Friday, December 29, 2006

Google's blog search engine takes over top slot
By Ben Charny, MarketWatch
Last Update: 4:57 PM ET Dec 28, 2006

Beginning in October, Google began shining a spotlight on Google Blog Search with a link to the feature from its main page, Hitwise research director LeeAnne Prescott said.
It worked. "Google knows the power of its main Web site" to steer its vast audience to one of its features, she added.

Google Blog Search's market share jumped to the market-leading 25% recorded last week, Hitwise data show, and in so doing, Google supplanted the leading search engine for blogs, Technorati.

Perhaps more important to Google is how a third of its blog search visitors are part of the highly sought-after demographic of 18- to 24-year-olds. In contrast, Technorati has been doing very well with those 45 and up.

Holiday E-Commerce Sales Surpass $23B - 12/29/2006
Media Post - by Mark Walsh, Friday, Dec 29, 2006 6:00 AM ET

ONLINE HOLIDAY SPENDING IN 2006 increased 26% over last year to $23.11 billion for the nearly two-month period ending Dec. 26, according to data released Thursday by comScore Networks. A late surge of Internet shopping in the week before Christmas--a 38% jump over the year-earlier period--helped push the total to new levels.

'That online retail consumer spending for the year-to-date has surpassed the $100 billion mark is a testament to the continued growth and strength of the online marketplace,' said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks, in a prepared statement. He added that retail e-commerce now accounts for 7% of U.S. consumer retail spending, excluding gas, autos and food.

Amazon led all retailers in online holiday sales, followed by,, and, and posted the biggest gains over last year, with each site increasing sales by more than 50%.

E-commerce sales growth was fueled mainly by buying in big-ticket and popular gift categories including jewelry and watches (up 67%), video games (64%) video game consoles (63%), event tickets (55%), and consumer electronics (39%).

The 26% increase in 2006 online holiday sales is just slightly more than the 24% gain in e-commerce activity during the rest of the year. Web retail sales from January to October increased from $62.6 billion to $77.5 billion, according to comScore."

Monday, December 11, 2006

US Online Retail Breaks a Record...Again
An all-time record for online sales in one day was set on November 27 when US online sales totaled $608 million. That record has already been broken.

Though this total is impressive, the record has already been broken.

According to comScore Networks, a mere one week later, on Monday, December 4, a new record for spending in a single day was established, as consumers opened their wallets online to the tune of $647 million. This was 26% higher than the total on the corresponding day of last year and it is $39 million more than the total spent on Cyber Monday."

Friday, December 08, 2006 - Online Ad Spending to Outpace Overall Ad Market Growth

DECEMBER 8, 2006

Internet advertising continues to gain on other ad categories.

ZenithOptimedia forecasts that global Internet advertising spending will grow by 28.2% in 2007, at the same time ad spending in other media will grow by only 3.9% — in other words, online ad spending will grow seven times faster.

This disparity speaks volumes about the ongoing seismic shift in the world of advertising. However, the shift to the Internet among US marketers is even more dramatic. eMarketer's latest ad spending projections were released on Wednesday (see Internet Advertising Will Weather a Sluggish Economy). These put growth in US online ad spending at 18.9% in 2007, within an entire advertising industry set to grow by only 1.4%."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MediaPost Publications - Study: Online Video Influences IT Purchases - 11/14/2006
Study: Online Video Influences IT Purchases
by Wendy Davis, Tuesday, Nov 14, 2006 6:00 AM ET

A new study by Universal McCann and KnowledgeStorm suggests emarketers should consider ads in online video, and social networks.

Researchers surveyed over 5,300 business and IT professionals. Nearly all respondents said they viewed online video sites.

63% of respondents said they view online videos at least once a week, another 27% view videos once month.

82% of people share video at least monthly (44% do so once a month, 32% weekly, and 6% daily). A majority said online video had an impact on work-related IT purchase decisions.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In Online Spin Today,
Seana Mulcahy notes:

The latest Future Spending Index from consultants Retail Forward Inc. just came out, predicting that shoppers will increase their spending in October. The Future Spending Index stands at 99.1 in October, up from 92.7 in September. There are some critical factors that seem to be boosting consumer confidence: gas prices finally dropping, the stock market hitting new records and job openings.


52 percent of consumers plan to shop online. These consumers plan to spend about the same as they did last holiday season. Up Market consumers (those with incomes of $75,000+) are predicted to spend 20 percent more online, while Down Market consumers ( Incomes less than $22,500) say they don't shop online.

A holiday shopping forecast by The Performics 50 states that fourth quarter 2006 online sales will eclipse those of last year by 53 percent. This will be about equal to the total sales of both Q1 and Q2 2006, combined. The company also noted that competition for higher-priced, more popular keywords in sponsored search engine advertising has increased significantly.

Monday, October 02, 2006

E-Mail Marketing Getting High Click, Open, and Conversion Relative to Cost

WebSurveyor Corp.'s August survey reveals that web merchants plan to increase e-mail marketing spending efforts. 18.4% expect to grow their opt-in lists by more than 50% within the next year, while another 25.1% will increase their lists by 16% to 50%.

Reported by Mark Brohan in a recent article, he says that 73% of chain retailers, catalogers, virtual merchants and consumer brand manufacturers taking part in the monthly survey on e-mail marketing, spend 5% of their marketing budget or less on e-mail marketing, yet just over half of respondents, 50.6%, report that 6% or more of their sales come from e-mail marketing, with 25% saying the proportion is over 11%.

63.8% of retailers conduct up to three e-mail campaigns each month and another 25.2% conduct between four and eight campaigns, says the report. 62.8% also indicate that they've increased the frequency of e-mail campaigns in the past year.

E-mail marketing consultants consider an open rate of about 20% and a click-through rate of 4% to 5% to be a highly effective e-mail campaign.
- 26.5% of participants in the survey report open rates of 20% or more (11.2% reported 20% to 25% while 15.3% said more than 25%)
- 11.8% report open rates of 16% to 19%
- 14.6% report e-mail open rates of less than 5%
- 6.2% say open rates of 1% or less.

Click-through and Conversion averages are growing:

- 17% report e-mail click-through rates of 16% or more
- 28.9% report click-through rates of 6% to 15%.
- 20.2% of respondents report e-mail sales conversion rates of 1% to 2%
- 26.5% with conversion averages of between 2.1% and 4%
- 14% with conversion rates of between 4.1%
- 10%, and 3.2% with sales conversion averages greater than 10%

Compared to paid search, he says, which can absorb up to 50% of a big retailer's total annual online marketing budget, e-mail marketing remains relatively inexpensive.

