Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #006 July 29, 2009

Search is thriving in China.
Despite the global recession and internal unrest, business is good for the dominant Chinese Internet search firm, Baidu. The company announced that profits in the quarter ending June 30, 2009 had increased by 44.6% year-over-year. Revenues were up by 36.7% for the same period. Both the number of online customers and revenues per online customer have risen strongly over the past year.
Channel 4 News

Credit card data compromised at e-commerce hosting firm.
Network Solutions, an e-commerce host to more than 4,000 websites, has disclosed the possibility that credit card information from over 570,000 customers of those sites may have been improperly accessed. Malicious code was discovered on some of the e-commerce website servers, a method similar to that used to steal credit card information from Heartland Payment Systems in 2008.
Computer Weekly

Back to school--by way of Facebook.
With retailers facing an expected 7.7% decline in back-to-school sales this year, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming the outlets of choice to launch marketing campaigns. Not only does this help advertisers reach their target audience cost-effectively, but it can be used to create an advance buzz for a traditional television campaign.
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Online ads prove popular with advertisers, but consumers aren't cheering.
A recent poll by LinkedIn and Harris Interactive revealed that more advertisers now advertise online than in print, though most use online advertising as part of a broader campaign. However, a large majority of consumers found some of the most prominent online ad types--expanding ads, pop-ups, roll-over ads, and automatic video and audio--to be annoying.

Anti-social: Advertiser sues Facebook over click fraud.
Software marketer United ECM has sued Facebook, alleging that Facebook charged for "non-existent, fraudulent or invalid clicks." This a similar allegation to that made by former Facebook advertiser RootZoo, which filed suit earlier this month. Facebook had previously said it was seeking to address the issue of "suspicious clicks" and would credt advertisers accordingly.

Social media users get around.
Social media sites aim to attract advertisers, but in the case of Twitter, they are receiving massive amounts of free advertising for their own site in the form of widespread press coverage. According to the news monitoring service VMS, Twitter received an estimated $48 million worth of media attention in one 30 day period recently.

Microsoft and Yahoo team up to take on Google.
After extensive negotiations, Microsoft and Yahoo! have reached a 10-year deal on a search collaboration intended to take aim at industry leader Google. Microsoft will provide the search technology, giving it access to Yahoo!'s wide search audience while Yahoo! will reduce operating costs as a result of the support from Microsoft.

Newspapers launch new media marketing ventures.
In a sign of the times, some of the most venerable names in the newspaper business are launching ventures focused on new media marketing techniques. The Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times, is launching a venture specializing in experiential marketing, while the Washington Post has re-branded a previous acquisition in online lead generation.

Fed-Ex launches an extensive new B2B campaign centered on long-form video.
While online marketing is frequently associated with consumer audiences, Fed-Ex is launching an advertising campaign targeted at small business which brings together several elements of online marketing. Centered on a tongue-in-cheek long-form video, the campaign will use banner ads and video clips to draw attention to the longer ad in an approach which is part search-based and part viral.

Falling revenues show AOL may be on the wrong side of Internet history.
Once an early leader in commercializing Internet usage, AOL demonstrated more evidence of its fading fortunes via parent company Time Warner's latest earnings release. AOL's ad revenue is down 21% and online subscription revenue is down 27% over the same quarter a year ago. Google recently sold its $1 billion investment in AOL back to Time Warner for $283 million, a 72% haircut.


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