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Safe search is ON

Following up on their May study, McAfee reports that search results have become safer on Google, Ask and AOL. Yahoo and MSN now return riskier results than they did in May.

How does McAfee define “risk”? They have three levels:

Red ratings are given to risky sites that fail one or more of McAfee’s tests for adware, spyware, viruses, exploits, spammy e- mail, excessive pop-ups or strong affiliations with other red rated sites. Green rated sites passed each of these tests. Yellow ratings are given to sites which pass McAfee’s safety tests but which still have nuisances warranting a user advisory.

Overall, “riskiness” declined 12%, with a 6% decline in sponsored search. McAfee considered 8% of sponsored results red or yellow, while only 3% of organic results are classified as red or yellow.

The Internet is the first choice for purchasing decisions

Last week, Vertis Communications released their Consumer Focus® Tech Savvy study. The headline they ran with was “Future Plans Reveal Women to be More Tech Savvy.” That conclusion was based on their finding that 74% of Generation Y women (born 1977-1994) are planning on buying at least one electronic device in the next year, versus 58% of all 3000 adults surveyed. (Electronic devices included televisions, cell phones, digital cameras, satellite dishes and more.)

The study’s most interesting stat for an Internet marketer? Gen Y men’s answer to the question “When you are ready to make a purchase, which media do you turn to first to help you with your decision?” 38% said the Internet was their first choice to help them make a purchasing decision. That was up from 21% in 2004. In fact, the Internet was the only medium to see an increase in that time period (unless you count “None”).

Cyber Monday: publicity stunt come true?

Last year when reports about Cyber Monday came out, I was skeptical. However, it looks as though Cyber Monday is a real phenomenon—but not exactly as Shop.org claimed when they fabricated the term last year.

comScore reports that the best single day for online commerce this year was indeed a Monday—Monday, December 11. With $661 million in sales, this past Monday beat the record-setting Monday the week before (December 4, $647 million). Last year’s peak day? December 12, 2005—also a Monday ($556 million).

It looks like the theory behind Cyber Monday proved correct—people do a lot of online shopping when they get back to work after a break. However, instead of the Monday after Thanksgiving being the peak, people just buy more and more on successive Mondays.

Is MySpace Really Larger than Yahoo?

So, Red Herring tells us that a new comScore report will show that MySpace had more page views in November than Yahoo.

What I would like to know is what was the average length of visit for those page views. It’s one thing to throw a lot of crap against a wall, but how much of it is sticking. In other words, which of the two sites does a better job of engaging its visitors?

At first glance, you may think MySpace is the winner. After all, it has more page views, with fewer visitors than Yahoo. But, there’s so much junk on MySpace, I’m curious to learn the average visit length of a MySpace visitor, compared to Yahoo.

Anyone seen the numbers for this?

Maybe Alexa Stats Can Be Trusted After All

Well look what the Alexa folks shared on their blog. They took the publicly available Sitemeter stats for a couple of web sites and matched them against the Alexa traffic history graphs.

Here’s the comparison for TechCrunch.

The green graph is the site stats and the blue line is Alexa overlaying them.

Interesting, Rand, what do ya think? It appears Alexa is able to get the numbers right, relative to data within one site, maybe they just suck at comparing data from differnt sites.

Exclusive: Google’s Click Fraud Rate is Less than 2%


Digg!

UPDATE: Ghosemajumder has clarified that my assumptions of less than 2% should be based on “invalid clicks”, which means the actual number is more likely just a fraction of one percent!

Can Yahoo Stage a "Rocky" Comeback?

Compete would like everyone to know that, while Yahoo may be in the middle of a shake-up – they still have more visitors than Google.

Now, if I had the clout of Danny Sullivan*, I’d be able to summon the Bill Tancer genie and see if Hitwise concurs with Compete’s data.

* At SES Danny mentioned that he was able to request data from Bill in his blog, and Bill was kind enough to comply. I’m not even sure Bill reads this blog, so I won’t hold my breath. ;-)

Update: OK, so Bill “the Genie” Tancer does read MP, and he magically appeared with some data that appears to contradict the Compete stats (with help from Matt Tatham).