Google Processes One Trillion Unique URLs

A posting on the Official Google Blog reports that Google’s systems processing links had found one trillion unique URLs and that the number of individual web pages is growing by several billion a day. They do not index all of those URLs as many of them are similar to each other. Google also says that they gather: “updated page information and re-processing the entire web-link graph several times per day”.

Click Fraud Increases Slightly Over Year Ago Period

Click Forensics reported that the overall industry average click fraud rate was 16.2 percent in the second quarter of 2008, up from 15.8 percent in the second quarter of 2007. The rate was 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008. The rate of click fraud for PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks was significantly higher than the overall, representing 27.6 percent of clicks during the second quarter of 2008. Botnets made up over 25 of the click fraud during the quarter. Click Forensics gathers the data from a network of more than 4,000 online advertisers and agencies.

FTC Director Of Consumer Protection Supports Self Regulation of Online Advertising

In an interview with the New York Times Bits Blog, the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of consumer protection Lydia Parnes said that she support self regulation of online advertising. Parnes is concerned that any legislation would be based “taking a snapshot of the way the market works at a specific time,” and would be quickly outdated by pace of change in online advertising. She also questioned how much consumers understand the connection between tracking and relevant advertising, saying: “If you ask people whether they want to be trace when they are online they generally say they do not. But if you ask them whether they want a free Internet they say yes. And if you ask them if they want relevant advertising, they say yes.” She also said that she felt that the FTC could be very persuasive in getting companies to follow general principles that the FTC proposes without requiring legislation.

June U.S. Search Share Results

Nielsen Online released it rankings of U.S. search share for June on Friday. Overall search grew 6.3 percent year over year to 7.9 billion searches. Google had year over year growth of 19 percent and received 59 percent of searches. Yahoo! had a year over year decline of 12.4 percent and received 16.6 percent of searches. Microsoft had a year over year growth of 12.5 percent and received 14.1 percent of searches.

WordPress Releases App for iPhone

WordPress announced today that their free app for the iPhone is now available for download in the App Store. The app allows editing of self-hosted or WordPress.com hosted WordPress blogs from the iPhone. New post can be created and old post can be edited. Tags, categories, and publishing status are accessible from the main editing screen. Images taken by the iPhone can be embedded into posts and posts can be previewed from an embedded Safari browser.

Microsoft Testing Expanded Publisher Advertising Network

Microsoft has started a pilot program to expand its adCenter contextual advertising network, similar to Google’s AdSense and Yahoo’s publisher network, to smaller publishers. Microsoft told CNET News the program began earlier this year and that “Microsoft’s self-serve advertising offering for publishers is still under development and is currently in a private pilot phase, being tested by select publishers who met the participation requirement.” Microsoft already places contextual advertising on large publishers including the Wall Street Journal and Rodale.

Google Increases Share of Search-Ad Revenue

Google increased it share of US search-ad revenue to 77.4 in the second quarter of 2008, up 2 percent from the year ago period, according to search marketing firm Efficient Frontier. From the year ago period, Yahoo dropped 2 percent to 17.8 percent and Microsoft stayed even at 4.8 percent. Google average cost per click increased 13.8 percent, Yahoo’s dropped 7.3 percent, and Microsoft’s increased 5.6 percent.

Source: CNET News

Congressional Hearings Held for Google-Yahoo Partnership

Yesterday, the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary committees held hearings into the Google-Yahoo partnership. The chief legal counsels for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft testified during the hearings. During the hearings members of congress expressed concern about effect of the partnership on competition and the amount personal data Google would have on individuals. The biggest moment in the hearings came when Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel Brad Smith claimed that during a meeting Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang: “Look, the search market today is basically a bipolar market. On one pole there’s Google, and on the other pole there is Yahoo and Microsoft both competing with Google. If we do this deal with Google, Yahoo will become part of Google’s pole. And Microsoft, he said, would not be strong enough in this market to remain a pole of its own.” Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan first refused to address the claim and later stated he had attending the meeting and recalled the conversation as being different.

Source: New York Times

WordPress Releases Version 2.6

WordPress has announced the release of version 2.6 of WordPress. The biggest change is revision tracking, the ability to see changes made each time a post is saved and the ability to revert to a previous version. Basic support for Gears was added, commonly used Javascript and CSS files are loaded into a “Local Server”, decreasing the load time of administrative pages. The update also adds the ability to see a live preview a new theme before making it active on a site. Among the other features are word count, revamped image control, and approximately 194 bug fixes.

Report Predicts Increased Cost for Advertisers From Google-Yahoo Partnership

A report by search marketing manager SearchIgnite claims that the cost of a click on Yahoo! search will go up 22 percent if Google sells the ad according to post on the New York Times Bits Blog. SearchIgnite compared the of cost of clicks at the same position on Yahoo! and Google for 15,000 keywords in 12 million clicks paid. They found that for popular searches terms Yahoo! cost more for the first three results and Google for the rest. For less popular search terms, the kind that would likely be filled by Google, Google cost 14 percent more for the first result and for the fifth through tenth it cost 52 percent more.