.
Marketers are quickly losing confidence in the effectiveness of traditional advertising channels and feel that online channels will become more effective over the next three years. Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents said that they think search engine marketing will be more effective, compared with 53 percent of respondents who said TV advertising would become less effective.
The only nondigital advertising channel to reach the same level of confidence as online channels with marketers is product placement � only 8 percent of respondents believe that product placement will become less effective over the next three years."

Monday, May 09, 2005 - Bloggers' conference emphasizes tools of reporting - May 9, 2005: "Right now, more than 8 million people write blogs, said Bob Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association. Blogs, short for Web logs, are running commentaries on whatever their authors are interested in. Content often focuses on politics or media criticism and usually includes feedback from readers"

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What Clicks with Web Searchers?
What Clicks with Web Searchers

"While conventional search wisdom says advertising on topics produces lower ROI than advertising on brand names, a recent DoubleClick study has shown that 'buyers clearly favor generic terms early in the buying cycle,' according to Cam Balzer of Performics, DoubleClick's search marketing division. Further, searchers do a lot of research before buying, affording nearly five touch points on average. A majority of 70 to 80 percent of buyers searched on generic terms, with searches on brand names peaking immediately before purchase. "

"Brand managers take note: More than 92 percent of searchers never use brand names as search terms. "Generic keywords drive activity that later converts to brands," reported Balzer. Clearly, savvy online retailers will advertise on generic terms and place cookies for a minimum of 30 days on their shoppers to accurately track return on investment for purchases. "Short term cookies tell you nothing about long term return visitors," he said. "

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

40% Delete cookies monthly!

Can you believe this, do you know what that does to your web reports! You have to look at them differently form now on. I found this at

" Until recently, it was widely assumed that consumers did not delete cookies in any significant numbers. But a spate of recent studies, including a Jupiter Research report revealing that 40 percent of Internet users say they delete their cookies at least once a month, indicated otherwise.

'We definitely created a monster when we released our cookie report,' said Eric Peterson, the Jupiter analyst who authored the controversial study. 'But I do think it's encouraging that we're moving beyond the bickering about the numbers and on to larger efforts to resolve this issue.'

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Why use an Agency?

Cory Treffiletti of Online Spin put it like this...

"I believe the agency world is where the best of the best reside. The agencies gather the top talent and put them to work on business to drive results for their clients. The agency recognizes the need for coordinating a strategy that identifies the needs of a segment of the audience and can apply that information to a design that is aimed at driving results. Your "average Joe" will typically do something they think is "cool" without regard for the brand image.

Agencies take the right amount of time to develop campaigns, whereas your "average Joe" will develop a singular idea. Agencies also think about a unifying theme, whereas your "average Joe" will focus on a moment in time or a singular experience. Of course, there are some brands that can survive on the moment, but the stronger, more established brands are focused on a brand. They use the brand as a means to drive growth over a period of time. A moment can show a spike or create buzz, but the moment will inevitably pass; a brand can live on and on."

I believe in the value of Agencies. Too many people run a project and never ask if it was successful, agencies on the other hand sink or swim based on customer results, they also get lots of opportunities to improve their craft.

Think about this, isn't just one additional conversion worth the cost of using an agency?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Micro Persuasion: "Mark Cuban, Why Do You Blog?
Shel Israel interviewed Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban on why he blogs and out came this gem...
What made you decide to blog?
'It was in response to the media primarily. I was tired of 4-hour interviews being turned into 500-word reports that mischaracterized the interviews. I sat down with Fortune Magazine for what I thought was a serious interview, and it turned into something completely different. Those types of situations were the catalyst.'"

Monday, April 11, 2005

Creative Think: "One day a new product design team got into a really whacky mood and made fun of their product. They were zany and off-the-wall. The meeting was a great success, and many new ideas were generated. The next week, everybody was in a serious mood and no new ideas were generated. Moral: there's a close relationship between the 'aha' of discovery and the 'ha-ha' of humor, and being whacky stimulates your creative juices."

This is a fun online creativity tool. Click the "give me another whack" button to see another idea that could help you solve your problem.
Where to get advertising ideas with attitude:

Check out the blogs below. Fast Company voted them some of the best business blogs around on advertising. They contain lots of ideas and plenty of attitude so they're fun and interesting.
More >>
Good article on Marketing Services online.

Services Marketing Is Moving Online Are You?: "According to the Association for Online Retailers, in 2004 approximately 40% of adults with Internet access researched a potential product purchase online. As services marketers, focusing on everything from high-ticket items to sophisticated buyers, we wondered whether this was also true for business-to-business services.
So, in 2004, the Wellesley Hills Group polled approximately 200 SMB (small-to-midsize business) decision makers to see whether they visited the Web sites of business-to-business companies before they made a purchase from them. About 98% of buyers said yes. Approximately 50% stated that their online experience did, indeed, affect their purchasing decision. "