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Affiliate Marketing – High Growth in the UK

By Janet Meiners.

According to a report by E-consultancy retailers in the UK are seeing positive results from affiliate marketing. The research group surveyed 239 merchants this year and most of them have both online an offline presence.

A full 95% of brands said that affiliate marketing is ‘very cost-effective’ or ‘quite cost effective.’ The next most effective ways to acquire a new customer is paid search and then email marketing. On average the retailers spend 18% of their online marketing budget on affiliate marketing.

Retailers like affiliate marketing (also called CPA or cost-per-acquisition) because they only pay an affiliate when a sale is made.

Kevin Cornils, CEO of explains, ‘Affiliate marketing has proven itself as the most cost effective online channel to drive incremental volume. It works for marketers because they only pay for activity that generates genuine sales?” He even went so far as to say that affiliate marketing “is a guaranteed positive ROI if managed correctly.” You can’t get much more glowing than that.

31% of Social Network Users Enter False Information

A new survey by emedia suggests that 62% of social networking users are concerned about the security of their personally identifiable data. The fears run so high that 31% of social network users have already entered false information to protect their identity.

There’s lots of other interesting data, including respondents thoughts on how social networks can be used in business:

…87% of all respondents think social networking sites can be used for business purposes including networking (65%), exchanging ideas (58%), getting advice (44%), recruitment (43%), research (35%) and selling (31%).

But, be warned. Half of the users found advertising on social networks to be “intrusive.”

Fred Thompson’s Election Site Most Visited

Fred Thompson is barely a week into his official presidential election campaign, and he’s off to a flying start, according to new data from Hitwise. was the most visited site among presidential candidates for the week ending September 8, 2007, claiming an impressive 34.73% market share. Obama was second (13.49%) with Ron Paul claiming third with 12.88%.

While Fred Thompson’s numbers out of the gate are impressive, it’s hardly surprising that his site was the most visited–considering he had just announced his candidacy. Perhaps more impressive is that Ron Paul is still in the running, thanks in part to his social media efforts. Paul lead the pack in most web site visitors from sites such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube & Flickr.

Email Marketers Need To Know SPF

According to a study conducted by email marketing experts Lyris, there is “an increasing reliance on the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication method” to determine the legitimacy of inbound mail.

SPF is an open standard method to prevent sender address forgery. The solution to combat fake email works via a delivery policy specified in the domain’s DNS zone records. The receiving server can check whether a message has complied with the domain’s stated policy before conducting further checks.

The study, which monitored almost half a million messages, shows that permission-based email is delivered roughly 75 percent of the time to major ISP inboxes. Further examination showed a decrease in image spam and an increase in spam using PDF, PowerPoint or Excel files.

Adjust Your Rankings with a Few Clicks

If you could influence or manipulate your search ranking, would you? Of course you would. That’s our main goal as search marketers. Sproose, a search engine that allows users to vote and rank the listings in their index, has just launched their voting technology for their video search.

Sproose delivers a “human popularity voting” model where each user may influence the ranking of the index creating improved search results. The more users that vote a site the further up in the ranking it moves. The same voting technology is now being applied to the Sproose video search index.

So basically, here’s how it works:

Evolution of the Personal Homepage

Yesterday Frostfire announced the launch of, a personal homepage application that’s initially designed to target Internet and technology users. Much like the way you can customize your Google homepage, allows users to create personalized start pages. But, it also takes things a few steps further, making it easy to organize your news, websites, videos, games, photos, search engines, email and much more.

“We will see a move away from generic start pages as niches need guidance with their content. Single page aggregators are too rigid and generic customizable pages offer little help to users. The default start page consists of basic instructions that can be removed once a user is familiar with the site,” said Chris Frost,’s chief executive.

Eyetracking Shows Web Audience Ignores Ads

A newly released eyetracking study by usability guru Jakob Nielsen shows that online banner blindness is worsening. Nielsen says that banner ads (indicated by green outlines in his heat maps below) didn’t even receive light focus from skimmers, scanners and readers—and neither did non-ad content in the same areas.

eyetracking heat maps by Jakob Nielsen show complete blindness to banner ads and banner-like elements in web pages

Nielsen concludes, much to his own dismay, that the best way to get people to look at your ads is to make them look like actual content—much like advertising in magazines and newspapers masquerades as editorial content (gotta look for that tiny little ‘advertisement’ notice at the top). That doesn’t mean, however, a 300×300 AdSense block as the first thing in your blog’s text will trick people into think that it’s content and clicking on it. That’s just annoying. (via)