Browsing articles in "Search News"
May 10, 2011
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Skype is in demand but not from members or users.

Discussions are at the beginning and being totally specific is going to be difficult, but according to reports from good sources, Skype is hot property. There have been no public releases to its members or to the public; however you might not have to wait for long.

A partnership deal for Skype is not something that has been talked about before. This time the reports involve giant businesses. Google and Facebook are considering separate bids to get their hands on the video conferencing service.

If you were Skype what would you do (assuming that the bids were identical)? Would you take the Facebook partnership and combine the instant chat with the additional feature of running live video connection as well or the Google bid and generate more members and more business users using your services.

As we know from previous blogs, Skype has a lot of members, but the percentage of members that actually pay for Skype services is very low. This poor revenue stream may not be solved with a Facebook partnership – it could increase the number of members but not the percentage of paying members. On the other hand Google with the PPC and SEO services that are very business related, could boost revenue when offering conference video calling features to a business audience.

This deal could be very important to both parties (Google and Facebook) particularly as Google is losing ground against Bing and Facebook could continue its domination of the social network. Google could also integrate the Skype services onto its Google Android Phones as well.

As mentioned this is an early report, so we will have to wait and see. In the meant time what, would you do?

May 3, 2011
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Ebay and PayPal complement their individual growth.

Internet auction site and the online payment service have seen huge growth, mainly because of their respective apps but surprisingly also because of the development of PayPal.

In the first three months of this year, the net income for eBay was up by 20%. This then resulted in revenue of $2.55bn.

EBay is coming to the conclusion of its three year business plan to achieve more and develop the business.

PayPal have also started the year strongly, partly because of the developments with eBay have boosted the number of transactions that PayPal have completed on their behalf.  The number of PayPal registered accounts also grew by 16%, which excludes their eBay motors division.

The online market place, according to PayPal has grown by 8%. Smartphone’s, Apps and better internet access are also influencing this growth.

May 2, 2011
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Demand Flattens BBC Website

The coverage of the Royal Wedding and the interest in the World Snooker Championship proved too much for the BBC Online services as there website buckled under the pressure.

The BBC did make a statement that they had received some technical issues, and were working towards a resolution. The online service could not handle the sheer weight of traffic. Many entertainment experts feel that the Wedding specifically was the media event of the century.

The crippled website resulted in putting up a holding page informing users that the service was not presently available. As a result, many comments were left on Twitter, stating their disappointment and many sarcastic comments regarding timing.

What we may be highlighting is that professional and commercial websites can’t compete against demand. When there is a new concert tour released, the websites hosting the tickets also collapse. As we walk further into this online world with more Wi-Fi points and theconstant requirement for faster broadband, online demand is going to increase and will our sites be ready?

Apr 21, 2011
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Microsoft cause delays for Yahoo!

Yahoo has stated that the partnership with Microsoft is not going swimmingly. The top level email provider and search engine have a drop in revenue because of technology delays. The internet company has announced a 28% drop in profits as it has to halt development while Microsoft make amendments to their technology.

28% in Yahoo terms is about $300m – Yahoo stated that the new systems at present are not paying off.  Yahoo was also hoping that this partnership with Microsoft would have been the missing component in their business model in achieving a greater market share.

Two years ago Yahoo brought in a new chief executive to improve the growth of the company, and over the two tears there have been mixed fortunes. The comment was made that Yahoo will not re visit the revenue levels that they experienced before they merged with Microsoft till the end of the Year. Many experts believe that this might not happen as well.

The chief executive forecasted that the revenues would pick up around mid 2011. However delays have caused Yahoo to miss this forecast.

Yahoo is striding forward and making progress because of its efforts, the goals are that they will be expanding into a fast-growing mobile internet market – utilising the very receptive video marketing platform.

After the short decline in share price and much criticism, Yahoo’s turnaround is on schedule, and all people involved are confident that Yahoo is going in the right direction.

Apr 20, 2011
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Landing Page Improvement Tips.

There could be hundreds of reasons why people don’t hang around on landing pages, they click away and so don’t navigate around your website. This situation is often called the bounce rate, because the visitor bounces on and then off your website.

These reasons for bouncing could be website relevant or not but no matter what, it is impossible to get this bounce rate figure down to 0%. Not only is it annoying but it is also costly if the visitor has come through a search engine like Google.

