Online Ads See Slowing Growth, Still Kicking Butt

It’s somewhat amusing to read about the online ad industry seeing “slower” growth, then discover that the growth rate is still in double digits.

Internet ad spending is set to grow 26.8 percent this year to $15.9 billion for 2006, down slightly from last year’s rate of 30.3 percent, according to the latest research from eMarketer.

The minor slowing of growth is consistent with the 2.2 point drop from 2004 to 2005, and signals a maturing market, but one that can support sustainable growth, according to Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer.

The industry will only just double its size in the next 3-5 years – we’re all doomed, doomed I tell you! ;-)

Comparing Organic Search Conversions with Paid Search

ClickZ summarizes a new WebSideStory summary that looked at the conversion rate of paid search compared with organic search.

The study looks at traffic and conversion data from 20 business-to-consumer e-commerce sites during the first eight months of 2006. Paid search had a median order conversion rate of 3.4 percent, while organic search results produced a conversion rate of 3.13 percent. The data set included more than 57 million search engine visits.

It’s certainly interesting to highlight the actual conversion rate. However, it doesn’t help us too much because it doesn’t include the entire search cycle. For example, how many of those converting via paid searh, started their initial research by clicking on organic results?

Channel Sponsors

Can New Social Network Site Wallop MySpace?

I remember when Wallop was first “beta’d” by Microsoft and to paraphrase Shania Twain, “it didn’t impress me much.”

After being spun-off as its own company, Wallop is re-launching and promising to enhance the experience you get with other social networking sites.

Wallop operates as an invitation-only network and offers free profile customization that doesn’t require a person to delve into HTML code. However, people can also pay for interactive graphics and features called “mods,” created by Flash developers and designers.

Via CNET.

Facebook Now Open to All

With all the recent buzz surrounding Facebook’s apparent talks with Yahoo, there’s been a lot to read about the social networkig site recently.

To me, I’ve always credited Facebook’s success to the fact that it’s an ultra cool space that is the exclusive ground of those in high school or college. After all, who wants to hang out in the same places 40+ year-olds do?

Now it seems Facebook is willing to risk that exclusivity in favor of more users and, likely, a higher valuation, by opening up the site to anyone and everyone.

It will either be the smartest move they make, or the worst one. Time will tell.

Via Sid.

Google Explains the Ridiculousness of Belgian Ruling – Round 6

Google’s taken the opportunity to explain their side of the recent Belgian court ruling.

Here’s precisely why the court case is somewhat ridiculous…

…showing snippets of text and linking users to the websites where the information resides is what makes them so useful. And after all, it’s not just users that benefit from these links but publishers do too — because we drive huge amounts of web traffic to their sites.

New Features for Google Notebook

I’m not a user of Google Notebook, but if you are, you may be interested in some upgrades Google just announced.

AOL Sued By Members for Release of Search Data

It’s not a big surprise to learn from MarketingVOX that a law suit has been filed against AOL for the recent release of search data. It’s really simple math:

Large Tech Company + High Revenue + Screw-up = Law Suit

The suit, seeking class action status, was filed against AOL on Friday, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, writes CNET. The suit seeks at least $5,000 for every person of the 658,000 whose search data was exposed

And the likely winners? The attorneys!