Google today announced the launch of Google Insights for Search, a tool that breaks search behavior data down by time, region, and category. The tool builds on Google Trends, providing all the information provided by that tool except for data on language. The tool adds a visual display of regional data using a heat map. The tool allows searching within categories and subcategories. If you were looking for search behavior related to apples, you would select the Food & Drink category to exclude related to the computer company. The tool also provides data as to what are the top and rising search terms related to the term searched for. The different search options can be combined to provide specific data. For example data on searches for prius in 2008 in the US state of California, shows which cities have the most search but also what related terms people have also been searching on.
Yahoo has partnered with LucidMedia to add categorization technology to Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange according to an article by CNET News. Using LucidMedia’s Clicksense contextual advertising engine to categorize publisher’s advertising inventory into more than 60 vertical categories, such as automotive, finance, and sports. In as statement, Right Media’s general manager Bill Wise claimed that the “technology will significantly help increase the prospective yield of a publisher’s available inventory and improve an advertiser’s ability to contextually target ads to relevant content and categories through the Right Media Exchange.”
In a 3-2 ruling, the Federal Communication Commission has ruled that Comcast’s throttling of certain protocols on customers connections is unlawful according to an article by CNET News. This is the first time the FCC has ruled that a U.S. ISP has violated net-neutrality rules. The Republican Chairman and the two Democrats on the Commission voted in favor of the ruling, with the other two Republicans members dissenting. Comcast will not be fined, but will be required to “disclose the details of its discriminatory network management practices to the Commission”, “submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these discriminatory management practices by the end of the year”, and “disclose to customers and the Commission the network management practices that will replace current practices” according to a summary of the FCC’s order.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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