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Podcasting on the Rise

Although still highly “niche,” the popularity of podcasting has grown by 18% year over year according to Edison Media Research (via Podcasting News). In their survey in 2007, 13% had listened to a podcast, up from 11% in 2006. (The 18% is lift: (13-11)/11=0.181818.) Awareness of podcasts has grown even more, from 22% having heard of the medium in 2006 to 37% in 2007. (68% lift.)

Video casting has grown from 10 to 11%, which is 10% lift. There is some doubt to whether this is accurate, since such popular vidcasts as Ask a Ninja and Rocketboom wouldn’t fit into the same definition as a podcast (ie they’re usually not downloaded for later listening or viewing).

Edison VP Tom Webster says of podcasting’s growth:

Small Communities, Big Engagement

Engagement is getting to be quite the buzz word lately. While it’s certainly important to any site, engagement is the lifeblood of community websites. If you’re thinking about building an online community, a new study by online community developer Communispace can help.

Time for data. (Oh, numbers, how I love thee!) (And some words. Whatever.) From MediaPost:

  • 86% of the people who log on to private, facilitated communities with 300 to 500 members made contributions: they posted comments, initiated dialogues, participated in chats, brainstormed ideas, shared photos, and more. Only 14% merely logged in to observe, or “lurk.” [The opposite of most sites, yes?] The more intimate the community, the more people participate.

Offline Ads Prompt Online Searches

Apparently it goes both ways with online searches and offline activity. MediaPost’s Center for Media Research reports that offline advertising often prompts online searches. In fact, of any action taken, the study performed by BIGresearch and teh Retail Advertising and Marketing Association finds that an online search is the most popular consumer response to an engaging advertisement.

Just under half of the consumers surveyed said they’d begun an online search after viewing ads in magazines, reading articles, seeing ads on TV and seeing ads on newspapers (in order of popularity).

But the benefit for advertisers doesn’t stop there:

Safa Rashtchy Leaving Analyst Firm Piper Jaffray

Danny’s reporting Safa Rashtchy’s announcement that he will be leaving his role as financial analyst for Piper Jaffray on June 30th. Here’s part of Safa’s announcement…

My last day at Piper will be June 30, although I will be on vacation for a good part of the time between now and then. I am planning to take at least the second half of the year off, before I decide on my next activity. I remain interested in global investment opportunities in the media, consumer, and technology sectors. In the meantime, there are many interests and causes that I would like to devote more of my time to, during the rest of this year and for as long as I can continue.

Increase PPC Conversions Based on Audience & Searches

There are loads of cash to be made in affiliate marketing using PPC but it takes time, experience, and a lot of testing to do it right. No one that I know does more testing than Diorex.

He not so recently posted about some of his findings that I thought I would share. To sum it up:

  • For Content Match ads, landing pages should be informative and sell the visitors on why they need the product.
  • When targeting competitors, give the user ad copy that differentiates your product from competitors.
  • For Exact Match ads, give the users the “Get it Now” landing page and the “Get it Now” ad copy.

Using these three steps his company managed to turn a loosing account into a winner.

Google Site Command Clarification & Bug Fix

On the Webmaster Central blog, Google has made some clarifications on how the site command works. By adding excluding the www in front of the domain you are doing a site command search for, you can include subdomains in the results.

A search for www.site.com returns URLs that begin with www and a search for site.com returns URLs for all subdomains. (So, site:google.com returns URLs such as www.google.com, checkout.google.com, and finance.google.com).

To demonstrate, site:www.marketingpilgrim.com returns 3,110 results and site:marketingpilgrim.com returns 3,180 taking into account the subdomain jobs.marketingpilgrim.com

Unfortunately, if your site either purposely or through bad planning has non www pages indexed such as http://domain.com/page.html, then those pages will not be returned in the www search and you cannot get an accurate reading of your main domains index. You will either need to fix the issue through a 301 htaccess rule or through the Google Webmaster Central backend.

Tracking Potential Google Killers

Read/WriteWeb continues to monitor the second tier of search engines. Last month, they published the top 100 alternative search engines. This month, they’ve updated the list for February, with 32 new additions.

The criteria to make the list:

1) The Search Engine should exhibit superiority to Google—not as a whole, but in just one particular area. . . . We are not arguing that any one of the 100 list members is a “Google killer”. Rather, that they should be matched against the appropriate corresponding part of Google. For example, TheFind is a shopping search engine and therefore should be compared to Google’s shopping search engine, Froogle. . . .