Google Ventures Invests In Paid Search Play

You have to hand it to Google. They’re not afraid to put their efforts somewhere that will cause a ruckus among those concerned about whether Google is ‘too invested’ in its own business, so to speak. In the latest case of “We dare you to tear this one apart”, Google Ventures has invested in Trada which is an interesting approach to paid search campaign management that is directed at the most underserved of the market, the SMB.

TechCrunch reports

Up to 25% of Yahoo Search is Now bing-ified

Last week Yahoo sent a letter to their search advertisers about a rather large window for when they can anticipate the integration of bing. In a post yesterday on the Yahoo blog they went a little further and said that they were currently testing the results. Here is what they said

We’ve started testing organic (also referred to as algorithmic) and paid search listings from Microsoft for up to 25 percent of Yahoo! Search traffic in the U.S. The primary change for these tests is that the listings are coming from Microsoft. However, the overall page should look the same as the Yahoo! Search you’re used to – with rich content and unique tools and features from Yahoo!. If you happen to fall into our tests, you might also notice some differences in how we’re displaying select search results due to a variety of product configurations we are testing.

Skype Launches New Pay-Per-Call System for Advertisers

SkypeFreeCallButtonSkype has partnered with Marchex to offer a new pay-per-call advertising service in the US, Canada and Western Europe. The Click & Call program works with a “Free Call” button that can be placed anywhere on the web. When a customer clicks the button, the Skype software launches and the call is connected at no cost to them. The advertiser pays a fee only for the calls they’ve received and they can set a budget so they won’t be surprised by a large bill at the end of the month.

Skype’s Click & Call system might seem like a good alternative to acquiring an expensive toll free number, but there is a downside to the system and it’s a pretty big one. In order for the call to connect, the callee must have Skype software on their computer and Skype’s browser plug-in. The system is also not available for Macs and it won’t work on Skype mobile.

Video is Becoming a Must Have for Online Retailers

videoIt wasn’t long ago that long load times and stuttering video kept many consumers from watching videos online. But with the advances in video streaming and the rise in low price, high-quality computers, videos have become a regular part of the internet landscape and they’re not just for fun anymore.

Says eMarketer:

“The percentage of the top 50 US online retailers that offer videos on their sites skyrocketed to 68% in 2009 from 18% in 2008.”

“In this sense, video has gone from a luxury to a near necessity for companies seeking an edge in marketing their products.”

By offering a video, retailers can now get a step closer to the experience of shopping in a brick and mortar store. Video allows the consumer to see a new food processor in action or take a closer look at the dashboard of a Toyota that’s just come off the line.

Apple’s Defensive Tactics Under Fire

Maybe Apple is experimenting with trying to keep online buzz alive around a product even if it is turning negative despite it being one of the most successful product launches in the esteemed company’s history. It appears that rather than quieting the critics following last Friday’s “Antennagate” show press conference, Steve Jobs’ comments that dragged every smartphone producer into the ‘blocked signal’ fray are creating quite a stir.

cnet gives us a summary in two separate articles of the responses coming from smartphone manufacturers in the four corners. The first let’s us know how Blackberry manufacturer RIM feels

RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie made their feelings rather clear.

Consumers Love Social Media Sites and Cable Companies About the Same

Are social media sites like Facebook and MySpace falling into the category of “We put up with their nonsense because there are precious few options”? A recent study conducted by Foresee Results indicates this may very well be the case as social media sites scored the lowest on its American Customer Satisfaction Index as reported by TechCrunch

A new study by ForeSee Results and the American Customer Satisfaction Index finds that U.S. consumers regard social media sites Facebook and Myspace as lowly as they regard cable providers, airlines and the I.R.S.

The Annual E-Business Report for the A.C.S.I. study encompassed thirty online media brands in the categories of: portals and search engines, news and information sites and for the first time in July 2010, social media sites.

Search Marketing Expenditures Drive up Global Ad Dollars

With half the year behind us, ZenithOptimedia has revised their 2010 global ad forecasts from a 1.5% decrease to a 1.3% increase in North America. The change is due to a surprising increase in consumer spending and confidence despite rampant unemployment and most of the change is coming from the online sector.

Newspapers and magazine are both expected to continue their downward spiral, while radio, outdoor and cinema remain fairly flat. Television is on the rise again after a downturn in 2009 but it’s Internet that’s galloping along at a brisk pace.

Looking at internet advertising by type, paid search leads the way and by 2012, the figure is expected to nearly double what was being spent in 2008. Display advertising dropped slightly last year, but is expected to rise again in the near future.