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Full Text RSS Feeds Kick the Butt of Partial Feeds

I used to be among those that felt using a partial-text RSS feed would bring more people to my site. About a year ago, I realized the error of my ways – mostly because I figured Robert Scoble would never subscribe (you do now though, right Robert?) – and switched to full text feeds.

Amanda Watlington and Stephen Spencer both talked about the positive benefits of a full text RSS feed at SES, and now we have further evidence from an experiment Amit Agarwal ran on his blog.

Growth in RSS Subscribers – We added more than a 1000 new subscribers in less than a month – thanks to full feeds.

Here’s his RSS subscribers chart to prove it…

Great Britain’s Online Ad Growth Higher than United States

The New York Times has a lengthy article on the growth of online advertising in Great Britain, and how it’s outpacing the U.S. In fact, online advertising in Britain is growing by 40% and is expected to account for 14% of all advertising spend – more than twice the percentage in the United States.

While it may seem strange that Britain is able to go from lagging the U.S., to kicking its butt, it makes a lot of sense.

…British media are nearly all aimed nationwide in contrast to the United States newspaper and television markets, where local and regional markets are big players. These local markets in the United States have, so far, been slow to move ad money online.

Yahoo Study Shows Benefits of Combining Search with Display Ads

A new Yahoo study, in conjunction with comScore Networks, has discovered that when combined, search and display advertising deliver profoundly better results than when used independently.

Online users who were exposed to both the search and display advertising campaigns increased their share of page views relative to competitive sites by 68 percent, and time spent by 66 percent. More importantly, among those exposed to both the search and display ads, purchases of the advertiser’s products and services increased by 244 percent online and 89 percent offline compared to online users with similar behavior who were not exposed to these ads.

There’s also positive news for those seeking brand-lift.

iProspect Tops List of Best SEM Firms, iCrossing Largest

In a recent study, Forrester Research assembled a list of 53 agencies and then selected six top providers to evaluate in-depth based on their revenues, balance of services, and enterprise focus.

There’s lots of interesting information relating to the strengths and weaknesses of each of the six top providers and tips for selecting your own vendor. You can purchase the full report for $995. Congratulations to iProspect for coming out on top, once again.

One interesting snippet of information. I knew iCrossing had been growing like crazy, but didn’t realize they’d had totally blown past by iProspect.

Here’s the top 6′s revenue numbers from SEM.

360i – $12M (SEM revenues in 2005)
iCrossing – $31.3M
IMPAQT – $7M
iProspect – $14.7M
Outrider – $10M (estimated)
Reprise Media – $15M

More Consumers Researching Holiday Purchases Online

ClickZ has a good summary of two new studies – from Performics and Google Checkout – that show the web will be a big part of consumers holiday shopping this year.

  • 58 percent of adults surveyed plan do conduct online research during this years’ holiday season
  • 40 percent of employed U.S. adults say they’ll be doing at least some of their online holiday shopping from work this year

Boldly Searching Where No Man Has Searched Before

A joint study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Exploratorium reveals 87% of Americans online have used the internet to find information on a scientific topic or concept, reports ClickZ.

Search is the most-used aggregation method for finding science-related information. Pew Internet asked about research in three topics: stem cell research, global warming, and the origin of life. With all three groups combined, about 90 percent of respondents said they route their queries through search engines. Individually, searches beginning at search engines amounted to 87 percent of stem cell research queries; 93 percent of global warming queries; and 91 percent of origin of life queries.

The study also touches on a concept that has become more and more pervasive.

Short Video Ads Less Annoying

A couple of weeks ago, we reported how 80% of video viewers find video ads to be annoying. PodZinger, a video ad network, obviously has a lot to lose based on that report, so they commissioned their own.

According to ClickZ, PodZinger’s research revealed viewers will tolerate 10- to 15-second ads, as long as they are not bombarded with ads and the content is targeted.

Of course, that’s like Philip Morris telling us their study reveals most young smokers enjoy cigarettes. PodZinger has skin in the game, so I’ll sit on the fence until an independant study reveals the same findings.