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Why We Can’t Trust Click Fraud Numbers

Back in December, I caused a little bit of a ruckus when I posted information from Google that suggested click fraud rates were a fraction of a percent. The majority of readers and linkers suggested that the rate was far too low and that you couldn’t trust data supplied by the search engine.

Fast forward six weeks and we find ourselves confronted with new data from Click Forensics that suggests industry click-fraud rates have increased to 14.2 in Q4, versus 13.8% in Q3. Bids for amounts over $2.00 achieved click-fraud rates of 20.9%.

Gearing up for Election 2008: the PPC Campaign

Presidential hopefuls for 2008 have already started campaigning online. With websites, blogs, vlogs from everyone from John Edwards to Sen. John McCain, the Internet is beginning to be inundated with ’08’s hopefuls—except in one area: pay-per-click.

Daily Kos reports Sunday on the pay-per-click race so far:

Republicans seem to be first out of the starting gate in the paid search arena.

[Mitt] Romney is clearly the most aggressive advertiser with his name displaying on searches for himself and five other candidates. I wonder if his neglect of the rest of the field (including Gingrich) is a clue as to his opinion of their competitiveness or likelyhood [sic] of entering the race. Romney and McCain are the only candidates to advertise on competitor’s search terms.

The most striking observation is that none of the leading Democrats are advertising at all. Obviously, it is still early, but these ads aren’t expensive and they can generate traffic and help to channel prospective supporters. Republicans are in this game by themselves. [emphasis added]

Google, Apple and YouTube Named 2006 Top Brands

Online branding magazine Brandchannel.com asked 3,625 branding professionals and students to vote on “Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?”.

Here are the top 5 global brands, based purely on impact of the brand:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. YouTube
  4. Wikipedia
  5. Starbucks

The list order changes a little, when you look just at North America:

  1. Apple
  2. YouTube
  3. Google
  4. Starbucks
  5. Wikipedia

Curious about Europe?

  1. Ikea
  2. Skype
  3. Nokia
  4. Zara
  5. Adidas

Email Will Become the Norm for Confidential Communication by 2009

How comfortable do you feel, sending confidential information via email? I know that I try only to ever send my bank account details and SSN to the very highest of Nigerian princes, just in case the email goes astray.

Well, according to a small survey of attendees of the ISPA’s annual Parliamentary Advisory Forum, they share your fears in sending sensitive emails.

Fear of high-profile security scares (27 per cent), a lack of adequate security offerings from ISPs (24 per cent) and the inability to guarantee sender/recipient ID (33 per cent) were cited as today’s top three obstacles to mass user adoption of email for confidential communications.

However, hope is on the horizon, with many believing email will become more secure in the future.

Europe Passes US in eCommerce

comScore Networks report on European spending during the 2006 holiday season, starting October 30. They found that

  • Germany spent 5.4 billion euros online
  • the UK spent 4.0 billion euros online
  • France spent 1.9 billion euros online.

This compares with the US’s online holiday spending of $24.6 billion, or 18.8 billion euros.

Okay, okay, I know you can do the math, and the US has 18.8 billion and the three European countries only have 11.3 billion euros–obviously the US is still ahead. However, one thing comScore neglects to take into account in these reports is a little Latin phrase–per capita. How much did citizens of these nations spend online per total citizen?

The CIA Factbook gives population estimates as of July 2006 for the four nations: US, 298,444,215; Germany, 82, 422, 299; UK, 60,609,153; France, 60,876,136.

Google, Yahoo Gain Market Share; MSFT, Ask.com Decline

According to new comScore data, both Google and Yahoo have something to celebrate today, they each gained search engine market share – Google up 0.4% to 47.4%; Yahoo up 0.3% to 28.5%.

Bad news for Microsoft and Ask, they both slid this time around. It was only yesterday that we reported on MSFT’s search engine woes, now they’ve dropped half a point to 10.5%. Meanwhile, Ask.com can’t afford any dips, it it wants to gain ground on the others. A slide of 0.1% is not a catastrophe, but doesn’t help either.

Inc. 500 Embracing Social Media Faster Than Fortune 500

There’s a new found reason why companies make the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies – they’re embracing social media.

Eric Mattson and Nora Ganim Barnes have put together a study on social media adoption among 121 members of the Inc. 500 and discovered some pretty interesting stats.

How familiar are the Inc. 500 with with various social media?

  • 42% are familiar with social networking
  • 38% are familiar with message boards
  • 36% are familiar with blogging

What types of social media are they using?

  • 33% are using message boards
  • 27% social networking
  • 24% online videos
  • 19% blogging

Finally, 66% of those surveyed said social media was either “very important” or “somewhat important” to their marketing strategy. Great news for anyone in the social media space!