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Yahoo’s AlltheWeb Better than Google?

PC World decided to find the best search engine for various different types of searches.

In all, they tested 55 different services, across six categories, using ten keywords over a 3 week period.

While Google was overall the best solution, Yahoo-owned AlltheWeb kicked its butt when it came to straight text searching!

Here are the results from the 6 categories.

Via WPN.

Google Sells AdWords First, Asks Hacking Questions Later

Google finds itself under fire again for helping to spread viruses and malware through AdWords.

Researchers at security software maker Exploit Prevention Labs have uncovered evidence that malware distributors are using Google AdWords to infect computers.

Exploit’s CTO, Roger Thompson said his team discovered many AdWords ads posing as legitimate ads, but then redirecting to more sinister content. He blames Google’s model of taking money first and asking questions later.

“Google says they are doing the best that they can, but their business model is to take as much money as they can for advertisements. No matter how much due diligence they do, it’s a difficult position to be in, but clearly they are not doing enough,” Thompson said.

“If they don’t do a better job of vetting their customers, we will see this sort of thing happening again and again.”

As Social Networking Rises, TV Watching Decreases

A new study from Marketing Evolution (commissioned by MySpace, Isobar & Carat) suggests social networking users between 14 and 40 years old are increasing their internet, email and instant messaging usage, while decreasing the amount of time they spend watching TV and playing video games.

Ok, which genius thought it would be a good idea to measure the habits of teenagers, and those approaching their mid-life crisis, in the same data set? How many 40 year olds do you know that play video games? (go ahead “out” them in the comments section). ;-)

Consumer Generated Content Offers Better ROI for Marketers

Ad network BlueLithium studied 1.7 billion impressions, from 716 ads, across more than 100 sites, and determined that user-generated content (UGC) generally offered a lower cost per conversion than traditional media.

When comparing ads shown on non-UGC sites (sites with a more structured editorial process) to those sites with UGC, the ads on the non-UGC sites had a 32% higher conversion rate. However, due to the lower advertising costs associated with many UGC sites, the cost-per-conversion on non-UGC sites was 58% higher than the consumer generated alternatives. According to CMO, Dakota Sullivan, the cost savings “more than balanced out” the lower conversion rates of ads running on UGC sites.

BlueLithium also explored UGC against non-UGC sites from the comScore Top 250.

Marketers Learn the Value of Social Networks

Fox Interactive Media – and about half a dozen other companies – conducted a study to determine the value of social media for marketers. Sampling 3,000 US internet users, they discovered…

  • More than 70% of Americans 15-34 are actively using social networks online, and the research showed social networking sites taking a strong foothold in the primetime hours.
  • 31% of online social networkers claim they spend more time on the Web in general after starting to use a social network.
  • Brands such as adidas and Electronic Arts attributed more than 70% of their marketing return on investment to the “Momentum Effect.”

That “Momentum Effect” is a cute term coined by the study to define “the impact of a brand within a social network beyond traditional advertising impressions to encompass the “pass along” power of consumer-to-consumer communication.” In other words, viral marketing, tipping point, word of mouth, etc.

SEO Doesn’t Guarantee Blog Visitor Loyalty

Mixed blessings for SEM come from a Boston University study entitled Traffic Characteristics and Communication Patterns in the Blogosphere.

First, the good news: the majority of blog traffic comes from search engines. Search engines accounted for 43% of referral traffic in the blogosphere. Hurray for search engine marketers! Their diagram of referral traffic (below) does not include the 28% of blogosphere traffic without any referral data (probably bookmark or type-in traffic).

referral traffic to the blogosphere

Now for the bad news: “Despite the intimacy between traffic and search, however, optimizing a blog for search engine algorithms does not win the blogs retention or popularity,” as MarketingVOX put it. Yep, all the rankings in the world don’t make your blog well read, popular or sticky. You have to do that.

The Internet Influences Chinese Shoppers?

Despite the Internet’s ever-increasing sphere of influence, the BIGresearch 1st Quarter 2007 China Quarterly Survey finds that the Internet isn’t as influential in Chinese shopping as US. The survey focuses on the 18-34 year old demographic, which consists of 380 million (including 191 million men),

MediaPost states that the key findings of the study include:

  • European brands continue to be preferred above U.S. brands in key categories such as Clothing, Cosmetics, Furniture and Jewelry
  • Consumer confidence remains very high
  • Planned expenditures on electronics are much higher in China than in the U.S.
  • Chinese men and women say surfing the net is #1 leisure activity
  • Word of mouth is even more influential to Chinese consumers than U.S. [consumers] for Electronics, Clothing, Autos and Pharmaceuticals