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Web Spend, Broadband Access, China Users – Research Shows All Going Up!

If I had a nickel for every internet study released, I’d be a rich man able to afford an extra shot of espresso in my coffee. Reuters has details of a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (just rolls off the tongue) that reveals, nor surprisingly, an upward trend in internet numbers.

Here’s the gist of it…

  1. Spending on web advertising and fees paid by U.S. consumers to internet providers to reach $78.4 billion by 2011.
  2. Online advertising in the U.S. will account for $35.4 billion of that.
  3. China web users will overtake the U.S. by 2009.
  4. Expect 89 million U.S. broadband subscribers by 2011.

The only loser? Dial-up spending will decrease by 25.5% – so no more having to listen to that screech-owl that lives in your modem. ;-)

Google’s Market Share Growth Stalls

Hitwise reports that Google’s market share for May is 65.13%. While fielding nearly two thirds of all US searches is definitely not a bad thing, Google’s market share didn’t grow over April 2007. In fact, it actually declined 0.13 percentage points. While the amount is minuscule (representing 0.2% of their market share), for the first time in recent months, some of the other major search engines actually gained market share.

Yahoo was up 0.16 percentage points, or 0.8% of their April market share. MSN/Live, like Google, was down, but only 0.06 percentage points (albeit far less than their previous month‘s loss of 0.69 percentage points).

Is It the End of the eCommerce World as We Know It?

By Brittany Thompson

The New York Times stirred up a bit of controversy today by publishing an article claiming that the eCommerce industry is slowing down. Referring to the current state of online sales as “the Dot Calm Era,” the article uses current trends, research statistics and even word-of-mouth to back this theory.

“Growth in online sales has also dropped dramatically in diverse categories like health and beauty products, computer peripherals and pet supplies,” the article states. “Analysts say it is a turning point and growth will continue to slow through the decade.”

Advertisers Start Your Widget Engines!

The WSJ has a report (sub) on comScore’s latest study on the growth of web widgets.

Nearly 177.8 million people world-wide viewed Web content in April made with online tools from companies that let people post photos, videos and music on other Web sites, according to data that Web-tracking firm comScore Inc. plans to release today.

The comScore study reveals that photo-sharing widgets are the most popular, with Slide dominating the widget market. However, Jeff Jarvis asks why YouTube is not included on the list…

I don’t understand why Brightcove is on the list but YouTube isn’t; they must be limiting the definition of the widget. As far as I’m concerned, it’s YouTube that spread embedding–thus, widgeting–across the web. I’d define a widget as any embedded content or functionality.

Wake-up Google, the World Thinks You’re Big Brother!

There’s a lot of buzzing in the blogosphere right now (you can read Jordan’s coverage here), as it appears Google is under fire again for its privacy policies. AP reports that London-based Privacy International has issued a study of 23 internet companies, with Google coming out dead-last. In fact no other company studied, received the same low rating.

None of the 22 other surveyed companies — a group that included Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and AOL — sunk to that level, according to Privacy International.

While a number of other Internet companies have troubling policies, none comes as close to Google to “achieving status as an endemic threat to privacy,” Privacy International said in an explanation of its findings.

Tips for Increasing Retailing Results

As I mentioned earlier in the week, MarketLive released a very interesting white paper at Internet Retailer 2007 about how you can generate more orders from your traffic. Normally, we would refer to this effort as working on improving your conversion rate. However, the MarketLive position is that monitoring the conversion rate is of little value because it is so broad. Instead, they recommend focusing on small pieces of the shopping experience by themselves.

There is a lot of information in the report and I recommend that you download it and study it. However, here are some tips that I found interesting:

Metasearch Offers Best Results, Study Shows

By Brittany Thompson

Those looking for the most accurate search engine results pages should stick to metasearch – at least according to a study that was released on May 31st by InfoSpace.

Different Engines, Different Results was the title of the study (word doc), which was a cross-continental collaboration examining overlap and differences in rankings between industry leaders including Google, Yahoo!, Windows Live and Ask.

Some of the information contained in the study echoes what we’ve known for years. The fact that searchers still don’t always find what they are looking for online is more of a burden (both to searchers and to e-business owners) than a surprise.