Best Traffic Source – Digg, Del.icio.us, or StumbleUpon?

The New York Times ran a piece on the social networking site StumbleUpon yesterday. StumbleUpon has 3.5 million registered users. They start with the idea that StumbleUpon gives people recommended web sites based on their interests (sites they give a “thumbs up” to) and history of previously stumbled sites. They want to help you discover new sites that you will probably like.

According to Quantcast and the data I ran Alexa, traffic from StumbleUpon still lags behind Digg. However, in my experience it’s easier and quicker unless you get promoted to the home page or rank highly on the site. I wonder how the model skews these results.

Quantcast chart comparing unique visitors between del.icio.us, digg, and StumbleUpon.
Quantcast Chart - Digg, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon

ReachLocal Raises $55.2m in Funding

By Vinny Lingham

imageReachLocal announced today that they have received a further round of  funding by Rho Ventures, in conjunction with their original investors. The latest round of funding is $55.2m–which values the company at $305m.

ReachLocal’s target market are Small & Medium enterprises, and they have built a platform that allows smaller companies to easily market themselves.

I’ve just watched the ReachLocal video, and it seems that their real value proposition is that they’ve integrated online and offline touch points (points of contact), and can track and report on this for small & medium businesses, which in most cases do not have high hurdles of integration.

This is particularly valuable, as many companies do not factor in the value of offline conversion, related to search engine marketing–those that do, are able to price their keywords far more competitively.

Given the size of the SME marketplace, ReachLocal’s valuation may not be as astronomical as many would think, albeit very high for a traditional SEM firm.

About Vinny Lingham

Vinny is the CEO of Synthasite, a Web 2.0 publishing platform, that aims to revolutionize web publishing.  Synthasite launches on November 5th into Beta.

Are Newspapers Squandering Yahoo Ad Opportunities?

By Roderick Ioerger

image The newspaper industry has been feeling a lot of pressure for some time now to reverse the industry trend and restore revenue growth. In November of 2006 Yahoo and a consortium of seven newspaper companies came to an agreement opening up 176 different newspapers to one of the world largest online communities.

Yahoo’s HotJobs service was the key piece of the revenue puzzle, allowing the newspapers to take advantage of the technology platform that Yahoo had already created by driving sales of the HotJobs service for hundreds if not thousands of local businesses in each market. The other element and maybe the more important one long term for the newspapers is the use of Yahoo’s technology to be able to sell advertising across the newspapers entire web site.

Pilgrim’s Picks for October 9 – Vegas Edition

After a much delayed flight, I finally made it to Las Vegas last night. After a restful night’s sleep at the Rio, I’m ready for the WebTrends Engage conference.

Still, even a comfortable bed couldn’t stop me from rising at 6am to bring you the latest marketing buzz.

Twitter Adding Ads to Your Tweets?

Lots of buzz this morning surrounding a curious message that appeared at the bottom of Charlie O’Donnell’s Twitter conversation.

twitter-ads

Could it be that Twitter is testing users’ reactions to adding small text messages to their Twitter conversations? It certainly looks that way.

Interestingly, the message didn’t appear on the web version of the conversation, only the mobile version. That might suggest the ads could at some point rely on your location to send you geo-targeted, relevant ads. Tell your Twitter followers that you’re heading out to lunch in Raleigh, and the Twitter tip might suggest a restaurant.

YouTube Videos Join Google AdSense

Last week we reported the testing of AdSense ads with YouTube content. Today, Google officially launches its new YouTube “video units”, allowing web content owners to display video content complete with AdSense.

Here’s how it works…

Simply embed a snippet of code and have relevant YouTube partner content streamed to your site. You can choose categories of video to target to your site, select content from individual YouTube partners, or have video automatically targeted to your site content. Companion and text overlay ads are relevant and non-intrusive. To further blend the YouTube player into your site, you can also customize the color scheme and layout as well as choose from three different player sizes.

YouTube vs. MySpace video: Copyright

As we mentioned last week, News Corp CEO Peter Chernin says Google needs to do more to prevent copyright infringement on YouTube. The company that owns MySpace plans to launch their own video site this month. Rather than being mostly user-generated, the videos will be professionally produced content with shows from Fox and NBC Universal.

Chernin says MySpace does more to track and filter copyrighted material than Google does. Neither are immune to lawsuits over the issue. News Corp is being sued by Universal Music Group. Google of course is being sued by Viacom.

Google for their part leaves it up to the content owner to notify them if a video violates copyright. They do remove the content but don’t filter or actively police content like MySpace does now. At the urging of Universal Music Group, MySpace added filtering software (but it wasn’t enough to avoid the lawsuit).