Latest Click Fraud Report Lands on My Desk With a FUD

It’s kind of hard for me to report on Click Forensics without being biased–I’ve long maintained that click fraud will simply be one of many "costs" associated with paid search and is therefore a non-issue. So, you should keep that bias in mind, when reading the following:

Click Forensics’ reports may put them out of business.

Maybe I’m being extreme, but when Click Forensics first launched its Click Fraud Index, it was able to report on massive amounts of click fraud and likely attract many new clients as a result. Four years on, I hardly ever hear anyone–outside of Click Forensics–claim click fraud to be a major issue–and the latest index suggests the same.

For the second straight quarter–and year over year–the click fraud rate declined:

What Do Yahoo, Microsoft & The Rolling Stones Have in Common?

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need

And, if we believe the latest report from AdAge, neither Microsoft or Yahoo will get exactly what they want from a potential partnership. Instead, both will make significant compromises in order to put a deal together that might just help them compete with Google.

The deal will likely be based purely on a revenue share–a far cry from what Yahoo had hoped for:

Yahoo’s request for an upfront payment (it is said to have asked for several hundred million), in addition to revenue guarantees that would amount to billions over the course of the deal, caused a breakdown last week in the on-again-off-again talks. But they were revived late on Thursday, according to executives with knowledge of the situation.

Another Epic Decline for Microsoft’s Revenue

If you were hoping Microsoft would rebound from its poor 3rd quarter earnings, you may wish to sit down.

Yesterday, the software company reported its first year-over-year revenue and sales drop ever–which will compliment nicely the quarterly drop from Q3.

According to the WSJ:

…Microsoft said net income for the period ended in June fell to $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, from $4.3 billion, or 46 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 17% to $13.1 billion.

Breaking it down, Microsoft’s online services unit continues to struggle–posting a $732 million loss. Its online advertising revenue faired slightly better than last quarter’s 16% drop, seeing a mildly improved 14% decline–the equivalent of telling a teenager on prom night that the humongous zit on their chin looks "less pussy today." :-P

Chinese Search Giant Baidu Posts Gains

Baidu LogoBaidu is the search engine of choice for China, at least for now. PaidContent reports that the Chinese company is experiencing ‘Google-esque” success in the largest growth market online in the world. Meanwhile Google itself is in a rather unfamiliar position

According to Bernstein & Co., Baidu’s share of the Chinese search market increased to 64.5 percent from 62.3 percent during the quarter, while Google may have lost share.

Google and the Chinese government have had their issues in the past but that can’t hide the fact that the Chinese people have spoken and they choose Baidu. The company is reaping the rewards of this popularity by posting some percentage increases that Google used to experience on a regular basis.

Apple’s Irresistible Force Meets Google’s Immovable Object–Who Wins?

What happens when the irresistible force meets an immovable object?

The irresistible force wins! The immovable object publicly complains.

That appears to be the case as Google announces Google Latitude for the iPhone and, in the same announcement, gripes that Apple is to blame for the lack of an actual application.

We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.

Twitter Tries to Bridge the Gap Between Sign Up and Engagement

twitter-birdLet’s try something a little different as the focus goes to Twitter (yet again) and its impact on the free world’s ability to function properly. I have said on many occasions that regular users of Twitter are not the best people to be actually examining Twitter’s success or lack thereof. Why? Mainly because there seems to be this assumption that the rest of the world understands what Twitter is as well as social media ‘regulars’ do. The simple reality is that that kind of thinking is, how can I say this diplomatically….. stupid. The real fact of the matter is that most of the world is confused by Twitter. Fortunately, Biz and the boys (and girls) at Twitter are recognizing this fact and are taking steps to remedy the situation.

The Associated Press to Play Whack-A-Mole with Scrapers

I long ago gave up trying to get spammers to “cease and desist” their scraping of Marketing Pilgrim’s content–I never was much good at playing whack-a-mole.

Well, it appears that The Associated Press loves carnival games as the NYT reports the news organization is determined to put an end to the scraping of its content.

Each article — and, in the future, each picture and video — would go out with what The A.P. called a digital “wrapper,” data invisible to the ordinary consumer that is intended, among other things, to maximize its ranking in Internet searches. The software would also send signals back to The A.P., letting it track use of the article across the Web.