- 41.6% of all retailers taking part in the research spend less than 1% of their total annual marketing budgets on e-mail. That compares with
- 31.3 % spend between 1% and 5%
- 13.8% commit 6% to 10%
- 5.6% spend from 11% to 15%
- 3.8% from 16% to 25%
- 4.1% with e-mail budgets that account for 25% of their overall marketing budgets

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Google Removing Top Adsense Ads Based on Searchers Behavior

"A WebmasterWorld thread reports that the top blue AdWords ads have been removed from the Google search results page. But in fact, it seems to be a user by user setting. Some users will see the top blue ads and some users will not. What does it depend on? It seems it is based on your ad clicking behavior."

Bill: Refresh a search a few times and Google will stop displaying ads at the top of the results.

This is good news for SEOs, providing more search results above the fold to researchers in the early buying cycle who don't usually click on ads.
Supplemental Results at Goggle just got way fresher!

Results are now much fresher, and thanks to Rusty Brick I found a cool way to check results.

Supplemental results are stored in a separate index than main results, and different spiders are used to index them. I expect they aren't spidered as regularly and are considered less unique/valuable pages to the searchers than the main index results from the same site. If your key message content is on supplemental pages, non-supplemental pages will dominate in the search results. Basically if your page is in the supplemental index, Google has decided it's content is not unique and there is better information out there. A view Supplemental information link is displayed after all search results and I'm assuming is rarely (.0001%) ever used.

To see all site supplemental results do a search in Google for *** (include space).

Search " ***, envirex" and you'll see all the pages/files in the supplemental index with the word "envirex" on it. You can even add a negative or positive variable example "+.swf".

To see the number of supplemental results rolling out in google data centers, use the main URL (The tool adds the space and ***, Note it doesn't work for sites having more than 1000 pages) automatically using this tool unfortunately It doesn't work with variables.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Industry Benchmark Reveals Site Search Impacts One Third of All Online Sales for Leading Retailers

Coremetrics LIVEmark Index Indicates Site Search Users Purchase 86% More Often and Spend 11% More

"San Mateo, California - April 20, 2005 - On-site search engines are used by consumers in more than one third of all visits that result in a purchase, according to LIVEmark Index data released today by Coremetrics, the leading provider of hosted Web analytics and precision marketing solutions. Coremetrics LIVEmark Index data collected during the second week of April also showed that site search users purchase 86% more often and have an 11% higher average order size than the typical site visitor."

Note: The LIVEmark Index includes over 110 leading web leading web retailers in seven sub-categories: Apparel & Accessories, Specialty Retail, Sports and Outdoor, Home, Garden, General Merchandisers, and Books/Music/Video.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Time of Day Impacts PPC Clickthroughs
September 06, 2006
By The Marketing Experiments Journal

Marketing Experiments examines significant differences in clickthrough rates depending on the time of day.

When one sets the parameters for a particular Google AdWords campaign, it is all too easy to ignore the impact of the time of day at which your ads are shown.

Recently we decided to go through a very large amount of AdWords data to try to determine at which time of day we would get the highest clickthrough rate.

First, here is how we broke down the different times of day. We segmented the day into six segments, or "zones," of four hours each.

We then went through our data to determine, across four different research partners, whether the conversion rates achieved varied significantly according to the time of day.

As you look at this data, keep in mind that we are measuring only clickthrough rates across six different periods of time.
There are other factors to consider before making changes to your campaigns:

  • While conversion rates for one particular campaign may be high early in the day, the volume of traffic may be considerably higher later in the day.
  • Your clickthough rate may also impact your average cost per click, as Google adjusts your costs according to clickthrough rates at different times of day.

In other words, be sure to take all factors into consideration as you refine your campaign.

With regard to clickthrough rates at different times of day, here is what we found out:

There are significant differences in clickthrough rates depending on the time of day.

As mentioned, this is just one element to consider when fine-tuning your campaign. But when you see a change as high as 61.15 percent between different "zones," it is a strong indicator that the time of day at which you show you ads is a factor you need to take seriously.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Buying For Others Changes Key Word Search Criteria
Research Brief

"According to the Q1 Search Trend Report recently released by Performics, a division of DoubleClick, sales growth between Q1 2005 and Q1 2006 markedly outpaced campaign growth, While campaign size and cost each grew nearly 40 percent, year-over-year sales surged more that 70 percent. In fact, the return on investment realized by search advertisers in March was stronger than it had been at any time in the previous 15 months."

"The report found that consumers in Q1 2006 versus Q4 2005 tended to click on more specific keywords rather than generic category terms, which garner higher costs per click. The percentage of keywords priced above $1.00 fell from seven to five percent from the end of Q4 to the end of Q1, while the percentage of total clicks on these keywords dropped more during the same time period.

"Shoppers in the fourth quarter were buying for others... (but) weren't necessarily sure what," said Frankel. "However, in the first quarter, when shoppers were buying for themselves, they had likely already narrowed down the options, and therefore were searching with more specific terms."

Bill - This has a lot of implications for 4th quarter consumer search terms like "present for dad" etc and be a great cheap buy.
Shoppers Check It Out Online, Then Go To The Store

"According to BIGresearch's June Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, when asked how often they research products online before buying them in person or in a store, 87% of nearly 7,500 respondents said they did so occasionally to regularly.

Of those who said they researched products online before buying them in the store:

* 58% made less than $50K per year
* 51% were female
* 59% were between the ages of 25 and 54

In both income groups, the top search engine used for product research was by a large margin, but made a surprising appearance in the top 5 websites used first among those who did their comparative shopping online before buying in the store."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How Podcasts Impact B2B Purchase Decisions
Nice set of stats on b2b podcasting..

"Podcasts are a great way to share your thought leading content which is why I found this report by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann very compelling. They just announced the results of a joint research study on the emerging role of new media, particularly podcasts, on B2B technology purchase decisions. "

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

IP Addresses of Search Engine Spiders
Are you tracking the IP addresses of search engine spiders? You can see a nice list of search engine IP addresses and hostnames here.
Google AdWords Landing Page Quality Scores : SEO

SEO Book thinks that redirects may affect your CPC!

