New Report Shows Decline for PPC Advertising in Q1

By Peter Young

The first part of 2009 has been interesting, very interesting. The global recession shows no current signs of recovery in the short term, and much of this has been reflected in advertising budgets worldwide. In particular, the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit, and this has been reflected in Rimm-Kaufman’s early first quarter 2009 PPC data.

The report took data from around 40 of their largest retail clients, and compares the first part of Q1 against performance data from the preceding 7 months or so. For summary purposes, we have included a number of the key points below

  • Sales from search ads have declined by around 20% since week 27 2008 (around July last year)

Facebook Goes Open Source–With Its TOS

After what can only be termed a kerfuffle last week over changes to its Terms of Service, Facebook has decided to take some pretty drastic steps to address the issue of content ownership on the social networking site: they’re soliciting input from their users.

Asking for user feedback? Revolutionary, I know—but when it comes to setting the legal policies for one of the most popular sites in the world, somehow I don’t think direct democracy is the best way to determine IP rights. (Okay, I’m sure they’re not going the direct democracy route. Who does these days—I mean, really? Even Digg isn’t really democratic anymore.)

The Marketer to Developer Translation – SMX West

This session looked at ways to better liaise with web developers in the search marketing promotional cycle.


Nathan Buggia – Microsoft

Nathan went through some examples of internal optimisation that the Live team were faced with. One example was that Microsoft had a product that they knew by its full technical name – however online most people were searching for the abbreviated initials ‘Moss’. So whilst originally Microsoft were optimising for the internal long name, the customer base was actually searching for Moss. As a result people searching for ‘MOSS’ were going to affiliate type websites for MOSS and not to the official company pages. Once Microsoft realised what was happening they began to optimise their pages for the keywords users were searching for. The importance of understanding what users are looking for are key whether you’re an in-house SEO or working as part of an agency.

A Summary of Danny Sullivan’s SMX Keynote

The conference kicked off bright and early at the Santa Clara Exhibition Center on Tuesday morning. Even for a Brit abroad the location was easy to find. Unlike some venues where parking is either impossible or hugely expensive at Santa Clara Exhibition Center it was a breeze and even free of charge! Next a great selection of food was served up for breakfast and by the time the first keynote of the conference was given by Danny Sullivan everyone was raring to go.

Search Landscape & market share

Danny showed the packed crowd the average share of searches based on a range of data he had gathered from Comscore, netcompete and others. The data that was primarily focused on the US market showed Google had moved from 60% to a 70% market share. Yahoo’ share had dropped a few points from the 20% range and Microsoft Live were around the 10% mark.

Pilgrim’s Picks for February 27 – Special Edition

Did you miss it? What do you mean, "did I miss what?" Pilgrim’s Picks of course!

Pilgrim’s Picks was put into comfortable retirement when we launched the new design–it now spends its days playing shuffleboard with Linky Goodness. But, having just got back from a client trip–and today’s news being somewhat shallow, I thought I bring it back for a special edition. :-)

Just Browsing? Google, Microsoft and the EU

In a story that seems to have flown under the radar during this busy week, Google has applied to be a thirdmicrosoft party as the EU looks into Microsoft’s apparent stranglehold on the browser market. I am not a lawyer so this whole third party idea was new to me. Whatever it is though the WSJ reports that

By applying to become a third party, Google is trying to gain the ability to see the details of the charges against Microsoft and allow it to submit its observations to European regulators.

Adwords in the News, Literally

Google is now placing paid search ads in the news results. Whether it’s a response to the economy of justgoogle-news1 the next step it probably is considered to be a long time coming. As the search industry takes some hits due to the economy there will be more efforts to put more ads in front of more people. It seems a bit surprising that it has taken this long to happen anyway.

Paid Content tells about the story and points to CNET seeing some glitches early on as it relates to relevancy of the ads. The example that CNET points to is for the search “spring training” which yielded 1 out of three results being in the ballpark. CNET’s use of a search term that can be ‘confused’ with a hot online keyword like training though is playing hardball for sure. I tried a few more normal / regular searches and the ads were spot on regarding relevancy.