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First Estimate for Growth of Search Engine Reputation Management Industry

Every time I speak with a journalist about the online reputation management (ORM) industry, I’m often asked “How big is the industry?”

You know what, I don’t know.

However, when it comes to Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM)–which is a component of ORM–I have a better feel for the amount spent in the space.

So, in light of the complete lack of “estimates” for the SERM space, I–well actually Trackur–have put together the first ever estimates for the size and growth of SERM.

Here’s the estimate:

As you can see, the estimate for SERM spend is a conservative $100 million in 2008. This includes all spending on reputation management within the search engines. That means it includes specific SERM campaigns, as well as the amount spent on SERM as part of a regular search engine optimization effort.

Social Networking on Your Phone? Not So Much Now, but Soon

By Michelle Greer

There is nothing more annoying than trying to browse the web on a tiny mobile phone screen. Viewing one page on the web is hard enough. Conducting searches, updating web content, or watching a YouTube clip on a run-of-the-mill cell phone is nothing more than a painful experience.

It’s no surprise then that social networking is not very popular on mobile phones. According to a a survey conducted by Local Mobile Search, only 6% of the 1,022 respondents to a survey on the topic have actually used their mobile phones for social networking. However, 30% of respondents said they were interested in the idea of using their cell phones this way. 10% showed a “keen interest” in mobile social networking.

21% of Americans Have Yet to Discover the Internets

It’s like I’ve always said. This “internet” is just a fad that will never catch on. ;-)

Err, wait. Some people actually believe that? Well, if a new survey from Parks Associates is to be believed, there’s a huge slice of Americans that haven’t embraced the web yet.

Take a look at this chart…

OK, so the data is slightly skewed–half of those that have never used email are over 65–but it’s still kind of startling.

I honestly can think of just two people in my life that would fall in to all of the above categories–my grandparents. But, they’re both in their eighties.

What about you? Aside from your family, do you know anyone that’s never used a computer or surfed the web?

The Internet Doesn’t Influence People Who Don’t Use It

The latest Pew Internet and American Life featured report (PDF) says that while Americans do product research online, the information they find doesn’t actually affect purchase decisions.


What Pew Internet and American Life meant to say was that while Americans do product research online in the specific areas of music, cell phones and real estate, they don’t like to think that the information they find online affects their purchase decisions.

Without that little qualifier, the stats are sobering:

  • 56% said that they used the Internet to “research” music before buying (specifically, one of six activities that Pew listed in the survey), but only 7% said that the Internet’s information was a major influence in their decision.

Watch and Be Watched: Online Advertisers Plan to Use Behavioral Targeting

By Michelle Greer

The idea of ads somehow understanding our lifestyles and behavioral patterns sounds kind of creepy at first thought. But according to a survey done by SEMPO, many search engine marketers are all about it.

The survey found that 57% of online advertisers polled were willing to spend more on demographic targeting, such as age and gender. Advertisers, on average, would pay 11% more for both behavioral and demographic targeting. While advertiser interest in behavioral targeting is very strong, actual investment is still low, according to the survey respondents.

How does behavioral targeting work? Ads will track past search behavior in order to deliver the most relevant ads possible. Charter Communications, one of the nation’s largest ISPs, has already planned for a pilot program to gather search behavior to share with ad networks. This program is set to be released next month.

Online Video Watching Continues to Soar

By Sean Maguire

comScore yesterday released March 2008 data depicting Google’s continued assault on the online video watching market. With 4.3 billion videos viewed during the month, representing a 38% share of all videos, Google gained 2.6-percent over the previous month. Google’s video flagship YouTube accounted for 98% of its total.

U.S. Internet users viewed 11.5 billion online videos during the period, a 13-percent gain versus February and a 64-percent gain versus March 2007.

Top U.S. Online Video Properties* by Videos Viewed

March 2008

Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore Video Metrix




Share (%) of


Total Internet



Google Sites



Fox Interactive Media



Yahoo! Sites



Marketers; Are You Charging Your Clients Enough?

By Michelle Greer.

You have broken down creating keywords and negative keywords to a science. You have your clients running a full throttle social media campaign, complete with Facebook group, Twitter followers, blog, et al. They are now enjoying more exposure and tangible results than they ever did before. If you don’t know how to properly sell this value to your clients, you could be losing money and not even know it.

RainToday, a service based marketing firm, surveyed 343 marketing, advertising and PR professionals on their thoughts of pricing.

What was the scariest part of their jobs, according to the survey?

  • Uncertainty about what price a particular client will accept (45% rated as at least “extremely/very challenging”)
  • Pressure not to leave money on the table (41% rated as at least “extremely/very challenging”)