"The brutal part with this Google update is beyond providing these general guidelines they failed to define what qualities they are looking for when they test landing page quality. Some of the things Google might be looking for

* if your AdWords ads redirect
* your account history (are you a large reliable spender that has been spending for years? are you new to a saturated market? do you have a spotty past checkered with 20,000 unrelated keyword uploads? do your ads get a strong CTR?)
* history of competitors with similar keyword selections
* if your landing page links to known affiliate hubs
* if your landing page has redirect on outbound links
* if your landing page has many links to other sites or pages that are also advertising on the same or similar keywords
* if your page has duplicate or limited content (or conversely if it has a huge number of links to external sites on it)
* time on site
* rate which people click the back button after landing on your site
* outbound ad CTR on your landing page (especially easy if you are arbitraging AdWords to AdSense)
* conversion rate if you use Google Checkout, Google Analytics, or the AdWords conversion tracker"

Monday, July 17, 2006

From Online Spin

"While Digg is far from a mega-mainstream Web destination, it has disproportionate influence on search-engine results and blog memes, primarily in the tech and social-media world. Moreover, Digg's tendency to periodically extend beyond its core audience by uncovering and virally launching niche content into mainstream is certainly compelling."

"For example, when Vincent Ferrari submitted to Digg an MP3 recording of his excruciating experience trying to cancel his AOL service with a retention specialist, thousands of people "Dugg" him. This exposed his story and helped catapult it across the Internet, landing on NBC's "Today" show, and getting covered in the New York Times and many other places."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Red Door's director of search marketing reports on how much companies allocate to search, and how much you should, too.

Retailers reveal how they budget overall marketing spend
The latest Internet Retailer Survey shows the following summary for percentage of sales allocated to marketing budgets. While the data refers only to retailers, we think it generalizes across industries as a fairly good overall benchmark guide.
  • 4.1 percent of all companies earmark more than 25 percent
  • 7.7 percent spend less than 1 percent
  • 18 percent spend between 2 percent and 3 percent
  • 19.9 percent between 4 percent and 5 percent
  • 28.1 percent from 6 percent to 10 percent
  • 21.9 percent from 11 percent to 25 percent
  • 46 percent of catalogers allocated 6 to 10 percent of sales to marketing and advertising
Based on retails in the following catagories:
  • 31.8 percent of manufacturers
  • 27.8 percent of virtual merchants
  • 20 percent of chain retailers

Friday, June 09, 2006

Searching For Clicks
From Research Brief

A new report from 360i and SearchIgnite, describes the value of the entire path a searcher takes from the first click through purchase. Data from more than 3.9 million users and 5.1 million clicks during the first quarter of 2006 confirms the fact that the more times a consumer clicks on a marketer’s ad, the more likely that consumer is to convert. In addition, the highest conversion rate (9.30%) resulted when the user’s first click and last click on a marketer’s paid search ad were both brand terms.

Other key findings include:
- When the first click is on a non-brand term and the last click is on a brand term, the conversion rate is almost as high (8.73%). Marketers can leverage this by driving non-brand searchers to brand terms, concludes the report
- 5% of conversions from paid search campaigns occur from consumers who click more than one of the marketer’s ads. Purchasers click an average of 5% more of the marketer’s ads than consumers who don’t complete a transaction
- Consumers who click a marketer’s ads ten times are three times as likely to convert as consumers who click an ad only once. Purchasers are more deeply involved in the process
- Conversions also rise as consumers enter more unique keywords. Consumers entering multiple unique keywords accounted for 8.39% of the sample studied, but they accounted for 19.2 % of transactions

The report cites a Hitwise study that confirms that branded paid search terms convert better than non-branded terms in search engines, and that brand terms account for a high percentage of commercial searches. The study of 30 brands in the travel, retail, and business & finance verticals found that 75 of the top 100 search terms contained brand names, up 17% over February 2005. And SearchIgnite studies on branding found that brand terms generally represent a small percentage of the keywords that are managed in a search engine marketing campaign, yet they usually account for a disproportionate percentage of conversions.
Consumers, on average, clicked a marketer’s ad 1.33 times during the searching process. For the consumers who went on to make a purchase, they clicked a marketer’s ad 1.53 times on average – an increase of 15% compared to the overall population of consumers. Put another way, consumers who convert to buyers are more likely to spend added time searching and familiarizing themselves with a marketer’s brand, website, and offerings.

A number of factors that lead to increased conversions. concludes the report, are:
- The frequency at which a searcher clicks your paid search ads impacts the conversion rate. Conversion rates steadily rise as searchers click on more ads.
- The more ways a searcher interacts with your site, the higher the probability of conversion. For instance, searchers who clicked on two unique keyword ads are more than two times more likely to purchase than searchers with only one keyword exposure.
- For searchers who begin their search process on a non-brand term and then switch to a brand term, conversion rates are seven times higher than when there are only non-brand terms.

Finally, for users who start with a brand term and end with a non-brand term, says the report, the conversion rate is four times higher than for the users whose start-click and end-click is a non-brand term. And, for those searchers who click a marketer’s ads more than once, the conversion rate climbs significantly. As an extreme example, consumers who click a marketer’s ads ten times are three times as likely to convert as users who click an ad just once.

Friday, June 02, 2006

eMarketer looks at online advertising in Japan, one of the world's most "connected" markets.

As in many countries with an experienced online population, and borne out by recent data from Video Research Ltd., internet usage in Japan is higher than usage of all other types of media besides television.

New IAB Research Shows 12% Of Web Users Reject Cookies

New research commissioned by the IAB and presented at its board meeting this week shows that as many as 12 percent of consumers don't accept third-party cookies--that is, the cookies set by ad servers and analytics companies that track the Web sites that consumers visit and the ads they view, among other data.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Study: Goodbye Purchase Funnel, Hello 'Tumbler'› › › ClickZ News
By Enid Burns May 11, 2006

New research from Yahoo and OMD finds a cultural shift in how consumers use technology to make purchasing decisions. A study released today called the "Long and Winding Road: The Route to the Cash Register" identifies four paths, or product research cycles, consumers follow as they proceed to purchases.

The study breaks purchase paths into four categories: quick paths, winding paths, long paths and long and winding paths. Quick paths are characterized by little research and are used for impulse buys or routine consumer packaged goods purchases. A winding path indicates cross-channel comparison shopping, such as for retail goods. The long path often takes place in just one channel, but is lengthy because the consumer is waiting for an event such as a price drop or the availability of a new model.

