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Net Briefs: November 2009

Posted on 9.22.2009

Bing Fastest Growing Search
While Google remains the leading search engine (with a 65 percent share of searches), Bing is the fastest growing search engine, according to Nielsen. Bing’s search market share in August rose 22.1 percent to 10.7 percent of all searches, up from 9.0 percent in July. Google (2.6 percent), AOL (1.8 percent), (2.9 percent) and even experienced month-over-month search growth, but Yahoo! didn’t fare as well as its traffic in August fell to 4.2 percent. The news might soon get worse for Yahoo! as the pending deal with Microsoft, wherein Bing powers its search business and Yahoo! its ad business, will face fierce U.S. Department of Justice scrutiny. Yahoo! continues to work on its user interface (UI) and released Web services (e.g. Yahoo! Neighborhoods, Yahoo! Meme, etc.) which, while interesting, consumer-focused and perhaps even appealing to advertisers, won’t help it compete or secure greater search market share. Meanwhile, Bing has been innovating since its launch, exemplified by its recent (mid-September) introduction of a Visual Search feature. When users perform a search and select the “visualize” button to the left of the results page, Bing presents search results arranged into rows of virtual data grouped into galleries (note: Silverlight must be downloaded and enabled). Users can scroll through images for their search term, hovering over images to produce a bubble containing a write-up with more information about the product. By clicking on these pictures, the user can refine the search results. The tool seems particularly useful for those shopping online as consumers are often more adept at picking at images than words

Also read: Bing Cashback - 6 Reasons to Get Started Now

Mobile vs. Non-Mobile Ad CTR
Online advertising network Chitika released a rather telling study of mobile vs. non-mobile Internet usage. If you’ve bought into the potential of the mobile market, you might want to reconsider that position. The study suggests that mobile users are approximately half as likely to click on an advertisement as non-mobile users. According to the announcement, “Of the 92 million impressions cited in the study, approximately 1.3 million (1.5 percent) came from mobile browsing. While non-mobile held steady with a 0.83 percent click-through rate, mobile as a whole pulled a mere 0.48 percent – just over half of the average.”

Also read: Mobile Commerce Still Lagging - What You Can Do

Internet Tax Battle Continues
The Performance Marketing Alliance filed a motion to submit an amicus brief in support of Amazon’s appeal, which argues that the law requiring Amazon and other Internet retailers to collect taxes on sales in New York based on their relationship with affiliate marketers is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The PMA is taking issue with the New York law’s classification of affiliates as creating a “physical presence” in the state for online retailers like Amazon, requiring retailers to collect taxes on sales made through the advertising displayed on affiliate websites. It says that affiliates provide a form of Internet-based advertising that is closely analogous to traditional print advertisements distributed by a catalog retailer, and do not constitute a physical presence for an e-commerce merchant in any state.

Also read: Amazon Tax - Developments and Implications

Oracle and OpenCalais

Oracle and Thomson Reuters announced that the new Oracle Database 11g Release 2, Semantic Technologies will officially support the OpenCalais service (a semantic metadata extraction service). The integration enables Oracle users to leverage OpenCalais to incorporate “rich” semantic metadata into their production workflow environments. Semantic metadata generated by OpenCalais (a natural language processing technology) can be loaded, indexed and queried natively within Oracle Database. This enables application developers to extract the who, what, when, where and how from text and break content down into its most basic elements to improve search and navigation. In addition, it makes integration and interoperability of content possible across diverse platforms.

Also read: Google Supports Facebook Share and RDFa for Video

Cost-Per-Lead By Vertical
According to a report by online lead generation firm Pontiflex, companies in the travel industry have the highest cost-per-lead (CPL) to obtain basic consumer data (information such as first and last name, e-mail and postal address) through opt-in advertising. Companies in the technology industry have the lowest CPL for basic information but the highest for premium data (such as telephone numbers, social networking usernames and custom questions). Pontiflex’s analysis found that the overall cost for a basic lead, across all industries is $0.60, while the cost for a premium lead is $2.27.

Also read: LinkShare Opens Pay-Per-Call, Turns Heads 


Google and its Pending Micropayment System
Rumor has it that Google will be introducing a micropayment system over the course of the next year. While framed by many as a salvation for newspapers and old media outlets as a means to a new business model, the extension of Google Checkout could be also used in a broader set of industries to charge for subscriptions. “While currently in the early planning stages, micropayments will be a payment vehicle available to both Google and non-Google properties within the next year,” according to a document sent to the Newspaper Association of America, first published by the Nieman Journalism Lab. “The idea is to allow viable payments of a penny to several dollars by aggregating purchases across merchants and over time.”

Also read: Amazon Tax - Developments and Implications

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