Baidu.com Grows Earnings Fivefold

China’s largest search engine, Baidu.com, has reported huge earnings growth for Q4 (fivefold) and doubled online marketing revenue.

The company also plans to spend $15 million this year, as it expands into Japan.

In love with Baidu? There’s lots more news on the earnings for you to enjoy. ;-)

Google Invests in Venture Capital Funds in India

Google has already gone on record that India is going to be a country to watch over the next few years. Now it has literally put its money, where its mouth is, and invested in two early stage Indian VC funds, Seedfund and Erasmic.

“While the rush of large amounts of venture capital into India is well-documented, very little of this trickles down to small firms – the early-stage startups. Our effort is to build this gap by investing in these funds,” said Samir Sood, head (corporate development – South Asia), Google.

India is reportedly one of the first countries to receive this kind of investment from Google.

Channel Sponsors

Wall Street Journal Gives Thumbs-up to Link Baiting

Hat’s off to Kelly Spors for helping to keep WSJ readers up to date on the latest marketing buzz. In today’s weekly roundup of news, she explains the art of link baiting…

Here’s a new catchphrase in search-engine optimization these days: Link baiting.

Newspapers Outperforming TV in Video Ads

It’s true: newspapers are outperforming TV in video ads. In 2006, newspapers’ websites sold $81 million in local online streaming video advertisements. Local TV broadcasters’ websites sold only $32 million. Even taken with the other $48 million spent on online video advertising, it’s not much compared to the advertising industry total of $280 billion. But look out: online video is poised to become a more and more significant portion of online ad spending.

This year, $371 million will be spent on local online video advertising—comprising about 5% of the total of $7.7 billion online ad spending according to Borrell Associates Inc’s new study, “The New Frontier: Local Online Video Advertising.” This is more than double last year’s online video spend total of $161 million.

Time to Say Goodbye to the NoFollow Tag?

Over at SEJ, Loren provides 13 reasons why the NoFollow tag simply sucks. My favorite?

Linking to someone with a NoFollow attribute is a sign of not trusting them. It’s like reaching to shake someone’s hand, but stopping to put on a pair of latex gloves.

Loren’s also turned off the default nofollow for links in comments. It’s a bold move, and I’ll be watching to see if it impacts the amount of spam or quality of comments.

We’re also going to be testing a new plugin which will reward loyal commentators with a link without the “nofollow” attribute. Stay tuned!

Google Sharing AdWords Quality Score?

According to an email received by Shimon Sandler, Google is gearing-up to start letting AdWords advertisers see their Quality Score.

…we’re making improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score to set minimum bids for keywords. First, we will be launching an optional Quality Score column to provide you with more transparency into the Quality Score for your keywords. Second, we made improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score for all keywords. This change will allow us to more accurately set minimum bids for keywords where the system does not have a significant amount of data.

Sharing the quality score of ads is something that Yahoo decided to do, with the launch of their new platform. It’s interesting to see Google following Yahoo’s lead for a change.

E-mail Love Fest One-sided

In honor of Valentine’s day: e-mail marketing is part of a love triangle. Perhaps that might more accurately be described as a love-hate triangle.

Marketers remain hopelessly devoted to the medium. E-mail marketing was chosen as the #1 most important advertising media in 2007 according to an informal survey of 1500 marketing professionals conducted by Datran Media.

83.2% of the respondents selected e-mail marketing as one of the most important media for this year, followed by 61.7% for search marketing. On the low end were RSS (4.3%), mobile marketing (10.6%) and online video (14.9%).

Not only is e-mail popular, but also:

  • 70.6% of those who will use e-mail in customer acquisition this year said they plan to increase their e-mail budget this year.