So, what can be done to reduce this figure?

Firstly, from a user point of view there is nothing more annoying then clicking on a link or writing a URL to a website that takes an hour to load. If 5 seconds go by and there is nothing on the screen you might try it again, but it unlikely. Therefore, the visitor will go elsewhere. Make sure that the homepage or landing page is prompt.

Avoid any Popup windows early in the visitor’s experience of your site, despite what the popup says. It could be relevant but most users find them annoying. Keep the visitor focused on your main goal.

If the user searches for a particular product or service make sure that the landing page shows it. Otherwise the user may think that it’s an error and click back to the search results and may click on a competitor.

Manually check the enquiry forms or order forms work, on all browsers. Your site will need to be effective on all browses as you can’t predict what browser the visitor is using.

Keep the text on the landing page to a minimum, but make it match the search as much as possible.

Make sure that the design is engaging and try to stay away from harsh colours and bright backgrounds.

Keep the number of questions within online forms to a minimum, this will improve the conversation.

During the search process a visitor is likely to come across websites that they have never seen before. Make sure that the site has appropriate symbols and logos to develop trust. Also, design the website so that the visitor receives an email of they make an enquiry or place an order.

So, there you have it, logical really but often not recognised.

Apr 20, 2011
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Google release their Panda update in the UK

Google have stated that the second phase of their Panda Update is now landing in all areas of the UK. Confused?

This update was rolled out in the US just over a month ago. The update was an algorithm change and it was created to help searchers find high quality websites in their results. The US launch did receive a lot of positive feedback. This feedback came from both website owners and searchers.

So, the update promotes the better website essentially and demotes the poor, possible spammy sites. A benefit for the better quality sites as their visibility and SERPs will be improved.

Google are impressed with the results initially as they are now able to highlight the sites that are poor quality.

Quality content is rewarded and might make you a King!

Apr 12, 2011
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Bing finally crack the 30% search market share in the United States

For the first time, Bing has exceeded 30% of the search market share in the United States.  It could be argued that this is partly down to their coalition with Yahoo.

Bing commanded a 28.48% search share in January.  However, in February that increased by 5% to 30.1% according to Experian Hitwise.

Whilst the coalition may have had a bearing on the increase, both Bing and Yahoo search traffic increased.  Yahoo increased from 14.99% to 15.69% while Bingo went from 13.49% up to 14.32%.

Whilst this may get the attention of Google, they don’t have too much to worry about yet.  Despite their market share slipping from 66.69% to 64.42% they still hold double the market of Bing and Yahoo.

In order to try and compete with Google, Bing joined forces with Yahoo in July 2009.  The alliance saw Bing run Yahoo’s search engine.

The coalition was permitted by the US Department of Justice and the European Commission in February 2010.

Apr 5, 2011
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Was 2010 the year when businesses discarded online privacy?

Google and Facebook are the two biggest brands in the online world and have been very successful over the last few years. What lengths do large brands and businesses go to in order achieve the top positions? Surely that won’t compromise privacy!

There is evidence that both parties have relaxed other more professional matters in which to achieve their current popularity and usage. You may think that they have got where they are by using good intelligence, a good marketing strategy or a great innovation. This is perhaps so but they have been caught doing something else that is not one of these things.

Starting with the largest social networking website Facebook, that recently made their goals very clear, all of the web should be a social platform. This as it sounds is ok for all of its present registered users, but did you know that they use complex privacy settings to do this. These settings meant people were starting to transmit more information than was initially intended. The benefit for Facebook is that more users were able to discover other users.

There is an argument that the whole idea behind a social networking site is that you can connect, discover, share, and play with others. If your privacy settings are at the highest point – you would be almost undiscoverable and that defeats the point. The privacy settings were introduced in May of 2010 and Facebook state that the settings were accurate, comprehensive and easy to understand. However, there were many industry experts that did agree with the user friendly settings, but there are massive holes left open so that members’ public profiles were publicly visible.

