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47% Internet Users Check Their Google Reputation

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little obsessed with online reputation management. :-)

So, you can imagine my interest in Pew Internet & American Life Project’s update to their 2002 study on how many people plug their own name into Google. Back in 2002, just 22% of Internet users Googled themselves. Today, that number is at 47%.

Still, that leaves a whopping 53% who have never taken the time to see what Google has to say about them. Worse, 60% of those polled don’t even care!

Well, they should! Studies have shown that potential employers, business partners, and romantic dates, are among those that will type your name into Google and see what’s returned.

Cyber Monday Record Broken

Tired of hearing the Cyber Monday hype yet? Fight back with this factoid: this year’s record-setting Cyber Monday, with $733 million in online sales, has already been displaced as the highest-selling day this holiday season. comScore reports that the new one-day record is $803 million, reached on December 6. Yeah, that’s a Thursday. So much for the whole “Monday” theory.

The $800 million day saw 28% higher revenue than the same day last year and set a milestone as the first $800+ million day in online revenue. This brings the total spent online this year to over $18 billion, up 18% over last year’s $15 billion.

comScore predicts that the total this year will be $29.5 billion, up nearly 20% over last year’s $24.6 billion.

On Using an Ad Network

Most site owners aren’t adept or don’t have the experience to find ads for their sites. Perhaps you don’t have the staff to manage ad campaigns. If you would rather let someone else handle that, joining an ad network is the way to go. You will split the ad revenue based on how many clicks or how many times the ad is views.

MarketingSherpa just published another part in their series about ad networks about what works best. The article is only accessible for a week.

As you probably know, people often don’t click on banner ads, text ads usually perform better. But there is still a place for them and the more targeted they are to the site, the better.

Initial research you need to do.

Will Cyber Monday Be the Peak?

With all the hype surrounding Cyber Monday this year, I was actually surprised to find out that it was justified for once. comScore reports that Cyber Monday had record-setting spending: $733 million, to be exact. And the subsequent days also saw $700+ in sales, with Thursday coming in close second to Monday.

Compared to last year’s peak day, sales are up 11% or $72 million. However, that actually constitutes slower (and smaller) growth. From 2005 to 2006, sales rose 19%. More telling, from ’05-’06, sales increased $105 million.

But I don’t think it’s over yet. The peak online retail days for 2006 and 2007 were not, in fact, the so-called “Cyber” Monday: they were Monday, December 11, 2006 and Monday, December 12, 2005. As I wrote about this last year:

What Do Britney Spears, Al Gore, and Harry Potter Have in Common?

It’s a search marketer’s dream. The opportunity to post a news story with a title that includes the keyword "Britney Spears" in a legitimate way!

Thanks to Yahoo’s 2007 Top Trends in Search, we get to use Ms. Spears’ name and also "stuff" our post with a few other popular terms. OK, so we’re not actually hoping to rank for "Harry Potter" but, should Spears, Potter and Al Gore end up in some twisted love-triangle, we’re golden! ;-)

In the meantime, you can waste half an hour perusing the keywords that your fellow man spent the better part of 2007 searching.

News Stories – top 10 news stories

1. Saddam Hussein

2. Iran

3. Iraq

4. President George W. Bush

5. Oil and Gas prices

Online Advertising and Display Ads Rise

Internet advertising as a whole is steadily rising. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) announced in early October that Internet advertising has reached a new record of $4.9 billion for the first quarter of 2007. Last year first quarter revenues were at $3.8 billion – a 26 percent increase.

I recently read a MarketingSherpa article on one type of online advertising that is making a small comeback. Some call them banner ads some call them online display ads, but according to MarketingSherpa, they are back in vogue. Why? They are lower cost other online advertising methods. MarketingSherpa published a helpful introduction to this advertising medium.

2nd Annual Online Customer Engagement Report Released

E-consultancy and cScape have just released their 2nd Annual Online Customer Engagement Report which takes an in-depth look at how companies plan to use the Web to engage their customers. The 57-page report surveyed 1000+ participants and is packed full of data that any marketer will find useful. Highlights include:

  • Online customer engagement now top priority as companies change marketing focus
  • Brands embrace widgets, social networks and video-sharing sites in bid to boost customer engagement
  • Digital industry leaders advise companies to pay attention to engagement.

There’s also expert analysis of the findings from Jim Sterne, Avinash Kaushik, and yours truly. Here’s what I had to say about the results.