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Surprise, Surprise: SEO Works

MarketingSherpa today has the results from an SEO case study—4 tactics that increased traffic 58% (free until Feb 27). In the case study, they outline the tactics that helped to increase the website’s traffic.

But if you’re holding your breath for groundbreaking new techniques, go ahead and stop. The four tactics strategies:

  1. Develop new language versions of the website
  2. Create new white paper to qualify leads
  3. Boost incoming links from relevant sites
  4. Test design and placement options for links to Web forms

AKA

  1. Add more (multilingual) content
  2. Add more content
  3. Build links
  4. Test website effectiveness

Online Advertising Growth Rate – at Least 20% a Year

Researcher The Kelsey Group has projected that online advertising will hit $147 billion by 2012. That’s worldwide advertising and it’s part of their report, “The Kelsey Group’s Annual Forecast (2007-2012): Outlook for Directional and Interactive Advertising.”

As it stands the group measures the market at $45 billion for last year (2007). That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4 percent.

“Interactive advertising, which comprises search (including local search), display advertising, classifieds and other interactive ad products, grew its share of global advertising revenues from 6.1 percent in 2006 to 7.4 percent in 2007. By 2012 Kelsey Group analysts expect the interactive share of global ad spending will reach 21 percent.”

Just focusing on the US, the group predicts that for the years 2007 to 2012, in the United States interactive advertising revenues will grow from $22.5 billion to $62.4 billion (22.6 percent CAGR).

Google Steals Top UK Brand Spot from BBC

Google has passed Microsoft and the BBC to become the UK’s strongest brand, according to a new report from Superbrands.

Some other interesting observations:

  • Google is the only company on the list to have started after 1990.
  • The other 49 listed companies have an average age of 90 years in business.
  • Google muscled out British favorites including the BBC, BP, British Airways, and Rolls Royce.
  • Google jumped from #5 last year, to #1 this year.
  • Apple dropped completely out of the Top 10 (#8 last year).

The list is compiled by senior business leaders and an independent survey of 1,500 professionals.

Internet Twice as Popular as TV

A new study from IDC indicates that on average people spend 32.7 hours online a week and only 16.4 hours watching television. Newspapers and magazines get only 3.9 hours of our attention. IDC surveyed 992 Americans aged 15 years and older.

But does this actually mean that the Internet is twice as popular as television? I wouldn’t say that just yet. The total weekly media consumption comes to 70.6 hours in the survey. The press release also doesn’t indicate whether there was simultaneous media consumption.

Barring simultaneous consumption, with seven hours of sleep a night and eight hours of work a day, that leaves about an hour a day for everything other than media consumption. I’d like to think that even I don’t consume that much media in my spare time. The study doesn’t specify whether these hours are only “leisure” time—and I’m gonna bet that most people can’t get away with channel surfing during work.

Underdog Ask.com Grows 20% in January

According to comScore data released today, Ask.com had the biggest jump in search queries. By that measurement, Ask had more growth than Google, MSN, or Yahoo last month (January 2008) compared to the prior month’s volume.

Ask has a small piece of search market share but they have been a leader in universal search. That is, they integrate search results for more than web sites – but for images, video, local information, news, blogs, and other media. Ask got further into social media integration with their recently launched social news aggregation site BigNews.

Of course, Ask occupies a tiny sliver of the overall search volume. Here’s the breakdown on the top 4 search engines:

  • Google Sites – 7.7 billion searches (comScore says Google got 58.4% of searches in January)

Online Shoppers Read Multiple Reviews

User reviews are all the rage in online retail. And now a recent study shows that online shoppers typically read multiple reviews before making a purchase online. Research by PowerReviews and the e-tailing group shows that 68% of online shoppers read 4 or more reviews before making a purchase. MediaPost’s Tameka Kee reports:

The companies surveyed 1,200 consumers who shopped online at least four times per year and spent at least $500 in aggregate–finding that almost a quarter of the respondents checked at least eight reviews or more before deciding to buy.

Some 22% of respondents said that they “always” read reviews before making a purchase, while the majority (43%) said they checked ratings and reviews “most of the time.” In contrast, just 2% of the online shoppers surveyed said that they “never” read reviews in advance.

Yahoo’s Audience Skews Younger

Dear Heather Hopkins,

I heart you. You and your lovely data.

If you’ll recall, in December, Google lost market share by a minuscule amount. Instantly, the blogosphere abounded with rumors that Google was past its prime, that it was the beginning of the end for their dominance, blah blah blah. Then Silicon Alley Insider posited that students spend less time on their computers in December, therefore it’s only natural that Google, whose audience must surely skew towards students, would suffer the most.

Nice theory, but Hitwise’s stats today shows that the fact just don’t bear the theory out here. You see, while Google is most assuredly more popular among the 18-24 demographic than Yahoo is, the 18-24 demographic makes up a (slightly) greater percentage of Yahoo’s audience. (And overall, Yahoo’s audience is skewed younger than Google’s, which follows a much more normal-shaped distribution.)