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"