Google on the other hand has a lot of data to run the market leading search engine. This was the beginning of the Google Empire that now includes maps, checkouts and email accounts. Then, Google decided that they were going to have a crack at the social networking arena by launching Buzz. This launch attracted great interest – even from the European Privacy Commissioners.  In Googles attempt to get the Buzz Social Networking off the ground like a space shuttle launch, it linked 170 million Gmail account holders into the launch without their permission, they had not checked that the email account holders wanted to be involved. The Commissioners spotted it and Google moved very quickly to reverse any actions after a mountain of criticism.

Several months later, Google were back in a similar boat again. When generating the Street Map view that is included into the Maps facility, there was a problem. While the vans had been taking the images of the streets it was also collecting personal data that was on thousands of unsecured wireless networks. Google apologised and called their actions a mistake. Much debate then rumbled around the word and Google’s reputation was again tested, but in their defence they stated that the networks should be secure and offered more training to its engineers.

So, is will the privacy monster be woken in 2011?

Mar 31, 2011
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I have a high bounce rate, how can I reduce it?

Bounce Rates ImageSome of the best websites on the planet along with the worst ones will all suffer from what’s called a bounce rate. This rate is generated when visitors are directed to your website from a search engine results list and exit the site either back to the results list or elsewhere without interacting with the page or processing through the site.

There is not a magic spell that you can put on this problem that does cost money with no return. However, there are some things that you can do that will help reduce it. As with so many things, first impressions are vital. This is totally the same with websites – especially when you have not been on them before. This bounce rate is not just influenced by the landing page but the content. The style of the website needs to be consistent throughout, making sure that you have good, useful information with appropriate clear and engaging language.

Plus, if you are going to convince people that the website is credible and deserves their time, you will also need to ensure that the site is very easy to navigate, clearly designed and is compliant with all offers in the press. If these key areas are not completed and managed then the bounce rate will not improve. When all key areas are running at 100% the visitor will be assured that the website is professional. Some of the largest companies on our planet have a good reputation, but if you didn’t know them and only looked at the website you may click away.

As already mentioned, the first click or first sighting of the website is very important in reducing the bounce rate. Sometimes the most obvious errors to a visitor are not always spotted by a web developer. So be very thorough when checking images, content, miss- spelt headlines, and even HTML code, as the smallest error could cause the biggest problem.

If say, you have an ad on a PPC campaign and content does not match the landing page, and the visitor clicks ‘back’ to get to the results list to try again on another website, this counts as 2 bounces. This is a double problem, highlighting the importance of the first page and first impressions.

As a target you may think that a 10% bounce rate is acceptable, but 30% is actually very good, particularly from a PPC campaign. This rate is a very good measure of concise delivery and a logical website. A 40% rate is good and 50% is acceptable. The lower the better, but it will never get to 0%.

Mar 29, 2011
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Online Advertising Tops £4bn

The internet is now receiving £4bn of your advertising budgets which was a growth of 12.8% in 2010. This increase has out-grown all other marketing channels according to the Internet Advertising Bureau.

Many major brands revisited their normal marketing budgets for 2010 and the online sector had a higher priority. The main area where the online spend was allocated was toward the internet marketing, contributing to the 200% growth in display adverts on social networking websites.

Facebook in particular has made large steps in convincing businesses and marketing decision makers that large gains can be made from social media and networks showing their ads. Let’s not forget that 25% of online usage is spent on social network websites like Facebook. This is a captured market that advertisers are keen to be seen in.

In addition to the social network growth, there has been another new development. Video advertising has also doubled in 2010 with a very significant £54m investment ensuring that short ads appear at the beginning, the end and also during chosen video clips. This is already being shown on video galleries’ such as Youtube.com.

Mobile advertising has also climbed up the priority list with firms trying to catch people that are on the move and not sat in front of a PC. The mobile market seems to highlight Finance News, telecoms, consumer’s brands and apps as the big four. 

Search Engine Advertising as we know is dominated by Google and still remains the largest beneficiary with Google’s latest increase of 8%. A possible reason for this is that search is still the most targeted for in marketing. Despite this, TV ads are beginning to climb out of a very dull patch unlike the press ads that are still suffering as internet users can access news and sports results on their mobiles instead of the local or national newspaper. Even classified ads, that were once the revenue engine for many newspapers has almost completed its migration to online.

As the Smartphone and mobile internet come together to deliver the ultimate user platform, online spend is set to increase. Include the installation of super fast broadband and talks to increase more UK Wi-Fi spots, isl online marketing set replace all other channels.

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