The most involved path, and the one where marketers have the most room to convert in-market consumers, is called the long and winding path. Shoppers' paths usually fall into this category when they're seeking big-ticket items like automobiles and financial services. "Consumers of these products are the hungriest for information," the study said.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Google, Yahoo Grow Search Share
GOOGLE AND YAHOO ARE INCREASING their market share of search, while MSN now lags even further behind, according to new data by Nielsen//NetRatings. Overall, search users conducted 5.9 billion searches last month, up 36 percent from March of 2005, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. But the two largest search engines--Google and Yahoo-saw even higher growth. Google searches increased 41 percent, from 2.1 billion in March 2005 to 2.9 billion last month; Yahoo searches grew 47 percent, to 1.3 billion last month from 907.8 million one year ago. MSN, meanwhile, grew by just 9 percent year-over-year, 5rom 592.2 million to 643.8 million.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Your Prospects Increasingly Dislike Registration Forms

"Typical data: ThomasNet's Industrial Purchasing Barometer study, released in August, revealed "industrial buyers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of privacy they are experiencing online." Although 90% of industrial buyers shop online, they are increasing demanding "anonymity when they search for products online, and in many cases, that desire for anonymity is not being respected." ThomasNet noted,
77% of respondents have a "Don't call us, we'll call you" philosophy online.
56% of respondents do not want vendors to contact them until they have made the initial contact.

81% of respondents said they would not return, or would be unlikely to return, to a Web site that reveals their identities to suppliers.
21% of respondents do not want to be contacted at all. "

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One In Five Say Web Ads Most Effective

MORE THAN ONE IN FIVE U.S. adults, or 22 percent, say the Internet is the most effective way to grab their attention about a product or service, according to a report released Wednesday by Burst Media.

More Than Half Say The Internet is Their Primary Source of Product Information.

The study also found that the Web far outpaces television as a primary source for information about products and services, with 57 percent of respondents saying that the Net is where they turn first to research products they might purchase.

The most striking difference in use of the Internet for product research occurs between income segments. Use of the Internet to gather product information rises dramatically as household income (HHI) increases – going from one-half (50.6%) of respondents reporting HHI less than $35,000 to fully two-thirds (69.2%) of respondents reporting HHI of $75,000 or more. (Chart 1)
Local Web Spending Predicted To Reach $5.8 Billion

LOCAL ONLINE AD SPENDING SURGED to $4.8 billion last year, a 78 percent increase from 2004's $2.7 billion, according to a new report by Borrell Associates. The report further predicts that online ad spending this year will climb 21 percent to reach $5.8 billion.
"Last year's growth spurt was reminiscent of that seen at the height of the dot-com frenzy in 1999-2000, when many local media companies had just finished building out their Web sites and began selling online advertising in earnest," stated the report, "What Local Web Sites Earn: 2006 Survey."

For the study, Borrell examined revenues at 2,266 local media properties, including 696 daily newspapers, 148 weeklies, 1,154 radio stations, 437 TV stations, and 24 independent local sites. Borrell defined "local online advertising" as "advertising placed by locally based businesses for locally focused online messages."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Organic CEO: Brand Marketers Turn To Paid Search

MARKETERS USUALLY SPEND BETWEEN 20 and 30 percent of their online advertising budgets on search, Mark Kingdon, CEO of digital shop Organic, said Monday.
"Search continues to be an important part of the digital marketing mix for our clients," Kingdon told analysts and reporters on a conference call Monday. He added that search efforts often are integrated into broader online campaigns.
In addition to purchasing keywords on Google and Yahoo, marketers also are buying pay-per-click ads on "secondary" and "niche" search engines, like, Kanoodle and LookSmart, Kingdon said.

Overall, search marketing accounted for about 40 percent of all online ad dollars in the first half of last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. But many of the marketers purchasing keywords are thought to be small players who don't use large digital agencies such as Organic, whose client roster includes car company DaimlerChrysler, the telecom Sprint and department store Macy's.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fathom Follows Keyword Price Drop

For 19 months, online research company Fathom Online has been tracking keyword prices in several vertical industries to determine overall keyword price trends. The resulting Q1 2006 Keyword Price Index (KPI) results reveal that the average keyword bid price has dropped about 3% from $1.43 to $1.39 per keyword since Q4 2005.

This year, Fathom has increased the number of keyword values they track from 4,000 to more than 20,000 in categories like automotive, computers, electronics, finance, telecom, and travel. They believe that the KPI is a good monitor for the overall health of the search marketing industry. Fathom says the Q1 price drop was expected, since keyword prices are seasonal.

Despite the drop, Fathom reports that the average keyword price has actually increased overall by 1.4% since 2004. Even though it fluctuates, the average keyword bid price has settled into a predictable cycle. “Search marketing is growing at a robust 25 percent this year, and price stability helps that growth,” said Matt McMahon, Fathom’s VP of Marketing in a statement. “As advertisers see a more predictable keyword bidding environment, confidence in the channel grows and advertisers continue to invest further in search marketing

Compelling ROI Proves Interactive as a Powerful Medium to Drive Online and Offline Sales

Chicago, IL (March 13, 2006) – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and comScore Networks, Inc. today announced results of a new study showing a positive return on investment (ROI) and significant conversions both online and offline for companies that participate in online local, directory and classified advertising. The research also shows that these advertising vehicles have a considerable impact on brand image. The IAB Classifieds, Directories and Local Search Committee commissioned comScore to conduct this “Return on Investment in Online Local and Classifieds Advertising” project which studies the sales and brand impact of text based listings for categories including: Automotive, Careers, Construction and Contractors, Financial Services, Hospitality, Professional Services, Real Estate and Retail.

The research, sponsored by,, Fathom Online, Verizon, and Volkswagen North America will be presented for the first time at the IAB Leadership Forum: Performance Marketing Optimization in Chicago on March 13, 2006.

> Research Brief Recap

Bill: As more and more vertial results creap into SERPs (ex. Local), it's becomming more and important to have a local search strategy to make the fold.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Study demonstrates importance of attaining top search results

Watertown, Mass.—A new study shows that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page and 90% of users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. The figures were 48% and 81%, respectively, in 2002. The study, “The iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study,” was conducted by JupiterResearch and sponsored by iProspect, a search engine marketing firm. According to the study, 36% of search engine users believe that the companies with Web sites listed at the top of the search results are the top brands in the field. In 2002, the figure was 33%. The survey also revealed that 41% of search engine users who continue their search when they don’t find what they were looking for will change engines or change their search term if they fail to find particular results on the first page of search results. Around 82% of search engine users relaunch an unsuccessful search using the same search engine they used for their initial search, but add more keywords to refine the subsequent search. That figure was 68% in 2002. The latest survey was distributed in January to online consumers randomly chosen by Ipsos-Insight, a market research firm. A total of 2,369 individuals responded to the study.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yahoo! Tests New Search-Engine Ad Model -

"RBC analyst Jordan Rohan reports that Yahoo! has released a test version of its new search monetization in Scandinavia and will expand the rollout to the U.K. in July.

