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Consumer Spending on Mobile Data

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 10:11 pm

ZDNet research shows that consumer spending on mobile data services (including cellular data transport, messaging and content) will ramp from $125 billion in 2007 to just over $200 billion by 2011.

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Category: Mobile Content

January 2007 Search Market Share – ComScore

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 10:01 pm

ComScore recently released its January figures for search engine market share among U.S. Internet users.

According to comScore’s research, Google captured 47.5% of the U.S. search market, gaining 0.2 points from the previous month. Yahoo maintained its second place ranking with 28.1% of U.S. searches, but lost 0.4% from the previous month. With a slight gain, Microsoft search was used for 10.6% of U.S. searches. Ask Network and AOL Time Warner claimed about half that with 5.2% and 5.0% respectively.

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Category: Data,Yahoo

PayPerPost Segmentation Benefits Advertisers, Bloggers

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 11:33 pm

I’m still working on that (unpaid) review of the various pay per blog services, but in the meantime, PayPerPost is really trying to get the word out about the upgrades they’ve made to their blog marketing service.

The most important update allowed for segmentation — that is to say, for advertisers to narrow down which bloggers could take an ad “opportunity” according to blog topic, Alexa rankings, Google Toolbar PageRank and other criteria.

Unfortunately, the interface was really buggy the first few days after the new release, which is never a good way to launch an upgrade. Advertisers were unable to increase the number of blogs they wanted to recruit for any given ad campaign; bloggers found that their Alexa rankings and Google PR were not adequately reflected in their accounts, so they were excluded from participating in ad campaigns they should have been eligible for.

Luckily nearly all of the major bugs appear to have been ironed out now. And that distraction aside, the upgrade was a good one. Because advertisers now have more control over the quality of sites their “ads” run on, they are willing to pay more for those links. There are some campaigns paying as much as $1,000 per post … if you happen to have an on-topic blog with PR7 or higher.

These higher payouts make paid blogging more attractive to serious bloggers and is probably attracting bigger, more reputable sites that might not have considered PayPerPost as a revenue opportunity (not when they could get $200 at ReviewMe, and the usual payout for PayPerPost pre-segmentation was less than $6).

I’m pretty bullish on PayPerPost (which has nothing to do with this being a paid post – Scout’s Honor!), and if they keep innovating (and keep aggressively reminding participants that disclosure is mandatory) I think the service will continue to attract new bloggers and advertisers.

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Category: Link Building,Monetizing,Paid Content

Google Auto-Correcting Typos: RAZR not Razor

Posted by Melanie Phung on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I noticed this a while ago and thought maybe it was just a test, but Google has started auto-correcting without prompting for certain types of misspellings. In the example below, Google simply assumed I meant ‘sprint razr’ when I typed ‘sprint razor’ — so it’s showing me the results to a search different than the one I entered! Very different results if you search “sprint razor” (same search but with quotes) and slightly different even if you choose sprint AND razor (which isnā€™t supposed to change the results since “and” is supposed to be treated like a stop word).

Iā€™ve also seen what looked like similar highlighting of variations without actual reordering of results. In the example below, I searched for ‘cingular razer’, and Google’s results highlight both ‘razor’ and ‘razer’.

But I think the highlighting of the search term misspelling in the snippet and title is a separate from auto-correcting search queries.

This is a big step forward in the search engines’ efforts to “think like a user.” Afterall, if a user types ‘sprint razor’ he’s not looking to see how many pages use the term ‘sprint razor’; he’s more likely looking for the Sprint RAZR product, and that’s what the results reflect.

Although I’m sure continual refinements will need to be made and a lot of assumptions will be incorrect at first, I think this is a step in the right direction in terms of cleaning up the SERPs. If this trend continues, it will help businesses avoid having to optimize for common misspellings of their keywords in addition to their regular target search phrases. Even better, it means Google will stop rewarding sites that don’t spell things correctly.

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Category: Google

Image Hover Text

Posted by Melanie Phung on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Random tidbit: Most people know that if you hover your cursor over an image on a web page, more often than not a little bit of text appears describing the image. That description is called the hover text. And many people know that the way to specify that text is to use what’s called an image alt tag (with the “attribute” being the value you assign to the tag). The same thing for link titles when you hover over a text hyperlink.

If you link an image and assign an alt attribute to the image AND a title attribute to the <> tag, one of them has to take precedence. In IE6, it’s the alt tag that displays when you mouse over the linked image; in Firefox it’s the link title that shows up as the hover text.

Updated March 20, 2007: More on the uses and abuses of the link title attribute via a Crea8asite discussion.

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Category: Images