Angry Customers Get Even With Video and Blogs

The Washington Post looks at how upset customers are no longer content to tell their neighbor, they’re out to tell the world with videos and blogs.

“This has been a wake-up call for these companies,” she said. “The day where you send a little letter to the CEO is over. In the age of technology, you have to be even more careful of how you treat your customers because you don’t know where they’re going to go. Now everything’s out in the open.”

There’s no doubt that voicing your complaint via a blog, is a powerful option right now (hence companies asking us to monitor their reputation). That said, it will be interesting to see at what point we start tuning out those that complain via their blog. After all, it takes less than 5 minutes to create an anonymous blog and make-up negative stories about a company. There’s no accountability and often no clue as to the perpetrator.

Click Fraud a $1.3 Billion Problem

Verne Kopytoff reports on a new click-fraud study released by Outsell, Inc. The study interviewed 407 online advertisers and led to an estimation that more than $800 million of clicks in 2005 were fraudulent and estimates $1.3 billion of fraud this year.

What else did the study discover?

Clicks believed by advertisers to be fraudulent: 14.6 percent

Money paid by advertisers for bogus clicks: $800 million (2005)

Advertisers who said they were victims of click fraud: 75 percent

Advertisers who said they reduced click-based advertising or plan to: 37 percent

Revenue lost by Google, Yahoo and other Web sites, as a result: $500 million

Advertisers who request refunds because of fraud: 7 percent

Average refund: $9,507

Channel Sponsors

Did Google Reveal Spam Scoring?

News that Google may have accidently revealed secret spam scores, has the SEO community buzzing.

Here’s a sample of what was found in one site’s Google cache info:

pacemaker-alarm-delay-in-ms-overall-sum 2341989 pacemaker-alarm-delay-in-ms-total-count 7776761 cpu-utilization 1.28 cpu-speed 2800000000 timedout-queries_total 14227 num-docinfo_total 10680907 avg-latency-ms_total 3545152552 num-docinfo_total 10680907 num-docinfo-disk_total 2200918 queries_total 1229799558 e_supplemental=150000 –pagerank_cutoff_decrease_per_round=100 –pagerank_cutoff_increase_per_round=500 –parents=12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 –pass_country_to_leaves –phil_max_doc_activation=0.5 –port_base=32311 –production –rewrite_noncompositional_compounds –rpc_resolve_unreachable_servers –scale_prvec4_to_prvec –sections_to_retrieve=body+url+compactanchors –servlets=ascorer –supplemental_tier_section=body+url+compactanchors –threaded_logging –nouse_compressed_urls –use_domain_match –nouse_experimental_indyrank –use_experimental_spamscore –use_gwd –use_query_classifier –use_spamscore –using_borg

More at SE Watch.

Does the TechMeme Few Represent the Blogging Many?

Jeremiah takes a light-hearted look at whether TechMeme can be compared to a representative democracy.

It’s occurred to me that TechMeme, much like many democratic forms of government is actually a Representative Or Electorial Democracy–the spokespersons are elected (by links) to have a seat and speak their mind in the anointed forum. They often represent the voices of others (by linking out) and draw conclusions from within.

I certainly think my voice on TechMeme represents the cynical minority (most of the time), but it’s an interesting comparison. TechMeme certainly does a good job of conveying the general consensus of bloggers – just by reading TechMeme, you can ascertain whether a news story is considered positive or negative.

Smarter.com Launches New Shopping Search Engine

Smarter.com today launches a new look online shopping search engine. As part of the re-launch, Smarter also plans to start crawling the web and indexing product listings as a compliment to its existing paid advertisers.

ClickZ has additional details, including…

With Smarter.com’s new comprehensiveness comes an increased emphasis on soft goods, such as clothing. For those categories, the company has created a clustering technology to allow users to narrow searches by attributes such as brand, color, fabric and fit. Smarter.com believes allowing people to narrow results will result in advertisers receiving more qualified leads.

Smarter.com is a client of Fortune Interactive.

ARF Plans Online Advertising Guide

MediaPost reports the Advertising Research Foundation is planning to publish a new guide to online advertising, designed for brand managers new to the web, this November.

The publication, “The Online Advertising Playbook,” is designed to be “a go-to guide for advertisers and their agency partners who are seeking to get maximum benefit out of the Internet,” said Taddy Hall, one of the authors. Hall, chief strategy officer at the ARF, added that the book is geared toward “brand marketers eager to tap power of Internet, but who have shied away because of lack of confidence in how to use the medium.”

The 320-page guide will include interviews and case studies.

Metacafe Gets $15 million to Battle YouTube et al

Being over 30, I’m not quite as hip as I used to be, so forgive me for never hearing about MetaCafe until today.

Apparently it’s one of the top 100 sites in the world and has been streaming 280 million videos a month. Unfortunately, my lack of awareness may be indicative of why the company just raised $15 million to try and compete with YouTube, Google Video etc.

Full story at Mashable.com.