Codenamed "Project Panama," Yahoo's new model will be similar to that of Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ), which ranks search-engine ads by both the amount advertisers pay for keywords and the relevance of the ad. The Google-like algorithm should result in higher click-through rates than its older model that ranked ads only by the amount paid for keywords.

Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people ) has notified certain high-volume search buyers of the upcoming changes to its sponsored search monetization algorithm and a widespread announcement should be made in the coming weeks, possibly at the AdTech expo."

A full "Project Panama" rollout in the United States and Japan will likely happen in late 2006 or early 2007.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Google local search shows image ads on maps

"Google has now launched a widely expected feature for local businesses who want to target consumers by their geographic location, by letting them place photos and logos inside balloons that pop up on Google Maps exactly where their business is located. The new Local Business Ad system lets advertisers buy keyword phrases that include zip codes or other location information. Bookseller Barnes & Noble and retailer Ralph Lauren have been testing the product over the last several weeks. Users will also notice that certain searches on Google Local will display icons representing different types of businesses, such as a coffee cup for a café, a shopping bag for an apparel store, or a grocery cart for a supermarket. When the user clicks on the icon, a bubble pops up containing more information about the merchant, including a logo or a store photo and a link to their Web site. Local Business Ads operates in concert with AdWords, so advertisers still bid on keywords which they pay for on a per click basis. The terms they bid for place them on Google Local and Maps as well as in search and contextual results. Analysts like the new local feature and say the next step will be enhanced interactivity, via chat and video. For now, this is a good move forward for Google. The search giant definitely needed something real local businesses could sink their teeth into, and with more improvement in the local listings department, usage will continue to increase, drawing more advertisers from a deeper pool. "
comScore Study Confirms the Importance of Search in Influencing Offline Buying

"New Study from comScore Networks Sponsored by Google Reveals 63 Percent of Search-Related Purchases Occur in Offline Retail Stores

RESTON, VA, March 21, 2006 - comScore Networks today released results from a new research study that confirms the importance of search in influencing offline buying. The results show that 25 percent of searchers purchased an item directly related to their query, and that of those buyers, 37 percent completed their purchase online. An even greater 63 percent completed a purchase offline following their search activity."
The Cost of Organic Search
By Wayne Lieb

The search marketing director at Acceleration dispels the myth that natural search is free and explains how to measure its value.

The biggest misconception that surrounds organic (or natural) search engine marketing (SEM) is that it is free. Although you don't pay per click, there is a real cost associated with building organic traffic, and you need to know what this cost is to measure the effect your SEM efforts are having on your marketing return on investment (ROI).

How much is this cost? According to SEMPO, search engine marketers spent $5.75 billion on SEM in 2005. Of this, 11 percent went to organic search, 83 percent to paid search, and six percent to paid inclusion and search engine marketing technologies."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Google and Verizon Super Page Deal
"ClickZ reports that Google has landed a dead with Verizon to provide some backfill sponsored results for Google will be using its AdWords PPC engine to help Verizon better monetize their online Yellow Pages engines, The deal will allow Verizon to increase their inventory of ads. SuperPages will be managing the accounts and they will buy the Google advertising on their behalf."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

2006 Online Marketing Plans

"eMarketer reports that many marketers plan to update their websites, as well as increase the amount of sponsored links and online ads.

It looks like Internet users will be surfing much-improved websites in 2006. According to data gathered by MarketingSherpa at ad:tech, in late 2005, 39 percent of U.S. marketers plan substantial increases in their spending on 'website revamps or tweaks.' Also likely, according the MarketingSherpa data, are more sponsored links alongside search results and a significant increase in online ads."

Bill: Nice Chart.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Adotas Report: Clicks Twice as Likely with Contextual Ads

"According to a report by marketing research company Synovate for Vendare Media's ad network Traffic Marketplace, consumers are more than twice as likely to click on an ad if it's contextual. Three out of five participants responded to contextual ads as opposed to ads targeted by demographic, geography, or behavior. When asked what sort of ad they were likely to respond to, 62% cited ads that were - a subject of particular interest to you.

Just 28% said they would respond to demographically targeted ads, 24% said they would respond to geographic ads, and only 18% said they would respond to ads based on their web activity (behavioral). While findings for non-contextual ad targeting methods were low, the study also notes that 1/3 of respondents said they either weren't sure about what they would respond to, or had no opinion on the subject."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

2006 Best Day to Send: 2005 Response Rate Study
2005 Response Rate Study

In its study of some 4,000 organizations, 230,000 email campaigns, and 2.7 billion (!) email messages last year, ExactTarget found an inverse relationship between list size and email responsiveness: Open and click-through rates both tend to decrease as list size increases.Morgan Stewart, who authored the study for the Indianapolis-based company, sees good reason for companies to segment their audiences: "The smaller the targeted audience, the better organizations can aim their message directly to their subscribers in their email communications."
Also according to the study ...
-B2B emails had higher open and click-through rates than B2C
-Lists with 100,000 or more names had an average open rate of 18.2% and click-though of 3.6%
-Lists with 101-1,000 names had an open rate of 42.1% and click-through rate of 6.8%
-For lists of 1,001-10,000, the rates were 33.2% and 5.1%; for lists of 10,001-100,000, the rates were 25.8% and 4.5%.

The downward trend in open rates by list size stabilizes at between 15-20% average at 400,000 to 500,000 subscribers. At that point, adding incremental names does not have an increased negative affect on open rates.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Searchers Still Like to Buy Offline

"A new study says that though a majority of shoppers use the internet to research products, nearly half still prefer to make their purchases through bricks and mortar retailers.
The Post-Holiday Online Shopping Study, sponsored by iProspect and conducted by Jupiter Research, found that 47% of Internet users who reported researching products online during the 2005 holiday season bought those products offline at a physical store, by phone or through some other offline channel.

