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The concept of local Internet advertising is rapidly gaining acceptance with users and advertisers with a predicted 46% increase in ad-spending in 2005 according to a study conducted by Borrell Associates in 210 U.S. media markets.

The Borrell study includes advertising in online newspapers but notes that local-search spending accounted for nearly 8.4% of the market. 2004 was the first year Borrell included search in its local online ad-spending studies. Read more…

I love New York City. More than any other city on the planet, New York is exciting, expansive and always interesting. As Earth’s unofficial capital city New York is home to many of the world’s largest entities, some even bigger than Donald Trump’s ego. No other city has captured the world’s imagination or harnessed its wealth to the degree of NYC. New York is also the home of over8-million people. As one of the most multicultural cities, every cultural group in the world is represented within its 301 square mile area. New Yorkers aren’t just city-folk, they define what is hip in urban living in the early part of this century. Unlike their counterparts in cities like LA, Rome or Tokyo, New Yorkers don’t fall for fads, set trends, or get giddy over the next new thing, ever. They are one of the most jaded and cynical populations and in their East Coast way, take great pride in their worldliness. That’s what makes them the perfect test market for Yahoo’s local-search engine. Read more…

As searchers become more sophisticated, the search engines are forced to evolve to keep up with the changing times.

During a session at WebmasterWorld’s Publishers Conference VI, Tim Mayer from Yahoo! Search explained how Yahoo! has improved its abstracts, the presentation of its results pages, and how it has developed a new algorithm designed specifically to focus on longer query searches using more terms. Read more…

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Thursday, February 26th, 2004

New Trends in Search Engines and SEO

The past year has been one of major transition in the search engine industry. Changes to the landscape have been enormous with mergers, acquisitions, and the easing of several formerly big-players out of the sector or, in the case of AltaVista, Lycos and LookSmart, into the minor leagues. We’ve seen new technologies and revenue models being tested by search firms, along with fresh promises of personalized ad-delivery through contextual placement. While there is no end in sight for changes in this evolving medium, this is a good time to examine the impact of such upheaval on the state of website marketing and search engine placement. Read more…

Verison, the largest telephone company in the US is introducing a search feature at Superpages.com. Verison is the primary publisher of Yellow Pages directories in the USA. They are trying to save this market from Yahoo, Google and MSN. Currently basic listings are free (with registration required). Read more…

Beginning today, more than a dozen Web sites, including MSN, ESPN, Lycos and iVillage, will run full-motion video commercials from Pepsi, AT&T, Honda, Vonage and Warner Brothers, in a six-week test that some analysts and online executives say could herald the start of a new era of Internet advertising. While the ads will allow viewers to close the window displaying the 30-second spots, Internet commercials may well herald a new era in online advertising. Chances are, online-video advertisements will be treated the same way folks treat TV commercials. At least geeks will have more time to eat properly from now on.

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

Google Email – Google going portal

Google Going Portal? That’s how it looks from the outside as Google announced it is thinking about introducing a Google Email feature along the lines of Yahoo, MSN and Lycos. Google has taken the concept a step further however and will likely use the new offering as a delivery vehicle for paid advertisements. This move might disappoint long-term Google users who have become accustomed to the clean interface that characterizes Google for many. Given the battle between Google, MSN and Yahoo however, it should come as no surprise that Google is looking to ensure brand-loyalty from its users.

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

END OF FREE LISTINGS?

With Yahoo!’s pending switch from Google (free-listings) to Inktomi (paid-inclusion), website owners with high Google rankings will see the number of visits to their sites drop dramatically as Yahoo! drives about 30 – 35% of all search traffic. Inktomi is also the primary supplier of results for MSN, the third largest search tool. We are predicting that the bulk of search traffic will come from the Inktomi database, starting sometime around March or April. This likely spells the demise of free-inclusion as Inktomi’s popularity will increase and Google will need to plug a sudden and likely massive revenue hole. While Google has traditionally spurned paid-inclusion, Yahoo!’s adoption of Inktomi results and the pressures stemming from going public through the anticipated IPO might move Google’s management towards the paid-inclusion spectrum.

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt revealed today that Google will focus on the personalization of search as its main tool to fend off rivals MSN and Yahoo. In a bid to improve the lagging relevancy of its search results, Google purchased a Stanford University startup search engine, Kaltix that was designed to track user’s searches and compile user/computer-specific search databases.

As a search technology concept, personalization will likely evolve over time starting with basic context matching and moving to unique user personalization as software and user data matures. As a start, we are strongly recommending webmasters be certain to add specific geographic information on their contact pages (as well as a well-defined text link to their contact pages) including; street address, city or cities in which the business is located, state or province, nation and zip or postal codes. To be safe, it is likely wise to include geographic modifiers in the description meta tags as well.

Commission Junction is one of the largest distributors of banner ads, web rings and other mass-marketing tools in the lucrative affiliate marketing sector. Now, with the advent of Contextual Advertising, rumour has it Commission Junction is looking to move into the personalized delivery of advertising field. With both Google and Overture delivering contextual advertising across a huge number of websites, what happens to the market if a massive player like Commission Junction moves into the game?

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