Google Joins S&P 500 Index

Barry reports Google will join the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on March 31st.

Not All Google Touches Turns to Gold

Google’s test to see if its auction advertising model would carry over to print has hit a major setback. According to BusinessWeek, Google has failed to raise much interest for the print ads it offered on a test basis, earlier this year.

The tepid demand became evident in some of the winning bids, which were recognized earlier this month. Nicholas Longo, CEO of CoffeeCup Software, which makes tools for creating Web sites, wound up paying just $4,000 for each of three half-page ads in Martha Stewart Living. It was a long shot: The magazine’s rate card pegs the price of a half-page ad at more than $59,000. Neither Google nor Martha Stewart Living would say what Google originally paid for the space, but it didn’t get a similar discount.

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Matt Bailey Launches SiteLogic

In case you weren’t aware, Matt Bailey, has left the Karcher Group and started his own company called SiteLogic.

Matt tells me he’s going to be focusing on site stucture, usability and what he calls WebSite Persuasion.

Matt was arguably the SEO brains at KG, so expect lots of good things from him. He’s also launched a new blog, which we’ll link to, once he adds Marketing Pilgrim to a blogroll. (just kidding, here’s the link).

Best of luck Matt!

Broadband Means More Online News Readers

CNET has details of a new Pew study which suggests more and more people are turning to the internet to get their daily news, thanks in part to the rise in broadband availability.

…more than 50 million Americans per day used the Internet as their primary news source in 2005. That’s up from 27 million in 2002. In fact, checking the daily news is the third most popular activity on the Internet, the study found.

Luxury Travelers Love Online

Just received a whole host of interesting stats from a study by Yahoo Search Marketing.

[Warning/Disclosure/Caveat: I have copied this verbatim from what was emailed to me. So please don't shop me to the New York Times] ;-)

· Luxury travelers are largely between the ages of 40 and 64 with an average income of over 70k and take nearly four vacations per year, mostly concentrated in the U.S. Half of the vacations planned include luxury accommodations or cruises.

· The majority (87%) of all luxury travelers used the Internet and 57% used search to research and shop for travel. 61% purchased their latest trip online.

· 65% of luxury travelers claimed they “couldn’t make a good decision without search�.

Google Wants to Help Retailers

Interesting (and long) article at eWeek looks at steps Google is taking to help retailers get their content found by the search engine.

Google officials point to a not surprisingly huge number of purchases that follow Web searches as well as abandoned shopping carts that immediately followed a non-productive site search. A classic example: A visitor searches a retail site for “video camera” or “movie camera” and finds nothing and leaves, when the site was expecting “camcorder” and would have shown him 20 models had he used the magic word.

eBay Adds RSS Feeds for Search Results

eBay is now offering RSS feeds for any search result you conduct. Fantastic!

A lot of B2C companies are trying to figure out how to utilize RSS and blogs. Just allowing consumers to subscribe to newly uploaded products, or search results, via RSS is one of the best ways they can improve the user experience.

Hat’s off to eBay!
Hat tip to WMW.