It's not that shoppers are uncomfortable using the internet. Fully 63% of survey respondents said that they researched products at online merchant sites, and 62% of Internet shoppers used general search engines (such as Google and Yahoo!) when researching products online. "

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Performics Reveals Increase in PPC CLicks and Cost

"Performics, the search marketing division of online advertising company DoubleClick, reports that the number of search marketing clicks in Q4 2005 grew 107% over the previous year, and the average cost of keywords rose 114%. "Keyword and overall campaign growth remain very strong. Search portfolios are expanding as marketers seek to connect with consumers during all stages of the buying cycle, and therefore, results are being measured beyond immediate ROI alone," said Stuart Larkins, Performics vice president of search in a statement."


Local directory site is currently testing a new geographical targeting option for advertisers. The feature, dubbed "geo-destination targeting," combines IP-based targeting--a very common technique that allows advertisers to target ads based on the location of a user.

Bill - Wouldn't it be cool to do this during a major Tradeshow?
Consumers Report Drop In Spam
"FIFTY-EIGHT PERCENT OF CONSUMERS FEEL that the e-mail marketing they receive is usually targeted to their needs and interests--up from 53 percent in 2005, according to a study released Tuesday by e-mail services firm Epsilon Interactive.
The study, based on a January survey of 1005 respondents, also found that spam appears to be waning. Fifty-six percent of consumers reported receiving less spam now than last year. "
"Although spam is on the decline, the survey states, false positives on ISPs' spam filters remain relatively steady. Thirty-one percent of consumers report that e-mail they have opted-in to receive has ended up in their junk mail folder--down from 32 percent last year--and 55 percent of users regularly check their junk mail folders for legitimate marketing messages, up from 52 percent last year. "
The study also noted that Yahoo Mail this year has overtaken AOL as the most widely used e-mail service among those surveyed, with Yahoo claiming 23 percent of respondents, compared to AOL's 15 percent. Last year, 19 percent of respondents used Yahoo, while 20 percent used AOL. Microsoft's Hotmail remains in third place, with a 12 percent share--unchanged from a year ago--while Gmail went from 1 percent in 2005 to 5 percent in 2006. "

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Test Big, Test Often
"'Testing big' means testing something radically different. Many times when I have tested small, I ended up with results that were dead even, statistically insignificant or contradictory when retested. This happened both when we tried to arrive at the optimal number of products for an e-mail (Is 6 better than 8? Is 9 better than 7?), and when we tested different subheads for product categories. Every best-day-to-mail and color test I've done was 'too small' as well.
A big test yielded a big difference in results. We tested two versions of an e-mail, one leading with the advertising message and the other leading with the consumer benefit. Of course the consumer benefit approach won, but what was surprising was the magnitude of the win: it beat the advertising approach by 140 percent! "
Center for Media Research
Pick Influential Search Engine By Category, But Yahoo! Safe Bet
Findings from BIGresearch's latest Simultaneous Media Survey show that Yahoo! is the overall #1 search engine choice for most influential on purchase decisions and Google is number 4. Media influence and/or engagement are hot topics in today's ROI driven ad world concludes the report.
Joe Pilotta, VP of Research at BIGresearch. Says 'When you look at the impact of Internet Advertising on specific purchase decisions and not just click throughs, the impact of internet advertising is a different story,' For example, the influence on electronics purchases showed Google #1 followed by Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask Jeeves.
Influence of Internet Advertising on Purchase Decisions (Ranked by Search Engine Preference)
Electronics - Apparel/Clothing- Car/Truck - Grocery
1. Google 1. Yahoo! 1. MSN 1. AOL
2. Yahoo! 2. AOL 2. Yahoo! 2. Yahoo!
3. MSN 3. MSN 3. Google 3. Ask Jeeves
4. AOL 4. Google 4. Ask Jeeves 4. MSN
5. Ask Jeeves 5. Ask Jeeves 5. AOL 5. Google
Source: BIGresearch, February 2006

'If we tally the ranking of search engines' influence on category purchase decisions...Yahoo! (is) number 1 with a score of 13, with 1st or 2nd place finishes in every category, MSN number 2 at 21, AOL number 3 at 23, Google number 4 at 26 and Ask Jeeves number 5 at 32...' said Pilotta.
As Pilotta points out, share, as measured by Nielsen//Netratings, may not be the precursor of the important influence on purchase. "
Display Ads Balloon 12%

"ONLINE MARKETERS SERVED MORE THAN 138 billion display ads last month, marking a 12 percent increase from December, according to new data from Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance.
Financial services advertisers accounted for the most impressions by far--22 percent last month, up slightly from 21 percent in January 2005. Telecoms purchased 19 percent of all online ads, more than double last year's 8 percent. Retail goods and services marketers accounted for 16 percent of impressions, compared to 15 percent last year.
Where did marketers spend their online ad dollars? E-mail sites were a favorite choice, garnering 35.1 percent of impressions--up from both last year's 20.2 percent and last month's 32.1 percent. The bulk of those ads were on Yahoo and MSN; Yahoo Mail drew 22.3 percent of all impressions, while MSN Hotmail garnered 9.6 percent. "

Monday, February 20, 2006

E-Commerce Sales Increase 25%

"E-COMMERCE SALES ACCOUNTED FOR 2.4 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter, up from 2.3 percent the previous quarter, according to new figures released Friday by the Department of Commerce. Total fourth quarter e-commerce revenues came to a seasonally adjusted $22.94 billion. For all of 2005, e-commerce sales rose by 24.6 percent. "

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Auto Industry Revs Up Online Advertising
Automotive advertisers are following the trends and making the switch to online advertising at the expense of other media, according to a new eMarketer report on automotive online marketing. According to the study, the top ten automotive advertisers spent only 2.5% of their total ad spending from January to November 2005 online. The eMarketer report estimates that auto companies will spend $2.7 billion on online advertising in 2007 compared to the $1.4 billion spent in 2005. Furthermore, the auto industry will capture 15 percent of U.S. online advertising spending by 2007 compared with 11 percent in 2005.

In today's press release, Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new Automotive Online: Gearing Up for Greater Spending report said, "The industry's foot is definitely coming off the brakes and onto the accelerator this year Automotive advertisers are gearing up for an online advertising surge, and it's going to come at the expense of other media. Phillips also commented, The automotive industry is the largest advertiser in the world. In the US alone, the industry spent more than $17 billion in the first 11 months of 2005. But, despite the fact that almost 70% of consumers use the Web at some point in their automotive purchases, the industry has been slow to commit to online advertising and promotion.

Tactics mentioned in the report include: Audi and Volvo sponsoring National Public Radio podcasts; Cadillac's five-second film contest bumping site traffic 35%, according to Promo magazine; Chrysler targeting "Road Trip" advergames to moms interested in its Town & Country minivan; ..."
Taking a Bite Out of Google's Third Party Cookies

In addition to testing Click-To-Call ads for AdWords, Google is quietly testing an addition to AdSense: 3rd party cookies for tracking image ads. Last week, some AdWords publishers received an email from the AdSense team advising them of the test.
Part of the letter reads:
"To track the performance of a campaign, 3rd parties ad-servers may place a cookie on users' computers to capture standard web traffic information such as time, date, IP address and browser information."
It's something that has been lacking from Google's roundup of AdSense services, and it will allow advertisers to run more individualized and targeted campaigns, opening the door to displaying ads on an individual site by keyword or subject. (Incidentally this may also result in increased AdSense checks for publishers.)"

Friday, February 10, 2006

SEO Accounts for Only 11% of SEM Spending

"SEMPO recently published a study which shows that a only 11% of all search engine marketing advertising is spent on search engine optimization, with the vast majority, a full 83%, is spent on pay-per-click advertising. "

"While four out of five respondents to the study said they are engaging in organic SEO, the big money still goes to PPC. This means that either organic SEO is considerably less expensive than it should be, or advertisers are more comfortable with sponsored advertising which they can often manage themselves with little outside help and ROI can be tracked more easily and instantly. "
Online Advertising Reaches New Heights in China

"The Shanghai Daily reports today that spending in online advertising has surpassed the magazine market in China over the past year. The online market yielded 3.19 billion yuan (about $396 million), far surpassing the 1.8 billion yuan from magazines, and closing in on broadcast advertising, which yielded 3.4 billion yuan. The Shanghai Daily points to recent studies conducted by iResearch, which predict that online advertising will surpass broadcasting in 2006 to become China"s most dominant media advertising outlet.
China's online advertising market is led by real estate, information technology products and Internet service industries, and its top advertisers for 2005 were Samsung, China Mobile, and Eachnet (eBay China). Much like current trends in the U.S., search engine revenue from sites like Google and Baidu is encroaching upon the territory of web portals such as Sina and Sohu.
In total, online ad revenue in China has grown from 0.5% of all media spending in 2001 to 2.3% in 2005. By comparison, online advertising in the West accounts for 5% of all media spending. "
Nielsen//NetRatings: Searches Up 55% - 02/10/2006

"THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SEARCHES in the U.S. conducted across approximately 60 search engines grew 55 percent year-over-year to nearly 5.1 billion searches in December 2005, according to numbers released by Nielsen//NetRatings on Thursday. There were 3.3 billion searches conducted via search engines in December 2004. Notably, while the number of searches conducted online swelled, the number of people connecting to the Internet rose a mere three percent to 207 million people in the United States. Google accounted for 49 percent of all searches in December, up from 43 percent the year prior. Yahoo Search and MSN Search experienced slight declines in their search share points."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Super Bowl Search Marketing Scorecard

By Chris Sherman, Associate Editor
February 8, 2006

While much attention was focused on the television ads aired during the super bowl, the real winners were those firms who combined traditional media with savvy search marketing campaigns.

Yahoo reports that searches on the phrase 'Super Bowl XL Commercials' increased by roughly 800% in the day after the game was played. The phrase was one of the top 10 most searched upon terms on Yahoo, and the company said that advertisers including Cadillac, Honda and Dove all bid on the phrase and took advantage of the resulting increased search traffic.

Other popular search terms that had traffic spikes included 'Mick Jagger' and 'Tim Hasselbeck,' quarterback of the New York Giants and brother of Seattle quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck. The Yahoo Buzz Log had two posts analyzing Super Bowl related searches�one prior to the game on Saturday February 4th, and another post-game on Monday February 6.

Other game-related search phrases that saw increases included 'Appetizer Recipes' (+336%), 'Chicken Wings' (+97%) and 'Salsa Recipes' (+76%).

Searches on Yahoo for 'Cadillac Escalade' jumped over 75% after the Super Bowl. Cadillac ran a TV ad during the game and also made sure its bids for the search terms were high enough to get its paid listing to appear at the top of Yahoo's sponsored search results. "

Bill: Amasing how TV trnsfers to search! I wounder if we can track hits to our siemens website from TV ads?
IAB, ABCE Announce Global Spiders & Bots Filtering List

"To help ensure accurate online advertising impression counts during audit processes, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and ABC Electronic (ABCE) today announced the launch of an expanded global Spiders & Bots List. The new list, for the first time, combines IAB's advertising-related spiders and bots Ad List with ABCE's Content Traffic List related to robotic site traffic, to help determine the impact that non-human activity may have on ad serving."

Bill: The IAB list costs $3500 but here's a great bot list as receint as Feburary 2006.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Visits Soar At Online News Sites

"ONLINE NEWSPAPERS DREW AN AVERAGE 53.6 million visitors a month during the fourth quarter--up 30 percent from the previous year's 41.1 million, according to a new report released Thursday by the Newspaper Association of America.

Visitors to newspapers' Web sites also remain longer now than in the past. In the fourth quarter, users visited an average of 42 minutes a month--up 16 percent from 37 minutes in the fourth quarter of 2004. Nielsen//NetRatings compiled the data for the NAA. "

"As online readership increased, ad expenditures also trended up last year. By the third quarter, online newspapers ads reached almost $519 million, marking a 27 percent increase from the third quarter of 2004. Overall ad expenditures totaled $11.96 billion, representing just a 2.4 percent increase from 2004. "

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Owning the Desktop: The Most Expensive Real Estate Online

"The Holy Grail of branding is to become so important to your customer that they want to have immediate access to your site and services right from their desktop. What could possibly be better for a marketer than to have a direct access icon sitting right in front of the family photo background with little Billy and the ever-so-slightly inebriated Uncle Bob? But motivating that consumer to install any kind of direct connection is extremely difficult."

" – the Easy red button; this is an excellent example of a B2C application that is relevant, useful and actually does what it says, making office supply purchases quick and easy. It’s beautifully designed and very well executed. EASY BUTTON

• – Southwest Airlines Ding! brings instant updates on user-generated inquiries to the desktop. While they have not done a particularly aggressive job of marketing it, Ding! is another strong example of useful functionality that consumers appreciate.
New Study Reports that Search Sites Provides Twice the Conversion Rate When Compared With Other Acquisition Sources

"The Dow Jones story: Search Sites Better At Getting Shoppers To Buy: Study, reports on new research from WebSideStory that shows search engines (both paid and organic listings) provide more than twice the conversion rates than other forms of Internet advertising and marketing.

However, direct navigation offered the highest conversion rate. The sites used in the study cover five product categories.

From the article:

The study defines conversion rate as the percentage of visitors to a site who view an ad or clicking on a search result and purchase a product or service.


Search Sites had a conversion rate of 2.3%, meaning that for every 100 consumers clicking on a search result or advertisement, 2.3 people made a purchase.

Other Forms of Internet Marketing

Banner ads, affiliate marketing links, comparison shopping search sites* and other online marketing efforts had a conversion rate of 0.96%.

* Note, that shopping engines are not considered in the main search category.

Search Bypass: Direct Navigation/Bookmarks
Direct to a company's web site (including via a bookmark) offered a conversion"
Lack of Search Marketing During Christmas Season Hurt FTD's Bottom Line, Head of Marketing Replaced

"From the statement (full text here): The consumer business's order growth for the 2005 Christmas season was below expectations [because of] our decision not to pursue high-cost order volume associated with online search,' FTD president/CEO Michael J. Soenen said in a statement. 'In anticipation of continued competitiveness in the online search environment and to better manage the consumer segment business going forward, we have made management changes within this segment including the replacement of our head of marketing.'"

Bill: Ouch!
Marketers Find Google Ads Slightly More Effective Than Yahoo & Well Above MSN

"Advertisers Say Search Ads On Google Better Than Yahoo, MSN from MediaPost reports on an Outsell survey of 1,200 advertisers last November that found 71 percent found search ads on Google were effective, compared to 62 percent on Yahoo and 49 percent on MSN. But those most likely to find Google as 'extremely' effective had slightly smaller average budgets than Yahoo and MSN spenders."

Full Story

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Piper Jaffray: Online Ad Market To Surge More Than 30%

"In addition to increased demand for online ad inventory, the repor noted an increase in demand for Web analytics and development services. 'A number of agencies suggested that the demand for increased Web development began about a year ago, and we are at the start of a new Web development cycle,' Rashtchy wrote, citing the desire for increased conversion rates on retail sites and the desire for more interactivity now that broadband penetration has increased as major causes for the heightened interest."

Monday, January 23, 2006

MediaPost Publications - Online Spending Up 33% In '06 - 01/23/2006
"ONLINE CONSUMER SPENDING EXCLUDING TRAVEL for the first three weeks in January came to $5.5 billion--up 33 percent from $4.1 billion last year at this time, according to new data from comScore Networks. Travel spending came to $3.5 billion for the first three weeks of the year, marking an 8 percent increase from 2005. "

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Internet News Article
Internet users judge Web sites in less than a blink

"In just a brief one-twentieth of a second -- less than half the time it takes to blink -- people make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with an Internet site."

"In the study, researchers discovered that people could rate the visual appeal of sites after seeing them for just one-twentieth of a second. These judgments were not random, the researchers found -- sites that were flashed up twice were given similar ratings both times.

They also matched the responses given by subjects who were shown the sites for longer."

Bill - Sorry but no insight as to how to design a page.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

When does less revelant become more read?

Check this out. Ads placed in non-catagory locations get more read than the catagory ads?

TACODA to Launch Landmark Research Study on
Behavioral vs. Contextual Ad Placement -pdf

"TACODA’s partner, Next Century Media, has conducted research for new media and traditional media for over 70 of the top 100 advertisers. TACODA and Next Century Media have begun a four-pronged research effort that will span over more than a year, to understand how it is possible for BT to outperform CT on engagement metrics even leaving cost aside.

"The accumulation of cases is too large to be ignored," says Bill Harvey, CEO of Next Century Media, "and is one of the most surprising set of findings I’ve seen in a couple of decades. How could an ad for a product engage its target audience better in a neutral editorial environment than in an environment that is all about that product category? We studied the data and came up with two hypotheses so far. One we call ‘Clamor’: perhaps the user’s eyes sometimes avoid the ads for cars, for example, in a car-related site, because there are just so many of them clamoring for the user’s attention. To investigate this further we have already begun an eye tracking study being conducted by The PreTesting Company, the leading research company in the use of eye tracking.

"The other hypothesis," continues Mr. Harvey, "so far we call ‘The Unexpected’: perhaps users who are known from their web behavior to be targets for a specific product are surprised when they see an ad for that product on a site where they wouldn’t expect to see it. We are planning to conduct a brainwave experiment to check out the Unexpected hypothesis."
"In addition we are conducting a large series of controlled campaign experiments measuring click-through, a wide range of branding communications metrics, and ROI," concludes Mr. Morgan. "And we are asking the industry to provide cases, whether anonymous or not, that can shed light on this phenomenon. The findings of this program will be shared with the industry and will have important implications for how to use contextual targeting and behavioral targeting to their greatest advantage, so as to maximize ROI for the advertiser and add to the ongoing growth of the Internet as a leading edge advertising and marketing medium."
End Quote"

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sites Lose Shoppers With Required Registration

About one in three holiday shoppers abandoned a website without making a purchase if the sites required registration, according to Questus study. The report, was based on a survey of 425 U.S. Web users. It also noted that one-quarter of shoppers exited sites if it was difficult to use, while about one in five left if a site didn't seem trustworthy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Search Marketers Look to Efficiency in 2006

"Advertisers may get a brief respite from price increases, if current trends persist. Fathom Online's most recent Keyword Price Index (KPI) showed that keyword prices stayed flat overall, ending December at $1.43, which was $0.03 lower than in November, and just $0.01 lower than September's KPI of $1.44. Keyword prices continued to rise in highly competitive categories like automotive, up 10 percent month-to-month; consumer retail, up 13 percent in December, and telecom wireless, up 15 percent month-to-month. Those increases were offset by 10 percent drops in finance and mortgage keywords.

Most advertisers said they plan to use to cope with rising keyword prices by improving a site's efficiency at converting, as well as boosting the efficiency of bid management programs. Only 21 percent of respondents said they could not justify any more spending based on their current ROI, while 19 percent said they could add 10 percent to their budget. Eighteen percent of respondents said they could add 20 percent more, and 17 percent said they could up their budget 30 percent more. "

Bill: I have seen our avg. cost per click increase as high as 22% in the last month.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wired 14.01: How Click Fraud Could Swallow the Internet

"Pay-per-click advertising is big, big, big business. So are bogus hits on Internet ads. It's search giants against scam artists in an arms race that could crash the entire online economy."

Nothing new here, but this is a great article for someone looking to understand the issues surrounding click fraud, and how/why it is a real concern.